The miracle of honey

. . . From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow. (Surat an-Nahl: 66)

The Production of Honey

As you know, the main ingredient in honey is the nectar collected by bees from flowers and fruit buds. Bees turn this into honey. Pollen has no effect on the production of honey, and is used by bees only to meet their needs for protein.

The nectar a bee collects from flowers and swallows undergoes a chemical change in its honey stomach, where it becomes a heavy, sugary liquid rich in vitamins and minerals. Later, bees place it into the honeycomb cells and seal with a wax cover. The honey acquires its familiar taste and consistency in the comb, thanks to the special air-conditioning provided by the bees.(

The color of honey, its sugar content and different flavors all stem from the original nectars collected. The aromatic volatile oils in flowers, those same oils that give flowers their scents, give the honey its aroma.
Honey production requires a major effort. For example, it takes 900 bees working an entire day to collect half a kilogram of raw nectar, only part of which can be turned into honey. The amount of honey obtained from the flowers totally depends upon the sugar concentration of the nectar brought to the hive. In the apple blossom, for instance, there is little sugar, and so little of the nectar collected from apple trees can be turned into honey. (Lucy W. Clausen, Insect Fact and Folklore, Int. Book and Periodicals Supply Services, New Delhi)

In order to obtain 450 grams of pure honey, some 17,000 bees must visit 10 million flowers. An average expedition to find food requires that a bee visit some 500 flowers and on a journey lasting approximately 25 minutes. That explains why bees have to put in 7,000 work hours to obtain 450 grams of pure honey. (John Brackenbury, Insects and Flowers, 1995, UK, p.12)

Although this job is most demanding, bees create many times more honey than they need. No doubt, this is a blessing from God for human beings' benefit.


. . . From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for humanity. There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 69)
2009-03-10 22:51:10

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