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yixiang beeswax pure bee wax Dec 31, 2017

The word wax describes a large variety of substances of plant and animal origin, as well as man-made products, which are mostly petroleum derivatives. Natural waxes are not single substances, but a mixture of various long-chain fatty acids and a variety of other constituents, depending on their origin. Wax from the honeybee has an extremely wide spectrum of useful applications and occupies a very special position among waxes.

 For centuries, beeswax was appreciated as the best material for making candles. The wrappings of Egyptian mummies contained beeswax and beeswax has long found use in medicinal practices and in creams and lotions. Of all the primary bee products it has been, and remains, the most versatile and most widely used material.

 

Production of wax

     Young bees in the hive, after feeding the young brood with royal jelly, take part in the construction of the hive. Engorged with honey and resting suspended for 24 hours together with many other bees in the same position, 8 wax glands on the underside of the abdomens of the young bees secrete small wax platelets. These are scraped off by the bee, chewed and masticated into pliable pieces with the addition of saliva and a variety of enzymes. Once chewed, attached to the comb and re-chewed several times, they finally form part of this architectural masterpiece, a comb of hexagonal cells, and a 20 g structure, which can support

1000 g of honey. Wax is used to cap the ripened honey and when mixed with some propolis, also protects the brood from infections and desiccation. Together with propolis, wax is also employed for sealing cracks and covering foreign objects in the hive. The wax collected by the beekeeper is that which is used in comb construction. Frame hive beekeeping produces wax almost exclusively from the cap and top part of the honey cells.


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