Of Bees & Honey
Honey is made from flower nectar; the type of honey depends on the type of nectar source. It consists of fructose and glucose. Nectar is 75% water, with many minerals in it.
Apiculture is the science of beekeeping. It dates back to 700 BC. In mythological times, it was a symbol of life and wealth, attributing to medicinal properties. Honey was used as a purifier, antiseptic, skin toner, a sedative, a digestive aid, to reduce fevers, and stimulate the appetite. The oldest know record of honey harvesting is a 7000 BC rock painting is Spain.
Honey was the most important sweetener of the Middle Ages. It was used as a condiment. In Greek mythology, it played an important role. Native Americans used only honey as a sweetener until the import of sugar cane. They also used it as a preservative, a cooking liquid, and for its medicinal properties.
Since the science of beekeeping is known as apiculture, the hive structure is known as apiary. Bees use honey as a source of nourishment. The worker bees gather nectar from flowers. The nectar is projected in to a honey sac, which is in the bee’s esophagus, where it mixes with the bee’s saliva. Honey is created by the action of enzymes in saliva and gastric juices. This produces glucose and fructose. This honey is then deposited in the cells of the bee hive. The internal temperature of the hive is 96F. As the honey cools, the flavor may vary.
Man made bee hives are boxes which contain frames. In the frames, the bees build beeswax cells.