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substance secreted by glands on the abdomen of the bee and known commonly as beeswax; also various substances resembling beeswax. Waxes are mixtures comprising chiefly esters of monohydroxy alcohols, besides other esters and free fatty acids, free alcohols, and higher
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a lipoid granular substance secreted by special glands on honeybees and several other insects. It consists of a mixture of esters (up to 75 percent), free fatty acids, and saturated hydrocarbons. It is rich in vitamin A (100 g of honeycomb beeswax contains 4,096 international units of vitamin A). The density is 0.956-0.969. Beeswax melts at a temperature of 62°-72°C. It is insoluble in water. It dissolves easily in ether, chloroform, benzene, gasoline, and turpentine oil.
Bees build honeycombs out of beeswax. Pure beeswax is used in the manufacture of artificial honeycomb; the less pure wax is used in technology. Beeswax is an ingredient of many medicinal ointments, plasters, and cosmetic creams.