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The honey bees collect the raw material of honey from the nectar of the flowers and the honeydew selected by the leaf and shield lice in their antrum and deliver it to the hive. There, it is transformed by mixing with pharyngeal gland secretions and various enzymes. The thin, high water content honey formed in this way is filled into the honeycomb cells of hexagonal wax.

The cell is not fully charged so that it can evaporate over a large surface area. The bees speed up evaporation by fanning their wings, which also improves the ventilation of the hive. When the water content is only 18 percent, the honey is sealed to prevent it from spoiling. The ready-made honey is also transferred and sorted several times. If at least two-thirds of the honey is sealed on the honey frame, the frame can be spun.

Bees collect honey for winter food or as reserve food for rainy days. In the case of a suitable bee pasture, they can collect several times their needs. The beekeeper must be careful to take only the excess, otherwise the bees will not survive the winter or the sudden March snowfall. A beekeeper must always expect a hard winter.

During winter, the bees heat the centre of the hibernation cluster to at least 27 degrees Celsius, but the outer layer must not cool below 8 degrees Celsius either, otherwise the bees will freeze. For this, the honey reserve collected from spring to autumn provides heating material. Even in the winter cold of -20 °C, they are able to maintain the temperature necessary for honey consumption in the depth of the winter cluster, if the population is at least 5,000. The advantage of this is that they are able to use the nutrient sources and make honey early in the spring.