THE SWEET MAKING OF HONEY

Probably, the most asked question, to beekeepers is, ‘ How is honey made? ‘ It is, actually, a very involved process between flower and bee. Once you understand this process, you really do appreciate what a miracle bees, honey and pollination are.

Honey is a natural product made from plant nectar by honey bees. The flavor and odor of honey is derived from the plant pigments and other materials in the nectar. Honey from each floral source is unique just as the flowers themselves.

 

All nectar contains microscopic yeast cells. These are specialized yeast that can grow in rich sugar solutions containing 30 – 80 % sugar. These yeast cells may cause fermentation of diluted honey (green) but they are inactive in normal (ripened) honey containing less than 19% water. It is important that the bees ripen honey as quickly as possible in order to prevent this fermentation.

In most nectars, the predominate sugar is sucrose. The other major component is water. The nectar is manipulated by the honey bee in many ways. The nectar undergoes 2 chemical changes induced by natural enzymes secreted by the honey bee into the nectar from glands in their bodies. There is also 1 physical change that occurs, again, by the bee.

To read the full article, see the sweet making of honey.

 

 

WOOD DUCK BOXES

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Though the thermometer was at -25 yesterday, it was a good day to clean out the water access only wood duck boxes. We have to wait for the lake to freeze to get to the boxes. It is always a surprise when cleaning and resetting the boxes for spring occupation, what you will find.

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Not all stories are happy. This unfortunate wood duck egg never quite hatched.

 

 

 

We found some mice in fluffy wood rush nests and some even stranger occupants.

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A common grackle had built this huge twig nest and left 1 unhatched egg behind.