We're sure you have a pretty good idea of what we look like but do you know anything about the secret life of bees??
Bees and flowering plants form a classic symbiotic
relationship, we benefit from each other.
Do you know the stuff we like most in this world, nectar, has water content from 50 to 90 %?
Do you know sugar is the most important component of the nectar, sucrose, fructose, glucose, and a number of other sugars? Oh, we love the added aroma and flavor compounds in floral species.
Do you know that we are loaded with 90 % of our body weight in nectar when we fly to the hive. Just try to fly with that much weight under your body.
Do you know that our
honey sac connects to the digestive system via a valve that releases just
enough nectar to fuel the flights. The gluttons and addicts among us have no chance!
Do you know we take around twenty thousand trips, and about four million stops at blossoms to produce 1 lbs of honey?
Do you know we begin to cure nectar into honey the second we pick it up? Yep, we immediately add enzymes to start the incredible journey from nectar to honey.
I'm sure you know we deposit the nectar into combs when we get back to the hive? Right and wrong. Most of it goes into our friends, other worker bees. They ingest, regurgitate, ingest and so on, always adding enzymes and removing water.
Do you know that we are removing water by forced evaporation? Sure, whole chains of us hover above combs beating our wings to remove water.
Do you know that we are great scientists, always testing the moisture content of our honey to know when the good stuff is perfect?
Happy we are when? Of course, when the honey has a water content of 17 to 20 % and is stable. We seal the combs and happy we are.
We have been told that modern archeologists have often found something unexpected in ancient Egyptian tombs, pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. We are not surprised by this testament to the eternal shelf-life of honey, our food remains unspoiled forever.
Do you know that our colony produces about 70 lbs of honey per year? Also, we heard through the grapevine that hives have been known to produce 200 lbs in a perfect year. One hive!
Even if they take a total of 400 million pounds of honey we annually produce in the US alone, we kind of like beekeepers. We find them interesting, engaging, well, mildly eccentric. We believe they deserve your respect and admiration. With the help of us, they serve farmers, orchards, all of us. Yes, together we serve you as well.
We always knew about the antibiotic properties of honey and so do people. Honey has been used to treat open wounds. It has been used for a very long time for its antibacterial effects. Your parents put it in hot tea (or rum) to treat throat and upper respiratory problems. It was used to treat burns.
Do you know that the guy who is writing this is using only local honey, basing all his product on heterofloral honeys with more than 55% pollen contributions from more than one floral source. The reasons behind the markedly higher radical scavenging capacity, as well as ferric reducing antioxidant power, exhibited by heterofloral honeys probably lie in their diverse botanical origin. We would not know this.
The dude grows Paw Paws, paw paws! We don't do paw paws. They are evolutionary older than we are and we don't care about the blossoms. Let him do the pollinating, we don't go there! But his organic orchard we love.