How bees makes honey
To better understand what is honey and how do bees make it, we have to explain how the honey is created and how do bees contribute to its creation.
Main raw material that bees use when they make their sweet reserve, that we call honey, is nectar. Nectar is a sweet liquid that is produced by special glands placed in the flower and sometimes outside of the flower of the plant. Glands that secrete nectar are called nectarines.
Apart from flower and out of flower nectar bees also collect certain other sweet secretions from leaves and sweet matter that are created, as a consequence of activity of plant flees and some other insects that reside on plants. Honey produced in this way is called honeydew.
Apart from flower and outside-flower nectar, bees also collect certain other sweet secretions from leaves and sweet matter, enzymes, vitamins, natural colors and smell substances that will later give the honey its characteristic smell, taste, and color. The amount of secreted nectar varies depending on the type of plant, its lushness and environment such as precipitation, temperature, amounts of daylight, altitude, type of soil and presence of minerals. In order to secrete nectar, plant cells must swell and by it sweet substances dissolved in water perform strong pressure on the walls of nectarium. Since cell walls cannot withstand that kind of pressure, on the surface of cell membranes miniature drops form that merge with other with drops from neighboring cells and in that way form large drops. Under the influence of outside temperature and other factors nectar losses part of its water so that concentration of sugar increases. The amount of sugar in nectar goes from 20 to 55 percent. If the nectar has less sugar, it will be more attractive for bees. On the other side, too much concentration of sugar that is created during dry and windy days prevents efficient collection.
Cold rain with sudden drop of temperature leads to interrupts nectar secretion. Drop of temperature of some 10C leads to interruption in transforming starch inside the plant into sugar, firstly saccharine, which is the main ingredient of nectar.
When visiting flowers bees discover nectar and with their tongue suck it in their mouth opening and after that in their honey stomach which is separated from digestive organs with a special valve. With it first phase in a long process with which bees create honey. This valve from honey stomach lets through only that much food that is necessary for the bee to fill its spent energy; and the rest and the biggest part of nectar bee brings to the hive and turns it over to younger members of the community that place that nectar in cells where through intensive activity of bees in the next couple of days the excess of water is removed and sucrose under the influence of enzymes is turned in simple sugars glucose (grape sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar). In order to get honey from nectar that bees bring in the hive a long process of “chewing of honey”. This process is performed by worker bees that process drops of nectar in their mouth opening, in order to remove water from it, and put it in the comb. Entire process is repeated 30 times a day. Finally, for processed nectar, deprived of water, you get honey that bees cover with fine white wax lids. In this way every wax cell becomes a can for its self, and entire frame of ripe honey is a treasury of stored energy. With it honey matures and is ready to be removed.
In order for the bees to make on kilogram of ripe honey it takes them at least three times more nectar. That’s why it takes for up to 200,000 bee flights. Only one bee covers 150 flowers on order to fill up its honey stomach and bring the precious cargo to the hive. Bee collects nectar in a immediate vicinity of the hive and up to sever kilometers. If the pasture is remote, the collecting effect is therefore smaller and vice versa.
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