Bees

It is a mistake to image that bees get readymade honey from flowers.  The honeybees make honey from nectar, the sweet juice found in blossoms.

The reason bees make honey is that it serves them as food.

To make honey, the honey bee sips the sweet nectar from blossoms with its long tongue, and stores it in its honey stomach.

Inside its honey stomach the bee adds special chemicals to the nectar.  The bee puts the treated nectar into a wax cell in the honeycomb, where it ripens into honey.

The bees that gather nectar also gather pollen from the blossoms.  Pollen, too, makes good bee food.

The dusty pollen from the blossoms brushes off upon the bee’s hairy body.  The bee scrapes it off with its legs and moistens it with a little nectar to make a clump, and then pushes it into pollen baskets on its back legs.

Bee pollen is sometimes called “bee bread,” and with pollen bees help plants bear good fruit and seeds.  They help the plants by carrying pollen from one flower to another of the same kind. – Dick Rogers

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