Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
See L. Roth and J. Weiner, Waxes, Waxing and Wax Modifiers (1961); H. Bennett, Industrial Waxes (2 vol., 1963); P. E. Kolattukudy, ed., Chemistry and Biochemistry of Natural Waxes (1976).
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.