Word of the Day

honeycomb

Definition

a structure with a lot of holes, that honeybees make to store honey in

Origin and usage

The word honeycomb comes from the Old English word ‘hunigcamb’. It is a combination of two root words: ‘honey’, from the Old English word ‘hunig’, and ‘comb’, from the Old English word ‘camb’ meaning ‘thin strip of stiff material’.



Examples

Honeycomb typically refers to the structure inside a beehive where honey is stored. A honeycomb is made up of thousands of tiny chambers connected by beeswax. Honeybees fill each chamber with honey, storing it for later.

Collecting honey from a honeycomb can be a time-consuming, potentially dangerous process. Removing a honeycomb involves taking a frame from a beehive, using a hot knife to separate the honeycomb from the frame, and using a high-powered spinning machine to extract the honey. Beekeepers also risk disturbing the bees while removing the comb and being stung.

A new invention has taken some of this risk out of the honey extraction process. It’s called the Flow Hive and it allows beekeepers to remove honey from a honeycomb by simply turning a tap. The contraption consists of frames with partially formed honeycomb chambers. Bees complete the honeycomb as usual, and when the handle is turned the honeycomb cells split, spilling the honey out of the tap.

The Flow Hive device makes beekeeping significantly easier, especially for people who love fresh honey but don’t want to expose themselves to live honeybees.

Quotations

“The little bee returns with evening’s gloom, To join her comrades in the braided hive, Where, housed beside their mighty honey-comb, They dream their polity shall long survive.”
(Charles Tennyson Turner)

“Anger seeks its prey, Something to tear with sharp-edged tooth and claw, Likes not to go off hungry, leaving Love To feast on milk and honeycomb at will.”
(George Eliot)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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