Where does the bee store the nectar

A visit to a flower by a bee is a fascinating process in nature. The flower provides the bee what it needs for the bee colony and at the same time enables the flower to reproduce. The flower excretes the sugary nectar at its bottom. The bees need this "attractant" for their own nutrition and for the nutrition of their offspring. At the same time, the bee body is also wetted with pollen. If the bee flies to another plant, pollination may occur and the plant can reproduce.


In colonies of bees that live in the forests, the bees also collect honeydew, a sugar juice that the bees find on trees such as fir, spruce, oak or linden that give off honeydew. Honeydew is created by the fact that bark and scale insects pierce the sap of the plants and filter out the proteins necessary for their own growth. Honey that comes from these bee colonies is marketed as "forest honey" or "fir honey". Forest honey is darker than blossom honey and remains liquid for a relatively long time.


When the foragers come back to their burrow, the collected products are passed on to the hive bees. Each time the absorbing bee "swallows" the nectar and mixes> enzymes from its forage glands, which change the composition of the sugar in the nectar: ​​Multiple sugars (cane sugar) are converted into simple sugars (grape and fructose). At the same time, the nectar is thickened with the removal of water. Through the multiple transfer of the processed nectar, honey is created in this way in a "joint effort". The bees store the finished and refined honey in the> honeycomb cells and close them with a wax lid. The bee colony has a constant supply for feeding the brood or for wintering.


According to a law from a German ordinance of March 21, 1930, honey is defined as follows: "Honey is the sweet substance that bees produce by taking in nectar juices or other sweet juices found on living parts of the plant, enriching it with the body's own substances, changing them in their bodies, storing them in honeycombs and allowing them to ripen". This sentence clarifies the function of bees as "honey makers".
To collect honey, the beekeeper takes the honeycombs out of the beehive and puts them in a sling. As a result of the quick turning process, the honey runs down the inner wall of the centrifugal container and can be collected below. Since the bee colony normally needs the honey for wintering, the beekeeper replaces the lost honey with sugar water. Approximately 20 kg of sugar are added to each bee colony. The bees process the sugar like nectar into honey and store it in the honeycomb cells.


Finished honey mainly consists of fructose (38%) and grape sugar (31%), malt sugar and cane sugar make up a smaller proportion (5%). According to legal regulations, the water content must not exceed 21%. The content of minerals and vitamins is relatively low (less than 1%). In this respect, honey primarily serves as an energizing source of food for people. Fresh honey can be recognized by the fact that it is thin or viscous. With older honey, the sugars have crystallized out. However, this does not say anything about the quality of the honey. High quality honey is characterized by a uniform appearance and a pleasant taste typical of honey.