Honey is a product of bees. They make it from nectar, or honeydew, that comes from the flowers of plants. They store it in wax honeycombs. Then they close the honeycomb with a wax lid. They need the honey in winter so as not to starve.
Honey is often stolen: bears attack the beehives. Because of their thick fur, the bees’ stingers are useless. The bees then have to fly away and set up a new hive.
Humans have been using honey for thousands of years. “Honey hunters” existed as early as the Stone Age. People quickly realized that you can drive away the bees with smoke and then plunder the hive more or less in peace.
In ancient times, from the ancient Romans until after the Middle Ages, honey was the most important sweetener, since sugar did not yet exist. The Romans used it mainly for baking. Those who could afford it in the Middle Ages used it to sweeten the rather sour wine.
A lot of honey is still eaten today: over a million tons, i.e. over a billion kilograms, are produced every year. We mainly eat it as a spread.
What do beekeepers do?
The beekeeper is called the beekeeper. He makes sure that the bees are doing well so that he can harvest a lot of honey. To help them progress faster, he gives them ready-made wax slabs in wooden boxes. The bees build the honeycomb on these plates. In this way, they spend less time building combs and can concentrate on collecting nectar and caring for the young. They produce the wax for building the honeycomb themselves: They have special glands on their abdomen for this purpose. These organs can make wax.
As a reward, the beekeeper gets the finished combs from the beehive. He removes the layer of wax on top and puts the honeycomb in a centrifugal machine. The honeycombs are spun until all the honey has flowed out. Now it is bottled in glasses.
Beekeepers also provide wax. People used it to draw or pour their candles as early as the Middle Ages. Wax candles not only smell good, but they also don’t soot.
So that the bees do not starve in winter, the beekeeper must give them a replacement. Because honey contains a lot of sugar, thick sugar water is a good choice. The beekeeper can buy the sugar cheaply and sell the honey at a high price.