Honey is produced by bees from nectar collection and breaking down the nectar into simple sugars which serves the dual purpose to support metabolism of muscle activity during foraging and for long-term food storage as honey.During foraging, bees access part of the nectar collected to support metabolic activity of flight muscles, with the majority of collected nectar destined for regurgitation, digestion, and storage as honey. In cold weather or when other food sources are scarce, adult and larval bees use stored honey as food.By contriving for bee swarms to nest in man-made hives, people have been able to semidomesticate the insects and harvest excess honey. In the hive or in a wild nest, the three types of bees are:
- a single female queen bee
- a seasonally variable number of male drone bees to fertilize new queens
- 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees.