September is National Honey Month — an entire month to celebrate how honey and honeybees enhance our lives!

Honeybees play a vital role in pollinating fruits and vegetables and help sustain the natural environment. They also create that sweet treat that has been consumed for thousands of years. So, to honor our hard bees and celebrate honey, here are some fun facts you may not know.

Did You Know?


Health Benefits

Honey not only tastes great but also produces several nutritional and health benefits. The Mayo Clinic cites research showing that honey has a variety of uses as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent, such as:

  • Honey contains antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Certain kinds of honey, like eucalyptus and citrus, can suppress coughs from upper respiratory infections.
  • Honey may aid gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and be effective as oral rehydration therapy.
  • Research indicates honey may have antidepressant, anticonvulsant, antianxiety, and memory-preserving benefits.
  • Applying medical-grade honey topically can promote wound healing, especially for burns.

We Depend on Honey Bees for Food

The honey bee is the only insect that produces food for people, and they do it well. In fact, bees pollinate about one-third of the world’s food supply. With these industrious workers, we wouldn’t have chocolate, coffee, almonds, tomatoes, strawberries, apples, pumpkins, and other types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

The Honey Bee Population Is Declining

Despite the importance of honey bees, bees are declining at a significant rate in many parts of the world. In the U.S., nearly half of honeybee colonies died last year. A study by the University of Pretoria’s Department of Entomology and Zoology shows that 70% of South Africa’s bees have been lost.

Protecting Habitats and People

Not only does the decline threaten honey production and pollination of food sources, but bees also play an important role in helping preserve habitats. Researchers in Africa found that elephants avoid bees and won’t touch trees with bees. This makes the addition of bees and beehive fences a natural defense to reduce elephants destroying agricultural fields and trees.

Beehive fences can help prevent human-elephant conflict, an increasing problem in areas inhabited by both people and elephants, who sometimes are forced to compete for food and land. As rainfall patterns and climate change make resources scarce, elephants are forced to forage in larger areas, increasing the potential for conflict. Unfortunately, these interactions occur in some of the areas where many of the world’s most marginalized populations live.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 500 people are killed by elephants each year. More than 20,000 elephants are killed annually as well — some in retaliation for attacks on humans, others by illegal poachers.


ERP Honey

ERP's Honey’s Madikwe apiculture project is a community-based program in South Africa to help grow the local bee population, protect sensitive trees, and create job opportunities for the unemployed. The Madikwe beehive project trains and employs beekeepers to help manage hives installed in strategic locations adjacent to the Melorane Game Reserve.

Besides providing employment opportunities, this EPI-USE project also works as an impact investment business, providing a guaranteed market for ERP’s honey producers. Beehive fencing is also deterring human-elephant conflict in the region and reducing damage to crops and trees.

Aiding Elephants, Rhinos, and People

ERP's honey project is part of EPI-USE’s larger commitment to Elephants, Rhinos, and People ( EPI-USE channels one percent of its revenue into ERP initiatives to help preserve at-risk elephants and rhinos and uplift rural people in areas adjacent to the threatened species. EPI-USE is known as the world’s largest independent group of SAP HR/Payroll specialists and a member of Group Elephant, a hybrid business model that operates non-profits and impact investment businesses.

Learn more about EPI-USE and