Ask school kids what they want to be when they grow up and the likely responses range from astronaut to teacher to baseball player. If someone says beekeeper, know that the science of beekeeping is called Apiculture. Here’s a bit more about that industry.

The bee first arrived on U.S. soil, when Europeans brought them over in hives in the 1620s.  Seven bee species of 16,000 make the honey we consume.  Honeybees gather large amounts of nectar and pollen from flowers, a process called pollination, to make honey.

When they return to the hive, they fan their wings to evaporate the water from the nectar, turning it to honey. The gooey golden treat is done when the bees add an enzyme from their specialized glands and seal it within the comb.

Honeybees cross-pollinate flowers which produces fruit and seeds for growing crops. To farmers, the honeybees are worth billions of dollars. In fact, farmers rent honeybee colonies from the apiculturist for these purposes.

A “bee scientist” may not top the list of your kids’ occupational aspirations but it sure ranks as a sweet one and an important one for the environment!

Content provided by Oakland University


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