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Caleb Chan

Part 1 Food Ecosystem Report
Part 1 Honey
Honey is a sweet and sticky dark golden material that is made by bees from collecting
pollen and nectar from plants. The uses for honey ranges across a broad field of different uses.
Some examples of these different applications is in medicine, skin care, and a natural sweetener
for beverages and food. Honey maintained in proper conditions is able to last for many years
without expiring, in optimal conditions honey is able to last a few centuries. Honey is made by
bees in hives. Natural bee hives can found in every continent except in antarctica. Man made
beehives can be found anywhere there is vegetation. Bees are able to survive in both high and
low temperatures and dry and wet areas depending on their species.

The production of honey begins with worker bees leaving the hive in search for nectar
and pollen to gather. Bees will start to harvest honey during the spring when most of the plants
are blooming after winter. Each worker bee has two stomachs one stomach is for food and the
other is specifically designed to store nectar and pollen. The nectar and pollen comes from
flowers of plants, worker bees go from flower to flower collecting pollen to bring back as food
for the hive. A worker bee will fly up to 20 miles to gather nectar and pollen, if need be a bee
will fly as far as it is needed until it finds enough of either. Bees search out for nectar and pollen
since it provides for food Once the bees honey pouch is full it will start to head back, during this
time the pollen is liquified and digested in the bee. Some of the gathered material will go into the
bees main stomach to provide it with energy. If the weather drops below 50 degrees the bees will
all stay in the hive and cluster together to keep themselves warm, if the weather remain below 50

degrees for a prolonged amount of time bees will start to consume honey that is stored inside the
hive ( Honey Bee Facts). Bees can also detect the change in atmospheric pressure which
allows them to predict if it will rain. Once a worker bee has filled up their stomach with nectar
and pollen it will return to the hive and pass the honey to another worker bee who is in charge of
storing the honey into different cells. The new worker bee will refine the nectar and pollen into
honey by chewing on it letting enzymes in the bee remove the water that is in the nectar and
break down the complex sugars(Honey Raw Farm). After the refining the honey is put into a
pod. When the pod is full of honey, a worker bee will cap the honey cell with beeswax. Beeswax
is made from sugar in the honey during the refinement process, wax is dispensed from a worker
bees abdomen and the bee will chew on the wax to make it soft and pliable and mold it into the

In a man made bee hive is composed of a wooden box, frames, box top, and a queen
excluder. The queen excluder prevent the queen from leaving a hive or keep it from going into
the box where honey which will be harvested from. In a new hive each frame is fitted with a hive
foundation which is pasically a piece of wax paper with hive hexagons imprinted into it, the
foundation helps bees create the hive and organize it. Once all frames have been filled by the
bees and the colony of bees is healthy a beekeeper can remove the top of the hive and add a
second box with a queen excluder in between the hive and the new box. Inside the new box it is
filled with empty frames with foundation, this new addition to the hive will be the honey that is
harvested by the beekeeper. Honey is usually harvested during fall right before the bees do not
hibernate but during the winter then will stay in the hive in a cluster and move frame to frame
eating the honey they have been storing until the spring. Before winter beekeepers will harvest
the frames full of capped honey in the second box this is to make sure the bees will have enough

honey for the winter and will not starve to death. If the bees do not survive the winter the
remaining frames can be transferred to make new hives stronger or refined for honey. The frames
that are taken go through a process where the beekeeper has to skim off the sealed caps of the
hive to expose the honey, beekeeper then manually or mechanically extract the honey from the
comb to extract all the honey ( Kincaid). Once all the honey is removed from the comb the
remainder wax is melted down into bricks which can be later used in cooking, candles,
craftsmanship, and beauty products (Bobroff). The honey that is extracted is then filtered and put
into jars for selling.

Honey can be produced locally or industrially organic or non organic. In regards to

organic honey there are a lot of specific requirements that the USDA has deemed it must follow
to qualify for it to be organic. Honey has multiple forms that it is sold in they are liquid honey,
comb honey, cut comb, and crystallized honey (What Is Honey?). Liquid honey is the regular
jar honey that most consumers buy. Comb honey is the purest form of honey where it is just a
unprocessed comb. Cut comb is honey with some of the comb still in it. Lastly crystallized honey
where the honey is hardened then grounded into a powder. Locally grown honey is distributed
usually in farmers markets or in small family run stores in the area
Industrial producers of honey run a similar operation to locally made honey but on a much larger
scale. Honey can be consumer and is consumed by humans. In the wild small mammals tend to
eat honey if a hive is found.

The production of honey affects the environment in a positive way. Bees help pollinate
plants when they collect pollen and nectar. A bees life is centered around flowers and gathering
honey for the hive. When a bee harvests nectar and pollen some of the pollen on the bee will

remain on the bee when that bee goes to another flower it helps pollinate the flower and give
more genetic diversity. With the environment changing and the use of pesticides increase
beehives that are affected by pesticides are dying. There are two types of pesticides that kills
bees one that kills a bee instantly and another that will kill the bee over time. Some strategies to
combat this is applying pesticides that does not linger over a day and applying it when it is in the
afternoon when bees are less active. Honey production is economically viable and usually
provide the beekeeper with profit. This is because if a bee colony is strong and well maintained it
will survive for 2 to 3 years and is able to produce about 30 to 60 pounds of honey each year. An
average beekeeper in the United States makes about 70 thousand dollars a year. When starting
out beekeeper will make around 30 thousand dollars and can go up to 120 thousand dollars
depending on the beekeepers skill. Socially beekeeping and honey producing is seen to be a very
dangerous life style. Most people do not know the behavior patterns of bees and may mistakenly
think that it is aggressive and aggravate the bees (Connor). New inventions like the flow hive
which is a hive claiming to be able to harvest honey without bothering bees and without the
danger are now being introduced into the market to help get people interested into learning that
bees are not so dangerous.

