Honey! Honey!

Raw honey, straight from the comb is as good as it gets! It’s sweetness in its purest form! Suck on the waxy comb to extract delicious liquid amber to give you a sugary high!Image

A honeycomb filled with honey.

IMG_1637

Honeybees buzz around all day collecting nectar from flowers and in the process also play an important role in the pollination of flowers. As the worker extracts nectar from flowers, it is stored in a special honey stomach separate from her digestive stomach. Though there is a valve connecting the two parts that she can open when hungry. Other worker bees collect pollen, which is a source of protein for the larvae. These workers have hair-like baskets on their hind legs into which they pack pollen while visiting flowers.

Bees returning to the hive with their load of nectar are greeted by other workers ready to relieve them of their load thru’ a mouth-to-mouth transfer. The recipient bees process the honey in their mouth and honey stomach by the addition of enzymes, which break the complex sugars in the nectar into simple sugars – giving honey its long shelf life. Initially, the nectar is nearly 80% water with the remainder consisting primarily of complex sugars. After processing the honey with enzymes, small droplets are deposited on the upper side of cell walls where it is converted into viscous honey. This conversion is largely through an evaporation process, hastened by the warm temperature maintained in the hive and the movement of air across the honeycombs, by the fanning of worker bee wings in a coordinated manner. And voila! You get the viscous honey with a moisture content of 17-18%, which we’re all familiar with.

Advertisements