How do bees make honey? Bees collect nectar from flowers, store it in their honey stomach and pass it to other bees. Then it is stored in a honeycomb where it gets dehydrated and gets ripened and finally comes out as honey.
Let’s see this process in more detail. Here is a step by step explanation for the process of honey making. Also, there are some interesting facts about bees and honey. So let’s dive into it.
5 Steps of honey making process:
Step # 1: Collection of nectar:
The first step of making honey is collecting the raw material, which is nectar. The worker honey bees fly to different flowers and collect nectar. They have special tongues for that called proboscis. This nectar is then stored in one of their two stomachs called honey stomach.
Step # 2: Regurgitation:
On the way back to the hive, digestive enzymes start to breakdown the complex polysaccharide (large molecules of carbohydrate) called sucrose into simple sugars called glucose and fructose. This enzyme is named as invertase.
But 1 bee isn’t enough for this conversion so they start a chain of process. The worker bee transfers the nectar through its mouth into a house bee’s mouth. And that house bee passes it to another bee and chain goes on. Each bee plays a role in converting nectar into honey.
So in short bees regurgitate or vomit the nectar into another bees’ mouth. This completely converts sucrose present in nectar into glucose and fructose.
Step # 3: Transferring into honeycomb:
After this, the processed nectar is transferred into honeycomb. At this moment it contains a lot of water so to remove that bees perform the next step.
Step # 4: Dehydration:
Honey contains less than 18.6% of water, on the other side nectar consist of 70% of water. So something should be done to remove this water.
Bees know what they have to do. They start flapping their wings continuously over the honeycomb. This increases the wind flow and helps in evaporation of water.
Step # 5: Covering:
Bees now cover the honeycomb with a fresh piece of wax. Honey gets ripened there and comes out ready to be eaten.
How do bees make honey video:
For understanding the process better, here is a video on how do bees make honey.
Here is an animated video on how do bees make honey for kids.
Why do bees make honey?
Now you know how do bees make honey, but why do bees make honey? Bees don’t work so hard just for us. Honey is actually their food. They spend the whole summer and spring in storing and making honey. They eat it in winters when there are not many flowers to collect nectar from.
10 Fun facts about honey bees and honey:
Let’s see some interesting facts about these little creatures.
1 lb (pound) of honey requires 10,000 plus bees to travel almost 75,000 miles and suck from approximately 8,000,000 flowers.
1 honey bee has to suck nectar from more than thousands of flowers to fill its honey stomach.
The yellow honey bee is just one of many species of bees which can make honey.
Only the queen bee is fertile. All the other female bees are sterile.
If the egg of the queen bee is fertilized the new bee will be female. However, if the egg doesn’t get fertilized it give rise to a male bee.
Diet determines which bee will be the queen. Initially all the larvae are fed upon royal jelly. Later only one gets royal jelly while others get bee bread. A compound in bee bread keeps bees sterile.
Honey has low water content and low pH value. This environment isn’t suitable for microorganisms. So honey has a pretty long shelf life.
A worker/forager bee visits almost 100 flowers in 1 trip.
Why do bees make honey in hexagonal cells? Well they require 8 oz of honey to make 1 oz of wax and they make small wax jars to store honey. They can’t waste it. So, they need a shape that provides large area to store honey without any wastage of wax and that shape is hexagon.
Bees communicate through their body language and through some special moves.
Frequently asked questions:
1. Can honey be of different taste?
Yes, Honey can be of different taste, color and smell. It’s because bees collect nectar from many different types of flowers. Different flowers have slight differences in their nectar.
2. Do bees die when honey is harvested?
No, beekeepers don’t take all the honey. They left some in their hive so they can use it as well. Moreover, they harvest at such time of the year that does not harm bees.
3. Do bees get mad when you take their honey?
No, beekeepers left some honey for bees as well. They don’t take all of it. Moreover, there is a proper method for taking honey from hives.
4. Do honey bees sting you for no reason?
No, bees will never sting any creature without any reason. They only sting when they feel danger from someone.
5. Can bees be friendly?
Bees can recognize features and faces. So they trust their caretakers and they don’t harm them. Interesting, right?
6. What happens if honey is not harvested?
Bees use honey in winters. The whole colony feed upon it in cold season. The left over honey remains in the honeycomb and bees start to collect more in spring.
Other insects and animals also eat honey so they steal some as well.
7. Why do vegans not eat honey?
Vegans avoid any food that harms or exploits animals. Many vegans don’t eat honey as it is made by bees. They also do this to stand against beekeeping as many beekeepers don’t take good care of bees.
