Is honey bee spit?

United States
August 4, 2007 1:12pm CST
Do bees use their saliva to make honey?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@ryanphil01 (4187)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
Honey and Bees - Honey is a sweet, thick sugary solution made by bees. The composition of honey consists of varying proportions of fructose, glucose, water, oil and special enzymes produced by bees.
Literally, you may say that bees use their saliva in making honey, but technically, it involves a chemical digestive process which use enzymes. To understand more how honey is made by bees, let's start by knowing what honey is made up of and how they make their own honey. Honeybees use nectar to make honey. Nectar is almost 80% water with some complex sugars. In fact, if you have ever pulled a honeysuckle blossom out of its stem, nectar is the clear liquid that drops from the end of the blossom. In North America, bees get nectar from flowers like clovers, dandelions, berry bushes and fruit tree blossoms. They use their long, tubelike tongues like straws to suck the nectar out of the flowers and they store it in their "honey stomachs". Bees actually have two stomachs, their honey stomach which they use like a nectar backpack and their regular stomach. The honey stomach holds almost 70 mg of nectar and when full, it weighs almost as much as the bee does. Honeybees must visit between 100 and 1500 flowers in order to fill their honeystomachs. The honeybees return to the hive and pass the nectar onto other worker bees. These bees suck the nectar from the honeybee's stomach through their mouths. These "house bees" "chew" the nectar for about half an hour. During this time, enzymes are breaking the complex sugars in the nectar into simple sugars so that it is both more digestible for the bees and less likely to be attacked by bacteria while it is stored within the hive. The bees then spread the nectar throughout the honeycombs where water evaporates from it, making it a thicker syrup. The bees make the nectar dry even faster by fanning it with their wings. Once the honey is gooey enough, the bees seal off the cell of the honeycomb with a plug of wax. The honey is stored until it is eaten. In one year, a colony of bees eats between 120 and 200 pounds of honey. Source:
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@Lindalinda (4118)
• Canada
4 Aug 07
Honey is not bee spit technically. The bees collect nectar from plants and fill up their honey sack. This is a second stomach they have. When they return to the hive they regurgitate the contents of their honey sack and other bees feed bee larvae and the queen. The rest is fanned drier with their wings and stored in the honey comb. Read more fascinating facts about bees.
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@luzamper (1360)
• Philippines
17 Aug 07
Very good responses. I learned a lot. I really don't know the process although I know that honey comes from the nectar of flowers. Thanks a lot.
• United States
12 Aug 07
Bees flap their wings very rapidly over the nectar they gather and store in the little honey comb cells and that causes the excess liquid to evaporate, creating the honey. When the honey is created, they seal the comb up and lock the honey away for a winter's day.