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Honey & Bee Facts


Honey is a thick liquid produced by certain types of bees from the nectar of flowers. While many species of insects consume nectar, honeybees refine and concentrate nectar to make honey. Unlike most insects, honeybees remain active through the winter, consuming and metabolizing honey in order to keep from freezing to death.


Honeybees are social insects. In the wild, they create elaborate nests called hives containing up to 20,000 individuals during the summer months. Domestic hives may have over 80,000 bees. They work together in a highly structured social order. Each bee belongs to one of three specialized groups called castes. The different castes are: queens, drones and workers.


Queen Bee

  There is only one queen in a hive and her main purpose in life is to make more bees. She can lay over 1,500 eggs per day and will live two to eight years. She is larger (up to 20mm) and has a longer abdomen than the workers or drones. She has chewing mouthparts. Her stinger is curved with no barbs on it and she can use it many times.

The central feature of the bee hive is the honeycomb. This marvel of engineering consists of flat vertical panels of six-sided cells made of beeswax. Beeswax is produced from glands on the underside of the abdomens of worker bees when they are between 12 and 15 days old.