By regurgitation, enzymatic action, and water evaporation. Bees store in wax structures called honeycombs. Because of its worldwide commercial production and human consumption, the variety of produced by bees (the genus Apis) is the best-known is collected from colonies of wild bees, or from hives of domesticated bees, a practice known as beekeeping.
derives its sweetness from the fructose and glucose monosaccharides, and has about the same relative sweetness as sucrose (table sugar). When used as a sweetener, it has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive taste. Most microorganisms don't grow in honey, so even after thousands of years, sealed doesn't spoil.
providing about 190 kilojoules (46 kilocalories) of food energy is fifteen milliliters (1 US tablespoon).
use and development as an ancient practice, have a long and varied history. Several cave paintings in Spain's Cuevas de la Araña show humans foraging at least 8,000 years ago.
is produced by bees collecting nectar for use as sugars consumed to help muscle activity metabolism during foraging, or stored as a long-term supply of food. During foraging, bees have access to part of the nectar collected to sustain flight muscle metabolic activity, with much of the collected nectar being reserved for regurgitation, digestion, and storage. Adult and larval bees use stored as food in the cold weather or when other food sources are scarce.
A foraging bee leaves the hive and collects sugar-rich flower nectar, sucks it through its proboscis and positions it in its proventriculus (honey stomach or crop), which is only dorsal to the stomach of its fruit. The stomach contains about 40 mg of nectar, or about 50% of the unloaded weight of the bee, which may take more than one thousand flowers and over an hour to fill. Generally, the nectar begins with a water content of 70 to 80%. Alivary enzymes and proteins from the pituitary gland of the bee are added to the nectar to start breaking down the sugars, so that the water content increases slightly. Then the forager bees return to the hive, where they regurgitate and transfer nectar to the bees in the hive.
The hive bees then consume and regurgitate the nectar using their stomachs, forming bubbles regularly between their mandibles until it is partially digested. The bubbles produce a wide surface area per volume, and evaporation eliminates a portion of the water. Bee digestive enzymes hydrolyze sucrose into a mixture of glucose and fructose, and break down other starches and proteins, increasing the acidity.