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How Do Bees Make Honey?



How Do Bees Make Honey?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.73

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    centrifuge, fill-up, tube-like, rectangular, ready-made, natural, beeswax, honeycomb, separate, clover, longer, simple, return, speed, bits, remove


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How Do Bees Make Honey?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Bees make honey from nectar, a natural food produced by plants. Honeybees process the nectar into a form that is delicious and can be stored for a long time. Small female honeybees called worker bees take on different parts of the honey business at different times in their lives.
 
2     Young worker bees are known as house bees. They have the job of building the honeycombs. These little worker bees are ready to work when they are only two weeks old. They produce wax from glands in their bodies. Then they use their feet and their mouthparts to build with the wax. Passing tiny bits of wax from bee to bee, they build the six-sided cells that make up the honeycomb. Bees work at this job for about three weeks.
 
3     Next, they move up to the job of field bees. Field bees go out to look for nectar. They find nectar in the blossoms of clover, dandelions, berry bushes, and fruit trees. To get the nectar out, they use their long, tube-like tongues and suck the nectar up as if they were using a straw. They store the nectar in their honey stomachs, separate stomachs that are used only for nectar storage. A bee's honey stomach can hold up to seventy milligrams of nectar, which is about as much as the bee itself weighs. It takes hundreds of flowers for one fill-up.

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