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Honey bees:do bees make honey in winter?

Why do bees make honey?

According to sam song,"Honey bees make honey to store up as food to last them through the winter months. During the coldest time of year, there are fewer flowers from which to collect nectar and honey bees are unable to forage. Thanks to their supply of honey, members of these colonies survive through the winter, unlike in most bumblebee colonies where only the queen bee survives by hibernating underground.

Honey is usually made from nectar, the sweet liquid produced by flowers to entice bees and spread their pollen. A worker bee sucks up the nectar through a long, thin tube called a proboscis and keeps it in a special honey stomach, known as the crop, which can hold up to 80 per cent of a bee’s weight in nectar. Inside, the bee’s enzymes, including one called invertase, begin to break down the complex sugars into simpler ones that are less prone to crystallising.

Once the worker returns to the hive, forager bees pass the nectar to each other from mouth to mouth. Workers that are younger than the foragers then pack the nectar into hexagon-shaped cells in the honeycomb that are made of beeswax. Next, they fan the nectar with their wings to encourage evaporation.

While nectar is 70 to 80 per cent water, these processes reduce its water content to around 18 per cent. This reduction in water turns the nectar into honey. The high concentration of sugar, meanwhile, ensures that bacteria and fungi can’t grow, meaning honey can be stored indefinitely without spoiling. The honey is covered with fresh beeswax and stored in the cell until it is needed.

Not all types of honey are made from nectar. In some places, bees instead collect honeydew secreted by insects, such as aphids, which feed on sap from plants.

A healthy colony can produce two or three times the amount of honey it needs, so it isn’t a problem for them if humans take some. Buying honey from local producers helps support bees in your area and their crucial role in the food system and wider ecosystem."

How Do Honey Bees Survive The Winter?

All through summer and early fall, worker bees collect nectar. This nectar provides the protein needed to rear the colony's young bees, or brood — its eggs, larvae and pupae. In the winter, the honey bee queen adjusts the rate of brood rearing according to the amount of nectar available. The queen(s) will stop reproducing when they don’t have enough nectar.

When temperatures drop, the worker bees form a thermoregulating cluster. This is a tight ball the bees form within their hive in order to stay warm. In this cluster, worker bees vibrate their flight muscles to generate heat, allowing the workers and queen bee to survive the winter. This also helps with brood rearing, as broods best develop in a temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

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