At least twenty thousand different kinds or species of bees live on earth today. However, only seven of these species can make honey. They are called Honeybees. The first honeybees were probably lived in Africa about one hundred million years ago. Today, they can be found on every continent except one. There are no bees in Antarctica.
Ancient cave paintings in Europe and Africa show that people have been collecting honey from wild bee nests, or hives for at least ten thousand years. People started keeping honeybees in human-made hives about five thousand years ago. Today most of our food is sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. However, until about 250 years ago most people relied on honey to make sweet treats.
In the summer, during the last three weeks of her life, a worker bee leaves the hive and flies through fields, meadows, and gardens, visiting flowers. The worker has been a house bee, now she becomes a field bee.
A field bee makes about three journeys a day. Each flight lasts about an hour and is usually made within three miles of the bee’s hive. A field bee takes off on her first flight before the dew dries on the flower in the morning, and returns from her last trip at sunset. During her travel, a field bee gathers water, bee glue, nectar, and pollen, which the colony needs.
How honeybees make honey?
Making honey requires field bees and house bees. A field bee collects the nectar. When she returns to the hive, the house bees take over the process. They turn the nectar into honey.
With her ultraviolet vision, a field bee sees dark shapes that indicate which flowers are rich in nectar. The field bees land on the flower’s petal and search with her antennae for the sweet-smelling nectar. The field bee sucks up the nectar. The bee does not digest the nectar but stores it in her honey sac. While the field bees fly to the hive, her honey sac simplifies the sugar in nectar, so that it can change into honey.
When a field bee arrives at her hive, she transfers nectar to a house bee tongue-to-tongue. The house bee spreads a droplet of nectar on the roof of a honey cell, where the nectar begins to dry.
During the next couple of days, other house bees fan their wings over the honeycomb. Fanning evaporates moisture in nectar, which is 80 per cent water. Honey is only 19 per cent of water. Finally, other house bees cap the honey cells with a thin layer of wax. Inside, the thickened nectar ages and becomes honey.
So that is how bees produce honey. They don’t make so much of it, though. It needs at least eight bees all their life to produce one single teaspoonful. Luckily for us, they normally make more than they need, so we can have some, too. Also, did you know? Aloe Vera as well is very beneficial for us as is honey. Do check out some amazing facts about Aloe Vera’s benefits!