Bee Smart FAQs-Biology

Honey Bee Biology

The place in a honey bee where nectar, water, and honey is stored until it can be regurgitated later is often referred to as the "Honey Stomach. However, it is not really an organ like a true stomach. It is actually more of a gland that is used to temporarily store these food items until they are taken back to another bee at a hive, emptied directly into a cell or the bee decides to consume it itself. It is followed immediately by the Proventriculus which, food is digested, the particulate matter like pollen is separated out and the rest is passed on to the Ventriculus or the 'true' stomach. Interestingly enough, it is because of the relationship between the Honey Stomach or "Crop" and the Proventriculus that honey is not actually "vomit" or "puke". Medically speaking, to be considered as vomit, it must have come up from the digestive stomach. Anything in the Honey Crop has never entered the digestive stomach as the Proventriculus keeps the Crop and the Ventriculus separate.