Bees make wax to build honeycomb cells to store honey and raise their young. The process of making wax begins when the bees consume honey or nectar. As they digest this sweet substance, they secrete a substance called “bee bread” into their wax glands. These glands are located on the underside of the bee’s abdomen and comprise tiny tubes called “spines.”
When the bee bread is ready, the bee will begin to secrete wax through the spines through thin scales or flakes. The bee will then use its mandibles to chew and shape the wax into the desired form, such as a honeycomb cell.
The process of making wax is energy-intensive and requires a lot of honey. In fact, it is estimated that it takes about eight pounds of honey to produce just one pound of wax. This is one of the reasons why bees are so important to the pollination of flowers and the production of honey.