Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees. Production of honey comes from floral nectars. A practice known as beekeeping or apiculture collects honey from hives of domesticated bees. Collection of honey from wild bee colonies is also a common practice. Honey is good food that provides good energy for everyone consuming it. But why do bees take all this trouble in producing this sweet thing in the first place? Why do bees make honey?
Can bees survive without honey?
The bees like the beavers that we featured here is one of nature’s hard-working animals. They produce lots of honey and wax to create their colonies and to survive the colder temperatures during winter. But what about not having honey at all? Can bees survive without honey?
For starters, it is relative; so to speak. They are working quite a lot, looking for good flowers. To create the honey that humans consume, nectar from flowers is very much needed. The process of making honey provides bees sustainability against colder weather. Therefore, instinctively, bees produce honey in order for them to survive winter or colder weather. It just happened that humans also benefited from their hard work.
If you remove the honey from the colonies, you may see bees how to cope with change. Flowers start to die when colder weather comes. When bees don’t have enough supply of honey in their hive to fight the cold, they would also die.
Collecting honey by beekeepers when done correctly, should not be a problem. Beekeepers would sweet substitutes for honey like the so-called candy boards. These will be placed between the usual hive boards.
Why do bees make wax?
This is something that most bees do, but not all of them. While you may be wondering why do bees make honey, you may also ask why do bees make wax?
Wax has a strong purpose in the life of a bee where the hive is constructed. And if you have seen a beehive before, you know they are impressive. Built with a precision that may be computers can replicate, beehives have wax as their base.
Even though it may seem, but bees do not eat wax. They are so good at recycling which means they can chew parts they do not like in the hive. And then start them again with the chewed wax. They do this also when the hive needs some repairing when they have been attacked by an external intruder.
For such tiny insects like bees, the honeycombs they construct are insane. These little hexagonal compartments can hold larvae, eggs, pollen, nectar, and, of course, honey. It’s like a work of art that nobody can quite explain
How do bees make honey?
Let’s put it simply as flying out of the hive in search of flowers with the nectar needed for making honey. They have a unique and interesting approach to communicate with other bees where to find the flowers.
They get back to the hive after taking the nectar from the flowers, and pollinating them in the process while jumping from one to the other. Then in the hexagonal cells, they will store the nectars. The worker bees will move their wings to fan and get the moisture out of the nectar.
To complete the process, those compartments would be sealed by a wax cap. This would be good food for the coming times. Also, this protection gives the honey the ability to not get bad for a long time. It is a combination of the enzyme’s bees have added to the nectar and the wax they use.
In that last case, it does not allow for bacterial growth given the immense amount of sugar is concentrated in the honey. Not even fungi can grow there, which is awesome because allows the honey to last longer periods of time.
The process would repeat many times as necessary. And when sealed, it is the right time for beekeepers to take the honey for consumption.
In this article, we covered bees, honey, and wax. It is easy to see why do bees make honey in the first place and we should be thankful for that sweet substance they are always producing.
They do not only produce honey, they can also produce the wax needed to build their hive. This will give a place for the new larvae, eggs, nectar, pollen, and most importantly, honey. They could chew the wax they do not need during the repair of attacked hives. On the other hand, they also use wax to create more compartments for the storage of nectars.
Honey has amazing properties that bees have produced. It can’t get bad quickly, which is awesome. We can keep honey for longer, and that is because of the high concentration of sugar. Even bacteria and fungi cannot survive and multiply there.
And, do not be so concern about the beekeepers harming the bees or the production of honey. Beekeepers are trained to handle bees in a proper way that actually saves them and allow them to produce more honey for harvesting.