Since our bees made some crooked comb, we had cut off that crooked comb, harvested what honey we could from it, and we still had a lot of comb left over.
We needed to melt down the beeswax in the comb so that we could use the wax for candles and other potential crafts. George did some research, and found that it was common to use solar ovens to do this. We had been wanting a solar oven for other reasons so it was a good opportunity to go ahead and build a solar oven!
Once the solar oven was built, we setup the wax purification system. According to George’s research, the way to get the beeswax from the comb and leave behind any impurities was to put the comb on top of a paper towel, which was held over a bowl half filled with water.
Here’s the wax melting setup, ready to go in the solar oven.
As I embark on a candle making adventure, I picked up Candle Making in a Weekend by Sue Spear to pickup some pointers.
This book was a good overview of candlemaking. It had instructions for a wide range of projects. The instructions were simple and easy to understand, plus there were helpful pictures. I feel that if I wanted to make very intricate candles, I would be able to with this book’s instructions.
Initial Rough Setup & Location
If you’ve been following our series on Beekeeping you know that we now have two fully assembled barrel top bar bee hives. We even had them nicely positioned on some left-over pavers from our patio project. As you can see they look pretty good and could be fully functional at this point. But Martha and I couldn’t leave well-enough alone!
Staining Bee Hives
The first addition we wanted to do was add a little finish and protection to the wood components so we used left-over deck stain that we had laying around and stained the wood. We hope this will extend the life of our hives as well as give them a more “finished” look! We have been very pleased with the result and would recommend others stain their wood right after cutting it prior to assembling the hive. Staining ahead of assembly makes it much easier and avoids having to worry about getting stain on the barrel part of the hive. Continue reading
If you are at all like us, when you hear about beekeeping you think little white boxes stacked alongside a field filled with buckets of honey. It turns out those bee hives have a name: Langstroth Hives. They are great for large scale commercial beekeepers, as well as people who want the convenience of a wealth of products and accessories all designed to work with your hive. But did you know there are other options for beekeeping on your homestead?
Langstroth Hives - Source: http://bit.ly/Hpyfa6