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Old 08-12-2019, 07:59 PM   #461
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Originally Posted by massphatness View Post
Pulled the honey supers over the weekend and had them extracted today.



That's more than we got all last year!

If the weather cooperates, we'll have more on the way in 5 or 6 weeks.

Also got a fair amount of wax to melt down.

Almost 78# from one extraction, looks like those ladies are really working well for only being on your 3rd year! I'm guessing you didn't have much die off during last winter? Also how many frames did you spin on this extraction?

Great Work!
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:47 AM   #462
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Almost 78# from one extraction, looks like those ladies are really working well for only being on your 3rd year! I'm guessing you didn't have much die off during last winter? Also how many frames did you spin on this extraction?

Great Work!

Thanks -- this hive is brand new bees as we failed (again) to overwinter. They had a huge head start though since they didn't have to make much comb.

We're ecstatic with the results so far but a little anxious too knowing that there's still more to come later in the season.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:12 AM   #463
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 AM   #464
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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Thanks -- this hive is brand new bees as we failed (again) to overwinter. They had a huge head start though since they didn't have to make much comb.

We're ecstatic with the results so far but a little anxious too knowing that there's still more to come later in the season.
Vin sorry to hear that you keep experiencing severe winter loss. Do you know why they aren't making it through winter, is it the cold, mites, starvation, or other damage? Glad to see this brood working out and hopefully you can find success through this coming winter after your second harvest.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:49 PM   #465
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Congrats on making a new record. That has to be exciting.

Sorry about those beetches from last year didn't make it.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:03 PM   #466
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping



A bit darker than I was expecting, but still super delicious
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:54 PM   #467
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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A bit darker than I was expecting, but still super delicious
Once you go darker... wait what!! LOL

Looks good.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:07 AM   #468
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Trying to render some of the wax that we had the people doing the extraction save for us.

Got a good sized colander full of wax cappings that I rinsed as best I could to get the excess honey out. This weighs about 8-10 lbs but the wax won't weigh nearly that much.




Put some of it in the solar melter I made last year




The results were meh -- too much detritus made it's way through the paper towel filter. You can also see a little bit of honey in there -- no issue: it rinses right off.




But it did trap a lot of the gunk ...



I still have loads of wax, and I'm going to try to use a different rendering method using a double boiler. I just need to find a double boiler Grace won't mind parting with because anything the wax touches can no longer be used for food prep. Not 100% sure why, but that's what the internet says, so it's clearly gospel.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:18 AM   #469
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Wax Rendering Redux: Double Boiler Method

Mickey Moused a double boiler out of a couple mis-matched pans, and melted a good amount of the wax down.









The solids in the last pic did break up somewhat.

Cut the top off a creamer carton and covered the opening with cheese cloth I doubled up to catch the impurities.



Then strained the melted wax through the cheese cloth. The junk that's too big to pass through are bee parts, propolis and other non-wax impurities.

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Old 08-18-2019, 09:29 AM   #470
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

What passes through the cheese cloth is the wax and the honey that remained stuck to it.

Looks like a dirty mess at first



But as the liquid cools, the heavier honey & any impurities sink to the bottom, while the wax rises to the top and solidifies.



Cutting away the container, and rinsing the residual honey on the bottom of the solidified wax, I'm left with this:



Going to add that to my stash of beeswax from last year, and with the remaining wax I still have left to render, we might be able to get a couple beeswax candles out of it.

Interesting tid-bit I found while researching the various wax rendering methods: the wax cappings I started with are only about 13% actual wax. The rest is the honey and other impurities which is why starting with so much wax is needed to yield any decent amount of pure wax.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #471
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Wow! The second rendering really got out a lot, Vin. Have you made any candles yet or are you still collecting wax?
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:43 AM   #472
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Still collecting wax. No idea how to make candles, or anything really. That's next up on the reading list. Although, grace was saying she might want to try making lip balm.

My house smells nicely of warm honey throughout.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:29 AM   #473
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Very cool walkthrough of the process, thanks for all the pictures. Very curious to see the final products of the wax
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:55 AM   #474
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

I guess you really do mind your own beeswax.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:10 PM   #475
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

That's very cool indeed! I like how calmly you said "or bee parts", at least i imagined it being said calmly but yah at risk of sounding foolish... ew.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:50 AM   #476
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Cool stuff to read about. My neighbor and I talked about a hive - or at least starting with 1 of those hanging housing things to promote more bees/pollination of our gardens
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:22 AM   #477
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Very cool Vinny.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:01 PM   #478
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

Massphatness, can you save the propolis or is it a pain trying to render it out?
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:07 AM   #479
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

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can you save the propolis
Not sure on this one. I don't know that I would have a use for it or if the bees can re-purpose it. The stuff is literally like cement. It's made from sap and other sticky compounds, and I think mixed with beeswax. The result is a glue that's pretty tough.

I did put the cheese cloth strainers I used during the wax rendering out by the hive. I had read that the bees will clean them up and take whatever they can from it. And they did! The cheese cloth that I had originally used to wrap up the wax was sticky with honey. A few days out by the hive and there was nothing but bits of dried up wax on it. I should have grabbed a photo. At one point, there must have a few hundred bees on working away on it.

Once the bees were done with the cheese cloth, I rolled them up and used them as a fire starter in our fire pit this past weekend. Beeswax & propolis are super flammable, and make a great fire starter.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:50 AM   #480
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Default Re: New Hobby: Bee Keeping

I have heard the propolis is good for you/things.

https://www.healthline.com/health/pr...ancient-healer
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