~ The more I studied beekeeping, the less I knew, until, finally, I knew nothing. But, even though I knew nothing, I still had plenty to unlearn. Charles Martin Simon

How many of us learned in grade school the phrase: “A pint is a pound the world around.”

This, unfortunately, is simply not true.

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Note that a pint is 16 ounces of volume, while a pound is 16 ounces of weight.

If you’re measuring water the number of ounces in volume is similar to the number of ounces in weight. This may be where the phrase comes from. But it isn’t true for most other substances. Ex. a pint of gold would not be one pound.

In beekeeping a pint of honey is not a pound. Depending on the density (thickness) of the honey, a pint (volume) of honey actually will weigh approximately 22oz. (One pound, 6 ounces).

Exactly why is this important? Because, at least here in the US honey is typically sold by weight rather than volume. So, if you purchase a pint jar filled with honey it will say 1lb.6oz. If you purchase a 1 pound jar the jar will read 16 ounces but by volume you will be purchasing approximately 12 ounces.

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6 thoughts on “A pint is a pound the worldaround…”

Ron Miksha said:

October 25, 2017 at 6:54 am

Nice. Good explanation of volume vs weight and the fact that honey (which is 80% sugar) is heavier than water. The expression “a pint is a pound” does come from the weight of 16 fluid ounces of water, as you note. Similarly, the metric system links one litre of water (volume) to exactly one kilogram of water (weight).The part of the “a pint is a pound the world around” which is no longer true is that almost every country in the world uses the metric system. For 90% of the world’s population, the expression is totally meaningless. They’ve never used pints or pounds. (I’m guessing that the ditty goes back to the days when the British had colonies the world around.)

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Lazer Creek Apiary said:

October 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

A British pint is also 20% bigger than an American pint. It seems that pounds are the same.

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les-grizzlys-catalans.org said:

October 25, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Thanks. I didn’t know that.



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