Information source: Steve Benham from Franklin Beekeepers Club.
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It’s the raw ingredient of honey.
It’s a sugar solution (usually sucrose, glucose, fructose and sometimes maltose) in water with amino acids, minerals, essential oils and organic acids, which is secreted by the nectarines situated at the base of the stamens.
It’s produced by flowers to lure pollinators to flowers for pollination and eventual fertilisation (ensuring reproduction of the species). Pollination, especially for many food crops is essential for successful cropping.
Bees seem to prefer nectar with equal quantities of glucose, fructose and sucrose.
Some plants e.g. citrus reliably produce abundant nectar despite environmental conditions.
Once flowers have been pollinated, they produce less nectar e.g. cucumber flowers only produce nectar on their first day of opening
Flower gender influence nectar production e.g. banana male flowers secrete more nectar than female flowers. Willow are dioecious which means that male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Male flowers have nectar and pollen whereas female flowers have only nectar.
It’s the reproductive part of the flower.
It’s the male germplasm of plants and is a source of proteins, minerals, lipids and trace elements necessary for bee growth.
It’s vital for the production of royal jelly by worker bees used to feed the queen, larvae and young adults.