Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that people can eat – honey. We all have honey in our cupboards. Maybe we add it to our tea or drizzle it on our toast, but how do bees make honey?
Honey gets its start as flower nectar, which is collected by bees.
Bees gather nectar from flowers using their straw-like proboscis. Worker bees drink the liquid nectar and store it in a special stomach called the honey stomach. With a full belly, the worker bee heads back to the hive and regurgitates the nectar into a cell of the honeycomb, where it’s naturally broken down into simple sugars and stored. The unique design of the honeycomb, coupled with constant fanning by the bees’ wings, causes evaporation to take place, creating the thick, sweet liquid we know as honey.
Bees work hard to make honey.
A honeybee visits between 50 and 100 flowers during one collection flight from the hive. In order to produce one pound of honey, two million flowers must be visited and it takes about 12 bees their entire lifetime to produce one teaspoon of honey.
“How Honey Is Made” National Honey Board
“How Do Bees Make Honey” About.com