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Topic: An afternoon in the beeyard, and subsequent sticky adventures  (Read 14444 times)
Tags for this thread: bee_keeping , bee , craftster_best_of_2009 , beeswax  Add new tag
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2009 02:56:16 PM »

When you render the wax: put the cappings, combs, whatever/wax in a pair of panty hose.  Have someone hold them open and glop it all in there THEN cook it in a pot of water.   The ickies will stay in the hose and wax will melt out into the water. 

HOLY CRAP THAT IS GENIUS! Cheesy thank you so much for sharing that tip! we were actually going to try panty hose for the second filtering (instead of cheese cloth) but your idea is really smart! definitely trying that next time ^_^

hmm, as for the boiling... i don't really know, it looks exactly the same as it did before to me. I saw boiling as a method of rendering a bunch of places on the net, so it never occurred to me that it'd be a problem. I'm not that concerned anyway if it darkens a bit, its still beautiful Smiley
as for bubbles, I'll check tonight and let you know, but i'll be remelting it anyways to pour into containers so I imagine since i'm only melting it this time, not boiling it, bubbles will probably not be a problem. and for my purposes, either collage/encaustic or in beauty products, it'll have to be melted yet again. maybe it'd be more of a worry if i was selling the bricks, but i don't think i'll be getting enough wax that i'll need to sell it in that form. does that make sense?

its my first time trying to render the wax so its definately a learning process! we had a nasty boil over last night when we left the room for a minute - temperamental stuff!

Yer welcome!  We bee people need to "stick" together!!  Grin brwahahah!  I crack myself up! 

Yeah, I'm new at the rendering thing too.  So how bad was that mess from that boil over?  Yikes!    Shocked

You have read that the wax can cause a flash fire if it gets too hot, right?  If it gets over something like 400 degrees or something.   Double yikes!

Due to the possible mess and danger of it I've been doing all my rendering outside. I'm kind of a lazy weenie and would rather not have to deal with in the house.   Wink  I've been using a little hot plate to cook it on.

Yeah, I won't be getting a huge amount of wax either....so maybe the boiled bubbles won't be an issue.  I know I talked to a lady who makes poured candles and she stressed not boiling it because of the bubbles for pouring.... 

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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2009 03:23:11 PM »

wow. this is so very amazing. i loooooove honey and only buy raw, this must be heaven. not to mention the beautiful smells of the wax
i have a couple of questions for you!

first question!
being a tree hugging hippy (vegetarian) i'm curious about the bee parts that get into the wax/honey/caps and how that works exactly. I've read about happy hippy beekeepers that make sure to gather honey and wax without harming any bees..but this seems unlikely. Don't get me wrong, i'm not vegan and not too worried about it, but for my own curiosity..what level of carnage might i have to deal with if i were interested in this? i mean, i assumed that you smoke them away, and gather the frames, and clean them out, and you know, the bees go back to getting on with things. but it seems maybe they really get protective of their stash, and you might have quite a lot of casualties?

i kind of feel like my view of beekeeping and honey gathering is at the level of winnie the pooh, and would like a bit of reality to inject

second question!

can i see some of your encaustic work??  Cheesy it must be amazing to supply your own wax! and the smell would be wonderful.

SO and I are hopefully relocating to a rural location in the near future, I kind of have a nagging itch/driving need to do earthy and rural things (i grew up on the prairies, maybe it's hardwired) so this could be neat


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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2009 03:35:01 PM »

Wow that's so cool. I've always wanted bees, but alas I live in an apartment.

Oh, and to answer the post above, I'm pretty sure that it's fairly 'humane'. After all, you wouldn't want too many bees to die, cause you need them to make honey. Also keeping bees is really excellent because they're pollinators and there numbers world wide have been decreasing.

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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2009 03:44:26 PM »

Wow that's so cool. I've always wanted bees, but alas I live in an apartment.

Oh, and to answer the post above, I'm pretty sure that it's fairly 'humane'. After all, you wouldn't want too many bees to die, cause you need them to make honey. Also keeping bees is really excellent because they're pollinators and there numbers world wide have been decreasing.

oh yea for sure, i have heard about the bee decline and it's so sad.

i do think that personal bee keeping is probably as humane as the person doing it is, i just wonder..i mean what it's really actually like when dealing with the bees while harvesting, do they really get in the way and get caught up frequently? are the 'bee parts' from the cocoons mostly? i mean, is it one straggler you feel bad for here and there? i hope i'm making sense

i edited because i was on the phone, and realized my 'clarification' didn't make much sense
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009 04:01:42 PM by iamdolleyes » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2009 04:59:25 PM »

I am so incredibly jealous of you and your bees. I had several hives as a teen and miss them terribly.
And that is beautiful honey!
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2009 05:14:53 PM »

Fabulous post! I'd love to keep bees one day.
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2009 05:41:06 PM »

 Grin Yea for bees! Great post - lovely honey looks fantastic!!

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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2009 06:35:39 PM »

Ooooh.  I love honey, but I'm TERRIFIED of bees.  Plus I doubt I have the space for it (quarter acre suburban lot) but all the same, I'm very jealous of your bounty! 

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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2009 06:36:36 PM »

Ah! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!!! Really! Truly!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2009 06:31:57 AM »

Great post, lovely project! So what happened that it was so sudden- you just checked the hive and discovered W-A-A-Y more honey than you expected?

Here is my answer to the vegetarian issue.  When you harvest, most people use an "escape" which is a device that lets the bees out, but not back in, from that particular honey super (the wooden box).  So they fly or crawl out, and then can't get back in to that section- you leave the escape in place for a day or so, then pull the honey and comb out, fairly bee-free.  Beekeepers use a "bee brush" to gently brush off stragglers.  I also use a brush to get them off edges and covers when I am reassembling my hive after getting in to take a look around. I don't think smoking them harms them at all. That said- there are often, despite my best efforts, a small number of casualties.  I may acidentally smoosh someone, or get one too covered in honey when I am checking a frame.  More experienced beekeepers may be able to avoid this, but I can't imagine anyone can guarantee that their beekeeping is totally 100% free of injury or casualty to all bees.  In the aggregate, though, I feel they live pretty excellent lives and that it is a pretty humane business.  I feel terrible about the bees that I kill, but I also know that far more probably get snatched by birds in a given day...and bees carry all their deceased sisters out the front of the hive, where they also get eaten up by critters.  Human management of bees comes with so many benefits to the environement that it seems worth it to me- and there is almost no waste in beekeeping, as this post shows so excellently!
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