If you are a natural beekeeper, you will know that beeswax is a part of your crop. When you break your natural comb to get the honey, there is plenty of beeswax left over. That is how natural comb beekeeping works. It is beneficial for your bees since stimulating comb renewal is a key aspect of colony health. So, have you ever wondered how much beeswax a hive produces?
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is the beehive’s miracle. The comb is constructed from scratch and functions as a home, nursery, and food pantry. Over millennia, bees have discovered that constructing their combs into hexagons allows them to contain the most honey while using the least amount of wax.
Beeswax is secreted by honey bees of a certain age in the form of thin scales. The scales are produced by glands of 12 to 17 day old worker bees on the ventral (stomach) surface of the abdomen. Worker bees have eight wax-producing glands on the inner sides of the sternites (the ventral shield or plate of each segment of the body). Wax is produced from the abdominal segments. The size of these wax glands depends on the age of the worker.
How much beeswax a hive produces?
Honey bees utilize beeswax to construct honey comb cells in which they rear their young and store honey and pollen. The ambient temperature in the hive must be 33 to 36°C (91 to 97°F) for the wax-making bees to secrete wax.
Bees use around eight pounds of honey to generate one pound beeswax (0.5 kg). According to estimates, bees fly 150,000 miles to produce one pound of beeswax (530,000 km/kg). When beekeepers extract honey, they remove the wax capping from each honeycomb cell. Because creating wax is such a laborious task for the bees, and it diverts their attention away from honey production. Beekeepers normally take great care not to damage the combs.
We discover that it needs 6-8 pounds of honey (let’s say 7 pounds) to manufacture 1 pound of wax. According to the Honey Calculator, 1 teaspoon of honey equals 7 grams, or 1/4 ounce of honey. A pound contains 16 ounces, while a pound of wax contains 7 pounds of honey.
One Bee’s Lifetime Output = 1 teaspoon. Multiply by 4 to get an ounce – so four bees make an ounce. One ounce x 16 = a pound of honey. So 64 bees make a pound of honey. Multiply 64 by 7 to make a pound of beeswax. That’s 448 bees! So one bee produces about 1/450th of a pound.
How can we double-check our work? Because there are 454 grams in a pound, each bee makes approximately 1 gram of beeswax. That’s one-seventh the weight of a teaspoon (a bee’s lifetime honey output). Because it takes 7 parts honey to make 1 part wax, our solution is correct.
What do beekeepers do with the wax?
Beeswax is a magical substance that has been used for thousands of years for a variety of reasons. Here are a few ideas you might not have considered, as well as those that we know:
- 100% pure beeswax candles.
- Food wraps.
- Shoe dubbin.
- Attaching your starter strips.
- Wood preserver for beehives.
- And some more beeswax uses in health and body care products.
It contains important fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is non-clogging and helps the skin to breathe. When used as a basis in cosmetics, it aids in the uniform dispersion of components. Beeswax, as a natural humectant, pulls moisture from the air and seals it into the skin, helping to keep it moisturized over time. Beeswax’s conditioning powers nourish the skin while also acting as a protective screen against the environment.
Quick facts about bee you most likely do not know
- Every day, bees from the same hive visit over 225,000 flowers. A single bee visits between 50 to 1000 flowers per day on average, but can visit thousands.
- Bees use memory, visual landmarks, colors, the position of the sun, scent, polarized light, and magnetic anomalies to navigate.
- Bees have particularly adapted hairs on their bodies that generate a static electricity charge in order to attract pollen grains.
- Queens can lay about 2,000 eggs per day at a rate of 5 or 6 per minute. The average temperature in the hive is 93.5° F.
- In most hives, beeswax production accounts for 1.5 to 2% of total honey yield.
- Bees use around 7 – 8 pounds of honey to generate 1 pound of beeswax.
- Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans.
- To produce one pound of honey, honeybees visit approximately 2 million blooms.
- A bee makes an average of 1,600 round flights to generate one ounce of honey, covering up to 6 miles every journey. Bees must travel four times around the world to create two pounds of honey.
Another product produced by bees that may be harvested and sold is beeswax. It has a wide range of applications, including cosmetics, skin care, crafts, furniture polish, health goods, and more. You can produce your own beeswax goods to sell, such as candles and lip balm, or you can prepare and sell the beeswax as is.
>>> Read more: How To Build A Top Bar Beehive – DIY Beekeeping