[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
71°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


Let's Go Outside | Commentary by Evelyne Vandersande
| Thursday, Jan 31, 2013

evelynevandersande_mugHow is honey made? I know bees make it, but what do they do, exactly?

My husband popped this question while we were driving on State Route 126 next to the orange, lemon and avocado groves, and we were passing a few groups of bee hives placed in the orchards.

Beehives … honey … bees … all of this is related, but how do the bees make the honey? That answer was just not something I knew off the top of my head. Despite of my keen interest, I am not a nature expert. But my husband wanted the facts, clear and simple, and I wasn’t going to be able to escape using some vague generalities.

Thank goodness for Google. I learned a few things, so let me tell you what I found out.

eve013113fLet’s start with the worker bees. They accomplish two different tasks: collecting pollen and nectar. But interestingly, they never do both on the same trip.

The pollen is that yellow or orange powder that remains on your finger after you touch a flower in bloom.

When they collect the pollen, the bees also pollinate the flowers and make it possible for them to produce fruit. The bees transfer pollen from female to male plant parts, and because of this, the crop will grow.

Without their work, those oranges would not exist. This is why you see rows of beehives along the orchard. Honey production is not the main reason those beehives are there; pollination is the main objective – but the honey is certainly an interesting product to collect after the season is over.

eve013113d

Phtoos by Evelyne Vandersande & members of the Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates

The beekeepers rent their beehives to the orchard owners, moving them from one site to the next – which is an interesting and challenging job, I am sure.

Workers bees collect the pollen in hairlike baskets on their hind legs. They pack pollen grains into them as they move from one flower to the next. This pollen is mixed with honey and is the main diet of the next brood of bees raised in the hive.

On another trip, the honey bees might bring nectar to the hive. This is what is used to make honey.

What is nectar? If you have pulled a honeysuckle blossom from its stem, the nectar is the liquid that forms droplets at the end of the blossom.

The bee uses her tubular tongue to suck nectar from the flower. It goes into her abdominal sac (the bee has two stomachs).

eve013113cThe honey bee goes to the hive and passes the nectar from mouth to mouth to other worker bees. In turn, they process the honey by chewing the nectar for 30 minutes. The enzymes break down the sugars in the nectar into simple sugar to make it more digestible for the bees and less likely to be attacked by bacteria. At this time, it is still liquid syrup, and it is spread though the honey comb.

Then the fanning bees spring into action. They dehydrate and preserve the stored substance by flapping their wings to reduce the moisture content.

This buzzing sound is what you hear when you come close to a beehive. The honey becomes viscous after this process. The temperature inside the beehive is controlled to remain around 95 degrees. When the honey is ready, the bees seal the cell of the honeycomb with beeswax secreted from the worker’s abdomen.

eve013113hHoney is a comfort food, and there is nothing more delicious than golden, gooey honey on warm toast on a cold winter day. But the bees have to work hard to make it. It takes about 2 million flowers to make a pound of honey.

The different types of flowers visited by the bees will produce honey with subtly different flavors; e.g., orange blossom honey doesn’t taste the same as clover honey.

I hope that my little story about honey – really nectar – that bees have regurgitated and dehydrated won’t turn you off from this delicious treat!

If you want to taste eight different kinds of honey, there is a honey tasting room on the way to Filmore from Santa Clarita, and you will be surprised by the differences in taste between an orange blossom honey, a buckwheat honey and even an avocado honey.

You can see one beehive with the bees in action, I took photos there, and they have some children’s books explaining the honey-making process.

 

Evelyne Vandersande has been a docent at Placerita Canyon Nature Center for 27 years. She lives in Newhall.

