Honey is such a natural wonder. It’s healing and delicious all in one. As a nature and healthy lifestyle lover, I have always been interested in honeybees and honey.
There has always been some confusion as to what honey actually is. Is it poop? Is it spit? Or is it vomit? So, where does honey come from?
Honey is not from a bee’s spit, poop, or vomit. Honey is created from the clear sugary nectar that bees forage from flowers that they store in their honey stomach, which is located in the bee’s esophagus. Honey is regurgitated from the bee’s honey stomach and stored in the honeycomb.
Honey is fascinating, and bees make it with a lot of effort and care. It is interesting to know what you are eating and how it is made.
What is the difference between regurgitation, vomit, and spit? Let’s take a look at this in greater detail.
Is Honey Bee Spit?
No, honey is not spit form a bee. Although the bees do regurgitate the nectar to create honey, this process is not the same as spitting and does not involve the bees’ saliva.
Therefore it is the nectar that is stored and regurgitated out of the bee’s mouth.
Instead, it goes down the esophagus and into a special second stomach called the “crop” or “honey” stomach.
Honey is not spit because it does not come from being stored inside the bee’s mouth.
Is Honey From Bee Throw Up?
No, bee honey is not vomit. As I mentioned earlier, bees produce honey by collecting nectar from flowers and storing it in their honey stomachs.
When they return to the hive, they regurgitate the nectar and pass it to other bees, who chew on the nectar and break it down into a simpler sugar called glucose. This process creates a thick, sweet substance known as honey.
The bees then store the honey in the honeycomb, where it is sealed with a layer of wax to preserve it. Although the bees do regurgitate the nectar to create honey, this process is not the same as vomiting and does not involve the bees’ waste products.
Throw up is another word for vomit. Vomit is when matter containing stomach acid gets ejected from the stomach.
Honey is not bee throw up because honey is nectar stored in the bee’s specialized esophagus and does not reach the bee’s digestive stomach.
Honey is regurgitated from the bee’s honey stomach. Regurgitation is when swallowed food is brought back to the mouth before it ever reaches the stomach, where digestion takes place.
Do Honey Bees Defecate?
Honey bees do defecate, just as all living organisms do, to remove the waste from their bodies.
They do this while in flight outside or on a foraging trip. You know that phrase “don’t poop where you eat” well, bees live by this motto.
Bees will never poop inside the hive unless they have eaten something that does not agree with their stomach and cannot hold it in.
Bees are very considerate of the cleanliness of the hive. Worker bees are constantly cleaning and tidying the hive. Bees can even hold in their poop for months if it is too cold to fly outside to poop.
Is Honey From a Bee Poop?
There is no bee poop in honey because bees poop while they are foraging, and they store the nectar that makes honey on the inside of their body.
The nectar, therefore, does not come into contact with the bee poop.
Honey bees are very clean creatures, and so they do not even defecate in the hive.
The queen bee is the only bee that defecates inside the hive, but her worker and house bees clean up after her.
So, no, Honey is not considered bee poop because it is not processed in the bee’s body and excreted out of its anus.
Why Is Honey Regurgitated?
The reason nectar is kept inside the honey stomach and later regurgitated is that honey is moisture-reduced nectar.
The worker bees carry this nectar from their foraged flowers to the hive in their honey stomach.
At the hive, the nectar is transferred from one house bee’s honey stomach to the next through regurgitation to reduce the moisture content and create honey.
This process is a simplified version of how honey is made and explains why honey is not bee poop, spit or vomit, but foraged nectar regurgitated from the bee’s honey stomach.
How Is Honey Made?
Worker bees collect nectar from an average of 100 flowers during each foraging trip. Bees will travel up to a five-mile radius to collect all the nectar for each trip.
They store the nectar in their honey stomachs. As soon as the nectar enters the honey stomach, the process called inversion takes place.
This process turns complex sugars into simpler sugars that are less likely to crystalize by using enzymes.
Once they reach the hive, they will pass the enzyme-modified nectar from their honey stomach to the honey stomach of a house bee by regurgitation.
This regurgitation process is repeated continuously until the nectar moisture content is reduced from 70% to 20%.
The house bees will then spread the honey over the honeycomb to increase the surface area to enable more moisture to evaporate.
They will also fan the honey using their wings which will further reduce the moisture content if needed.
The bees then seal the honey in the honeycomb with bee wax which enables it to last longer. If properly sealed, honey will not ferment in the comb.
What Is Honey Used For In The Hive?
In different seasons, there are different levels of food availability. Bees work incredibly hard throughout spring and summer to produce enough honey for the colony to survive winter.
The bees plan for these winter months, periods when flowers are not blooming, low nectar collection, or food shortages by storing the majority of the foraged honey in their hives.
Honey is the primary source of food and energy that bees use daily. Without honey, bees will not survive.
Honey is an important food source, not only for the bees but also for their larvae. Bees also use honey to stimulate their wax glands which can be found in their abdomens.
To ensure the bees have honey available all year round, the bees use the honeycomb blocks as containers for their honey and use wax to seal it.
In conclusion, honey is neither bee spit, poop, or vomit. Honey is formed from the nectar that gets regurgitated from the crop of the bee.
This nectar does not undergo any digestion and gets brought back from its second stomach to the bee’s mouth.