Friends, how do bees make honey and give us one of the best foods that reach our tables?
We know that Honey is produced by bees inside their hives, but few know the various stages of the journey that brought the beautiful jar full of this sweet substance to our meal.
How Do Bees Make Honey?
Here, we are sharing an exciting video presentation created by It’s Okay to Be Smart YouTube channel, produced by PBS Digital Studios, that is also useful for explaining to children how bees live and how the pollination process takes place during the collection of nectar.
By learning from this wondrous video; drinking about hundreds of flowers may be adequate to fill a bee belly! However, it may not be the ‘tummy’ you are imagining!
Did you know? The Bees have two separate stomachs; One is to digest feed and the other as the nectar-storage. Meanwhile, they return to their hive, they pass nectar between each other in a “game of regression telephone” which helps it turn into honey.
Furthermore, the video “How Do Bees Make Honey” covers honey bee castes, the waggle dance, bee baby food, honey in Egyptian tombs, polyphenism, and many more.
Great To Know: The Whole Process Making Honey
Raw materials for honey are sugary substances found in nature: known as flower-nectar or honeydew, a secretion created by pests that feed on plant sap of fluid. They are collected by foraging bees, which store them in the honey bag. The pocket has a capacity of approximately 70 milligrams.
During the return journey to the Beehive; the foragers-bees pass the honey-load to the workers. And then the nectar is transferred from one bee to another. At each gait, it is increased with secretion from the mouth, rich in enzymes.
The workers place the drop in a cell and, waving their wings, evaporate the excess water. Thanks to the enzymes of the saliva, the honey matures, and after a few days, it is ready. Other Apidae (the bee family) can produce honey: they are the Bumblebee (Bombus Terrestris) and the Anthophora (Anthophora acervorum).
The Nectar is nothing more than the sugary secretion of some particular glands of the plant, called “Nectar,” which are mainly found at the base of the flowers.
This sweet substance has the task of attracting pollinators who, in collecting it, become vehicles for pollen and the fertilization of the plants themselves. Nectar is mainly composed of water and sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose) in varying percentages and other substances, such as nitrogen compounds, vitamins and mineral salts.
Not all plants, however, produce the same type of nectar. This varies in both quantity and quality based on different factors. There are, in fact, plants that are defined as “nectariferous” and which are therefore particularly important for the sustenance of bees. Others, however, produce little or no nectar at all. However, it does not mean that they can not be beneficial as well. If they produce a lot of pollen, they can still be a destination for collection by bees, but they will not be interesting for the production of honey. Although, there are also some additional factors for studying and discussing about different nectar plants.
All About Honeydew
Another important, but less known, raw material from which the bees then obtain honey is honeydew. Honeydew is nothing more than a sugary substance secreted by particular parasitic insects of plants and processed from the sap of the plants themselves.
It is very rich in sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose), mineral salts, and enzymes. The bees, attracted by its sweetness, collect it directly from the leaves and other parts of the plants, especially firs, larches, oaks, and lime trees. Unfortunately, honeydew production is not always constant, but it too depends on various factors, some related to the same insects that produce it and others to climatic conditions.
Who Collects NECTAR And HONEYDEW?
This essential task is entrusted to the foraging bees, so-called because of the precious “booty” they recover for the sustenance of the whole hive. Foraging bees are workers; hence, all-female bees, which come out of the honeycomb in search of nectar, honeydew, pollen, and water from the twentieth day of life until their death.
However, if the hive is experiencing a contingent need, even younger bees can immediately become foragers and take care of this momentous task. Foragers can fly up to over 3 km from the hive if needed. Once they find a source of livelihood, they go back and show the sisters which path to go.
The Types Of Honey: The MONOFLORAL Honey And The WILDFLOWER Honey
Another really fascinating aspect concerning the production of this incredible food concerns the division between Monofloral honey and wildflower honey (Polyfloral honey).
How do you get monofloral honey when bees have different sources of food to support themselves?
Nevertheless, the reality is much easier than one might think. Bees, if they have a consistent source of nectar near the hive, will dedicate themselves to harvesting it until the end of flowering. It is up to the beekeeper to choose the correct place to place the families to produce a certain type of honey rather than another and evaluate its production potential. Also, timely action is vital.
The beekeeper must understand the best time to add and remove supers in order not to “dirty” honey with other blooms. So, to produce wildflower honey, these precautions are not necessary. Different types of flowering are recognizable in the wildflower, none of which is high enough to justify its classification in single-flower honey.
Buddies, we discovered that Honey’s journey is long and extremely fascinating to produce just one kg of honey. It has been estimated that bees make almost 60,000 round-trip flights from the hive to the flowers. Knowing its history does nothing but make us appreciate even more every single teaspoon.
We hope you liked our today’s special post and keep visiting us to increase your knowledge by finding more such spectacular articles around the planet.