How would fire honey be useful and manageable to a beehive/bee colony?
In this scenario, bees harvest nectar from a particular flower. The nectar is not only spicy from capsaicin, but literally fiery. Tiny embers are magically suspended in the liquid, sparks dance over the surface. The bees should be changed as well. They need to produce this firehoney like normal bees would produce normal honey. Instead of royal jelly, a queen is determined by getting fed ember-rich honey. Only the bees that survive this are queens.
The worker bees utilize this honey by absorbing its capsaicin into their venom, making their stings much more painful. The queens have unique stingers because they store an ember in their stinger. They also have no barbs (like those a bumblebee would have) which enables them to sting as many times as they like (in unusual circumstances.)
The bees need to be able to slurp up the nectar to process it to make honey (regurgitated, treated, digested nectar). They also need to be able to store it in regular wax.
- How can they withstand the heat in their stomachs?
That is to say,
- What part of their body structures, body plans (levels of organization, cephalization, structures inside germ layers,etc), and anatomical/physiological structures/systems (organs+organ systems) need to be changed to enable this fire-honey to be made?
The flowers have evolved alongside them to become these heat-producing flowers, simply because the flower gets pollinated by attracting the bees.
While the nectar is no more/less nutritious than that of any other flowers, it does radiate a fair amount of heat (probably useful in winter, detrimental in summer.) This nectar is slightly more abundant than any other flower. It is useful because it only grows in a select, highly remote/inaccessible by air place, meaning that the bees have found and filled their niche. There are no other species that use this flower, and indeed no other bees (hence, no competitive exclusion principle as two species compete for a niche). There is an overabundance of flowers (they flower year-round) and they produce plenty of nectar. The colony has settled into a logistic growth curve as the bees rapidly bred to meet the high carrying capacity. The petals of the flower are just as hot as the nectar (and the nectar is the same temperature as the pollen.) Ignore the effects of heat on (1n) haploid gametophytes. The pollen can survive. The question is: how can the bee do it?
The nectar is at around 180 degrees Fahrenheit (~82 degrees Celsius). The actual sparks are at around 1200 F (649 C), however, their low thermal energy and unique composition (chemical formula UnObTaNiUm, if you want to know) keeps them from actually boiling the nectar. The heat of the rest of the flower is identical to that of the nectar.
After being pollinated, the flower doesn't turn into any fruit. It's a small wildflower.
You may use the heat of the flower as an energy or heat source.
And thank you to all in the Sandbox, especially @JoeBloggs and @Secespitus, who helped me work on this draft.