The honey bee builds its own nest out of beeswax that the young bees secrete from glands on the lower side of their abdomen. Flakes of beeswax are secreted after the bees eat honey. For the bees to produce an ounce of beeswax, they must consume one pound of honey. For the bees to produce that pound of honey they must fly a combined distance of 55 thousand miles and visit two million flowers. That distance is more than twice the distance around the world at the equator. To accomplish the building of the brood nest, it is necessary to have a significant nectar flow from the flowering plants surrounding the bee hive.
Some of the honey bee colonies that we started in the spring have expanded their brood nest to fill two medium-size hive boxes and are now building the honey comb to occupy a third box. If you click on the picture, you can see the bees in the process of drawing out the beeswax to make the six-sided honey comb cells. The bees work together to fashion the flakes of beeswax into cells by starting at the top frame bar and working their way downward. In the picture, you can see bees in the lower half of the frame manipulating beeswax to draw out the comb. The beeswax of new honey comb is bright and white. The bees in the upper half of the frame are filling the newly completed cells with honey. Here, we see a strong colony drawing out perfect frames of honey comb during a good nectar flow.