Biblical references to wax are apparently to beeswax, a dark-yellow substance that bees use in forming walls of honeycomb cells where they deposit honey or larva. Wax is produced by worker bees, which, after consuming large amounts of honey, manufacture wax in special glands in their abdomens. The wax is excreted through tiny pores and forms as small white flakes on the exterior of the abdomen. The flakes of wax are then transferred to the bee’s mouth, where they are chewed prior to construction use. The bee has control over the production of wax and makes it only when a supply is needed.—See BEE.
The wax is easily separated from the honey by melting it in warm water, which causes the wax to rise to the surface, where it can be skimmed off. The melting of wax is used in poetic Scriptural illustrations to express a distressed condition of the heart (Ps. 22:14), the dissolution of mountains and of plains (Ps. 97:5; Mic. 1:4), and the destruction of God’s enemies, the psalmist exclaiming: “As wax melts because of the fire, let the wicked ones perish from before God.”—Ps. 68:1, 2.