Honey is a sweet substance manufactured by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. Nectar is a substance generated by flowers; it is made up of complex sugars and about 80% of water. The collection of nectar is very important as it further leads to the process of pollination necessary for the propagation of flowering plants. Honey gains its sweetness from the monosaccharides, fructose and glucose. It is almost as sweet as sugar in the granulated form.
How Is It Created?
- The first step in in the process is the gathering of nectar. Bees live in a hive, which they leave when they go in search of nectar. The field bees are also known as the working bees. The field bee has a oral organ that resembles a tube, and is called a proboscis. Nectar is sucked by the bee through this proboscis, which then goes into their honey stomach.
- Now, once nectar is gathered, these bees return to their hives, where the young worker bees suck the nectar through their proboscis from the honey stomach of the field bees.
- It is now time for the young worker bees, also called house bees, to turn the nectar into honey. This is done by the house bees by working upon the nectar inside their mouths by utilizing some enzymes that turn the nectar into raw honey. This is done in about 20 minutes
- The raw honey, thus prepared, is kept in the cells in the beehive. Honey, at this stage, is rich in water.
- Next comes the step where the honey is ripened. This is done by leaving the cells of the beehive open, and by the creation of a strong draft with the aid of the bees' wings. This draft evaporates most of the water in the honey, ripening it.
- Bees consider the honey as ripened when the water content is brought down significantly. This ripened honey is protected or secured with the help of wax, produced in small sheets under the abdomen of the bee. Once the securing process is done, the honey is ready for use within the colony, or, for that matter, even for human beings.
When do bees start making honey?
Bees make honey as their contingency food to cope with the food scarcity they might have to face in the cold season. Therefore, bees start making honey at the end of the warm season. The period carries on into autumn.
Honey is considered to be a cure for some diseases, and therefore should be preserved carefully. The nutritional value of honey remains intact if stored in a cool and dry place. Beekeeping is a profitable and interesting business in many parts of the world.