When you hear the word wasp, you probably think of these little yellow creatures that aren’t very friendly and sting you if they get too close to you.
That may be one of the reasons why many people say that wasps make honey! But we want to tell you the truth!
Do wasps make honey? Contrary to popular belief, no they don’t! Only some species of wasps have the ability to produce honey bee. Continue reading to lear more about it.
Do Wasps Make Honey?
No, wasps do not make honey. They are social creatures that live in colonies with a queen and male wasps who die soon after mating.
Male wasps are called drones, and they don’t play a role in the colony beyond mating with the queen. Instead of making honey, the female worker wasp gathers pollen from flowers for food and then chews it up into a paste which is fed to larvae (the young).
The larval digestive system breaks down the pollen into nutrients that can be absorbed by the gut lining. Worker wasps also build and maintain the nest, collect water or nectar for drinks, and build and repair cells where eggs hatch into larvae (which eventually become pupae) before emerging as adult insects.
But there’s an exception is Mexican Honey Wasp. Mexican Honey Wasp is a type of wasp that lives in the Southwestern regions of the United States and northern Mexico.
They’re known as honey wasps because they harvest nectar from flowers and use it to produce a sugary substance called honey.
The adult bees then consume this honey and make it even more concentrated through their digestive system. The resulting product contains sugar at concentrations of up to 60%.
A unique characteristic of this wasp is that only female members of the species are able to sting; these females will sting anything else nearby if disturbed.
Do Wasps Make Honeycomb?
No, wasps don’t make honeycomb. They use the honeycomb made by bees for their nests. To build a nest, wasps chew up wood fibers and mix them with their saliva to form a paper-like material that they use as insulation.
They then shape this material into combs and construct the walls of the nest around it. The female wasp builds a small opening in the center of the comb with her head so she can get inside and lay eggs while some males may help out.
These cells are where the female will lay an egg before sealing it off with a mixture of chewed plant materials and secretions from her mouth. When new cells are created, the old ones will be removed.
As wasps grow older, they create larger cells on the outer wall of the nest to accommodate their growing size; eventually, these too will be sealed off when new cells are added elsewhere on the inner wall.
Do Wasps Steal Honey?
To answer this question, we must first define steal. A wasp will not steal honey from a beehive. Instead, they will go through the process of making their own honey by using the nectar and pollen from flowers.
They do this by sucking up the liquid and then storing it in cells for later use. The majority of wasps are solitary insects that make their own nests.
However, there are some species such as Polistes dominula that live in colonies with either one queen or multiple queens sharing a nest.
Honeybees on the other hand, live together in hives where they have one queen who lays eggs to produce larvae.
Can You Consume Honey Made by Wasps?
It is possible that honey made by wasps can contain atropine, a naturally occurring plant-based alkaloid toxin. Atropine affects the central nervous system and is used medically as a muscle relaxant, and as an antidote for some types of organophosphate poisoning.
It can also cause symptoms such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention, delirium and excitement. In cases where atropine is found in honey made by wasps, it will not be listed on the ingredients list but rather detected during lab testing.
Wasps are not known to make honey with atropine but they do use other plants including ragwort which contains this natural poison. If your child has eaten any type of honey recently, watch them closely for signs of dizziness or slow reflexes as these are common side effects of ingesting small amounts of this toxin.
How Do Wasps Make Honey?
Wasps make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and storing it in their crop. They mix the nectar with enzymes that break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose.
This mixture is deposited into cells in their stomach, where it is transformed into honey. The wasp’s saliva also contains an anti-bacterial agent that kills any other bacteria which might spoil the honey.
When a wasp has collected enough nectar for its needs, it returns to its nest, squeezes through the narrow opening (usually just big enough for one wasp), then regurgitates some of the liquid onto the walls of its cell and dries up most of the liquid on top of a nearby object or wall with a fanning movement using its hind legs.
The next day, this partially dried honey can be carried back to the comb. Over time, these combs will fill up with hundreds of wax cells and caps made from chewed wood fibres that were mixed with saliva before being applied around the outside edge of each cell by the female wasp who built them.
These cells are used to store honey produced over many days until they are capped over when full. A single comb can hold as much as 40 kilograms (88 lb) of honey!
Wasp Honey vs Bee Honey
Both types of honey are made by bees but the process is different. Bee honey is made when honeybees use their hairy bodies to collect nectar from flowers and store it in wax cells in a hive. Once the nectar turns into honey, they seal the cells with a small amount of bee spit.
The process for wasp honey is much more complicated. To make wasp honey, the wasps must first find a bee hive, then break through its protective outer layer (exoskeleton) and feast on its sweet contents until there’s nothing left but an empty shell.
Next, they build up saliva until it’s dripping off their tongues like drool, then release it onto the hole that leads inside the beehive. After filling this hole with a mixture of saliva and wood pulp, the wasps fly away to start again elsewhere-leaving behind a sugary goo that smells just like honey.
Mammals can’t consume wasp honey because it doesn’t have any sugar enzymes in it due to all the wood pulp mixed in! But some insects don’t mind the extra protein and enjoy consuming wasp honey as well.
Other types of wasps produce other variations of honey as well; some will even eat rotting fruit, while others will drink water or fruit juices to get their dose of sugars. With so many variations, every type of insect has something unique to offer-no matter what time of year it is!
Related Post Do Banana Peels Keep Aphids Away?
Wasps are a major nuisance for people. They come out in the warmer months and will sting in order to protect their nests from intruders. People who are allergic to wasp stings could have a dangerous reaction and require immediate medical attention.
Wasps do not make honey. They do, however, make a sweet liquid called honeydew. This is secreted from the anal gland of the wasp and contains sugar, water and waste products.
While this may sound gross and unappetizing, it is an important source of food for many invertebrates. Bees actually feed on this substance as well; it’s a necessary part for a healthy ecosystem.
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.