HONEY AND HONEYBEES:
1. How do honey varieties get their taste? Each variety of honey gets its uniques taste from the nectar of the flowers the honeybees visit along with enzymes in their "honey stomach", which makes honey from the flower nectar. That's why we say "The flavor is in the flower!"
2. How many flowers does it take to make honey? It takes 2 million flower blossoms to make 1 pound of honey.
3. How much honey does a honeybee make? A worker honeybee makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
4. Do all honeybees make honey? No, just the worker honeybees, and they are all girls!
5. How many honeybees live in a hive? A group of honeybees that live together is called a "colony", and the hive is their home. A colony can have a few thousand honeybees in the winter and up to 20-30,000 honeybees in the summer. A hive can be a tree, a beekeeper's box, or anywhere the bees are safe, warm, and dry. It is amazing where they can call "home"!
6. How long does a honeybee live? A worker bee lives about 6 weeks in the summertime. During that time, each honeybee takes on each job required in caring for the hive and the honey.
7. What kind of work is needed to keep the hive and colony healthy? The Queen Bee lays eggs - up to 500 a day; each one shaped like a grain of rice- but much smaller! She has honeybees that take care of her, even feeding her There are bees who take care of the developing bees, called "brood", in the honeycomb "brood chambers", which is like a giant nursery for babies. Nurse bees feed the older developing bees to make them strong and healthy. The unborn bees are called "larvae" at this stage, and they are fed "bee bread" made of pollen and honey. Young honeybees are house bees, keeping the hive clean. In fact, a young honeybee cleans it own "room" , the honeycomb cell where they were born, as their first job! Honeybees serve as "guards" for their hive entrance- providing security for the honeybee colony. The older bees serve as scouts- responsible for finding flowers to provide food for the colony. Lastly, field bees have the responsibilty of bringing nectar and pollen to the hive. The nectar becomes honey, and the some of the pollen becomes "bee bread". The honey is stored in honeycomb and is the food used by the colony. The surplus honey is harvested to feed people!
1. How should honey stored at home? Keep your honey on the shelf in your kitchen or pantry in moderate temperatures. Honey should not be kept in the refrigerator. Keep your honey in a capped or covered container.
2. Does honey ever go "bad" or spoil? With proper storage, honey will keep until you use it up! Honey has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs- still good!
3. Why does honey sometimes look like it is whitish, and hard? All natural honey will eventually "crystallize"- Nature's way of preserving honey. Do notthrow it away- just place the container in a bowl of hot water; stir every few minutes. Repeat until the honey becomes liquid again.
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