How is honey made and what is it made of?

Although most people know that honey is produced by worker bees, few can describe the honey-making process with any precision. And it turned out to be a very interesting process ...

Bees make honey from the nectar found in plant flowers. Nectar is a sweet liquid that insects feed on. In order to collect enough nectar, bees visit thousands of flowers and fly countless kilometers in search of food. So, after wandering around the meadows for a bit and collecting nectar, could we honey ourselves if we knew the recipe? It turns out that the secret of obtaining honey is in the bees themselves and not in the nectar. The nectar that the bees collect, or more precisely drink, ends up in one of their two stomachs, where it is processed by very special digestive enzymes. Doesn't sound that appealing, does it? Read on…

After a long foraging journey in the fields, the nectar is already partially digested when it returns to the hive, where the forager bee passes it on to another bee, who in turn passes it on to the next bee. This process is a bit like a game of broken telephone: the nectar is sent down the chain of bees to the heart of the hive, where it pours into the honeycomb cell. So how do bees transport this nectar, you ask? Well, definitely not hand-to-hand, but through your nostrils (the tubular parts of your mouth). So each bee adds some of its own enzymes to this nectar. This makes it even more nutritionally valuable.

Another key stage of the honey production process is its fermentation in the honeycomb. When bees pour nectar into the cells of the comb, they stay nearby to aerate the nectar with their wings and thicken it, and later seal it with wax and leave it to mature. The fermentation process in the cell changes complex carbohydrates into simple and easily absorbed carbohydrates, namely glucose and fructose. That's why honey tastes so sweet as soon as you lick it.

So you're saying this honey production technology seems a bit unsanitary? Scientists have recently discovered that the bee bread fed to worker bee larvae contains chemical compounds that render the bees completely sterile. That's why honey and other bee products have such a long lifespan! Honey in perfect condition has even been found in the pharaonic pyramids. Of course, no one brave enough has turned up to actually try it… Fortunately, Mellifera honey will be delivered straight to your door – fresh and delicious. So, enjoy without hesitation!

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