A person knows about the benefits, healing qualities of honey. Restless workers are constantly in sight. But no one, except beekeepers, sees what is happening inside the hive, how bee honey is produced. Many adults think that such “how” and “why” are peculiar to little why. But they cannot give a detailed answer, since they do not know this.
The process is complex, it starts from the moment the bees fly out of the hives with the arrival of spring. The first is forest honey plants, the color of trees is used to collect nectar and pollen. Each working individual has a special proboscis (goiter) with a long tongue, with which it collects nectar. This organ is permeated with blood vessels, glands that produce a kind of enzymes. With their help, nectar is broken down into sugar.
Nectar is composed of water (80%) and sugar. To see its nectar is simply with the naked eye. It is enough to tear off the flower from the cutting, the drop of transparent liquid that appears is nectar. The first floral melliferous plants include:
- the color of fruit trees;
- lungwort growing in the forest;
- shrub color.
A worker bee has two stomachs. One contains the collected nectar. The other is for food. To fill the stomach with nectar, the bee will have to fly around more than 70 honey flowers. The volume of this ventricle is extremely small, only XNUMX mg.
The weight of a bee is equal to the weight of a stomach filled with nectar.
The bee returns to the hive when the stomach is full. In the hive, he transfers the collected nectar to another worker, who takes everything using a long tongue. Part of the nectar is used for feeding the larvae, the rest is processed.
But even now it is not clear how the bees make honey from the brought nectar.
Distribution of duties in the hive
A bee colony consists of a large number of individuals (25-60 thousand), each of which performs certain functions.
- The queen is the only one, the largest bee. She is assigned the role of laying eggs for offspring.
- The drone is smaller, but wider than the uterus. He fertilizes the uterus. There are several such males in the hive. They have big eyes. The organ of vision is useful in flight. The drone must catch the uterus and mate on the fly.
- Worker bees are a large part of the family. Each one does a specific job in the hive. They fly over to search for honey plants (scouts), collect and process nectar.
So who taught bees to collect honey? This is the merit of nature. The scouts fly around, find honey plants, return to the hive and, with their dance, make it clear to the worker bee in which direction to fly to collect nectar.
The worker makes its first flight from the hive when the air temperature is not lower than 8 degrees and the first honey plants appear from under the snow. The most active flight is carried out during the linden blossom period. The color of this tree is the best honey plant. Take nectar from these flowers:
- pear, cherry, apricot color;
- forest and garden raspberries;
- Apple tree;
- bird cherry;
- mint, lemon balm;
If the beekeeper suspects that there are not enough honey plants for his families, he plants his own plot or takes the hives to other places. In the area of fields with flowering buckwheat, sunflowers, linden groves, meadow or mountain grasses.
This is a lengthy process with several stages. After flying around, the bee returns to the hive. She transfers the brought nectar to another worker.
- The worker bee chews the brought nectar thoroughly for a long time.
- The produced enzyme combines with nectar, breaking down complex saccharides into simple ones.
- Future honey is saturated with beneficial bacteria found in enzymes. This protects the product from spoilage.
- The worker lays the processed and split nectar in the honeycomb.
- Part of the water gets along with young honey, but gradually evaporates or is used for the needs of the bee colony. After that, a pure, natural product remains in the combs.
- Each cell of honeycomb is sealed. For this she uses wax produced by the wax gland.
All individuals living in the hive participate in the work. Why, why do bees need honey in such quantities? During the season, each standard hive collects about 40 liters of valuable product. This is necessary for the family to feed for their own food in winter. But people learned to use the product for their own benefit, before they realized several centuries ago how bees produce honey and how useful this product is.
The value of honey for bees
The bee works all season in order to provide a person with a product, to give an opportunity to earn money. But why do they themselves need honey in such quantities? To provide food for their own family for the winter. Thousands of individuals hibernate in hives, for several months they must feed themselves, provide food for the new generation.
Some of the processed honey is found in sealed combs. They are gradually opened and eaten by adult bees. Larvae are deposited in the same cells, which feed on the same product.
Bee colony day job
The scout bee transmits information to the worker. Then everything happens as according to the scenario.
- Arriving at the honey plant, the bee collects nectar. This is an important point when honey is produced by bees.
- Another is already in the hive, takes the nectar, chews it, mixing it with enzymes. This creates a viscous liquid.
- The resulting product is deposited in a honeycomb.
- After evaporation of moisture, natural honey remains in the combs.
- Each cell is sealed with wax.
- So gradually, over the course of the season, all cells are filled.
What determines the quality of honey
The bee itself will never take nectar from a bad honey plant. Quality often depends on the decency of the beekeeper and several other factors:
- the state of the environment;
- quality of winter feeding;
- chemical composition;
- ash content.
These are indicators that are determined in laboratory conditions. There is no doubt about the high quality of honey from wild bees. It’s just that wild laborers produce honey without human intervention. Therefore, the product is valued higher. The wild individual does not feed on sugar syrup in winter.
Many beekeepers use sugar or syrup for feeding. This negatively affects the quality of the future harvest. Decent apiary owners try to use only the product from their own apiary for these purposes.
The purpose of making honey
Honey production is a complex, even health hazardous business. Not every person can do it. Your own apiary is a constant, stable income. After all, a standard hive gives up to 40 liters of product in one season.
The beekeeper receives profit not only from the sale of honey. There is an opportunity to make money on beekeeping products:
- royal jelly;
All this has a high cost, it brings additional income to the owner. Bee honey is important, which feeds the bees and the owner of the apiary in winter. Beekeeping is a serious business that not everyone can master.