Saturday, September 04, 2010

None of Your Bees Wax

Honey bees are insects that use every inch of space provided to them. They like just enough space to maneuver and they fill any additional space with wax comb to store nectar, pollen or brood. When ever I inspect my colonies I bring a small bucket to hold all the extra wax I cut away.

Wax is a lipid substance that the bees produce in small clear flakes that exits their bodies in the joining plates in their abdomen. They then chew the flakes and their saliva turns the wax white. Then they place it to build their desired structures. Honey bees have to eat 8 pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax.

Tomorrow I'll write about my rendering process.


Blogger Donna said...

I recall as a kid some bees had made their home somehow in the walls of Grandma's house, and before my uncles sprayed to kill them, they got the honey. I absolutely loved to get a bite of honey with the comb and chew all that sweetness out of it until nothing was left but the wax.
After they'd sprayed the bees and all of them died, Grandma's upstairs smelled as though a cat or dog had died and rotted up there for quite a while. Must have been lots of bees.

4:26 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

So.... wax is really bee dandruff and spit? I wonder who the first person was who said "Hey, we should use this stuff for something!" I can just imagine the conversation.. "This comes from those bugs that sting you. It's made from dandruff and spit. Stick some in your mouth and see what it tastes like!"

Obviously the first pioneer wasn't Einstein.

8:07 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, that was the smell of dead brood. Yep, it stinks.

Darev, it isn't dead skin, it's a fatty substance.

8:19 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

OK, that just makes it worse.

8:05 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kind of like whale oil.

7:29 AM  

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