How Do Bees Make Honey?

   People have eaten honey for thousands of years. They had honey long before they had sugar. Honey is made by honeybees. The bees make it from nectar, the sweet juice found in flowers.
   The first honey people ate came from wild bees. Finding a bee tree—a hollow tree where wild bees had stored honey for themselves—used to be an important happening. There are still many wild bees. But now rnost of our honey comes from bees that live in man-made hives built especially for them.
   Honeybees live in big groups. There may be more than 75,000 in one hive. A hive of bees is somewhat like a city. Some bees do one kind of work. Other bees do other kinds. They work together and help one an other.

   In every hive there is a queen bee that lays eggs. Some of the bees in a hive are drones. Drones are male bees. Most of the bees in a hive are workers. The workers are female bees, but they do not lay eggs. They do not have "children."
   The Job of many of the worker bees is to gather nectar for honey. The bees that gather nectar also gather pollen from the flowers. Pollen, too, makes good bee food.
   There are many other kinds of bees. But none of the others is so important to us as the honeybees and bumblebees.
   Some workers build honeycomb out of wax that comes from their bodies. Some workers take care of the queen. Some feed the baby bees. Some fan air into the hive. Others keep the hive clean. Still others guard the hive. They sting any enemy that comes near.
   A honeybee, like many other insects, goes through great changes as it grows up. First it is an egg. The egg hatches into a wormlike larva. The larva becomes a pupa. The pupa changes to a full-grown bee.
   A few of the baby bees in a hive are fed nothing but a special food called royal jelly. These baby bees are to be queens. When a young queen bee grows up, the old queen leaves the hive. Many of the workers go with her to a new home.
   Honeybees help us by making honey. They help in another way, too. As they go about gathering nectar and pollen, they carry pollen from flower to flower. By carrying pollen they help seeds form.
   Bumblebees, too, make honey, but we do not eat their honey. They are a big help, however, because they carry pollen.