How do bees create honeycombs?
Bees are considered the most industrious insects. They not only produce honey, which is rich in sugars, minerals, trace elements, vitamins and enzymes, but also make wax stores for it – honeycombs. This makes it possible to efficiently use the inner space of the hive and ensure the preservation of natural sweetness.
Bees produce wax to create honeycombs on their own using special glands. In its soft form, it easily takes the desired shape, and when solidified, it acquires high strength.
Externally, the honeycombs are combined hexagonal cells located on both sides of thin waxes (mediastinum), fixed on the frames. Their construction begins with the arrival of spring and the awakening of the swarm. In the process of work, the bees move from top to bottom along the foundation, while the bottom of the cell is first erected, then the walls and the roof. All manipulations are carried out in complete darkness, insects rely only on the organs of touch.
The dimensions of the honeycomb and the thickness of the walls differ depending on their purpose. There are four types of cells:
- for stocks of honey, pollen, ambrosia
“The wax is produced inside the bee by special organs – the wax glands – and is secreted outward in the same way as the human skin secretes sweat. In queens and drones, wax glands are absent, and they do not emit wax.”
Freshly built honeycomb is white. The honeycombs in which the bees and drones hatch gradually darken: first they turn light brown, then they acquire a dark brown colour. Old honeycombs do not shine at all in the sun.