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Manner Of Working Wax

Category: WAX.

Transferring the swarms to different hives from one to forty-eight
hours after being hived, will show their progress. I have found that
wax is attached to the top of the hive at first promiscuously, that is,
without the least order, until some of the blocks or lumps are
sufficiently advanced for them to begin cells. The scales of wax are
welded on the edge quite thick, without regard to the shape of the
cell, then an excavation is made on one side for the bottom of a cell,
and two others on the opposite side; the division between them exactly
opposite the centre of the first. When this piece is an inch or two in
length, two other pieces at equal distances on each side are commenced.
If the swarm is large, and honey abundant, it is common for two pieces
of comb to be started at one time on different parts of the top; the
sheets in the two places are often at right angles, or any other way,
just as chance happens to give direction. The little lumps that are
placed at random at first are all removed as they advance.

While the combs are in progress, the edges are always kept much the
thickest, and the base of the cell is worked down to the proper
thickness with their teeth, and polished smooth as glass. The ends of
the cell also, as they lengthen them, will always be found much thicker
than any other part of it when finished.

When two combs approach each other in the middle of the hive at nearly
right angles, an edge of comb is left there; but when an obtuse angle,
the edges are generally joined, making a sheet of crooked comb. It is
evident where the two combs join, there must be some irregular cells
unfit for rearing brood.

Next: Crooked Combs A Disadvantage

Previous: Best Time To Witness Comb-making

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