I think that producing honey is very sustainable.

While researching the production of

honey it seemed to me to be a good way to exploit nature. I think this because by adding more
bees to the environment you are helping the ecosystem by pollinating more plants. For the bee
once the hive is full they will stop gathering honey, beekeepers add more storage and harvest
honey from the storage that the bees make. This is turn keeps the bees actively pollinating other
plants and producing more honey for the beekeeper. Economically beekeeping pays for itself 1
hive lasts for about 2.5 years and each year it produces about 150 dollars worth of honey. Buying

materials for a new hive and the bees it self would cost about 150 dollars. Socially I think the
more education people have about what's happening to the environment and about bees more
people would be interested into beekeeping as a hobby.

Work cited / Bibliography

Connor, Larry. "Where Will They Go?." Bee Culture. 01 Jul. 2015: 43. eLibrary. Web.
02 Nov. 2015.

Bobroff, Laura Froster. "7 Practical Uses for Beeswax." 7 Uses for Beeswax. N.p.,

"Honey Bee Facts That You Probably Never Knew." N.p., n.d.

"Honeys Raw Farm." How Is Honey Made? N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.

Kincaid, Hannah. "BEEKEEPING BASICS: What's All the Buzz About?." Mother
Earth News. 01 Jun. 2015: 54. eLibrary. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.

"What Is Honey?" N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.

Food Ecosystem Part 2

When I first heard of the ecosystem project where the task was to write about a single
food and its sustainability I originally wanted to write about rice. My family eats rice every day
and I have visited a couple rice fields the previous summer. I also knew that rice is a staple food
in some countries and it would be easy to track the process it is made. I thought that I was going
to write about rice up until the week before the food ecosystem project was assigned. On the
week before the assignment was assigned I was looking into a new hive called a flow hive. The
flow hive is a new type of bee hive frame which extracts the honey without fully destroying the
comb. Since my uncle owns a organic dragon fruit farm and has an apiary by his farm I decided
to send a video of the flow hive to his son, my cousin, to relay to his dad. After sending him the
video I wanted to know more about bees so I went on youtube. Since I previously looked at allot
of chemistry videos after searching up bees on youtube I found a channel of a chemist and
beekeeper named Cody his channels name was CodysLab. Cody has been beekeeping for over
10 years he seems to be in his late twenties and lives in the middle of nowhere. Half of Codys
videos are concerning chemistry and the other half was a beekeeping series. Interested I
started to watch his informational blog like videos on what to do when starting a hive. Cody's
beekeeping series started with his new batch of bees he received. Every time he would check
on them he would record it and explain what he was doing. I was so interested that I watched
the first year of his beekeeping series. The day before the assignment was assigned I decided
that I was going to try and start my own hive and contacted a few local beekeepers on advice.
When the project was assigned I felt like I had to write about honey since I was researching it
already. I also thought that it was very interesting that honey did not expire. Coming into the I
felt like I knew most of the information already but I found it hard trying to explain why
maintaining a hive is sustainable. My previous knowledge on me wanting to start my own hive
really influenced my choice in picking honey.
Since I have been researching about bees previously I had a general idea on what
websites had the information that I needed. I did not have any difficulties in general but when
trying to find more information about the anatomy of bees I could not find it. In the end I was not
able to find research on bees anatomies so I didn't include it in my paper. The way I found 2
sources was much harder. I first tried google scholar and got nothing but people whose last
name ended in honey. I then went to my old high school's website to use my high school's
username and password to an e library. Once I logged in I looked up beekeeping and honey. I
found one which talks about the social aspect of beekeeping and the other one was a manual
on how to keep bees. For the regular sources I made sure that what they were saying was
similar to Cody from codyslab and what I was reading in a book about bees.
From researching honey I have learned allot of things. I did not know that bees had two
stomachs one for food and one for pollen and nectar. Another thing that I did not know was that
bees make honey using nectar and not just pollen. Concerning hive I learned two interesting
facts. I learned that brood combs are darker because they are stained. And another one is that
beeswax is actually made from sugar from the honey. I also didn't know that beekeeper
depending on their skill make allot of money.

In regards to sustainability and honey I think i learned quite a bit. From an economical
standpoint beekeepers make more than enough to pay for the initial investment of starting a
new hive. For environmental I did not know that pesticides played a problem against bees. I
had always thought pesticides removed pests and not bees. Lastly in social I found out that
many people are scared of bees and think that they are always aggressive.

I feel that the way I gathered information is adequate I would like to add into my part 1
and add that nectar is 80% water and how the water is removed from it. I wrote the paper on the
night of november 3rd thinking it was due this was also before i knew that there was a
documentary that the class was going to watch about the sustainability of honey bees. In the
document I feel like it shows two very biased sides of both honey producers and the bees
themselves. Some of the information that was gathered in the film would have greatly helped
when writing about the sustainability of honey. I also think if I were to use the data from the
documentary my opinion might change in sustainability my personal research has lead me to
local beekeepers and with the information learned from local beekeepers my thought on honeys
sustainability were made. If I were to start this project again anew I would like to watch the
whole honey document to see all the points they make in sustainability.