We are always amazed by what the honey bee is capable of. The more we read about them and watch their behaviors first-hand in the hive, the more we realize how complex they really are. Have you ever wondered how exactly honey bees make bees wax?
Beeswax is the foundation of every hive. Honey comb is made from wax and then filled with either honey or brood. Worker bees secrete wax from eight special wax glands on the underside of their abdomens. It is exuded as a liquid, but quickly cools and solidifies. The worker bee collects the wax from her abdomen with her legs. She masticates the wax until it is pliable shaping it into the hexagonal cells that make up the honeycomb.
New beeswax is light yellow in color, but over time it darkens to a golden yellow. Beeswax can turn brown from contact with fellow bees and propolis (fancy bee-made glue). Beekeepers harvest beeswax, which can be used for everything from lip balm to medicines (as a coating), electrical components to varnishes.
Let’s just take the day to thank our winged friends for not only that sweet honey they provide us with, but also for their masterful pollination of most of the food we consume. Without the honey bee we would be mighty hungry… and have chapped lips.