Learn About Bees

422Bees are an integral part of our environment. They visit flowers to collect nectar and while they are there their bodies are covered with pollen. When they fly to the next flower, the pollen falls off and cross-pollinates. If flowers aren’t pollinated, they don’t make fruit.

Nectar is a sweet fluid produced by flowers to attract insects to help them with pollination. It’s a symbiotic relationship. The bees need the nectar to produce honey for energy as well as the pollen for its protein and vitamins and minerals. Bees need a wholesome diet, just like people!

Bees carry the nectar back to the hive in a ‘false stomach’ – or a honey sac. When they reach the hive, they deposit it into the honeycomb. How far does a hive of bees fly to bring you one pound of honey? 55,000 miles! For this same pound, they tap about two million flowers. Each honey bee makes about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

queenSome of the bees have the responsibility to create airflow through the hive by fanning their wings on hot days. This airflow increases the rate of evaporation in the nectar, concentrating the sweet sugars in the nectar until they reach the level of concentration of nectar we call honey. Properly harvested honey that has the correct concentration of sugar can never spoil as long as its stored in a sealed container.

Bees have little concave areas on their hind legs that are lined with small hairs. These small hairs collect the pollen. Once they’re back in the hive, they groom themselves and push the pollen off their bodies. These little bits of pollen are also stored in the honeycomb for later use.

Bees have been bred by thousands of years by humans to produce more honey than they need to survive the winter. When we harvest honey, we only take the surplus and leave enough to feed them through the cold months. So when you’re enjoying some of our Wildcat Creek Apiary honey, just think… you’re actually eating concentrated flower nectar!cropped-d13108_wildcat_creek_apiary_logo_hg.jpg