Honey is made by a colony of Honey Bees living in a nest (in the wild) or in a hive if kept by a Beekeeper. A typical Bee Hive will house about 60,000 Bees, most of them Workers, industriously making honey! As the weather begins to warm up, the Bees will begin foraging on flowers. They will collect the sweet nectar from flowers within a radius of around 4 miles, and this nectar will then be taken to the hive. The Bees have glands which secrete an enzyme. When the Bees collect the nectar, it is then mixed with the enzyme in the Bee’s mouth. Back at the Bee Hive or Nest, the nectar is dropped into the honeycomb. These are hexagonal shaped cells, which in the wild, the Bees make themselves out of wax. Initially the nectar collected and stored in the cells still has a high water content. After some time, however, the water content is reduced to around 17%. This process is aided by the Bees themselves, fanning their wings, which helps the water to evaporate. Once the nectar solution has become thicker (more concentrated), at this point, the Bees will cap the cells - which means adding a layer of wax over the hexagonal shaped honeycomb cells. When Bees are kept in Hives, this is when Beekeepers know the honey is ready to be harvested! Beekeepers will then move in to rob the Hives!! Beekeepers need to be responsible to leave enough honey for the Bees for their food source over the winter months as this is the reason why Bees make Honey, to tie them over the cooler months until Spring when the flowers come out for their food source.
Facts: To produce a pound of honey, foraging Bees have to fly a whopping 55,000 miles! That’s a lot of Honey Bees, working very hard, because each Honey Bee will only produce around one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its life despite the fact that a foraging Honey Bee visits up to 100 flowers per foraging trip. So no wonder it takes about 556 foraging Bees to visit 2 million flowers, just to make a pound of honey!
How Do Bees Make Wax: The glands of Worker Bees convert the sugar contents of honey into wax, which oozes through the Bee's small pores to produce tiny flakes of wax on their abdomens. Workers chew these pieces of wax until they become soft and mouldable, and then add the chewed wax to the honeycomb construction.
Bees carry pollen on their hind legs called a pollen basket. Pollen is a source of protein for the hive and is needed to feed to the baby bees to help them grow. A beehive in summer can have as many as 50,000 to 80,000 bees. A bee must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.
HONEY HAS MANY HEALTH BENEFITS