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How do Honey Bees make Honey?

  1. Collecting nectar: Worker bees leave the hive and fly to flowers to collect nectar, a sweet liquid that the flowers produce to attract pollinators. The bees use their long, tubelike tongues to suck up the nectar, which they store in their honey stomachs.

  2. Processing nectar: Back at the hive, the worker bees regurgitate the nectar into the mouths of other bees. These bees then pass the nectar from bee to bee, breaking down the complex sugars in the nectar and adding enzymes to it that help to turn it into honey. The bees also fan their wings over the nectar to evaporate the water content, making it thicker and more concentrated.

  3. Storing honey: Once the nectar has been processed into honey, the bees store it in honeycomb cells, which are made of wax produced by the bees themselves. The bees fan their wings over the honeycomb cells to evaporate any remaining moisture from the honey, making it less likely to ferment.

  4. Sealing honey: When the honey has reached the right consistency, the bees seal the honeycomb cells with wax caps to protect the honey from moisture and insects.

Honey is an important food source for bees, providing them with the energy they need to fly and work in the hive. Beekeepers harvest honey by removing the wax caps from the honeycomb cells and spinning the frames in a centrifuge to extract the honey. The honey is then filtered and bottled for human consumption.

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