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Other Information about Bees and Honey

Bees Make Honey

Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners used by man. Ancient Egyptians valued it highly for its medicinal and healing properties. Honey is made when honeybees collect the nectar and sweet deposits from plants, then modify the deposits and store them in a honeycomb.

Bees aren?t the smartest of God?s creations, yet they still can fly and land with pin-point accuracy. Somehow, they find their way from the hive to flowers filled with nectar, collect the nectar, pollinate flowers, and make it back to the hive before dark. Farmers depend on the bee pollination to grow fruit and vegetables, so if there were no more bees?well, you do the math.

Bees collect nectar from flowers and store it in "honey stomachs," separate from their true stomachs. On their way back to the hive they secrete enzymes that begin converting the nectar into honey. In the hive, they regurgitate the nectar and either contact other worker bees for further processing or dump it directly into the honeycomb. The bees then beat their tiny mighty wings to fan air through the hive to evaporate excess water from the honey. Finally, they cover honeycomb cells with wax to save the honey for whenever they get hungry.

It may be disgusting to think about thousands of honey bees lining up and regurgitate together to make honey, but humans have harvested that bee puke and eaten it for thousands of years. Incidentally, honey is the only insect-created food that humans can eat.

Beekeepers collect excess honey to extract, process, package, sell, and deliver to your table. Beekeepers ensure they take only excess honey and leave enough for the bees to eat. After all, it?s only fair to let the bees, who did most of the work, enjoy their own honey.

Bees Make Honey Poster (PDF; 698KB).

Other Information about Honey & Bees:

21 Things You Didn?t Know About Honey Bees
The world is full of wonders. The universe expands and contracts, men harness time through the written word and atoms dance under the microscope. Even the most humble of animals ? such as the honey bee ? are wrapped in a shroud of wonder if you know what to look for.
Beekeeping Guide for All Ages
Beekeeping (apiculture) is gaining more popular among people of all ages. Harvesting and consuming your own honey is fun, fulfilling, and great for your health.
Guide to Beekeeping for Adults and Kids
Beekeeping is the term used to describe human maintenance of a colony of honeybees. A beekeeper usually keeps his bees in hives contained in a "bee yard" called an apiary. (Julia Davis recommended this link.)
Hive and the Honey Bee Collection
Hive and the Honey Bee Collection - The Phillips' Beekeeping Collection at Cornell's Albert R. Mann Library is one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world.
Is honey really bee vomit?
Is honey really bee vomit?
"Tales from the Hive"
NOVA program "Tales from the Hive," originally broadcast on Tuesday, January 4, 2000. In this NOVA program, our cinematographer literally filmed inside a hive and followed bees in flight to capture closeups of honeybee behavior.
Teaching Kids About the Importance of Honeybees
Learning about what honeybees do and why they are important could give people a new appreciation of these winged pollinators.
Virtual Beekeeping Gallery
If it has to do with beekeeing and beekeepers, you probably will find it here.

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