What Do Honey Bees Eat

Honey bees are very unique insects called by the scientific name Apis mellifera. The principal food of honey bees are nectar and pollen, available from the different kinds of flowers we find around us. As the honey bees fly around, they visit from flower to flower searching for nectar. After they feed on the nectar and honey, they bring a major part of these two products to the bee hives. Honey bees make two things out of the nectar and pollen. The nectar from the flowers get mixed up with the enzymes secreted by the bee stomachs and becomes honey. Honey bees also make another food product called bee bread by mixing the nectar with pollen. This is highly rich in protein. During the winter, the honey bee clan, consisting of the single queen and the workers, stays at the bee hives and live by feeding on these two products.

Himalayan honey bee
Himalayan honey bee

During spring seasons, there are lots of flowers

The worker honey bees set out on an expedition to discover the flowers. Once they return to the hives, they make a dance indicating the distance and direction in which the flowers can be found. The other worker honey bees then move out to collect the nectar and pollen. It is usual to find groups of honey bees thronging at the gardens blooming with lots of flowers. The things that honey bees collect from flowers include sugar, syrups, fruit juices and a range of other sweet items, which are used in the making of honey.

Bee pollen

Pollen is a powder-like substance, which are actually the male germ cells available in flowers. This is one of the richest foods found in nature, abundant in protein. Pollens actually satisfy all the nutritional requirements of honey bees such as proteins, carbohydrates, sugar, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. In a typical year, a colony of honey bees collects more than 60 pounds of pollen.

Royal jelly for future queens

The major number of honey bee larvae feeds on honey. However, the honey bee colony chooses a few larvae to make them the future queens. This select group of larvae is given the royal jelly, a white secretion made by the young, female bees among the workers. The royal jelly is made of the pollen and chemicals secreted by the glands of the worker bees. Royal jelly is rich in a variety of dietary supplements, substances that stimulate fertility, a range of medicines and B vitamins. Workers are given royal jelly during the development stage of the larvae, while the future queen larvae feed on the royal jelly all through their lives.

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