Pollen, uncapped honey & capped honey
Pollen, uncapped honey & capped honey.
I took this photo yesterday of a frame of stores inside one of our beehives. On the left of the photo you can see the many different colours of pollen which the bees have packed into the wax cells. As honeybees cannot digest pollen in its raw state they first need to change it into a substance called bee bread. Once the cell is full of pollen, the bees add a little honey and saliva to the top of the cell which both preserves it and causes the pollen to ferment and change into a super food for the young bees. The Ancient Greeks called bee bread 'Ambrosia' (Food for the Gods) as it's a mixture of protein, amino acids, omega fatty acids and simple sugars. The nurse bees within the hive feed this bee bread to the bee larvae. The darker shiny cells are full of nectar and when the bees reduce its water content down sufficiently, it becomes honey and only then will the bees place a wax covering over the top of the cell to preserve it for later use. The white cells in the top right corner of the photo are capped honey.