Worker bees which live only around 35 days in summer, make beeswax from about the 10th day of their lives to the 16th day. When the worker bees are roughly 10 days old, they develop special wax-producing glands in their abdomens. The glands convert the sugar in the honey into beeswax, which seeps through small pores in the bee’s body leaving tiny white flakes on its abdomen. These bits of beeswax are then chewed by the bees. The chewed beeswax is added to the construction of the honeycomb.
The beeswax of honeycomb starts off clear to white, but becomes progressively more yellow or brown with the incorporation of pollen oils, honey and propolis. When secreted from one of the segments of the bees abdomen, the beeswax scales are about 3 millimetres across and 0.1 millimetres thick, and about 1100 (wax scales) are required to make a gram of beeswax.
It takes 12 hrs for one bee to make 8 beeswax flakes, and it takes approximately 500,000 scales to make 500 grams of beeswax. So in summary, beeswax is precious.