Beeswax is secreted by four pairs of wax glands situated on the anterior part of the worker's last four normal sternal plates (i.e., the ventral portion); the secreted wax hardens into thin scales. In A. mellifera workers, the glands increase in secretory activity during the first 9 days or so after the adult bee has emerged from her cell. They usually start to regress at 17 days of age, but may be regenerated later if the colony needs new comb. Honey bees construct their combs of beeswax and also use this substance with propolis to seal small cracks in their nest structure or hive. The requirements of the colony largely determine the amount of wax secreted by its bees. Calculations have shown that an A. mellifera worker is likely to have the potential to secrete about half her body weight in wax during her lifetime.
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The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.