When we talk of “bees,” we usually talk about bees like the European honeybee (its scientific designation is the Apis Mellifera). Humans have been drooling over its honey and using its pollination capabilities for hundreds of years.
How do these insects create honey, you are asking? It requires teamwork and organization.
Honey starts as nectar.
Flowers create the sugary liquid to encourage insect pollinators to come and visit. Nectar is 70-80 percent water that contains a mixture of three sugars: sucrose and fructose. It also contains fragrance chemicals that help draw bees towards the flowers.
Consuming and storing the nectar
Honeybees suck nectar through their probosci’s hollow (a straw-like mouth), which is stored in the primary stomach chamber of their stomachs, known as the proventriculus. Invertase is an enzyme that breaks down sucrose into glucose or fructose molecule. Other enzymes increase the acidity of nectar, which aids in killing bacteria.
Bees buzzing and busy
You’ve probably heard about the most crucial ingredient for making honey flowers.
A group of bees could visit 50 million flowers daily, and as many as 60,000 bees within each colony. They’re not called busy bees to be used for nothing!
Honey bees work as a group to determine which flowers to choose. They communicate with one another by making noises, bumps, or even dance moves, such as the dance of waggle.
HOW HONEY IS MADE
Why do bees produce honey?
Honey bees collect nectar to create honey. They store it as food since it supplies the energy required by the bees’ muscles for flight and helps to heat the hive during winter. Fortunately, honey bees create more honey than the colony requires, and it’s, therefore, necessary for beekeepers who keep the surplus they can bottle.
Honey: a portion of healthy food for all humans, workers, and bee
Since nectar is made in the form of flowers, it is possible to find a variety of honey that come in different colors scents, flavors and colours. Certain jars of honey can be utilized to treat ailments.
Additionally, bees don’t simply gather nectar to produce honey. When they visit flower gardens, they also gather pollen, an excellent protein source that keeps their body strong and healthy.
Pollen is a powder that flowering plants, grasses and trees make (and need to spread) to aid in helping other plants develop around them. Pollen spreads in different ways, like being blown about by air or transported between two of the same plants by insects.
In addition to transferring pollen between flowers, they also pollinate flowers. This is often the seeds of the fruits and nuts that we eat. In reality, about one third of our food is pollinated by bees.
There is more information on the various roles that honeybees play and the background of honeybee production on the University of Arkansas System (Division of Agriculture) website(opens in a new tab). In addition, to find out the nutritional benefits of honey, check out the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) website(opens in a new tab).
Closing the honeycomb cell
After the honey has dried enough to be able to be sealed, bees seal the honeycomb cell with wax making it airtight , keeping in all the goodness.
The bees store honey to eat during the winter months. They blend it in with pollen to create “bee-bread,” which they feed their children.
Honeybees produce more honey than they actually need Beekeepers must be cautious not to consume too much or the bees could be starving. It’s an excellent idea to know where your honey is sourced. Beekeepers who are ethical will love their honey and adhere to ethical practices.