We had 50 hives growing up -- a guy named Rude Logey taught me an enormous amount about bees and life generally. I've never developed a real love for honey, but I can still tell the difference between honeys the bees make from different flowers.
One interesting fact (at least for some allergy sufferers), local honey can reduce the symptoms of some allergies. There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that this really works. A good general description of why appears in Tom Ogren's column
Honey contains bits and pieces of pollen and honey, and as an immune system booster, it is quite powerful. I have often in talks and articles, and in my books, advocated using local honey. Frequently I’ll get emails from readers who want to know exactly what I mean by local honey, and how “local” should it be. This is what I usually advise:
Allergies arise from continuous over-exposure to the same allergens. If, for example, you live in an area where there is a great deal of red clover growing, and if in addition you often feed red clover hay to your own horses or cattle, then it likely you are exposed over and over to pollen from this same red clover. Now, red clover pollen is not especially allergenic but still, with time, a serious allergy to it can easily arise.
Another example: if you lived in a southern area where bottlebrush trees were frequently used in the landscapes or perhaps you had a bottlebrush tree growing in your own yard, your odds of over-exposure to this tree’s tiny, triangular, and potently very allergenic pollen is greatly enhanced.
In the two examples used above, both species of plants are what we call amphipilous, meaning they are pollinated by both insects and by the wind. Honeybees will collect pollen from each of these species and it will be present in small amounts in honey that was gathered by bees that were working areas where these species are growing. When people living in these same areas eat honey that was produced in that environment, the honey will often act as an immune booster. The good effects of this local honey are best when the honey is taken a little bit (a couple of teaspoons-full) a day for several months prior to the pollen season.
We are four miles from the closest apiary, and I stop by once a year for a pint of honey, partly to shoot the breeze with the bee keeper, who sometimes lets me play with his bees.
Honey can change its flavor over time, but this is usually considered a fault -- the result of antibiotics, yeast, chemical residues and other stuff. Fermentation can be a real problem.
Bees and honey are both fascinating -- I've really enjoyed reading C. D. Michener's The Bees of the World
-- it makes an interesting sideline to trips to new parts of the world. There are over 20,000 different species, so plenty of scope if you get interested in the subject. :-)