How do bees produce honey?
Bees work hard to produce honey through excellent teamwork. There are many steps involved in the making of honey.
- Collect Nectar – Worker bees fly from flower to flower, collecting a sweet liquid called nectar. They use their long tongue like a straw to suck the nectar.
- Store Nectar – Bees have a special pouch called “honey stomach,” where they store the nectar.
- Back to Hive – They return to the hive and pass the nectar through their mouth to other bees.
- Change Nectar to Honey – The bees work together and add juices from their mouths to the nectar, converting it to honey.
- Store Honey – Bees store the honey in honeycomb cells. They fan it with their wings to dry out the water and make the honey thicker.
- Seal Honeycombs – Bees seal the honeycomb cells with wax. The honey ripens and becomes sweeter over time.
How do bees defend their hives?
Bees work collectively to defend their hives from intruders using different mechanisms.
- Guard Bees – Guard bees stand at the entrance to inspect the incoming bees’ scent using their antennae.
- Sting Defense – Worker bees can sting an intruder, releasing venom, and the alarm pheromones from the sting can alert other bees.
- Heat-Ball Invaders – Bees circle the invaders and flap their wings to generate heat. This heat can suffocate the invaders.
- Nest Entrance – Hives can have a narrow entrance, making it difficult for larger intruders to enter.
- Vibration Signals – Bees can signal danger through specific vibrations to alert hive members.
Why are bees so important to the ecosystem?
Bees not only produce honey that humans love to consume, but they also benefit the ecosystem in other ways.
- Bees are the key pollinators of food crops.
- Pollination by bees leads to an increase in the biodiversity of plants in the ecosystem.
- Bees play a vital role in creating habitats for many animals and insects by pollinating wild and native flowers.
- Bees pollinate many herbs and medicinal plants.
- Bees can mitigate climate change by helping with plant reproduction.
Here are some fun facts about bees!
- Bees’ buzzing sound comes from beating their wings super fast – about 200 times per second.
- Bees have a special “waggle dance” to tell other bees where to find flowers with nectar.
- Bees can see ultraviolet light, which humans cannot. This helps them to navigate and find flowers.
- Bees have special pockets in their legs, called pollen baskets, to store pollen and take it back to the hive.
- Bees can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use that for navigation. It is like having a built-in compass!
Let’s quickly recap what we learned about the buzzing world of bees.
- What do bees collect from flowers to convert to honey? Nectar
- Where do bees store the nectar while taking it to the hive? Honey Stomach
- Where is the honey stored in a bee hive? Honeycomb Cells
- Why are bees so important to agriculture and food production? Pollinate Food Crops
- How do guard bees at the hive’s entrance detect if the incoming bees are intruders? Inspect their scent using antennae