Honey, as you already might know, is the primary food that bees tend to feed on. You might also know that flowers and a substance called nectar are involved in the delicious honey making process. However, do you know exactly how bees make honey? They need to do a lot of work to make such a sweet consumable.
How the Process Starts
The first step in the honey making process is a visit to the flowers by bees as soon as spring arrives. By sitting on flowers, they gather nectar, which is a sweet juice produced from different flowers that have bloomed. For example, as soon as apple trees bloom, bees sit on the flowers on the tree and collect nectar.
How is Nectar Collected
Bees do not go far to collect nectar. At a maximum, they only collect nectar within a radius of 4 miles from the hive.
Bees collect nectar by using their tongue to create a sucking sensation. This brings out all of the nectar from the flower. The nectar is then mixed with a particular enzyme excreted by glands in the bee’s mouth. It is then stored in the honey stomach of the bee. Remember, a bee has two stomachs; the food stomach and the honey stomach!
How Bees Make Honey
As soon as the bees are filled to the brim with honey, they go back home which called a hive. At the hive, the bees that have collected the nectar pass it to other bees with the help of their mouths. The little beings that are waiting at the hive for nectar-collecting bees are known as worker bees.
These worker bees chew the nectar for up to thirty minutes. Once a bee’s thirty minutes are up, the nectar is passed on from one worker bee to another. This process continues until the nectar turns into honey.
Storing of Honey
When the nectar has transformed into a thick consistency syrup which we call honey, the bees turn to storing it. They use honeycomb cells to store all of the honey that they have produced. Honeycomb cells, as the name suggests are not actually cells, but are jars that are made out of wax.
Since the honey is wet when it is fresh, the bees use their wings to dry it. This drying process also gives another quality to the honey – the stickiness. As soon as the honey is dry and absolutely ready, the bees seal the jars with a lid made out of wax. The purpose of this process is to keep the honey safe from pollutants in the air.
How Much Honey Do Bees Make?
This tedious task does not make a rich amount of honey. In fact, it is quite the opposite. At an average, eight bees work all their life just to produce one teaspoon of honey!
So, now you know how bees make honey. Feel free leave any comments that you might have. Furthermore, do share this informative article.