How Honey Is Made
Honey is made by bees as a source of food for themselves. Bees use honey
as their main source of food during cold weather or when their food source is scarce to
survive. Mankind has been able to semi-domesticate bees by making the bee swarm to make its home in hive
to allow collection of honey easier for the beekeeper.
In the hive, the bees use their honey stomachs to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of
times until it is partially digested. After which, it is then stored in the honeycomb where it is
safe. The sugars in the nectar would ferment if left unchecked as nectar is high in both water
content and natural yeasts. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed - bees inside
the hive "fan" their wings creating wind that is spread across the honeycomb. This enhances the
rate of evaporation of much of the water that is present in the nectar. The reduction in water
content, which raises the sugar concentration, prevents the possibility of fermentation. Ripe honey which
is removed from the hive by the beekeeper, has a long shelf life and will not ferment allowing to last
The bees are the main source of honey to the beekeeper. In most situations, the beekeeper would
encourage overproduction of honey within the hive so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bees.
When the there is a shortage of food for the bees, the beekeeper would have to take on the responsibility of
feeding the bees with other forms of sugar to keep them alive.
There are basically three types of bees that can be found in a hive. The single queen
bee, a large amount of seasonal drone bees and last but not least, the most important worker bees. The queen
bee is the only bee in the hive which is capable of laying eggs and is constantly attended by other bees as it
never leaves the hive. Drone bees are actually male bees that basically only has the task of mating with the
queen and has a life span of about three months. Drone bees do not do work making it impossible to
feed themselves and does not have a stinger for protection.
On the other hand, the worker bees are all sterile female bees. The life span of worker bees
varies due to the season in which they are born in. Worker bees tend to have a long life span of a few months
during winter and an extremely short time of four to five weeks during spring or summer months. The busiest of
all the bees that are found in the hive are the worker bees. They carried out tasks in and out of the hive such as
gathering pollen, making honey, feeding other bees, producing beeswax, building the honeycomb and at the same time
protecting the hive from danger.