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Pure, Golden Wax …

Submitted by on February 9, 2010 – 9:04 pm One Comment

One of the wonderful things about owning a TopBar hive full of industrious bees, is the abundance of beautiful, clean wax you have left after draining all the honey out. It is so much nicer then the wax that has been in frames for ages, which can get dirty and polluted with chemicals that the bees cannot help but bring back on their bodies and in the pollen and nectar, to the hive and into the honey they make.

The photo with the comb hanging shows quite clearly how the bees start at the underside of the bar and work downwards in a cylindrical pattern, joining each cell on six sides to hold nectar, pollen or brood (baby bees). The bees do what is called `festooning` or hanging on to each other like a chain, the wax comes from 4 tiny openings under the stomach which they bring up to their mouth, chew and pass on to the next bee to fasten to the comb structure, making more cells. This is one of the many jobs the young worker bee does before she graduates to foraging outside the hive.

The photo looking into the hive gives a glimpse of other combs as does the close-up with the bees.

I took the picture looking in through the window at the back of the TopBar hive showing the comb built onto the surface – my grandson Elliott loves sitting and watching the bees working, filling the cells with nectar and not at all worried about a small face pressed up hard to the window!

Marcia

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  • Great pics Marcia – very inspiring. I’m going to building my own Top Bar hive this week (with a little help from my builder friend!). I dont know very much at all about keeping bees, but I guess I’ll learn as I go!

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