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Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Do Honeybees Make Honey?

How Do Honeybees Make Honey?

To make honey, honeybees drink the nectar of flowers, and store the liquid in a special part of their body called the honey stomach. When the honeybees return to the hive, they distribute their drops of nectar among the stay-at-home bees that turn the nectar into honey. To do this, the bees “chew” the watery nectar to evaporate some of the water.

Each bee also adds a special chemical from its body which enables the nectar to become honey. The sweet liquid is then stored in cells in the honeycomb, where it slowly thickens and changes into honey. To prepare for long-term storage, the bees fan their wings to evaporate and thicken the honey.

When this is done, the bees cap the honeycomb with wax and move on to the next empty comb, starting all over again. So, in a nutshell, the honey we eat is flower nectar that honey bees have collected, regurgitated and dehydrated to enhance its nutritional properties.

In its whole life, a single bee only produces about one and a half teaspoons of honey, but they live in really big groups, which mean they can make a lot of honey when they work together.

Honey can taste different depending on what flowers the bees have been feasting on. For example, if beekeepers keep their hives close to heather for the bees to enjoy, the honey these bees produce will be much stronger in taste. Different flowers give different flavors.

Content for this question contributed by Karen Carroll, resident of, York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA