The rate of exchange of honey to wax is 6. 25:1 . In other words 6. 25 kg of honey is required to produce 1kg of wax. Therefore it can be seen that the wax within a brood box is equivalent to 10. 3 kg of honey. Feral honeybees, where possible, use new wax comb to rear brood and then reuse the wax comb to store pollen and honey. The practice of framed comb beekeeping has led to brood comb being repeatedly used to rear brood, cells being recycled six or seven times a year and then used similarly over many years.
This is in contrast to the traditional beekeeping in skeps and the Warre hive beekeeping which have, as a fundamental feature, the annual regeneration of new comb for brood rearing. Evolution ensures that natural systems are energy efficient, so we might ask why bees in a natural environment do not so readily reuse brood comb. Brood combs can become reservoirs for pathogens and it appears that honeybees have evolved with behaviour patterns that recognise that the cost of new comb is less than the cost of disease. This could explain why EFB and AFB only became apparent as problems with the introduction of framed comb beekeeping.