Honey, a gift from nature

Honey is the only food that has been used to sweeten both foods and beverages in antiquity. It was also used as an aphrodisiac, healing, refreshing and many other things.

REUTERS/David W Cerny

Sumerians have been used it to produce cosmetics, while Babylonians used it to prepare delicious dishes.
Unlike refined sugar, consumption of honey is highly recommended, because of its high content of minerals and vitamins in it. Consuming honey allows to have instant energy if you have to face unexpected efforts, because it requires no digestion and it can be used by the body almost instantly.
But how does this amazing product born? It is estimated that to produce a kilo of honey bee should fly to more than 100,000 kilometers, a very hard work isn't it?
Honey is made from the nectar that bees carry through one of their two stomachs. They can transport almost twice their weight. Hive, another kind of bees, will work the product to let it lose much of its water making it become more syrupy. Once the honey will be sticky enough, bees will then close the honeycomb with a wax cap they produce themselves, and will be preserved as long as bees will eat it. Because of its high sugar content and its high acidity, honey can be stored for long periods of time, away from light and in a cool, dry place, to retains the most of its aroma.
In a beehive, we can distinguish three  different kind of bees:
The "queen" can live for up to a maximum of 5 years and will be the only bee able to procreate within the hive. She is fed only with royal jelly, a food that bees use exclusively for larvae who will become queens, but only up to 3 days of age. The male bee who fertilize the queen are called drones. Some die soon after mating while others are left to die or killed.
The worker bees are those that produce the honey and live around a month.

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