Posts tagged ‘Pollen’

How do bees make honey?

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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How do butterflies eat?

Butterflies are gaily colored insects we often see on summer days.  They flutter from flower to flower drinking the sweet liquid called nectar.

Butterflies have no chewing mouth parts.  They cannot bite or chew.

Instead of the usual insect mouth, the butterfly has a long, slender tube which is used to suck up nectar and other liquids the way you sip through a soda straw.

Butterfly

When the butterfly is not eating, the long tube curls up like a watch spring under the insect’s head.

A butterfly’s taste buds are on the soles of its feet.  When it alights on a flower, the sweet taste causes the insect to uncoil its sucking tube.

When butterflies go from one flower to another for the sweet nectar, they also pick up some pollen on the hairs of their legs and bodies.

A little of this pollen brushes off as they visit each new flower.  It helps the flowers’ seeds and fruit to grow. – Dick Rogers

 

Do Bumblebee Make Honey?

Bumblebee

The bumblebee is a large, black and yellow bee that buzzes loudly when it flies.  Its name comes from the old word “bumblen,”  meaning “humming.”  Like honeybees, bumblebees, too, make hone.  But we do not eat their honey.

Bumblebee nests are very different from those of honeybees.  They do not build hives of honeycombs.

Bumblebees may make their nests in an abandoned mouse nest, thick tuffs of grass, or in hoes in the ground.  Inside the nest, the queen bumblebee stores honey inside a waxen cell called a “honeypot,”  which serves her as a reserve food supply during cold and rainy weather.

Bumblebee honey is almost as thin as nectar and will soon sour if not eater.  Bumblebees are helpful to man – they carry pollen from one flower to another.  Only the young queen bumblebees live through the winter to start new colonies. – Dick Rogers