Saturday, January 9, 2010

Honey is Bee Barf

Yep. It's true.

Honey is actually made by the bees barfing.

And this barf tastes so gooood. Yum!!!

Let's back up a bit and find out why the bee barfs.

In summer, the worker bee forages out in the field, looking for flowers that are blooming and offering nectar.

Nectar is what the bees collect and turn into honey.

The worker has pollen baskets on her back legs--that's where she puts the yellow pollen powder to take back to her hive, but where do you think she stores the nectar? She must take it back to her hive to share with her family.

She stores the nectar inside her body in a special stomach called a honey stomach. That means that bees actually have two stomachs.

When the worker finds a flower she dips her long tongue, called a proboscis, into the flower and she sucks up the nectar into her stomach in the same way that you would drink a soft drink at your favourite restaurant.

(This photo is of honeycombs filled with honey which the bees have capped with beeswax).

Then she returns to her hive and she climbs up the honey combs. Then she leans down inside a cell and regurgitates (barfs) all the nectar from her honey stomach into the honey comb cell.

(This photo is honeycombs made by the bees. See how they look like pancakes hanging from a

Nectar is a sugary tasting water, so it's not really honey yet. In the next step fanning bees will come along and fan the honeycombs. The wind from fanning blows off the extra water in the nectar, leaving behind a thicker liquid.

I bet you can guess what that thicker liquid is.... Yes, it's honey!

So, pass me the bee barf please so I can put it on my toast. How do you like to eat your bee barf?

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