US beekeepers lost 33 percent of bees in 2016-17

Beekeepers across the United States lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2016 to April 2017, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both ...

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses

A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops—such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits—to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible ...

Mobile-phone microscope detects the 'silent killer' of honey bees

Bees are among the most important species responsible for pollinating about one-third of the world's food supply, with their contribution in the United States alone valued at $15-20 billion each year. Rapid declines in honey ...

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

The complex causes of worldwide bee declines

Over the past two decades, bee declines worldwide have drawn international attention. Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies decreased by 25% over 20 years in Europe and 59% over 58 years in North America, and many bumble ...

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Honey

Honey (English pronunciation: /ˈhʌni/) is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation, and store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage overproduction of honey so the excess can be taken from the colony.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in the infant's immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death (see Health hazards below).

Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Because bees carry an electrostatic charge, and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust or particulate pollution.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA