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How bees make honey

How bees make honey


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How bees make honey: simple and detailed explanation. Also useful for explaining to children how bees live and how the pollination process takes place during the collection of nectar.

When you make a recipe at home, you get all the ingredients. To make a dessert, you buy milk and flour ... but what are the basic ingredients of honey? What is it made of and above all, how do bees make honey? We try to answer you in an exhaustive way.

Everything starts with the flowers. If flour and milk are the basic ingredients for your cake, pollen and nectar are the starting ingredients for making honey, but by themselves they are not enough.

Bees and flowers

Bees are attracted to flowers by their scents. Once on the flower, the bee collects the nectar. In reality, the plants produce fragrant nectars precisely to attract pollinating insects and start a favorable collaboration for both.

Bees, visiting the flowers, become unwitting carriers of the pollen. Pollen is that male germinal element which, when it reaches the right flower, will give life to pollination. This is how the distant plants do, to allow the pollination of the flowers and to produce the fruits.

It is for this same reason that someone said "If thebees disappeared to the planet, 4 years of life would remain ", without pollination there would be no crops. Without bees, plants would not be able to produce fruit.

It is true, bees are not the only pollinating insects: butterflies also operate for pollination, as do many other hymenoptera. It is also true that bees are among the few insects that survive even when the plants are dormant. If butterflies have a life cycle that sees them active only in summer (when they can feed on nectar), bees survive in colonies even in winter. Like? Because they turn that nectar into honey.

Bees make honey for themselves, to use it as a food source during the winter. For further information: what bees eat.

Honey is used by bees as a stable product to conserve nectar and have a food source that is always ready for use! Then… how do bees make honey?

How bees make honey

The process ofhoney productionimplemented by the bees starts from the harvest. The foraging bees collect nectar which is placed in a bag containing enzymes that initiate a first transformation process.

If you want to explain to the children how bees make honey, you can make jam with them. You will see that on the fire the pulp of the fruits will begin to thicken and take on a not very fluid consistency: the heat causes the fruit to lose the watery component.

Bees do something very similar: they dehydrate the nectar. Thanks to the constant movement of the colony, a delicate ventilation process is activated at room temperature.

However, nectar is not the only ingredient used by bees to make honey; there is also honeydew. Honeydew is a waste substance produced by sap-sucking insects such as aphids, mealybugs and leafhoppers. Bees (as well as ants) collect this waste product because it is a valuable source of sugar.

Starting from the prevalence of the original ingredient, it is possible to obtain:honeydew honey(darker and richer from a nutritional point of view) and thenectar honey(more aromatic and with a typical honey yellow color!).

How do you go from nectar to honey?

So far everything is clear, but ... how is honey made? As stated, the nectar begins its transformation in the special bag that the bees have (the honey bag). Once inhive, the foraging bees unload "the booty" and the "hive bees" begin to evaporate the excess water, exposing the droplet of nectar to the warm and dry air of the hive. Thus, the droplet of nectar turns into a droplet of honey.

Droplet by droplet, the bees fill every cell of the honeycomb. Is in thehoneycombwhich ends the maturation process (the evaporation of the liquid continues) until thehoneyit reaches the color and texture we all know. To store honey inhoneycombs, the bees seal each cell with a layer of wax (called operculum).

How honey is made

Thereexplanationjust seen is rather reductive: for thehoney productioncomplex biochemical processes take place. The nectar is collected, transformed (dehydrated) and combined with substances produced by the bee itself right from the sucking apparatus. The operation is also technically complex: numerous exchanges can take place from one bee to another, within the hive, and this allows for a gradual "maturation" and enrichment of enzymes that derive from the glandular secretions of the bees themselves.


Video: Η Λύση Του Φτωχού: Πώς ξεχωρίζουμε το νοθευμένο μέλι! (July 2022).


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