The worker bees have wax glands present in their abdomens. These glands are involved in the formation of the bee comb or hive. The hive is a vertical sheet of wax formed by a double layer of hexagonal cells.
Rearing honey combs for the production of honey and wax
It is the place where the honey bees store their larvae, honey and pollen. The beekeepers collect the honey by removing the entire honeycomb.
Formation of honey:
The formation of honey is a multi-step process follows:
- The worker bees collect the nectar from various flowers.
- This nectar is stored in the special sac called a honey stomach or honey sac.
- The sucrose present in the nectar mixes with acidic secretion in the honey sac and gets converted into honey due to the enzymatic action.
- Then this honey is stored in the special chambers of the hive.
The quality of the honey depends upon the flowers from which the bees collect the nectar and pollen.
Honey and benefits:
The honey bees are used in the production of the honey bee and bee wax. The other useful products obtained from them are bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis and bee venom.
Honey is an edible natural food product that is viscous and sweet in taste. Dextrose and sucrose are the two carbohydrates (sugars) that give the taste to honey.
Along with these, honey also contains substances like amino acids, ascorbic acids, B-complex vitamins and minerals. It contains invertase enzyme and formic acid, which acts as a preservative.
- Honey is used as a blood purifier as it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
- It helps in building up the haemoglobin content of the blood.
- It is used in ayurvedic and unani medicines.
- It is used prevent cough, cold, fever and relieves sore throat.
- It is a natural remedy for curing tongue, stomach and intestine ulcers.
- It is used to enhance digestion and appetite.
The honey bee collects nectar by visiting \(50 to 100\) flowers during a collection trip. On an average a bee can make only of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifespan.
One kilogram of honey contains \(3200\)calories and hence serves as an energy rich food.