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Honey, and objects immersed in honey, have been preserved for centuries.
The key to preservation is limiting access to humidity.
Before the invention of removable frames, bee colonies were often sacrificed to conduct the harvest.
Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or other insects (aphid honeydew) through regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation.
Leaving the hive, foraging bees collect sugar-rich flower nectar and return to the hive where they use their "honey stomachs" to ingest and regurgitate the nectar repeatedly until it is partially digested.
The process continues as hive bees flutter their wings constantly to circulate air and evaporate water from the honey to a content around 18%, raising the sugar concentration, and preventing fermentation.
The honeycomb is removed from the hive and the honey may be extracted from that, either by crushing or by using a honey extractor.
The honey is then usually filtered to remove beeswax and other debris.
Since the invention of removable frames, the principles of husbandry lead most beekeepers to ensure that their bees have enough stores to survive the winter, either by leaving some honey in the beehive or by providing the colony with a honey substitute such as sugar water or crystalline sugar (often in the form of a "candyboard").