A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal prismatic wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen.
Beekeepers may remove the entire honeycomb to harvest honey. Honey bees consume about 8.4 lb (3.8 kg) of honey to secrete 1 lb (454 g) of wax, so it makes economic sense to return the wax to the hive after harvesting the honey. The structure of the comb may be left basically intact when honey is extracted from it by uncapping and spinning in a centrifugal machine—the honey extractor. If the honeycomb is too worn out, the wax can be reused in a number of ways, including making sheets of comb foundation with hexagonal pattern. Such foundation sheets allow the bees to build the comb with less effort, and the hexagonal pattern of worker-sized cell bases discourages the bees from building the larger drone cells.
Fresh, new comb is sometimes sold and used intact as comb honey, especially if the honey is being spread on bread rather than used in cooking or as a sweetener.
Broodcomb becomes dark over time, because of cocoons and shed larval skins embedded in the cells, and the tracking of many feet, called travel stain by beekeepers when seen on frames of comb honey. Honeycomb in the “supers” that are not used for brood (e.g. by the placement of a queen excluder) stays light-colored.
Numerous wasps, especially Polistinae and Vespinae, construct hexagonal prism-packed combs made of paper instead of wax; in some species (such as Brachygastra mellifica), honey is stored in the nest, thus technically forming a paper honeycomb. However, the term “honeycomb” is not often used for such structures.
A structure, whether artificial or natural, for housing a swarm of honeybees.
The bees of one hive; a swarm of bees.
A place swarming with busy occupants; a crowd.
A section of the registry.
To enter or possess a hive.
To form a hive-like entity.
To collect into a hive.
“to hive a swarm of bees”
To store in a hive or similarly.
To take shelter or lodgings together; to reside in a collective body.
A structure of hexagonal cells made by bees primarily of wax, to hold their larvae and for storing the honey to feed the larvae and to feed themselves during winter.
Any structure resembling a honeycomb.
“The wood porch was a honeycomb of termite tunnels before we replaced it.”
Voids left in concrete resulting from failure of the mortar to effectively fill the spaces among coarse aggregate particles.
Manufactured material used manufacture light, stiff structural components using a sandwich design.
The texture of the surface of a solar cell, intended to increase its surface area and capture more sunlight.
A space-filling packing of polytopes in 3- or higher-dimensional space.
To riddle something with holes, especially in such a pattern.
“Termites will honeycomb a porch made of untreated pine.”