Want to test your knowledge on honey? Here are some questions and answers to do just that!
What is honey?
Honey is a thick, golden liquid produced by honey bees, using the nectar of plants.
Why do bees make honey?
Bees make honey so that they’ll have something to eat in winter, when there are no flowers in bloom for them to collect nectar from. Beekeepers then remove excess honey and put it into jars and bottles for everyone to enjoy. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of honey to go around, so the bees don’t mind sharing it with us too.
How do bees make honey?
Firstly, they land on a flower or a plant, suck the nectar up and store it in their tummies. Back at the hive, they change this nectar into honey. They then drop it down into a honeycomb cell in their bee hive and fan it with their wings until it dries and it becomes thick and golden.
To keep it fresh for winter, the bees then seal the top of the honeycomb with wax – which they make themselves from inside their body.
How long has honey been around?
Over 8,000 years!
From the Ancient Egyptians to Vikings and Tudors – it seems like everybody through the ages has enjoyed the taste of honey.
There have even been jars of old honey that have been found still sealed in the tombs of Egypt by adventurous archaeologists.
There are THOUSANDS of bees in a single hive, but how many queen bees are there?
ONLY 1 !!!
In every hive there are thousands of worker bees and drone bees – and then ONE special Queen bee. Her job is to lay eggs to create more bees and she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day!
She is bigger than the other bees and her tail and wings are longer. The beekeeper often puts a little dab of paint on her back, to spot her easily amongst the thousands of other bees in the hive.
Why are bees so important and special?
Bees pollinate two thirds of the world’s crops and flowers. Which means they make two thirds of all our plants grow, giving us food to eat and lovely flowers to enjoy.
Bees pollinate everything from onions to avocados, apples and strawberries… just to name a few!
Why are there so many different types of honey?
We now know that honey is made by bees after collecting nectar from flowers. But did you know that different nectars turn into different types of honey? This means the different flowers that honeybees go and visit can affect the colour, taste and even smell of the honey that they then create. Bee-licious!
Do you know what beekeepers do?
Beekeepers help bees by making hives for them to live in. Beekeepers make regular visits to the hives to check on the bees and the honey. When they see the honey’s ripe, they take a few frames of honeycomb out - leaving the bees with plenty for themselves.
The beekeepers then slice the wax top off the honeycomb and get out all the honey they need. Now the honey’s ready to be packed into glass jars or squeezy bottles and sent to shops for us all to buy and enjoy.