A Wild Honeycomb on the Western Alps

A Wild Honeycomb on the Western Alps

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Page By: chaberton

Created/Edited: Jul 26, 2013 / Jul 31, 2013

Object ID: 287775

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They build it up!


Men and Bees

The breeding of the bees in the mountains. has always been a source of nourishment first and income today. Honey is a true gift of nature and work of the Bees. Thanks to its high sugar content is pretty indeperibile. Its nutritional value is very high and represents an excellent source of energy for sportsmen (even if a chocolate satisfied more the sweet tooth

It is not uncommon in the Alps meet the beehives,the owners of the swarms, usually hide them in lush forests in the vicinity of flourishing pastures. Bees produce a great honey thanks to the wonderful Alpine flowers.

Far more unusual is the encounter with a wild honeycomb. Bees hide them very well, usually within the timber or by exploiting the rich vegetation of plants. When I saw it, clinging to the highest branches of the tree, i thought that was a canvas bag, carried by the wind. Then, when i realized that it was a wonderful work of nature (a honeycomb), i ran home to
take a ladder. I immediately took a series of photos in the light of late afternoon, promising myself to return for further study photography.

A masterpiece of engineering construction



Being very close to the town (Bardonecchia) and fearing that someone could destroy it for fear, i returned after dark with a little more equipment (a help which held me the ladder and the lights,infrared and halogen lamp,my flexible endoscope).

The decision to photograph the honeycomb in the dark was happy, the incredible architectural structure is even more highlighted.
Covering the images at home (on the place was impossible for the excitement and the cold).

I discovered a true masterpiece of engineering construction, a perfect labyrinth, a building for thousands of bees.
Considering the fact that it is made entirely of wax!

A single question I asked myself, what had become of the swarm?



The master of the house.


My charge of Pollen!

They are: "Architects, engineers, workers, skilful in flight, incredible climbers, but especially tireless."
And all this without a degree of specialization.
They're so perfect because of their natural instinct.

Apis mellifera mellifera is small, dark in color, which is often called the European Black Bee, has a reputation for being very aggressive.
This feature is not the original black bee of the Alps which is described as a race easy to treat. They can be distinguished from other subspecies because of their body fat and with abundant hair shed on the chest and
abdominal area, which gives them their characteristic dark brown color.

For someone the pollen is never enough!

The ultrastructure of the honeycomb.


The Cell

The honeycomb is a grouping of hexagonal wax cells built by honeybees in their nest, able to contain the larvae brood and storing honey and pollen. It is likely that the honey bee constructs the honeycomb guided by instinct, and the predominant theory of biology in this regard, is that the presence of forms so efficient in nature is a result of natural


The building material used by bees is Wax, a substance secreted by the abdomen glands of worker bees. It is composed of a mixture of more than three hundred substances, is a good thermal insulation, waterproof, stainless steel, easily shaped (35 ° C is malleable and melts at 63 ° C), but is required to produce an enormous amount of energy.

The wax has very poor mechanical properties, and yet, the nest of bees is solid, able to resist weather for many years. This strength, then, is produced by the forms in which the wax is modeled.

The shape of the cells is such that two opposing layers of combs fit into one another, each face with closed extremity shared by opposing cells.
The size of the cell in which the larva develops has a width (inner diameter of the cell) of 5.5 mm. One side of the cell, 3.18 mm, and a perimeter of 19.08 mm that encloses an area of 26.24 mm ².

The reason that the cell has a pyramidal base is of great importance. It may be noted that the caudal body of the larva is fusiform, and, in a hollow pyramid trigonal, finds support in three oblique walls, otherwise, if the bottom of the cell was flat, the pupa would be compressed by its own weight.




Greenpeace: Save the Bees!



Grow nectar-rich flowers and build a hive of sticks or bricks: these are some of the actions that may be taken to save the bees, a species increasingly under threat from pesticides used in agriculture.

To suggest good practices is Greenpeace, which in the past two months has created an online community uniting Italians willing to save these insects.

The first call of the environmental organization is to sign the petition online at www.SalviamoLeApi.org, which already has 70 thousand signatures, and send an email to the Minister of Agriculture, Nunzia De Girolamo, asking to ban the use of all pesticides harmful to bees and pollinators (at the time those are four partially banned) and to invest in research and development of sustainable agricultural practices in industrial and non-dependent chemistry.

Greenpeace also invites you to download the form to collect signatures and the flyer from your site, in order to involve as many people as possible in the petition.

Those who support the campaign can then print the sign'' safe'' Here bees, place it in your own garden, vegetable garden or balcony, free from pesticides and photograph it, and then spread the image on Facebook and Twitter.

To those who are dedicated to gardening, the association recommends the rainbow then make sustainable choices with flowers friends of bees, such as calendula, sainfoin and phacelia, rich in pollen and nectar to feed themselves. If you have a good manual, finally, you can build a hive with a frame of wood, stumps of oak and beech or a perforated brick, to be left in areas close to fields with flowers as poppies, cornflower or snapdragons.








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RayMondo Exceptional Engineers

Voted 10/10

Engineers have copied the amazing honeycomb structure - in aluminium for panels and aircraft. Though I expect the Chinese did it many centuries ago, with wood.

It is a pity that the Chinese have also drastically lost their bee population, and so now have to pollenate by hand with an artist's paintbrush. Though USA is also just as bad.
Posted Jul 26, 2013 2:38 pm

chaberton Re: Exceptional Engineers

Hasn't voted

At times, due to nicotinic insecticides, we in Italy, we were about to exterminate the bees.

What folly!
Posted Jul 29, 2013 7:20 am

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