How do honeybees make honey?

Many of you may have seen honey combs hanging from trees or high ceilings in gardens, backyards or even homes. However, it is quite surprising that these industrious bees can create honey. Further, how do the bees make honey in the honeycomb? A honeybee starts the process of making honey as it sits on the flower and starts sucking the nectar out of it. The sweet smell of the nectar attracts the honey bee to the flowers. Bees and even other insects are naturally drawn towards the flower and start sucking the nectar from it.

Making Honey -Collecting Nectar

Honeybees, that produce the nectar, transfer the honey from the mouth of one bee to another. This increases the amount of honey in the comb and helps in increasing the size of the honey comb. They transfer the honey with the help of their extended tongues. The honeybee which receives the honey, stores it in the stomach where it is broken down into simpler compounds of sugar. This also makes it easy for the honeybees to digest the honey.

The natural form of nectar undergoes an alteration when it enters the hive. It is transferred into another form. The nectar is altered and the chemical composition is constituted of water (around 80%) and complex sugars. After the bees process the honey with enzymes, the cell wall forms small droplets, which are deposited at certain angles in the walls of the hive. Finally, the honey is deposited in the hive as we know it. This is the honey that is extracted by humans.

Preparing honey in the beehive is not a simple task. The small bees have to take care of different mechanisms and maintain a constant temperature in the comb. A drop in the temperature can be extremely detrimental to them and the production of honey. To maintain the temperature, they have to maintain the air movement in the comb. The honey bees are capable of controlling the air movement as they fan their wings while following a particular pattern. The flapping of their tiny wings in an exacting manner makes the buzzing sound that comes from inside the bee hive. This sound is present even when the bees are not present outside the bee hive.

How Honey Gains Its Shape?

The honeybees return to the bee hive, and they pass on the nectar onto the other worker honey bees. These are the same honey bees which suck nectar that is stored inside the honeybee’s stomach. The so-called “house bees” will “chew” the nectar approximately half an hour or more. Following that the bees, will go ahead and release the nectar that they have collected throughout honeycombs in the bee hive. It is the evaporation phase which gives the honey droplets its specific shape. After the honey takes it thick shape the bee hive is sealed off by the honeybees with wax. In a total span of one year, a colony of honey bees is capable of producing a total of 120 to 200 pounds of honey.

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