Why do bees make honey

Honey-bees are very popular creatures as they make the honey that is used by humans in so many direct and indirect ways. However, the reason why they make honey is because they store it as food for the winter months. During winter, a bee does not come out of its hive unless provoked. Throughout these months, they eat the honey that they make all through the year before the onset of winter. The reason why they do not go out to collect nectar from flowers during the winter is that they are summer-foragers. It is quite obvious also, as flowers are hardly found in the winter months and even if some flowers are found, they are so scarce that it is not worth the effort.

Nectar from flowers is the main ingredient that they use to make honey. A bee colony works together as a whole unit, therefore they have special gatherer bees that use their tubular tongues to suck the nectar out of the flowers and store it inside their second stomach, which is used for nectar storage alone. Before a bee returns to its hive, it must fill its second stomach with nectar and in the process; it may have to visit a thousand flowers. After the “honey stomach” is filled and the gatherer bee returns to its hive, the “house bees” collect the stored nectar from their stomach again by sucking it directly out of the gatherer’s mouth. The honey bees then break up the nectar into simple forms of sugar like fructose and glucose by chewing it for some time. The new sweet compound now contains certain bee enzymes and is easy to store as well as digest for the bees. Each of the honey combs are at this point filled with this nectar where it is dried up into thickness by the action of the bee-wings. Once the drying process is complete, the bees close off the combs with wax and this is a sign that honey is made and ready to serve the bees when winter arrives.

A bee goes through a lot of pain to just survive the winter; therefore a proper bee-keeper always leaves enough honey within the cells of the bee-nest so that the colony does not starve during winter.