The Journey: Summer 19

Summer science

How do bees make honey?

Female worker bees fly from flower to flower, sucking out a sugary juice called nectar with their tongues.

When their ‘honey stomachs’ are full of nectar, they fly back to the hive.

Here they pass the nectar from mouth to mouth. Some people describe this as the bees being sick into other bees’ mouths!

The nectar continues to be passed from mouth to mouth. Each bee chews it for about half an hour.

Eventually the nectar turns into a very wet honey. To make it less watery, the bees fan it with their wings until it becomes drier and stickier.

Lastly they store it in a cell, keeping it safe by making a wax lid. Over its lifetime, a single bee makes less than half a teaspoon of honey!

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