© 1986

Honeybees and Wax

An Experimental Natural History


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Introduction

    1. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 1-4
  3. The Nature and Production of Beeswax

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 11-28
    3. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 29-43
    4. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 44-56
  4. The Manipulation of Wax by Honeybees

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 72-79
    3. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 80-92
    4. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 93-114
    5. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 115-126
  5. Stimuli for Production and Manipulation of Wax

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 128-138
    3. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 139-144
    4. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 145-152
    5. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 153-161
    6. H. R. Hepburn
      Pages 162-171
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 172-205

About this book


"Instead of dirt and poison we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnisning mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light". Mindful of Swift's dictum, this compilation is offered as an exhaustive coverage of a smallish literature on the synthesis and secretion of beeswax, its elaboration into combs and the factors which bear on the execution of these processes by honeybees. To codify any aspect of the biology of an animal of agricultural importance is to sift through myriad observations and experiments, centuries old, that come down to us enshrouded in the folk literature. It is evident that wars and languages have also acted as barriers to the dissemination of knowledge about honeybees. Thus, particular care has been given to the primacy of discovery and its con­ textual significance. I have endeavoured to not over-interpret data and to allow the authors' works to speak for themselves. I have also tried to indicate some of the more obvious gaps in our knowledge of honeybees in relation to wax and to suggest some directions as to where we might proceed, aided by discoveries made on other animals and plants. This was done to remind the seasoned bee-hand of our general neglect of beeswax biology, historically constituting less than a percentage point of the apicultural literature.


agriculture animals biology plants

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and EntomologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Honeybees and Wax
  • Book Subtitle An Experimental Natural History
  • Authors H. Randall Hepburn
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-540-16918-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-71460-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-71458-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 205
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Zoology
    Plant Sciences
  • Buy this book on publisher's site