Tuesday, July 7, 2009
More Bee Fun Facts - or not so fun!
Is Honey really bee vomit? Well, the fact is that honey is made from nectar the worker bees regurgitate, which is a polite way of saying vomit. The bees collect the nectar from flowers and store it in their "honey stomachs" separate from their true stomachs. On their way back to the hive they secrete enzymes into it that begin converting the stuff into honey. Once in the hive, they puke up the nectar and either turn it over to other workers for further processing or else dump it directly into the honeycomb. The bees then beat their tiny wings to fan air through the hive to evaporate excess water from the honey. Lastly, they cover the honeycomb cell with wax, figuring hey, we worked like dogs, but at least now we'll be able to get a snack whenever we want. Suckers! The humans steal the honey, pack it in bottles, and there you go - directly from the bees' guts to yours. Don't you wish you'd have known this before you tried my honey recipes last month? Ready for more (not-so-) fun facts about the bees? Well, did you know that proportionally to its body size, the genitalia of a drone (male) bee is among the largest of any animal on earth? The size of its equipment is thought to be directly related to the drone's post-coital fate, namely death. The drone's demise is that its privates are ripped off during the act. One last thing: Despite its status as bee stud, the drone is not itself produced as a result of sex. On the contrary, it develops from an unfertilized egg. Fertilized eggs become either workers (all workers are females) or queens,thus the queen bee is capable of parthenogenesis and drone bees have no father, only a grandfather... if you think your family is dysfunctional, be glad you're not a bee. Just as a reminder: I have talked about several bee facts in a previous post. You can read about it here, if you are interested: Amazing Honey Bee Facts