How do honeybees make honey?

BeesA honeybee starts the honey-making process by flying on a flower and gathering some of its nectar. Many plants use nectar as a means of encouraging insects (such as bees, wasps, butterflies, etc.) to stop at the flower. In the process of gathering nectar, the insect then transfers pollen grains from one flower to another and pollinates the flower.

To make honey, two things happen: enzymes that bees produce convert the sucrose (a disaccharide) into glucose and fructose (monosaccharides). The resulting gluconic acid makes honey an acid medium with a low pH that is inhospitable to bacteria, mold, and fungi, organisms we call microbes, while the hydrogen peroxide gives some short-range protection against these same organisms when the honey is ripening or is diluted for larval food.


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