8. How many times do you harvest honey in a year?
Almost 2 to 3 times in a year. It depends a lot on climate and local environment. Diseases, less plants or poor weather can affect harvesting time.
9. Can you eat honey right from the hive?
Honey that you get from the market is not raw. Raw honey contains many impurities like wax, pollen grains and some parts of dead bees as well that can cause damage to your body. Manufacturers remove as many impurities as they can then pack it for you.
10. Which country makes the best honey?
Turkey is known to be the best honey producing country in the world.
You would now agree that bees are interesting, smart and hardworking creatures. They are not called busy bees for no reason. You have seen step by step explanation on how do bees make honey.
It takes time and effort. Bees have to travel a lot to collect nectar. So next time when you eat honey, remember these little creatures who work so hard to give you delicious honey.
Honey bees make Honey. They work together to gather nectar from flowers and store it inside the cloves of honey comb. The preparation of honey makes honey really amazing. For the preparation of honey various honey bees work together and are dedicated to support colony. Every single bee has its own work and responsibility to fulfil which is beneficial for the colony to grow vigorously. The successful production and storage of honey in hives ensures the hardworking of bees.
What is honey?
Honey is viscous and sweet liquid food which tastes delicious and also contains many nutrients useful for nourishment. It is dark golden in color which associates with flower from which it is taken.
Which bee makes honey?
Incredibly, the United Kingdom has over 250 bee species. While many pollinators exist, only one produces surplus honey, which is thought to have been created specifically for mankind to consume! The diligent honey bee, of course.
The drone bee, queen bee, and worker bees are the three kinds of honey bees in a hive. Each plays a unique part in the hive’s success, but a single type of bee forages for nectar and responsible for the production of honey known as worker bees.
The royal duty of the queen bee is to increase the number of bees in the hive ( 2,000 eggs are laid by her in a day in her prime). She goes for one or two mating flights when the hatching process is being from her queen cell, where drones from other hives fight for her attention. Their accomplishment comes with a price: half of their bodies are lost in this process, bringing their existence to a close. The queen then returns to the hive, where she may never leave because she has been impregnated for life — unless she swarms.
So, the worker bee is there, which is a marvel. She feeds the baby bees, Her Royal Hive-ness the drones and queen, and guards the hive. She also forages for pollen, water, nectar and sticky material to form propolis, a resinous combination that covers gaps in the hive. What’s her unique job? Brought the vital pollen back for the bees, as well as the nectar that she will convert into honey and store until it is completely developed and ready to consume for us.
The process of creating honey is fascinating to us! Let’s take a closer look at why and how bees generate honey. But, before we get started, here are 10 fascinating honey facts that are amazing and astonishing to believe
Honey is not produced by all bees. Honey bees are only found in roughly seven different species. During their foraging travels, honey bees collect nectar and pollen in order to manufacture honey to preserve for the chilly winter months.
In their short lives, worker bees produce just about a quarter of a teaspoon of honey. They live for around six weeks on average. During one foraging excursion, a honey bee will visit 100 flowers on average.
During the course of a year, a large honey bee colony can consume up to 200 pounds of honey. Nectar and pollen are being foraged; honey bees will travel a 4- to 5-mile radius. Honey bees will fly nearly 55,000 kilometers to produce only one pound of honey.
Honey is made by bees for a number of purposes:
Bees are resourceful and resourceful creatures. nectar and pollen are being collected by worker bees in the spring and summer so honey can be made and stored for winter. During the frigid winter months, bees would perish outside of the hive. During the winter, food is also in short supply.
Honey bees produce as much honey as possible during the summer months in order to sustain the colony during the “offseason.” Honey is used as a source of nutrition for the young. Nectar and pollen are consumed by new honey bees, ensuring that they are robust and ready to work whenever spring arrives.
What is the Process of Honey Production for Bees?
As you would expect, the process of production of honey consists of multiprocedural. Let’s have a look at how honey bees manufacture this valuable food for the colony one Procedure at a time.
Step / Procedure 1:
Worker bees acquire nectar in the first Procedure:
When a worker bee discovers a nice nectar source, she starts to work! She takes nectar from the inside of flowers with her proboscis, and on a single foraging expedition, she may visit more than 100 blooms.
The nectar is kept in a special sac called a honey stomach, along with a little quantity of honey bee saliva. The worker bee will return to the hive to drop off the cargo once the honey stomach is full.
