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General Discussion>New Hobby: Bee Keeping
Mikepd 06:59 PM 08-12-2019
Originally Posted by massphatness:
Pulled the honey supers over the weekend and had them extracted today.

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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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massphatness 12:47 AM 08-13-2019
Originally Posted by Mikepd:
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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8lug 07:12 AM 08-13-2019
wow
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Mikepd 09:53 AM 08-13-2019
Originally Posted by massphatness:
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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IBQTEE1 02:49 PM 08-14-2019
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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massphatness 06:03 PM 08-14-2019
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A bit darker than I was expecting, but still super delicious :-)
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IBQTEE1 01:54 PM 08-16-2019
Originally Posted by massphatness:
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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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massphatness 10:07 AM 08-17-2019
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.

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

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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.

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

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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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massphatness 08:18 AM 08-18-2019
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.

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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.

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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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massphatness 08:29 AM 08-18-2019
What passes through the cheese cloth is the wax and the honey that remained stuck to it.

Looks like a dirty mess at first

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

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

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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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markem 08:49 AM 08-18-2019
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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massphatness 04:43 AM 08-19-2019
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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stearns 08:29 AM 08-19-2019
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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icehog3 08:55 AM 08-20-2019
I guess you really do mind your own beeswax. :-)
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AdamJoshua 05:10 PM 08-20-2019
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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Conch Republican 06:50 AM 08-22-2019
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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