How Bees Make Honey

It’s no doubt Honey Bees are extraordinary insects from pollinating plants to collecting food for their entire colonies.

Have you ever wondered how these bees make delicious honey?

The Beginning 
Honey Bees begin the process by visiting a flower and gathering it’s nectar. They collect nectar by sucking it out with their tongues. While the the bees are collecting nectar, they mix it with an enzyme in their mouth that is secreted from glands in their body. When the bee is full it will fly back to the hive.

At The Hive
Back at the hive the bee passes the nectar to another worker bee through their mouth. The worker bee will chew on it for about a half an hour until it becomes honey. Then the bee will drop the honey into the honeycomb cells. In the wild the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb is made by the bess out of wax.

Fanning Wings
When the honey is first collected and stored in the cells it has a high water content. After sitting for awhile, the bees being fanning their wings, which helps the water to evaporate by 17% and become more sticky.

Capped Off
When the nectar becomes thicker the bees will cap the cells. Capping the cells means the bees add a layer of wax over the honeycomb cell. If the bees are kept in hives by beekeepers then this is when the keepers know when to harvest the honey.

Luckily for us bees tend to make more honey than they need and that is why humans get to enjoy the sweet taste of honey too.

 

Sources:
“Ask a grown-up: How do bees make honey?” www.theguardian.com

“How do bees make honey?” buzzaaboutbees.net

“How do bees make honey” animals.howstuffworks.com

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