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Busy Bees: The Hidden Plight of Honey Production

They're big eyed, small bodies, hard boned, and busy. Busy bees are where your honey comes from, duh, but have you ever marveled at how intricate and thought out the whole honey making operation is for these nano sized critters? It all begins with the pollen. Bees have a miraculous ability to pollinate flowers. After the flower is pollinated, an aromatic fluid, called nectar, oozes out of the flower. These bees then store this nectar in their tiny little stomachs and fly back to their hives. At the hives, shockingly enough, the bees regurgitate the nectar into the honeycomb and wait for the nectar to evaporate. The evaporated nectar becomes what we all know and love, honey. 

Honey is a profitable industry. The demands for wax and honey remains high to this day. Bees have become domesticated, much like cows, pigs, and chicken. In a report from PETA, the honey industry rakes in an estimated $215 million per year: that's not a very small drop in the honey bucket. Bees are actually quite sophisticated animals. It turns out that they have a unique and complicated language all to their own. Scientists still do not fully understand the process behind it, but they have found that bees can even communicate through dance. Honey bees are so good at being "busy" and harvesting honey that they've been factory farmed by the millions. 

There has been a tremendous decimation of the native bee colonies in North America. Ever since Europeans came to the new land, native bee population has been declining (at one point there were over 3,500). Without bees we would have no flowers, because of the natural give-and-take pollination process between bees and flowers. These extraordinary critters, surely do provide a lot of flowers to our earth, and, through their complex structure, give us the sweet taste of honey. 



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