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How do bees make honey?

03/06/2021
by paul Courtnyes

Have you ever wondered how bees make honey?

Step 1:

The worker bees will land inside or close to the flower and suck the nectar out using her proboscis (tongue) and collect in it a little sac called a crop or other wise known as a honey stomach. 

Step 2:

When her nectar sac is full, the honeybee will return to the hive. The worker bee will then pass the nectar to a hive bee by regurgitating the liquid into the hive bees mouth.

Step 3:

The worker bee will fly off and continue to collect nectar again whilst the hive bee deposits the nectar into a honeycomb. 

Initially the honey stored in the cells is still a bit wet, so the bees fan their wings over it, which helps the water to evaporate.  After some time, the water content is reduced to around 17%. 

Step 4:

When most of the water has evaporated from the honeycomb, the bee seals the comb with a secretion of liquid from its abdomen, which eventually hardens into beeswax. This process is a little bit like putting a lid on a jar.

During one bees lifetime, it will only make around 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. To make a whole pound of honey, the worker bees need to fly 50,000 miles and visit about 2 million flowers.

So the next time you have a trickle of honey over your porridge or over your pancakes, appreciate all the hard work bees have put into making it.