With a global population of 2.5 billion, honey bees are vital for all of us.
But how much do we know about them?
With honey bee honey, which we’re eating at a rate of 3 billion tonnes every year, and agaves, which are grown on a similar scale, it’s easy to lose sight of how they’re used in our daily lives.
But in the last decade, a new type of honey bee has become a big hit in Australia, and has become part of the country’s everyday food supply.
Agave, also known as agave nectar, is a type of sweetener used in many traditional dishes, and is an important component in many of Australia’s food and beverage brands.
When bees are needed, it has the power to provide nutrition and sweetness to the diet.
But honey bees were never meant to pollinate.
They are a tiny, solitary insect and are not native to Australia.
“Honey bees were bred as pets in the 19th century and were not intended to be pollinated,” says John Davenport, a lecturer in agricultural science at Griffith University.
“They’re very small and very hard to see and understand.”
In the 20th century, scientists started to understand how honey bees interact with other insects.
They discovered that they can use chemical signals to communicate to other insects, and that these signals can trigger a swarm of bees to attack a target.
Agaves and honey bees had been used for a long time in the traditional food production process, but in the 1960s the concept of agave farming came into being.
In the 1960, researchers started using agave to improve honey production in the New South Wales countryside.
The bees were used to make honey for the sugarcane and cane sugar industries.
In addition to making honey, they were also used in some of the first commercial agave production.
Honey bees are so well adapted to the honey bee lifestyle that they are used in almost all aspects of agavaville farming, such as processing, packaging and transport.
The term agave is a reference to the “bumble bee”, a genus of honeybee, which has an orange head and a yellow body colour.
The word agave comes from the agave flower and is derived from the Latin word agathe meaning “beautiful”.
It is believed that agave has been around for at least 2,000 years, meaning that the honeybee’s ability to survive in the harsh climate of the tropics and the extreme temperatures of the temperate rainforests have kept them in check.
Agavavilles use honey bees to harvest sugarcanes and cane in order to reduce the use of sugar.
They also harvest sweet fruit such as berries and grapes to make juice and to make syrup for cooking.
“In agave, honey bee and agavava are very similar, so you can think of them as two distinct groups,” says Davenpool.
Agava is used in the cooking of some of Australias favourite dishes, including pizza, curry and pizza sauce.
The agave used in agave pie has been a favourite of chefs since the 1970s.
“It’s really about flavour, sweetness and nutrition,” says Mark Tuckerton, the director of the Australian Agave Institute.
“The best way to use agave in Australian food is to make a pie with the most delicious agave.”
Honey bee honey is also used for many other dishes, such a sweet potato pie, a banana pudding, a peanut butter cake, a chocolate pudding, and a chocolate chip pie.
“I love the honey bees for their amazing nutritional qualities,” says Tuckertons wife, Lisa, who works in agaves.
“When you cook with honey bees you are using a whole host of different nutrients, and the honey is the best of the bunch.”
The Agave honeybee is a small, solitary species and has an average life span of around 20 years.
“Most of the honeybees that we’re using in agavas work in a very specialized and complex way to make this food for people.
It’s very much like the modern day equivalent of a lab animal, and so it’s not a natural way to eat it,” says Ms Davenpoint.
“We’ve got to find something that’s easy and cheap, that will be very healthy for humans.”
Agave and honey bee populations have been stable in the wild for a number of years, and with a population boom in the past few decades, agave and bee populations are likely to continue to expand.
For the honeybeeders, this means a new era of agaven consumption is upon us.
“Agave is such a versatile food that we use it in all sorts of different dishes and even in a lot of different ways, and we’re really happy with the way that we’ve been using it for a while