How Do Bees Make Honey?
Reading Comprehension Activity

Bees are great chefs! Lucky for us, these cooks have shared their recipe! It includes a lot of dancing and chewing. Are you ready to learn?

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Finding A Flower

First, bees have to find the perfect flower. 

When you go outside, can you smell the flowers? Honeybees can too! 

Bees fly around looking for the flowers that smell the best to them. They can also smell if another bee has already been to that flower. 

Bees also know what flower is best by its color. Did you know bees can see colors we can’t? These colors are called ultraviolet. Bees know that the more of these colors they see, the more food they will find. 

Collecting the Flower’s Juice

Inside the flower is a juice called nectar. Bees have long tongues. They use their tongues to suck up as much nectar as they can. The nectar doesn’t go into their normal stomach. It goes into a special stomach called their honey sac. The honey sac is used to keep honey safe as they fly home!

Flying Home and Telling Friends!

Bees get excited to go home and tell their friends about the nectar they found! The bee will fly back to their house, called a hive. Then, she does a dance inside the hive that shows all her friends at home where they can find the best flowers. She will even give them a little taste of the nectar to show how good it is. 

Lots of Chewing!

Nectar doesn’t magically become honey. It takes a lot of chewing! The bees that stay inside the hive chew the nectar. Then, they pass it along to other bees to chew too. After a lot of chewing the nectar dries out and becomes honey. 

Storing and Drying The Honey

Now the honey is ready to be put away! 

You wouldn’t just pour your cereal all over the pantry, would you? Of course not! You have to use a box to keep all your cereal safe and clean. Bees also put their honey in containers. 

These little containers are called honeycombs. The honey is put inside the honeycomb. Then ,the bees fan it with their wings to make sure it is dry. 

Just like you close the box on your cereal, bees also close the honeycomb. They close the honeycomb with beeswax. Beeswax is like honey but takes more time for them to chew! 

The honey is safe and ready to eat another day!

Now that you know the recipe, are you ready to make honey yourself? Well, you might have to just ask the bees to share. Since we can’t see ultraviolet light, we don’t have honey sacs for stomachs and our hands are too big to fit in honeycombs— we don’t make very good honey chefs! Next time you eat honey, remember to thank a bee for sharing all their hard work with you!

Comprehension Questions

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