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Honey


Honey is produced in volume by honeybees within a beehive. Plants secrete nectar, a complex mix of different sugars that are produced by their nectaries. The bees suck up the nectar using their specially adapted tongues, which function much like a straw, into her honeystomach.

The honeystomach is a specially adapted storage container that fills as the bee goes from plant to plant sucking up nectar, when the worker bee gets back to the nest or the hive in the case of honeybees, it will empty the contents of the honeystomach into a type of honeypot or wax honeycomb cell. Once all the nectar that has been sucked up through her mouthparts, it is regurgitated (for want of a better term), some pollen grains may get mixed in with the nectar too.


Capped and uncapped honey on frames inside a beehive

The bees will not cap the honey immediately, they will wait until the water content has been reduced, they aid this a couple of ways, firstly by keeping it warm and allowing it to evaporate and secondly by allowing enough time for the enzymes, which they have added to the nectar, to convert the nectar into two simpler sugars, glucose and fructose. Once they are certain that the honey is "ripe" do they then "cap" the cells which preserves it for its intended purpose, which is to supply the colony during the cold, sparse winter months.


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