Honey is a product of animal origin that the human being has been using since life in the caverns. Formerly, leftover honey was collected from wild hives. Currently, the bee has suffered a certain degree of domestication and its honey and other derived products can be obtained through beekeeping. Honey is not only a powerful and energetic food, but also has medicinal properties.
You want to know more? In this Animal Expert article you can discover how bees make honey, because we will detail the process they follow to elaborate it and what they use it for. Find out below!
How is honey collected?
Honey picking start with a dance. A worker bee leaves in search of flowers, during this search it can travel long distances (more than 8 km). When you find a potential food source, quickly go to your hive to let your classmates know to help her collect the most food.
The way the bees have to inform the rest is through a dance, through which they are able to make known with high precision in which direction the food source is, how far away it is and how abundant it is. During this dance, the bees make your abdomen vibrate in such a way that they are able to tell all this to the rest of the hive.
Once the group is informed, it goes out to meet the flowers. From them you can get two substances, nectar, coming from the feminine part of the flower and pollen, which they collect from the male part. Next, we will see what these two substances are for.
The bees they use the nectar to make honey. When they reach a flower rich in nectar, they suck with your proboscis, which is a tube-shaped mouth organ. The nectar is retained in special sacs connected to the stomach, so if the bee needs energy to continue flying, it can be taken from the accumulated nectar.
When they can no longer load nectar, they return to the hive and, once here they deposit it in a honeycomb, along with salivary enzymes. With a strong and sustained movement of its wings, the bees dehydrate the nectar by evaporating the water. As we have said, in addition to the nectar, bees add special enzymes that have in the saliva necessary for the transformation into honey. Once the enzymes have been added and the nectar has been dehydrated, the bees close the honeycomb with a unique wax that these animals produce thanks to special glands called cerífal glands. Over time, this set of nectar and enzymes is transformed into honey.
Did you ever think that honey is bee vomit? As you have seen, it is not so, the transformation of nectar into honey is a external process to the animal Nectar is also not vomit, since it is not partially digested food, but a sugary substance from flowers, which bees are able to store in their body.
Why do bees make honey?
Honey, along with pollen, are the foods that they will ingest the larvae of the bees. Pollen, collected from the same flowers, is not directly digestible by bee larvae. It needs to be stored in honeycombs, bees add salivary enzymes, honey to prevent air and wax from entering to seal the honeycomb. After some time, pollen it becomes digestible by the larvae.
Honey brings glucose to larvae and pollen, protein.
Why are there different types of honey?
Have you ever wondered why there are so many different types of honey in the markets? Each species of flowering plant produces nectar and pollen of different consistency, smell and color. Depending on the flowers that can be accessed by the bees of a hive, the honey that will be produced will have a different color and flavor.
Want to know more about bees?
Bees are animals essential for the environment, because thanks to pollination, the ecosystems of the planet are kept in line, therefore, we invite you to discover what would happen if there were no bees in another article of Animal Expert. Also, you can also continue to investigate and discover the species of bees that exist or how a bee becomes queen.
If you want to read more articles similar to How do bees make honey?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.
How is honey made?
The honey collection begins with a real dance. A worker bee looks for flowers at a distance of up to 8 kilometers. When the bee finally finds a place to look for food, it quickly returns to its hive to inform the colony so that the other bees can come and help her collect as much nectar as possible.
The code that bees use to communicate is done through a dance, capable of transmitting their message accurately: when, where, how, where, where, how far away is the place to look for food. During this dance, the bees vibrate their abdomen in such a way that they can say all this to the rest of the hive.
Once the group is informed, the bees head towards the flowers. From these flowers bees get two substances:
- Nectar, which comes from the female part of the flower, a sweet liquid
- Pollen, the male part of the flower
How do bees make their hives and honey?
Bees use nectar to make honey. When a flower is filled with nectar, the bee comes to pierce it with its trunk. The nectar is stored in a special pocket connected to the stomach. An interesting fact is that if the bee lacks energy to continue flying, it can extract from this bag the accumulated nectar to regain strength.
When the bag is full, the bee returns to its hive and transmits the nectar to other workers through its mouth, a phenomenon called trophalaxis. The nectar is mixed with the saliva of several bees and deposited in a cell. A cell refers to the wax boxes that can be seen forming the hives of the hive.
The bees, thanks to their wings, dehydrate the nectar by evaporating the water contained in it. Once this whole phase is completed, the bees put the nectar in a pocket with a wax that only these animals have the ability to use ceriferous glands: the famous beeswax. After a while, this mixture of nectar and salivary enzymes forms honey.
Did you ever think that honey was bee vomit? Well, that's not true! As you have seen, the transformation of nectar into honey is an external process to the animal. Nectar is also not vomit, since the food is not fully digested, but it comes from the flowers that bees can contain in their bodies.
Why do bees make honey?
Honey and pollen are foods that bees larvae digest. Pollen, collected from flowers, cannot be digested directly by larvae. In fact, it must be kept in nests, where workers will add salivary enzymes and honey to prevent air from entering. After some time, the larvae may feed.
Honey is then produced for its energy value for larvae, providing glucose and protein for them.