Table of Contents
Types of Honey Bees:
- House Bees: They keep the hive clean and well ventilated and build new combs to store honey.
- Field Bees: They are older bees and their job is to search for nectar.
- Queen Bee: Her only work is to lay eggs and maintain the population of the beehive.
This chapter highlights the process of honey-making by bees. Bees start making honey, which is their food, by visiting flowers. They collect a sugary juice called nectar from the blossom by sucking it out with their tongues. It’s passed from bee to bee until it gradually turns into honey. Then the bees store it in honeycomb cells, which are like tiny jars made of wax.
Uses of Honey
Honey is one of the oldest natural sweeteners used by human beings since ancient times. Honey is made by Honey bees which contains natural sugar proteins, iron, and calcium that can be easily digested. It is used as a medicine to cure cough and sure throat. It is also a good antiseptic as it kills bacteria.
Honey–making is a complex process. Honey bees collect nectar from flowers mostly during the spring season. They draw the nectar from the flowers through their long, tube-like tongues. The nectar mixes with proteins and enzymes in the honey bees’ stomachs and is converted into honey. Later the bees store the honey in the beehive in hexagonal cells made of bee – wax called honeycombs.
Process of storing honey for long term
To store the honey for the long term, the honey – bees use their wings as a fan to dry up the water content in the nectar. Nectar has 80% water and honey has only about 14 – 18% water. When one of the honeycombs gets filled up the bees close it with a bee cap and then move on to another cell (honeycomb). Therefore, honey is nothing but nectar collected by the bees and regurgitated and dehydrated to enhance the nutritional properties of honey.
Division of labour among honey bees
There is an excellent example of the division of labour among honey bees. They divide themselves into house bees and field bees. The house bees keep the houses clean and well ventilated. They build new combs to store honey.
Field bees are older bees. They go away from the house. Their job is to search for nectar. Honey bees have a short life. They live only for a month. Around two – thousand bees die every day in a hive. The queen bee’s only work is to lay eggs and maintain the population of the beehive. Honey bees are very hard workers.
Bees are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet, and because of their laborious work ethic, we owe many thanks to this often-underappreciated insect. Our lives and the planet as a whole would be a much different place if bees didn’t exist.