Beebread

Beebread

ˈbē ˌbred

Noun

  • Honey or pollen used as food by bees.

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Example Sentences

“You can tell if a hive is in use by the presence of beebread.”

“Honeybees carry pollen back to the hive to be turned into beebread.”

“Even bees need to eat; they dine on a substance called beebread.”

Word Origin

Early Modern English, mid-17th century

Why this word?

While honey is a delicious treat for humans, honeybees eat beebread. One of a honeybee’s tasks is pollination, but the pollen also serves as a necessary food source for the hive. When worker bees collect nectar, grains of pollen attach to fine hairs on their bodies. Some of these grains are transferred to other plants for fertilization, but the rest make it back to the hive. However, the grains of pollen are indigestible on their own. Beebread is a unique substance, made of about 75% pollen, combined with honey, nectar, and bee saliva. This mixture produces the necessary enzymes to break down the pollen into a digestible form. The beebread is packed tight into honeycomb cells near the brood nest, giving the hive a protein-rich food source to survive through the winter.

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