How do bees make honey?« Back to Questions List

The process of honey making begins when a worker bee visits a flower and sips nectar. The bee stores the nectar in a special sac and flies back to the hive. There it regurgitates (expulsion of material from the esophagus) the nectar and passes the thin, runny fluid to a house bee, which mixes it with glandular secretions in its mouth and evaporates some of the water.


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The bee then deposits the nectar in an open cell in the comb. Other house bees fan the open cells continuously with their wings, evaporating water and completing the transformation of the nectar into honey. The process takes about three days. Cells filled with finished honey are sealed with an airtight cap of wax until the bees need the food. The colony’s survival in winter depends on an ample supply of this vital food.


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