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).