How bees select their flowers

Topics and information related to the making of honey - a traditional folkloristic agribusinessl practiced in Malta for many centuries. (Malta = Melita = Honey)

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Do you like honey and consume it often.

YES - Frequentely, drink it in hot water every week.
0
No votes
YES - Frequentely, drink it in hot water every week.
1
9%
YES - Sometimes, maybe once or twice a month.
4
36%
YES - Sometimes, maybe once or twice a month.
4
36%
YES - Seldom, only when I have a cold.
0
No votes
YES - Seldom, only when I have a cold.
0
No votes
NO - I like it but I do not have the habit to buy and consume it.
1
9%
NO - I like it but I do not have the habit to buy and consume it.
1
9%
NO - I do not like it / allergic to it.
0
No votes
NO - I do not like it / allergic to it.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 11

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How bees select their flowers

Post by MWP admin » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:38 am

One thing which is of great curiosity for me is how bees select their flowers to collect nectar. Why a bee would 'today' go on Borage and not on Crown Daisy?

Do they have a 'prefernce list of flowers' or actually they go on any flower they find?

Also honey makers label their honey as ' this honey is made from nectar collected from thyme and honeysuckle' How the bee owners can trace where the bees went in the wild ???

Curious Puzzling Interesting :!: :?: :idea:
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Post by michaelb » Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:58 pm

bees select the flowers they 'harvest' by selecting the ones which have the most concentrated sugar in it.

This selection occurs becaouse when the bees entering the hive with the nectar they gathered, they find other bees in the hive which unloads them. The bees in the hive unload the ones which have the most sugar concentrated honey. This results in the bees to select flowers high in sugar concentration. This is done so that the bees will have to do less work to reduce the moisture from the nectar so that honey is done. Also bees have the tendency to gather one type of flower their whole live (during harvest time life time of honery bee is about 5 weeks) altough if the bee is young and the type of flower it is harvesting is finished and there are new flowers after few days the bee will switch to other types but if the bee is old this change cannot be done and the bee eventually dies. In our countryside one also finds flowers that are not worked by beess but are pollinated by other insects.

With this I think that I had answered your first two questions.

About the third question one must see the season and where the hives where during that particular harvest. When wild thyme honey is collected by the bees, this is collected from the last week of May till the first week of July. As one sees where wild thyme grows mostly in Malta, this is grown in Mellieha area (Popye village, Armier and Torri l-Amar areas) parts of the garrigue in Mgarr (Xaghra L-hamra) where the mostly found flower in those times is the Wild thyme in blossom while very few or no other wild flowers are present at that time. Thus it's called the wild thyme honey, altough some traces of other wild flowers which are insignificant can be found in it. (Maybe next year at these times I suggest that one goes to these places to see the Wild Thyme in its full blossom with purple flowers).

As far as I know in Malta the most tracable type of honey is the wild Thyme honey altough one find other multi floral honey which is also good.
Michael Buhagiar

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Post by michaelb » Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:36 am

Also one must say that there are a certain amount of bees which their main purpose is to collect water instead of nectar. Water is used in the hive to dilute asatored honey for feeding purposes and especially in summer to cool up the hive.
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Thanks for the info

Post by MWP admin » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:00 am

It was very interesting to read your articles. The bees are really fascinating insects. They are like intelligent programmed machines which dedicate all their strength to make honey and collect material for their nests.

The water collecting part was really a surprise for me.

Thanks for writing.
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Post by michaelb » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:44 pm

Regarding to the collection of water, the bees put drops of water on the corner of cells and fan the air from the outside of the hive bringing air that is mixed with these drops of water thus the hive is cooled
Michael Buhagiar

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