Honey bees ripen nectar during the spring honey flow.
Urbana, Illinois, USA
Nectar source makes a tremendous difference in honey color and taste. Here, a late summer wildflower blend (left) is contrasted with linden honey (right) harvested earlier in the season from the same hive.
Supers full of ripe, capped honey await extraction.
A beautiful frame of ripe, capped honey ready for harvest.
Crystallized honey can be made clear again by heating in a warm water bath.
Hive bees on freshly built comb during a major summer honey flow.
Nectar ripens into honey in open, uncapped cells.
Hive bees ripening nectar.
An electric decapping knife melts wax cappings prior to extracting the ripe honey in a centrifuge. The wax can be purified and melted for candles or other beeswax products.
A small, hand-cranked centrifuge extractor spins ripe honey from the combs.
The last stage of the harvest: a beekeeper pours her hard-earned strained honey into jars- ready to serve!
Worker bees ripen nectar in freshly-built honeycomb.
Honey bee queens normally mate with multiple drones to ensure a genetically diverse colony. This diversity of drone parentage may be visible in the varying hues of the worker force.
When honey is ripe, bees cap the cells with fresh wax.
Nectar ripens in open wax cells in a honey bee nest.
Drones (left) are bulkier than their sister workers.
Myrmecocystus mexicanus. Honeypot ants have an unusual food storage system. Some members of each colony act as living receptacles known as "repletes", these ants become engorged with food and hang from the ceilings of chambers deep underground.
Captive colony at the California Academy of Sciences
Brachymyrmex patagonicus is a South American rover ant that is spreading rapidly across the southern and western United States. Here, workers feed from a honey bait.
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Brachymyrmex patagonicus is a South American rover ant that is spreading rapidly across the southern and western United States. Here, workers of this tiny species are dwarfed by a small drop of honey.
Tucson, Arizona, USA
In warmer climates, honey bees (Apis mellifera) will sometimes construct their nests out in the open.
Davis, California, USA