Honey bees have been making honey for millions of years, providing some of the earliest relief for humanity’s sweet tooth. But how is honey made?

While honey bees may be the most famous honey makers, some wasps and other bees make honey, too. Even some ants take to storing nectar–“honeypots” store nectar inside their distended abdomens. These ladies have so much junk in their trunks, they can barely even walk!

Written by Meghan Barrett and illustrated by Buzz. Barrett is currently a Biology PhD student at Drexel University, studying an expanded version of “bug brains.” When not fawning over native bees as part of her Bee Bytes initiative (byte-sized introductions to the bees of the US), she spends her time writing ecological poetry and science plays (or dabbling in #scicomm). More about her work can be found at meghan-barrett.com; you can find her on Twitter (@Bee_Bytes).


Check our facts!

Anderson C, Ratnieks F (1999). Worker allocation in insect societies: coordination of nectar foragers and nectar receivers in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 46, 73-81.

Ribbands CR (1953). The behavior and social life of honeybees. Bee Research Association, London.