Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and bringing it back to the hive. Inside the hive, the bees add enzymes to the nectar to break it down into simple sugars. They then spread the mixture onto the cells of the hive’s honeycomb, where it evaporates and thickens into a sticky substance. Once the honey has reached the desired consistency, the bees cap the cells with a wax seal to protect them from moisture and pests.
The process of making honey begins when forager bees fly out of the hive to search for nectar-producing flowers. They use their keen sense of smell and their ability to see ultraviolet light to locate flowers that are rich in nectar. Once a forager bee finds a suitable flower, it uses its long, tube-like tongue (called a proboscis) to sip up the nectar.
As the bee collects nectar, it also collects pollen on its body. Pollen is a fine, powdery substance that is produced by flowers and is an important source of protein and other nutrients for bees. When a bee visits a new flower, some of the pollen on its body rubs off onto the pistil (the female reproductive organ) of the flower, pollinating it in the process.
After collecting nectar and pollen, the forager bee flies back to the hive and transfers the nectar to worker bees inside the hive. The worker bees then add enzymes to the nectar, breaking it down into simple sugars and reducing its water content. They spread the mixture onto the cells of the honeycomb and use their wings to create a current of air, which helps to evaporate the excess moisture from the nectar.
Once the honey has reached the desired consistency, the worker bees cap the cells with a wax seal to protect them from moisture and pests. The honey is then stored in the hive until it is needed for food or is harvested by the beekeeper.