Alright, let’s put this issue to rest once and for all. The question, “is honey bee poop” has been generating a lot of argument lately. Nevertheless, honey is vital to our existence both economically and otherwise. The majority of us consume honey daily, too. Anyway, there’s a question before us today. Let’s find the answer.
Is the honey that bees make a poop?
Alright, here’s the answer. Honey produced by a bee is never a poop. Instead, you can describe it as vomit, but that’s still not entirely true. Bees make honey from nectar in a process that seems a bit complex. You will be extremely shocked to know out that honey doesn’t come anywhere near their vomit, poop, or any waste. So, in summary, honey from the bee can never be poop nor vomit.
Well, still in doubt? Continue reading to figure out why I said honey from bees isn’t poop nor vomit.
How Bees Manufacture Honey
Bees are among the most mysterious and beautiful creatures on the planet. You might only recognize their bee-producing capabilities. However, other things make them unique and worth mentioning.
One of them is sleep. Do you know that honeybees sleep between 5 – 8 hours every day? For the forager bees, research has shown that their night rest is always within the night hour, not during the daytime.
The reason these super busy forager bees choose to rest during night hours is that they cannot operate in a dark environment. Studies have also indicated that sleep is equally important to these creatures.
Once deprived of proper night rest, the bees can become sloppy and may even get lost due to the inability of their brains to decode their original location.
We can talk about these creatures and how unique they are all day. But since we are focusing on honey, let’s limit this post to that.
Now back to the question. How do bees manage to produce honey? What are the processes involved?
A look at how bees make honey will enable you to understand the reason for this claim. So, honey is neither bee poop nor vomit.
As we progress in unraveling how they produce honey, you will understand the reason why honey is never poop.
Now the first stage in the honey-making process is the location of the nectar. Excitingly, bees can travel a distance of 5 miles just to locate a nectar-producing flower. And take note, these creatures are not stupid as one might think. They are wise and wired to follow the ideal process while producing honey.
A bee can travel long distances and will not settle for less. In other words, it does mind going farther so long as it gets the best nectar. So, even if the ones close by are below par, a bee can travel far distance for the best.
What Happens When Bees Locate A Nectar-Producing Flower?
When bees locate flower-making nectar, they will consume the nectar and move back to their hives once they are satisfied. They store the nectar consumed in a unique organ called “honey stomach” and travel with it back to their hive.
The honey stomach contains a select type of enzymes that acts on the nectar. The enzymes help to break down the nectar into simple sugar (honey).
However, when bees return home, they release the honey in the honey stomach and store in a safe place. They place it into specialized cells designed to store the product safely in the hive.
Here’s the simple reason honey bees make is neither vomit nor poop:
The “honey stomach” where enzymes act on the nectar and transform it into simple sugars, also regarded as honey, is part of the bees’ esophagus. And for reference sake, another term for the honey stomach is crop or honey sac.
Again, this unique organ called the “honey stomach” can expand. As bees take in nectar, it expands but stays within the limit the bees can travel home conveniently.
When the forager bees return to their hives, they usually regurgitate the content in their honey stomach. And via a process called trophallaxis, these bees move their content to the house bee. The job of the house bee is to help with processing the regurgitated content into honey.
How Food Flows Through Honey Bees
The organ that bees use for digestion is entirely different and separated by a muscular organ (proventriculus). That organ is called ventriculus (mid-gut). It starts after the bees’ honey stomach and separated from it via the proventriculus. When you move down a bit, you will find the intestine, rectum, and finally, the anus.
Here’s a simple diagram for what I just explained above.
The mouth of the bee –>>>> esophagus –>>>> honey stomach –>>>> muscular organ (proventriculus) –>>>> mid gut or stomach used for digesting –>>>> bees intestine –>>>> rectum –>>>> the anus.
Look at the simple illustration above; you will discover that the location of the honey stomach is entirely different from the food stomach.
Another reason honey is viewed as the vomit of bee is that they pass out the nectar they consume through their mouth. It doesn’t come out through the insect’s anus. So, honey is never the poop of bees. Not a chance.
What Is Honey Bee Poop?
I hope you now believe that honey isn’t bee poop? Now the question is, what is bee poop? How can one identify it?
First, bees’ poop isn’t that difficult to identify. They are in the form of yellowish liquid substance that looks like mustard. Bees usually release their poop during the process of foraging pollen, as well as nectar. But keep in mind that when these insects are sick, the poop can be unusual. Their poops also do have a distinctive and acidic smell.
Bee poop isn’t all that important. The thing is even beekeepers don’t consider it as anything. It is merely a waste product. So there’s nothing special about it.
Interesting Facts About Honey And Bees
Bees are revered for their incredible pollination services. However, there are also numerous surprising facts about bees and the honey they produce, which you need to know.
Let’s take a look at them.
- Bees are among the few creatures that can get drunk. A bee can get drunk as a result of its fermented nectar. And this could result in flying incidents experienced by the insect. The insect also gets punished whenever it returns to the hive drunk.
- Honey comprises of water and sugar. It contains 20 percent water and 80 percent sugar.
- Honey produced by bees is the only food insect produces that humans consume.
- Honey does not get spoilt. You can store it in a bottle for as long as you want. It might only crystallize. But when this happens, you can heat it until it liquefies again.
- Bees have substantial economic benefits across the globe. In the United States of America, honey bees deliver over $150 million worth of beeswax and honey.
- Honey bees fly so fast. They can travel as quickly as 15 miles in an hour. However, if they are not transporting nectar, pollen, or water, these bees can go as fast as 20 miles in an hour.
- Bees’ sense of smell is incredibly high.
- Not all bee species produce honey. There exist over 20,000 species of bees, but only 4 produce honey.
- The honeybees pay with their lives whenever they sting. They are the only bees with this trait. The queen bee can sting as many times as she likes without losing her life. However, the male bees, which are called “drones,” do not have stingers.
- You can get 400 pounds worth of honey from a beehive.
- A queen bee can lay over 3,000 eggs in a single day.
- The male bees also called “drones,” have only one purpose in life. And that purpose is mating with the queen.
- Once a honey bee leaves the hive in search of flowers, it can visit close to 50 – 100 flowers during that trip.
- In a typical beehive, you will find three genders. These comprise of the queen (female), drone (male), and worker. Again, there is a division of labor among the workers. Some serve as guards, nurses, and so on.
The answer to the question “is honey bee poop” is quite clear, right? You can revisit the simple explanation as to why honey is neither poop nor vomit. The reason people claim honey is bee’s vomit is that bees tend to release it from their mouth. But poop? Never! The honey stomach and the food stomach aren’t even together. Hence, honey doesn’t mix with bees’ poop. In short, bees don’t even defecate on the honey they produce. They are wise and understand that doing this can contaminate their food and cause problems.