Chapter #117:

Honey Bees and Honey

Porobubu and Bububunny had just brewed some linden flower tea, and Porobubu was pouring some honey into the tea. He watched as the honey slowly dripped into the cup from the spoon, and asked, “Bububunny, but how do flowers become honey?”

Bububunny waited until Porobubu had stirred the honey in his tea, took the honey jar, poured some into her cup, and explained, “And not only flowers but all kinds of blossoms—like right now, we are drinking linden flower tea, for example. By collecting honey, the bees pollinate the flowers, and that makes them transform into fruits—apple tree flowers transform into apples, for example. Bees collect pollen and nectar, and nectar is this kind of sweet stuff that blossoms produce to bring in the pollinators. Pollinators move the reproductive parts of the flowers, including the stamen, so that some of the pollen ends up in the pistil, and the formation of a fruit begins.”

Porobubu said, “So the bees take the nectar into their hive. I have seen it, they have special containers in their stomach, and sometimes there is pollen on their feet.”

Bububunny nodded, “This is all according to the plan of the flowers—they offer sweet nectar to the pollinators, and while they lick the nectar, specks of pollen stick to them. Now when the pollinators fly off to other blossoms, some of the pollen from the previous blossoms end up on the pistil of another. This way, flowers can be certain that the fruits will always be slightly different from each other, and only the best grow to ripen.

Whereas butterflies fly around just for the nectar, honey bees collect both nectar and pollen, and take it back to the hive. Inside the hive, they put the nectar and pollen into the honeycombs, seal them, and this is where honey forms. Luckily, honey bees are so hard-working that they always make too much honey, which is why there is enough of it to put into tea.”

Porobubu stared at the honey jar, “And I have heard that one bee can make one teaspoonful of honey per summer.”

Bububunny nodded, “Precisely. And this gives an extraordinary value to honey, each teaspoonful means an immense workload for the honey bees. The next time we go visit them, then we ought to give them extra thanks for this.”

The Friendies just got back from tringeling, but it turned out that they had not been tringeling after all. Instead, they had paid a visit to the honey bees, because hot tea with honey is the best for good sleep, and the Friendies have often seen empty cups smelling of honey next to sleepers. So they decided to go and ask the honey bees what they put into it to make it so good.

And so the bees showed them how to mix together different nectars, or, if it is the season of linden flowers, then mostly linden flower honey is made. Sometimes, quite seldom, it happens that apple trees are the first to flower, and none of the other flowers, or even clovers, haven’t yet started to bloom. On such occasions, honey bees collect nectar only from the white blossoms of the apple trees. This makes a very light-light creamy and silky apple blossom honey. If you ever happen to see such honey at the market, then the honey bees advise you to try it, because it is very rare. If, however, it happens that a lot of plants blossom at the same time, then they collect the nectar and pollen of them all, and make it into blended honey, which is the most commonplace and widespread type of honey. One special type of honey is honey made of buckwheat flowers. It is supposed to be good against heart diseases.

The Friendies grabbed their cups, and brewed themselves some rosehip tea, which was also recommended by the honey bees, as it is supposed to be exceptionally good with honey in it.


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