Honey Bees are an excellent example of survival of the most co-operative. Not only do they serve the hive selflessly, but they contribute to the well being of plants, animals and humans through the simple act of pollination while collecting food.
Workers are the only bees that most people ever see. These bees are females that are not sexually developed. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers and trees), build and protect the hive, clean, circulate air by beating their wings, and perform many other societal functions.
The queen’s job is laying the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. There is usually only a single queen in a hive. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the worker females a special diet of a food called “royal jelly.” This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen. Queens also regulate the hive’s activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees.
Honey bees increase their populations by the act of swarming. The queen will lay eggs in a special cell that the workers begin to feed royal jelly. Just before the new queen hatches the old queen will leave the hive with about half of the worker bees. A swarm moves en masse to a nest site that has been scouted by worker bees beforehand. Once they arrive, they immediately construct a new wax comb and begin to raise new worker brood.
It’s all about the honey
Honey is the complex substance made when the nectar and sweet deposits from plants and trees are gathered, modified and stored in the honeycomb by honey bees as a food source for the colony. All living species of honey bees have had their honey gathered by indigenous peoples for consumption for thousands of years. The Archaeology of Beekeeping states that humans began hunting for honey at least 10,000 years ago.
For at least 2700 years, honey has been used by humans to treat a variety of ailments through topical application, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. When honey is used topically (as, for example, a wound dressing), hydrogen peroxide is produced by dilution of the honey with body fluids. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.
Did I forget to mention honey is delicious food?
I’ve always had a sweet spot for good honey. I like it in my tea, I like it on peanut butter and banana sandwiches or even just straight up in big heaping tablespoons. I’m especially happy to know it’s good for my health as well. I’d like to give a special thanks to Bee Humble Apiaries for letting me tag along at harvest time with my camera gear. I can assure you, their products are excellent. Straight from the source.