 

eve013113a eve013113b eve013113c eve013113e eve013113g eve013113i

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair
College of the Canyons dominated its match vs. Bakersfield College from start to finish on Friday night, resulting in a 5-1 victory over the Renegades for the Cougars' first conference win of the season.
COC Gets First Conference Win of Season Against Bakersfield College
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Following a two-week layoff, College of the Canyons cross country was back in competition on Saturday, running with a mix of community college and Division I programs at the Sixth Annual UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
COC Cross Country Back in Competition After Two Week Layoff
The race to qualify for the Big West Conference Men's Soccer Tournament continues for CSUN this week with a home match against UC Riverside Wednesday night before the Matadors head to UC Irvine Saturday.
Oct. 18: CSUN Faces Off Against UC Riverside
After 16 years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service for the city of Santa Clarita, Rick Gould announced Monday he's retiring in mid-December.
Rick Gould Retires as City’s Parks & Recreation Chief
High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.
STEM Students Encouraged to Apply for Edison Scholars Program
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, or violence.
National Teen Driver Safety Week Underway
Elder abuse and scams targeting seniors are a growing problem, Santa Clarita detectives said, but there are numerous resources and protections available.
Resources, Outreach Available to SCV Victims of Elder Abuse
Despite rallying from an early 2-0 deficit, College of the Canyons dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Victor Valley College on Friday.
Canyons Rally Not Enough To Hold Off Victor Valley College
The College of the Canyons baseball program and Playa Vista Orioles youth baseball organization will host a free instructional clinic for players ages 11-14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Cougar Field.
Oct. 21: Youth Baseball Clinic at COC
Sacramento – In an effort to curb the fraudulent use of Disabled Person Parking Placards, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Californians about the proper use of disabled parking placards and the consequences of misusing one.
DMV Launches Statewide Campaign on Use of Disabled Parking Placards
A California State University, Northridge program that provides support to undergraduate students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate degrees in the mathematical sciences has been named a 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education.
CSUN Math Program Lauded 2017 Example of Excelencia in Education
RE/MAX of Valencia will be hosting a blood drive benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Nov. 1: RE/MAX Blood Drive to Benefit CHLA
Princess Cruises has officially announced its third annual Culinary Cruise Series, featuring famed Miami-based chefs Brad Kilgore and Scott Linquist.
Princess Cruises Will Feature Two Acclaimed Chefs in Culinary Cruise Series
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Governor Brown signed off on a new bill that will change local water retailers distribute water in SCV. Plus, a spicy and savory Saturday for charity. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 16, 2017
The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
Oct. 17: Newhall School District Considers Newhall Family Theater OK
Master’s and Westmont College needed more than 90 minutes again Saturday to settle a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Santa Barbara.
Master’s Men Soccer Players Fall to Westmont in OT
Leaders from the CLWA and NCWC will meet in October, November and December to discuss their merger, which creates the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency as of Jan. 1.
Next Step: Water Agency Officials to Share Merger Details
Master’s women soccer players and coaches alike were adamant after Saturday’s top-10 matchup that Westmont’s 5-2 win wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score suggests.
Westmont Tops Master’s Women’s Soccer 5-2
Although Friday the 13th is a day generally associated with bad luck, CalArts turned the superstition on its ear as the community celebrated the inauguration of its fourth president, Ravi S. Rajan.
CalArts Inaugurates Ravi S. Rajan as Fourth President
CalArts School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser brings her collage film program "Double Vision" to REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Oct 16: ‘Double Vision’: Recent Films by Janie Geiser at REDCAT
The promising signs the Mustangs showed in their Missouri opener paid off in the evening Friday when Master’s women’s volleyball picked up its first road win of the season.
Master’s Rallies on the Road, Nets Season’s First Win
College of the Canyons' women's volleyball team opened Western State Conference play in style, as the Cougars swept visiting West L.A. College in straight sets.
No. 11 Canyons Sweeps West L.A. at the Cougar Cage
Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country will host a fundraiser for local victims of the October 1 Las Vegas shootings on Saturday, October 28, from noon to 4 p.m.
Oct. 28: Route 66 Hosts Benefit for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
A roundup of the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Oct. 16-20, 2017.
Oct. 16-20: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events