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  • From hive to honey

    From hive to honey

    Nectarist is a 100% Belgian beekeeping company. We harvest our own honey and also collect sweet honey from other committed beekeepers spread all over Belgium. The bees are the ones to do all the work in the hive. But how does all of that actually work? 

    It all starts with a flower

    Enjoying all the greenery around us seems obvious, but is undeniably important. The plants in the garden and the balcony terraces decorated with planters filled with colourful flowers contribute to our state-of-mind and more important: the welfare of the bee world.

    If all goes well, there will be a plant species in bloom all year round. And that’s just what our bees need. As soon as the temperatures rise, they fly out in search of food.

    That food consists of nectar (sugars), which is processed into honey, and pollen (proteins). By collecting these nutrients, the bees also fulfil another important task for our ecosystem: their diligent search for food ensures they pollinate many flowers and plants!

    Buzzing bees

    The bees transport all necessary nutrients collected to their hive. They store the liquid nectar in their honey stomach, where the honey-making process starts by mixing saliva and special enzymes.

    This sometimes is a time-consuming procedure: bees have to visit up to 150 flowers to fill their honey bellies! The pollen also reaches the hive as small pollen sacs, which the bees transport as small clumps on their hind legs.

    In the beehive

    In the meantime, there’s also a lot of hard work going on inside the beehive. The full-bellied bees that arrive in the beehive, pass the nectar on to other bees in order to add even more enzymes. The sugar chains are broken into shorter chains that are easier to digest.

    When this process has been completed a few times, the bees fill the combs with the processed honey. They add wax to seal the comb and voila: the honey can continue to mature into a delicious, syrupy substance. 

    The pollen is processed into bee bread. The young bees need the pollen to thrive properly. Recap? The food consumed by bees consists of honey and bee bread or pollen!

    Harvesting honey

    The combs are gradually filling up and stored for a time when bees might need it. But honey bees are nature’s workaholics: they don’t just stop making honey once the combs are filled.

    Any excess honey can therefore be harvested by the beekeeper. Our experienced beekeepers perform in a careful and correct manner, harmless to the buzzing bees.

    After that, all honey is flung cold, not heated. Why is that? By flinging the honey cold, the beneficial nutrients are well preserved!

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