How do Bees make Honey?
What is Honey?
Honey is basically sugar which mainly constitutes of fructose and glucose. Today, humans consume honey as a sweet delicacy and as an ingredient in many recipes.
But beyond that, honey is a precious gift of nature to mankind as it is full of vitamins, minerals and has many medicinal values. Beyond that, honey also has many anti-microbial and healing properties associated to it.
What are Honey Bees?
Type : Insects
Species/Genus : Apis
Anatomy : Two wings, two antennas and three sub-body parts namely: the head, thorax or chest and abdomen. A bee has 6 legs, 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes.
Their Homes are called : Hives
Social Classification : Queen bee, drones and workers.
How is Honey made?
- Nectar when collected from the flowers has 80% of water content. This water needs to be extracted out of nectar to make honey as honey contains just about 14-18% water.
- In order to extract honey from nectar, bees get to work and:
- Fly up to 55000 miles to collect nectar out of flowers and visits approximately 100 flowers!
- The worker bees store this nectar in the sacks in their stomachs known as honey stomach where the sugar is broken into simpler compounds. When their honey stomachs are full of nectar, they go back to their hive. Here the worker bees from inside the hive take up the honey and store in the hexagonal cells and seal these cells with beeswax.
- While in the cell, the bees flap their wings rapidly to remove excess water.
How do you think the bees collect nectar?
Well, the bees are equipped with a straw like long and sticky tongue with which they collect the nectar from flowers.
2 Interesting Honey Bee Facts
- In a good season, a hive produces about 27 kilograms of honey!
- Honey bees are a very important part in the process of pollination. Without them, pollination would be very difficult and hence, would effect the human life in a big way. No pollination, no flowers and no fruits!