La famosa cera d’api…ma la conosci davvero cosí bene?

La cera d’api. La senti spesso e volentieri anche tu? Ma cera d’api che vuol dire? Che é fatta dalle api? No vabe non ci credo, tra le millemila cose che fanno, producono anche la cera? Non puó essere! …O forse sí?

Giá, la cera d’api é fatta proprio dalle api

Per quanto riguarda i prodotti delle api, finora abbiamo parlato principalmente di miele. Tuttavia, non producono solo quello. Tra le varie faccende di cui le apine (laboriose, ma davvero!) si occupano, c’é anche la produzione di cera. E fa attenzione, non é un materiale di scarto, un qualcosa che viene prodotto che manco se ne rendono conto, no no…la cera é fondamentale per le api! E facci caso: spesso la si sente nominare, ma in pochi la conoscono bene…ho avuto modo di approfondire l’argomento attraverso i vari manuali letti e alcuni webinar molto interessanti. Ora mi é decisamente tutto molto piú chiaro, e devo dire che…mamma mia quante cose non sapevo!

Vediamo un po’ le caratteristiche generali della cera d’api

Per quanto riguarda il colore, generalmente é gialla, tuttavia puó variare dal bianco al marrone. Ció dipende da diversi fattori: da quanto é ‘vecchia’, da ció con cui entra in contatto nell’alveare,…Mentre la consistenza é solida, quasi untuosa e dopo un po’ che la si tiene in mano diventa malleabile. Ha un odore che io personalmente adoro, buonissimo! Ricorda un po’ quello del miele. Non galleggia e non si mescola con l’acqua. Ha una temperatura di fusione di circa 61/ 66 gradi.

Ma da dove viene??

Rullo di tamburi: viene proprio prodotta dalle api! É un prodotto totalmente di origine animale. L’ape ha delle apposite ghiandole (dette ciripare, ovvero le ghiandole della cera). Queste entrano in funzione dal decimo al diciottesimo giorno di vita dell’ape, poi tendono a ridimensionarsi. La cera viene prodotta da queste ghiandole e, sotto forma di goccioline, fuoriesce dai segmenti dell’addome. Non appena a contatto con l’aria si trasforma in scagliette solide che l’ape poi lavora con le sue mandibole, arricchendola con polline e propoli (giá che ci siamo, jamme ja!)

Ma le api che ci fanno con la cera d’api?

Quanta fatica fare la cera! Ma in termini di dispendio energetico…? Se consideri che per un grammo di cera, l’ape deve consumare 6/7 chili di miele, beh deve proprio servirle se no farebbe volentieri a meno! Questo é anche il motivo per il quale quando sciamano, si portano via anche una bella quantitá di miele! Non gli serve solo come mera fonte di cibo, ma é un vero e proprio carburante energetico per produrre la cera di cui hanno tanto bisogno…ma bisogno per cosa? Se giá per esempio ci metti i fogli cerei, cosa ci devono fare loro con la cera? Vero, nell’apicoltura razionale si usano i fogli cerei, ma sono appunto ‘fogli’. L’ape ha bisogno di un alveolo dove immagazzinare propoli, polline, nettare, o dove lasciar deporre le uova alla regina. Il foglio é una base che dá l’input sul dove iniziare, ma poi manca tutta la struttura e lí ne serve ancora tanta di cera.

Quindi sono i loro ‘mattoncini’?

Il favo in cera d'api pura al 100%
La perfezione delle cellette del favo

Esatto! Vedi il favo come una casa. Se ci metti il foglio cereo gli dai giá delle fondamenta, se no ci penseranno loro. E una scaglietta di cera d’api é un piccolo mattoncino che va a formare infine il favo. Ogni singola ape con le ghiandole ciripare attive porta il suo mattoncino e contribuisce nel costruire il tutto. Come sempre, c’é un equilibrio e una perfezione meravigliosa che danno vita a una vera e propria opera d’arte! Se vedi un favo da vicino, appassionata o meno, non puoi che rimanerne affascinato. Dal profumo, dai colori, dalla precisione delle sue cellette esagonali. Un nido di vespa ad esempio é molto diverso: é piú grezzo, rudimentale e non é fatto di cera. La vespa cerca resti di legno e, mettendoli insieme con la sua saliva, pian piano costruisce il suo nido. I favi delle api sono frutto di un animale sociale con alle spalle un’evoluzione di un certo tipo, sicuramente hanno avuto un percorso evolutivo mille spanne piú in alto rispetto a quello delle vespe (senza offesa eh).

Affascinante…

…trovi anche tu? E la temperatura del favo, quella per cui si sbattono tutto l’anno per termoregolarla é esattamente la temperatura necessaria per rendere la cera malleabile abbastanza da poterla lavorare senza troppi problemi. I cilindri costruiti diventano esagonali attraverso le forze esercitate una accanto all’altra. Altra cosa spettacolare: lo spessore di tutte le cellette del favo é sempre uguale (0,07 mm). Ma quanto sono forti??

Hai capito perché la cera d’api é cosí importante?

É fondamentale per creare il luogo in cui si svilupperá la famiglia. Con questo vero e proprio materiale da costruzione, non solo costruiscono il loro nido e dispensa di sostentamento. Come non solo? Eh no, proprio per la sua composizione, le vibrazioni e i feromoni circolano agevolmente pertanto é perfetta per il flusso di informazioni tra le varie apine. Inoltre, é sicuramente una prima linea di difesa contro agenti patogeni dato che contiene anche della propoli che ha modo quindi di esercitare la sua funzione antibatterica.


Pensa te cosa ci sta dietro la cera d’api! Pensa te quante meraviglie possono compiere queste creaturine! La natura, il suo equilibrio e la sua perfezione. Quanto ne sapevi di cera d’api prima di leggere questo articolo? Ci piacerebbe leggere un tuo commento qui sotto, dicci tutto! 🙂

Un abbraccio,

i Gaeblini

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  68. Wow! Che bellissimo articolo!🥰🤩
    Non sapevo profumasse come il miele e che ci fosse anche la propoli per evitare agenti patogeni!🤩
    E poi vogliamo parlare della dimensione di 0.07 mm di spessore di ogni celletta? Fantastiche!
    Un’altra cosa che ho imparato? Tutto praticamente!
    Ma altra cosa di cui sono rimasta stupita è che tra le cellette si passano informazioni 🥰
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    Complimenti ancora per l’articolo!❤️

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