Storified by ebanreb· Wed, Mar 27 2013 19:10:30
So, how do bees produce honey? The process begins at the flower as the bee gathers the flower's nectar. The majority of nectar is water and a minority is complex sugars. Bees need to store and make the sugar usable, so the bees alter the nectar changing it into honey. To complete this task, a worker bee that has a full stomach of nectar flies to the hive to regurgitate the modified nectar for a hive bee. Then, the hive bee ingests the nectar to break down the sugars. Once the hive bee has completed that task, he regurgitates the nectar into a cell of the comb.
The hive bees are responsible for beating their wings in order to evaporate any remaining water; once complete, the sugar converts to honey. In a lifetime, a worker bee produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, but when bees in a colony work together, more than 200 pounds of honey are produced within one year.
Honeybees' hard work provides us with a healthy and beneficial food. All in all, it consists of 80% natural sugars, 18% water, and 2% vitamins, minerals, and pollen. Keep in mind, honey does not expire because it does not harbor bacteria, so you can keep it on your shelf for as long as necessary!
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