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Question abouthow honey is madeit is permissible: the experts on the subject are bees and it is possiblemake honey at homewith their collaboration! Let's see all the details on how honey is made.
More than wonderinghow honey is made, we should ask ourselves aboutas bees do honey. Let's start with this and see how the honey production in the hive.
Honey and bees production
How do bees make honey? The answer is not at all simple and involves concepts of animal biology, chemistry, physics and… even communication!Bees, in fact, have a rather complex "social structure". The bees that take care of taking the first steps towards thehoney productionthey are the "foraging bees". These bees take care of collecting nectar: they fly from flower to flower and carry good quantities of nectar into their hive.
It is starting from the collected nectar that can be selectedAcacia's honey, orange honey, chestnut honey and other interesting essences. Common honey is called "wildflower honey"Because bees" produce "it from the nectar of a great variety of plants.
Nectar is a sugary substance produced by plants and typically contained in flowers. The foraging bees, after having "filled up" with nectar, return to thehive. To transport the nectar, the bees place it in a particular bag called the "honey bag". In this pouch, the nectar is mixed with enzymes which begin to catalyze the transformation ofnectar into honey.
This transformation continues in the hive, where a first product is crammed into the special cells of thesupers. The bees, with their industriousness, evaporate part of the water contained in the nectarine substance. Ventilation and hive temperature are crucial. When the sugary substances present in each cell become dense enough, the bees finish the job by sealing each cell with wax. This is how bees make honey… of course this is the short explanation! You can use it to explainas bees make honey to children.
Only when the bees have filled each cell and sealed with a veil of wax, can the beekeeper remove it.
The bees do all the work: man has nothing left but the harvest. After the honey extraction it is possible to reposition the supers on the hives or to store them.
The honey harvest, even if it seems simple, sees some criticalities. First of all it is important to choose the exact moment well: the climate must be dry. It is generally recommended to act in the last week of June for those who live in the plains and in the center-south and in mid-July for those who live in the mountains or in the center-north. In the north of Italy and in colder areas or with high rainfall, it may be appropriate to wait until the last week of July.
The beekeeper must learn to manage bees which, if badly treated, can become very aggressive. It is clear that you need to equip yourself with the appropriate protective suit and a smoker to be used with caution.
After opening the hive, it is possible to recover the frames containing the supers. The frames must be removed only if there are no broods (any frames with larvae must be left in the hive). As each frame is extracted, it must be examined carefully so as to exclude any broods.
As soon as they are removed, the frames are transferred to collection crates or shelves. At this stage, given that we are in the countryside, it is always preferable to place the frames on elevations so as to make them less accessible to other insects or ants attracted by honey.
In the company's honey production, the frames are placed in an extraction chamber. In case ofhomemade honey, just place it in a very dry environment, if the house is damp it may be necessary to ventilate it or use a dehumidifier. The ideal temperatures are in the range between 25 and 35 ° C.
The frames, filled with honey, can be left to percolate. To allow the flow of honey, it will be necessary to remove the operculum (the wax plug that the bees used to seal each cell). To do this, just use a knife to remove the wax.
You can use a special extractor or, if the hive is one and you are wonderinghow to make honey at hometo act autonomously, you can use a colander or a very narrow mesh sieve.
After honey extraction, the frames will have to be placed back in the hives. When? At dusk, when the bees are quieter. The bees will take care of cleaning up the residual honey on the supers.
Harvesting honey can be stressful for bees. When removing the frames, it is necessary to visit each hive to check the state of health and efficiency of the queen.
Worried about bee health? You do well! Read the in-depth study on "bees and pollution".