How do bees make our honey?
A thick, golden liquid produced by industrious bees, honey is made using the nectar of flowering plants and is saved inside the beehive for eating during tough times. But how do bees make honey?
Nectar, a sugary liquid, is extracted from flowers using a bee's long, tube-shaped tongue and stored in its extra stomach, or "crop". While turning around in the crop, the nectar mixes with enzymes that transform its chemical composition and pH, making it more suitable for long-term storage.
When a honeybee returns to the hive, it passes the nectar to another bee by bringing up the liquid into the other bee's mouth. This proce
ss is repeated until the processed nectar is finally deposited into a honeycomb.
Once in the comb, nectar is still a thicker liquid — nothing like the thick honey you use at the breakfast table. To get all that extra water out of their honey, bees set to work fanning the honeycomb with their wings to speed up the process of evaporation.
When most of the water has evaporated from the honeycomb, the bees seal the comb with beeswax. Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.
Honey's color, taste, aroma and texture varies based on the nectar collected by the bees. Clover honey, for example, differs greatly from the honey harvested from bees that frequent a Canola field.
On average, a hive will produce about 65 pounds of surplus honey each year2. Beekeepers harvest it by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap that bees make to seal off honey in each cell. Once the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor, a centrifuge that spins the frames
, forcing honey out of the comb.
After the honey is extracted, it is strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles. Some beekeepers and bottlers might heat the honey to make this process easier, but important nutrients are lost in the process of pasteurization. If you want pure honey from the field with all nutrients intact get Raw Honey