# Honeycomb

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609865.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:50 am

Here’s a quite interesting thing about honeycomb

 Quote: Honey bees consume about 8.4 pounds of honey to secrete one pound of wax, so it makes economic sense to return the wax to the hive after harvesting the honey, commonly called "pulling honey" or "robbing the bees" by beekeepers.

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Honeycomb

and here are a couple of other sorts of honeycomb

 Quote: The tetrahedral-octahedral honeycomb or alternated cubic honeycomb is a space-filling tessellation (or honeycomb) in Euclidean 3-space. It is comprised of alternating octahedra and tetrahedra* in a ratio of 1:2. It is vertex-transitive with 8 tetrahedra and 6 octahedra around each vertex. It is edge-transitive with 2 tetrahedra and 2 octahedra alternating on each edge. It is part of an infinite family of uniform tessellations called alternated hypercubic honeycombs, formed as an alternation of a hypercubic honeycomb and being composed of demihypercube and cross-polytope facets.
 Quote: Honeycomb Recipe 225g (8oz) Sugar 300ml (½ pint) Cold Water 1 tbsp Golden Syrup 1 tsp Warm Water ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda ½ tsp Cream of Tartar Place the sugar, water, golden syrup and cream of tartar into a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Boil the mixture without stirring, to a temperature of 154°C (310°F). Remove from the heat to prevent further cooking. Quickly mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warm water and add to the sugar mixture, stirring gently. Pour the mixture into a 18cm by 28cm (7inch by 11 inch) non-stick baking tray to a depth of at least 2.5cm (1 inch). Allow to cool for a few minutes before marking into bars or squares. Eat as soon as cool, as if kept it becomes soft and sticky.

 609869.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:54 am Cel - is that the recipe where it all froths up and over the pan causing a very sticky mess on top of the cooker? Very nice though.

 609878.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:59 am Bee hives are home to a number of other insects. The larvae of members of the galleriinae sub-family of pyralidae moths (e.g. Bee Moth Aphomia sociella (L.) and Wax Moth Galleria mellonella (L.)) live on the honeycomb. http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?id=1331 http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?id=1340

 609881.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:04 am My son has been reading about bees and wondered if a bee sting (being acid) could be neutralised by a wasp sting (being alkali). I know in theory that this is the case, but he was wondering whether it would actually be possible to do it with stings. Short of doing an experiment that would be cruel to his little sister, a bee and a wasp, does anyone know if this is possible? I don't know enough about how the sting mechanism for each works.

609902.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:39 am

 bemahan wrote: Cel - is that the recipe where it all froths up and over the pan causing a very sticky mess on top of the cooker? Very nice though.

Yes. Probably depends on how much bicarb you put in.

I wouldn't have thought treating any sting with yet another toxin was a good idea, not to mention the actual stinging part.

 Quote: Apitoxin, or honey bee venom, is a bitter colorless liquid. The active portion of the venom is a complex mixture of proteins, which causes local inflammation and acts as an anticoagulant. The venom is produced in the abdomen of worker bees from a mixture of acidic and basic secretions. Apitoxin is acidic (pH 4.5 to 5.5).
 Quote: The venom from the sting of a European wasp contains several toxins. The principal component of venom is a protein — it is the protein that may cause a hypersensitive or allergic reaction in some people. Several different proteins have been demonstrated in wasp venom, the total number and relative proportions vary among the different genera. Other components of venom include an acetylcholine-like substance, histamine, serotonin, and kinin. Kinins are peptides that cause slow contractions of isloated smooth muscle, lower arterial blood pressure, and increase capillary permeability.
 Quote: Bee stings and most wasp stings include formic acid, so the pH is acid. However, the portal of entry of the injected toxin is so small that an application of baking soda or the like is likely to be ineffective.

 609909.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:47 am While it's true that bee stings are alkali and wasp stings are acidic, they contain such tiny amounts of venom that the pH isn't really relevant. Adding vinegar/bicarbonate in any noticalbe volume would swamp the tiny effect of the sting. They do make handy placebos though, and vinegar is also a disinfectant.

609960.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:32 am

 bemahan wrote: if a bee sting (being acid) could be neutralised by a wasp sting (being alkali).

 ColinM wrote: it's true that bee stings are alkali and wasp stings are acidic

 610010.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:57 am Never! I demand the right to remain indecisive until I decide otherwise. Maybe. I also demand the right to get muddled up and say entirely the wrong thing. Because if I'm going to do it anyway I may as well have a right to it.

 610021.  Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:46 am Although I now know that the amount in each sting is such that applying vinegar/bicarb is a bit pointless, this is one way of remembering which sting is acid and which alkali: Winegar for wasps Bicarb for bees Works as long as you know your chemistry!

610338.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:34 am

 Quote: Contrary to popular belief a wasp sting has a pH of 6.8 to 6.9 so is neutral NOT acidic, therefore the application of an alkali will do no good.

http://www.keele.ac.uk/university/arboretum/articles/wasps.htm

pH6.8 is acidic in fact, but only very slightly. As I mentioned in a previous post both bee and wasp stings are acidic.

 610343.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:46 am Hold on while I try to get a wasp to sting some litmus paper....

610356.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:29 am

You've been beaten to that thought I'm afraid!

 Quote: How Do You Check The pH Of A Wasp Or Bee Sting? Although the following answer could be considered cruel to the insects used it is probably the best way to set about it. You would firstly require several wasps, squeezing the sternum should release the venom through the sting. When you have a sufficient amount of the venom you can test the pH as you would any other liquid, by using either litmus paper, universal indicator, or an electronic pH reader. You should find the wasp sting is about pH 6.8-6.9 and bee stings are about pH 5.0-5.5.

610363.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:43 am

 Celebaelin wrote: As I mentioned in a previous post both bee and wasp stings are acidic.

I stand even more corrected.

610379.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:49 am

ColinM wrote:
 Celebaelin wrote: As I mentioned in a previous post both bee and wasp stings are acidic.

I stand even more corrected.

Me too. Bit sad as it means the book my friend gave my son is wrong which makes me doubt every last bit of information in it :(

 610385.  Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:11 am I don't think there are many books that don't contain a few mistakes.

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