Step / Procedure 2:
House bees receive the nectar from worker bees:
House bees, who live in the hive, wait for the foragers to return. The nectar is passed from the worker bees to the waiting bees, who then begin the making of honey process. Enzymes affect the Ph and other chemical properties of nectar as it is eaten and transmitted from one bee to another
The mixture of enzyme and nectar contains far too much water at this point to be preserved for the winter. It must be dried off by the bees.
Step / Procedure 3:
The honey is dehydrated by the bees:
While the honey is transported from bee to bee, some of the water is taken. Bees, on the other hand, use two different strategies to dry out their honey. For starters, the honey will be distributed over the honeycomb. This process expands the surface area of the water, allowing for additional evaporation.
To boost flow of air and evaporate even excess of liquid, bees will fan their wings towards the honey. The water content of the honey will eventually drop to around 17-20%, down from a stunning 70%. The bees put in a lot of effort to get their meal.
Step / Procedure 4:
Beeswax is used to finish the honeycomb:
The storing of honey is the last Procedure in the production process. The honey is placed in the honeycomb cells and will remain there until the consumption is done by bees which are ready to consume it. Every cell is covered with beeswax to keep the honey fresh.
An intriguing process is beeswax production. Find out more about beeswax and how they create it here: Beeswax is a type of wax that comes from bees.
Honey is taken for granted by a large number of people. We can just go to the market and get some nice local honey to eat. We rarely consider how long it takes to make honey. Give a small thanks to the hundreds of busy honey bees that made the thing possible every time when you take a bit drops of honey to your breakfast tea or toast.
Step / Procedure 1: Worker bees acquire nectar in the first Procedure. When a worker bee discovers a nice nectar supply, she starts to work!
Step / Procedure 2: House bees receive the nectar from worker bees.
Step / Procedure 3: The honey is dehydrated by the bees.
Step / Procedure 4: The beehive is capped with beeswax by the bees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
There are some questions which are asked frequently, that are discussed below:
Q1. Is honey simply bee poop?
Honey is indeed not technically bee poop, but it’s close. The nectar passes through a valve and into an inflatable pouch known as the crop, where it is stored for a brief time before being transported to a collecting bee at the hive.
Q2. Is it true that bees ■■■■■■■■ in honey?
No. The honey bee brings the nectar back to the hive / colony in its crop, where it is transferred from bee to bee while being supplemented with the bee’s own component (the bee enzyme), before being placed into a wax cell to be converted into honey.
Q3. Is it true that honey bees have saliva?
In nursing bees, the glands are huge (hypertrophied), while in foragers, they become smaller. A pair of head salivary glands can also be found inside the head. Saliva is produced by the glands and combined with wax scales to alter the physical properties of wax.
Q4. Is honey consumed by bees?
Honey is consumed by the worker castes of most real honeybees. Honey is used by this busy caste to recharge after forays outside of the hive. Honeybee workers spend the majority of their time foraging. Nectar and pollen are collected and returned to the beehive by workers.
Q5. What is the number of eyes on a bee?
Eyes - As incredible as it may appear, the honey bee has FIVE eyes in the middle of its head, two huge compound eyes and three smaller ocelli eyes.
Q6. Is it true that bees have teeth?
Bees do have teeth on their mandibles (jaws), but they are not the same as those seen in humans and other animals’ mouths. The mandibles, on the other hand, are ‘toothed,’ with thin or rounded tips.
Q7. Is it true that bees drink water?
Bees, like people, become thirsty. To keep healthy and safe, they require access to water. Bees not only sip the water, but also use it for: On hot days, bees may deposit a thin coating of water over the newborn bee cells to keep them cool.
Honey is a sticky, sweet liquid meal that tastes great and includes numerous nutrients that are good for you. It has a dark golden hue that corresponds to the flower from which it is derived.
Honey is produced by honey bees. They work together to gather nectar from flowers and store it inside the cloves of honey comb. Honey is very excellent because of the way it is prepared. Various honey bees collaborate to make honey and are committed to the colony’s sustenance. Every bee has its own task and obligation to do, which is beneficial to the colony’s continued growth. The hard labor of bees is ensured by the effective production and storage of honey in hives.
In a hive, there are three types of honey bees: drone bees, queen bees, and worker bees. Each bee contributes to the hive’s success in different ways, but worker bees are the only bees that hunt for nectar and produce honey.
Honey production is a multi-Procedure process that includes the following Procedures:
Stage 1: In the first Procedure, worker bees obtain nectar, house bees get nectar from worker bees in Procedure 2, The honey is dehydrated by the bees in Procedure three, in Procedure 4: The honeycomb is finished with beeswax.