What do honey bees produce?
For Honey please see the page ‘Where does honey come from?’
Where does beeswax come from?
Young bees, soon after they hatch from their cell, a gland on their hind legs begin to develop and just like our sweat glands produce sweat, these special glands produce beeswax. They literally sweat beeswax.
Where does Royal Jelly come from?
Royal Jelly is very special and produced in tiny amounts. Royal Jelly is the only difference between a worker bee and the Queen! Any female egg can become a Queen with one condition Royal Jelly is their only food. For the First 3 days when an egg is laid the young bees soak all eggs in Royal Jelly, bees excrete royal jelly from a gland. After the three days the egg hatches, if the larvae is to become a worker they start to feed the bee a mixture mainly of pollen, if the larvae is to become a queen, she is fed purely Royal Jelly in copious amounts. This triggers a morphology for the queen including fully developed ovaries that is needed for her to lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.
Where does Pollen come from?
Pollen is a honeybees daily bread. It is a large part of their diet and full of all the vitamins and minerals needed for them to be healthy and a productive member of the colony. The bees collect pollen when they visit flowers, with each trip from the hive, they may visit up to 100 flowers, each time collecting a little bit of pollen and or nectar. When they visit several flowers of the same species i.e. apple tree, they will pollinate (transfer a little pollen from one flower to the next) the flowers which then will become an apple in this analogy.
Where does Propolis come from and its uses?
Propolis is used as filler by the honey bees to stop any chills from the wind entering the hive through tiny cracks. It has incredible and important medicinal properties and is used in a wide variety of medicines with further research currently being carried out for other medical uses. In the hive it is used to prevent fungal and bacterial growth due to its anti-bacterial properties. But it has another very clever use for the bees, if for example a creature entered the hive, such as a mouse or lizard and dies inside the hive. It is too large for the bees to remove, the honey bees will cocoon the creature in propolis. The propolis will harden and the carcass would mummify over time making it odourless and harmless to the colony inside its propolis prison.
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