Bees collect sugar-rich flower nectar from plants. Nectar is 80 to 95% water and 5 to 20 percent sucrose (table sugar). As the bee takes the nectar back to the hive, a protein enzyme in its stomach called invertase hydrolyzes sucrose to a mixture of glucose and fructose.
Bees remove water from this sugar solution using two methods. Nectar is transferred from bee to bee, so water to be removed by absorption through the bee’s stomach wall. Also, by constantly fluttering their wings, they can generate heat and air circulation inside the hive and evaporate water from the stored in open cells nectar.
When the majority of sucrose is converted to fructose and glucose, and most of the water has been evaporated to a content of about 17.8%, we have a delicious sticky mixture, called honey!Finally, honey bees cap the cells with wax to seal them and preserve the honey.
Honey is a very powerful nutritional product, which if stored properly, will last for years, if not decades. In fact, honey has been found perfectly preserved in tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt.