The Most Expensive Honey In The World Comes From Caves (Not Bee Hives)

Deep within Turkey's scenic Black Sea Mountains lies a cave system in the Sarcayir Valley containing the "nectar of the gods", which happens to be one of the most expensive kinds of honey on earth. This rare delicacy boasts a whopping price tag of $6,800 for just one kilo (2.2 lbs.), and there are several reasons for this. If you consider yourself something of a honey connoisseur, then you've likely heard of New Zealand's costly Manuka raw honey, which is famously known for its numerous health benefits. Similarly, this Turkish cave honey, called Peri Bali and translated to "fairy" or "Elvish" honey, has its own medicinal properties that make this product just as mystical as it sounds.

Besides being chock-full of minerals, another reason why Elvish Honey is so pricey is because of just how difficult it is to harvest. The mountain where the cave is located towers over the Artvin Province at an altitude of 7,633 feet, and can only be accessed by professional climbers due to the cavern's 5,905-foot depth. It's so secluded that any animals or lurking Pooh Bears in the area wouldn't be able to get their sticky paws on this luxurious treat. When it was first collected in 2009 by a climbing team led by third-generation Turkish beekeeper, Gunduz Gunay, a kilo of Elvish Honey was initially estimated to be worth just under $50,000 based on its purity.

To create this high-quality golden goo, the honeycombs' subterranean environment needs to be just right, including the best bees for the job.

Elvish honey is produced by sought-after Caucasian Mountain bees

Average types of honey you'd buy from the grocery store are made from bees that gather nectar from flowers. For the Caucasian Mountain Grey Bee, Elvish Honey is not created from flowers, but instead comes from the juices of the cave's therapeutic plants surrounding their honeycombs. These honeybees are perfectly suited for cold, damp areas such as caves, and are known for their extraordinary honey-producing abilities via their unnaturally long tongues. Not only that, but they are surprisingly docile even when being handled by humans. Even though these hardworking little guys can acquire larger volumes of honey than normal bees can, Elvish Honey is still only able to be harvested once per year. Such a low annual supply is yet another factor that contributes to its high cost.

If you're dreaming about spreading some fancy Peri Bali honey as a sugar substitute just to try it, you might want to rethink that. Not only is this liquid ambrosia insanely upscale, it's also somewhat bitter. Although Elvish Honey is some of the priciest natural honey that money can buy, it actually isn't the most expensive the world has to offer. That title goes to the 2021 Guinness World Record holder, Centauri Honey, which is also extracted from similar caves in the same region of Turkey. Out of the three kinds Centauri sells, its Proxima Custom-made bottle will cost you over $27,500. But hey, maybe your palate (and wallet) would be into that.