Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
What Is A Natural Comb?
A natural honey bee comb is a hexagonal beeswax cell that is used to fill the beehive for apiculture. A natural comb is built by honey bees in their hive to reproduce their young ones and store pollen and honey. Beekeepers generally remove the entire honeycomb to extract honey.
How It is Made?
Honey bees intake about 8.4lbs of honey in order to make 454g or 1lb of wax; therefore, it is economical to return the wax to hives after the removal of honey. Since the process of comb formation with the help of wax is time and energy consuming so to keep its structure intact is one of the important aspects of beekeeping. For doing the same, either combs are processed uncapped or through spinning in a centrifugal machine called honey extractor.
If the wax doesn’t seem suitable for reuse, it can further be utilized for other purposes like making sheets of comb foundation containing hexagonal patterns. These foundations enable bees to build the honeycomb without much effort and it keeps the population of drones minimum as it discourages bees from building the larger drone cells.
As time progresses, the brood comb becomes dark because of the cocoons embedded in the cells. Those honeycombs which are contained in the supers are not used for brood, therefore, it stays light in color.
The cells present in the honeycomb are quasi horizontal and those rows which are non angled are horizontal in geometry. Therefore every cell consists of two vertically aligned walls with upper and lower parts of cell made up of two angled walls.
Why Honeycomb is Hexagonal?
The explanation of hexagon is that hexagonal tiling creates bifurcation of equal-sized cells, thus minimizing the overall perimeter of the cells. Formation of hexagonal structures requires minimum material for the lattice formation of cells within an available volume. The hexagonal shape is created when all the bees put their cells together, which is somewhat similar to the boundary shapes formed in a field of soap bubbles. Meanwhile, cell of the queen is constructed irregular and lumpy.
Beeswax is made by honey bees using wax secreting gland placed in the abdomen of worker bees. In apiculture, it is collected and used for various purposes such as storage of honey and it provides protection to larvae and pupae of honey bees. It is a combination of various naturally occurred chemicals like hydrocarbons, monoesters, fatty acids and many unidentified components. Honeycomb base or wax foundation is the base of a honeycomb. It is used in foundation for artificial beehive so that bees can build their home easily. Beeswax was first used as a plastic, a waterproofing agent as well as a natural lubricant. It is one of the essential components of the cosmetic industry and also used for making polish for woods, leather and candles. It is edible, unlike other plant waxes which are toxic in nature, therefore, its use as food has been approved by various international food agencies.
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