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If you are one of those rare species who don't know what a honeycomb is, let's begin with that.
What is Honeycomb?
Honeycomb is a natural product which is built by honey bees. They make it to store their honey and pollen or to keep their larvae. The honeycomb structure comprises of a series of hexagonal cells created from beeswax usually containing raw honey.
It can take about 7 days to 2 months for bees to make their honeycomb. In about 7 days from the early build up and moving in, honeybees can add from 1 to 3 pounds of honeycomb inside the structure.
Why honeycombs are hexagonal in shape?
● Honey bees are not the only one to make the brilliant hexagonal design. The hexagon shape has been in use for a long time by other creatures because of their simplicity, resilience, and durability.
● Bees are known for their astuteness. Not only they can learn how to tackle the hindrances by themselves, but they can also learn by watching others.
● You can go through their evolutionary history. You will find that they are the master of storing a large amount of honey with a lesser amount of means.
● The perfect example of it is the efficient hexagonal shape of their honeycomb. Producing beeswax takes a lot out of bees. They need to eat eight ounces of honey in order to create one ounce of beeswax.
● Thus, they need to ensure that they are not underutilizing their resources. The secret of their success lies in the shapes of their honeycomb cells that bees use to house nectar and honey.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is the element which is used by bees to build their honeycomb cells. It is very similar to other waxes in nature. Honeybees release beeswax from the eight glands openings on their lower belly. However, to produce beeswax, honeybees must eat honey. When the beeswax hardens on the belly region of the bees, it falls in clear flat bits recognized as scales.
Then these scales are munched and make softer by the female bees. They form these softened scales into hexagonal cells inside the honeycomb.
Why do honeybees make beeswax comb?
Honeycomb is built inside the honeybee hive. The honeycomb is the home for honeybees and the cells are their rooms. A sole hexagonal structure is called a cell. Separate cells serve different purposes for the colony. When bee queen returns from her mating trip, she lay her eggs in the cells built by the female bees. Those cells are called brood cells. The brood cells will be the development chambers for growing honeybees. These cells are diligently maintained by the female worker bees.
Is honeycomb healthful?
Honeycomb is mostly about beeswax and raw honey. However, beeswax doesn't have much of the nutritive value, except for the hints of vitamin A. Nonetheless as a human body cannot break the beeswax, it can be used as a source of roughage in the diet.
Raw honey inside the cells of honeycomb is very nutritious. It contains vitamins, pollen, antioxidants, and enzymes. Raw honey is in the most unadulterated form of honey and it contains very less amount of water. But when it is exposed to air, it draws water from the atmosphere.