What is honey?
A: Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related
Honey is produced by bees collecting what?
A: Nectar for use as sugars consumed to support metabolism of muscle activity during foraging or to be stored as a long-term food supply.
During foraging, bees access part of the nectar collected to support what?
A: Metabolic activity of flight muscles.
Where is the majority of collected nectar destined for?
A: Regurgitation, digestion, and storage as honey.
In cold weather or when other food sources are scarce, adult and larval bees use stored honey as what?
By having bee swarms nest in human-made hives, people have been able to what?
A: Semi domesticate the insects and harvest excess honey.
What are the three types of bees found in a hive or in a wild nest?
A: A single female queen bee, a seasonally variable number of male drone bees to fertilize new queens, and 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees.
Leaving the hive, a foraging bee collects sugar-rich flower nectar, sucking it through its what?
A: Proboscis and placing it in its proventriculus (honey stomach or crop), which lies just fore of its food stomach.
The honey stomach holds about how much nectar?
A: ~ 40 mg, or approximately 50% of the bee's unloaded weigh.
This can require how many flowers?
A: Over a thousand flowers and more than an hour to fill.
The nectar generally begins with what water content?
Salivary enzymes and proteins from the bee's hypopharyngeal gland is what?
A: Added to the nectar to begin breaking down the sugars, raising the water content slightly.
The forager bees then return to the hive where they do what?
A: Regurgitate and transfer nectar to the hive bees.
The hive bees then use their honey stomachs to do what?
A: Ingest and regurgitate the nectar, forming bubbles between their mandibles, repeatedly until it is partially digested.
The bubbles create a large what?
A: Surface area per volume and a portion of the water is removed through evaporation.
Bee digestive enzymes hydrolyze sucrose to a mixture of what?
A: Glucose and fructose, and break down other starches and proteins, increasing the acidity.
The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion for how long?
A: As long as 20 minutes, passing the nectar from one bee to the next, until the product reaches the honeycombs in storage quality.
It is then placed in honeycomb cells and left unsealed while still what?
A: High in water content (about 50--70%) and natural yeasts.
Bees are one of the few insects that can generate large amounts of what?
A: Body heat.
Why do the hive bees constantly regulate the hive temperature, either heating with their bodies or cooling with water evaporation?
A: To maintain a fairly constant temperature in the honey-storage areas of around 35 °C (95 °F).
The bees cap the cells with what, to seal them?
On average, a hive will produce about how much honey per year?
A: 65 pounds.
Bees store the honey in what?
The may first be pacified by using what?
A: Smoke from a bee smoker.
The smoke triggers a what?
A: Feeding instinct (an attempt to save the resources of the hive from a possible fire).
This making them less what?
A: Aggressive and the smoke obscures the pheromones the bees use to communicate.
Honey is usually filtered to remove what?
A: Beeswax and other debris.
Before the invention of removable frames, bee colonies were often sacrificed to do what?
A: Conduct the harvest.
The amount of food necessary to survive the winter depends on what?
A: The variety of bees and on the length and severity of local winters.
Because of its composition and chemical properties, honey is suitable for what?
A: Long-term storage, and is easily assimilated even after long preservation.
Honey, and objects immersed in honey, have been preserved for how long?
The key to preservation is limiting access to what?
In its cured state, honey has a sufficiently high sugar content to do what?
A: To inhibit fermentation.
If exposed to moist air, its hydrophilic properties do what?
A: Pull moisture into the honey, eventually diluting it to the point that fermentation can begin.
Long shelf life of honey is attributed to what?
A: An enzyme found in the stomach of bees.
Adulteration of honey is sometimes used as a method of deception when buyers are led to believe what?
A: That the honey is pure.
The practice was common dating back to ancient times, when honey was sometimes blended with what?
A: Plant syrups like maple, birch, or sorghum and sold to unsuspecting customers.
Sometimes crystallized honey was mixed with flour or other fillers, hiding the adulteration from buyers until what?
A: Until the honey was liquefied.
In modern times, the most common adulteration-ingredient became what?
A: Clear, almost-flavorless corn syrup.
Isotope ratio mass spectrometry can be used to detect what?
A: The addition of corn syrup and cane sugar by the carbon isotopic signature.
In an unadulterated honey, the carbon isotopic ratios of sugars and proteins should what?
Mead is possibly the world's oldest what?
A: Fermented beverage dating to 9,000 years ago.
Mead ("honey wine") is the alcoholic product made by adding yeast to the honey.
The physical properties of honey vary, depending on what?
A: Water content, type of flora used to produce it, temperature, and the proportion of the specific sugars it contains.
Fresh honey is a supersaturated liquid, containing more sugar than the water can what?
A: Dissolve at ambient temperatures.
At room temperature, honey is a what?
A: Supercooled liquid, in which the glucose will precipitate into solid granules.
This forms a semisolid solution of “what", in a solution of fructose and other ingredients?
A: Precipitated glucose crystals