How bees make honey?
Flowers produce nectar to attract pollinators like honey bees. Bee pollen is also present on the anther of flowers. Honey bees need both nectar and bee pollen for their hives.
Honey bees have to visit 100s of flowers before going back to the hive, visiting different flowers transfers pollen from one flower to another. honey bee also needs bee pollen to feed larvae. as it is rich in protein, vitamin & minerals.
Nectar present in the flower has 60-75% of water. The honey bees collect nectar in the honey sac and carry it to the hive. This watery nectar in converted to honey by a unique process.
Once honey bee reaches hive a load of nectar is unloaded to house bees. house bees carry the nectar into the tongue to evaporate its water. By adding saliva and regurgitation, the house bees convert the watery nectar into honey.
The honey is still flowy with a water content of 30-40%. Once the honey is spread on the hexagonal cells. Honey bees start fanning with their wings to make honey thicker. The fanning continues until the honey reaches 18% water.
Honey bees maintain a temperature of the hive around 28° to 35°C. Continue fanning at this temperature causes honey to ripen well with a moisture content around 18%.
Once honey reaches 18% water (moisture) The hexagonal wax cell is covered with a wax cap. This is called sealed and ripened honey.
Honey bees collects lot more honey then it actually needed. almost 10 times more.