Hey everyone, what better builders of nature than bees? In many more ways than one, but for today lets focus on this one. Their incredible combs crafted from wax, which originate from the wax glands on their abdomen.
As per wikipedia.org: Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.
Do check out more on that here as per wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeswax
Above we have a super frame almost fully built, what happened here with the larger comb is this particular swarm was probably building a new Queen. These are called Queen combs, either for an imminent Summer split which happens annually or possibly in the case of an absent Queen! The lighter combs are newer combs and the darker generally older and in this case filled with pollen!
These I recently took from a hive that had bees that sadly over winter absconded, however great in that we can learn and educate others with this material. Above and below are super frames, these are generally installed onto the hive once the honey flow is in full flow which means generally many flowers in bloom in the area, Spring-Summer in Pretoria South Africa where I reside in my case!
A top view of the frames, the bees had joined the frames with combs and wax, this was my fault as I did not properly install a wax starter strip at the top of the frames in order to build in a symmetrical manner, we learn we live, I wont make that mistake again!
Here I took a pic of the super frame and combs (top) and the Brood frames on the bottom, just after I had opened this box to inspect!
Here we have combs filled with predominantly pollen, the colour varies vastly depending on what flora is in season and that they forage, the darker comb in this case could be propolis, or pollen!
A top angle of the Queen Comb, they generally do not build Queen Combs in the 'middle of nowhere' but in this case an 'emergency' comb as they were probably without a Queen. These are generally built in the brood combs at the bottom and generally look much more 'organized' than this half built one, one of the main reasons this swarm probably left!
Be sure to stay tuned for more of my epic bee-keeping adventures!
Nature the incredible! I trust you have a super cool weekend!