We all know bees make honey but how does the honey get from the bee to your bottle in your cabinet? It’s quite simple, actually. With no added preservatives or flavor, the honey in your bottle is just as real and genuine as the honey from a hive. Here is the step-by-step journey from the bee to the bottle.
In a hive, there can be up to 60,000 worker bees. These bees start the process by collecting flower nectar, which they then break down into simple sugars and store in honeycombs. The unique shape of the honeycombs, mixed with the constant fanning from the bees’ wings, causes evaporation. This creates a thick, sweet substance we call honey. Based on the flower nectar collected, the honey can vary in color and flavor. In the U.S., there are over 300 different flavors of honey, each coming from a different floral source.
The hive is where the honey is harvested. Bees make honey for their colonies to survive but, on average, will have 80 pounds of surplus honey in a year. That is why is it necessary for beekeepers to go in and remove the excess honey.
Beekeepers collect the honey by taking the honeycomb frames and scrapping off the wax cap that bees make to seal off the honey in each cell. Once the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor. It then spins the frames, forcing honey out of the comb and onto the bottom of the extractor, where is it collected.
After the honey is extracted, it is strained to remove any wax pieces or other particles. Some beekeepers heat the honey to make this process easier. After that, the honey is ready to be bottled, labeled and distributed to retailers. No matter where you get your honey, the grocery store or the farmers market, if the label says pure honey, that is exactly what you will get.
For more information and to see Sue Bee honey beekeepers at work, check out the video link below!