Life in the Beehive: Part 2by Bradon Coy on November 17, 2018
Welcome to my continuation of the three-part Bee series. This week, we will be talking about how the worker bees create their sweet honey that they feed the entire hive with.
Step #1. The bees need to have something to make the honey in. Make the honey in something called "Honeycomb" that they manufacture themselves. They use honeycomb for a variety of things. They rear young in the individual cells, they store pollen in the comb, and they make and store honey in the comb. The comb is made of a waxy chemical compound that the bees make called "Propolis". They also use propolis as a glue to make the hive, glue it to trees, and many other repairing needs.
They build these waxy structures from the ground up. Once they have some clean comb ready, they start filling it with pollen. They collect pollen from the flowers and store it on their feet and they collect the nectar from the flowers as well. As the bees fly the pollen on their legs sprinkles all over and produces more flowers. This is called "Pollination". The workers transport the nectar and pollen from the flowers to the hive and into the honeycomb. They regurgitate the nectar into the comb and mix it with the pollen. They add other ingredients and cap the cell off with a layer of wax and ta-da! They have now made smooth nutritious honey that can feed the whole hive! Did you know that if you were to harvest capped honey and put it in well-sealed jars, it could keep for 500 years?!
After the hive eats the honey out of the cell, they instantly clean the cell and begin to fill it with more honey! The honey bees have an extremely efficient way of making a nutritious food source for not only the bees, but for many other animals. Honey bees are one of the only creatures that produce their own food!
Thank you for reading!
Keep on bugging,
~Bradon (Bug Boy)
Written by Bradon Coy on 11/16/18