Why do Honey Bees make Honey?

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Why do Honey Bees make Honey?

Honey bees are observed to be making the honey from the nectar that they have collected from the flowers. The mixture of the nectar taken by the bees from the flowers will be brought to the hive and placed in the cells of the honeycomb present in the hive. These honeycomb cells are prepared by the bees themselves. Honey bees are known to get the nectar mixture and allow the enzymes in their bodies to act on the nectar in the pouch. This enzymatic reaction will convert the nectar into honey slowly. The nectar mixture will lose water slowly to become thickened to form the honey inside the bee. If the honey is made inside the cell, then the bee will cover the cell with the beeswax cap.

Nectar is the source of honey made by the bees in the hive. The nectar consists of about 80 percent of water along with few complex sugars. In North America, bees collect the nectar from the flowers such as dandelions, fruit tree blossoms, clovers and berry bushes. The bees make use of their lengthy tongues which are like a tube in the form of a straw. With the tube like straws, the bees will suck the nectar from the flowers and gather them in their stomachs as honey.
Bees are known to have two stomachs. One is due to the storage of nectar and the other a normal one. The honey stomach is meant for the storage of nectar and later for storing the honey after its conversion. The honey stomach can store up to 70gms of nectar and becomes full. The stomach filled with honey will weigh as much as the bee itself.

When the bees reach the hive they pass on the nectar they have collected to the other bees called worker bees. They suck the nectar form the bee stomach with the help of their mouths. Then they also churn the nectar inside their mouth with the enzymes. This process will break the complex sugars into simple sugars. This honey that is freshly formed in the hive is found to be not affected by the bacteria.

Author: Hari M

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