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Bees wax! Lots of bees wax!

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MOGal70

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As a hobby beekeeper I was saddened when I started reading this thread and saw that the hive was destroyed. but the last post makes it worth it!

We started with a "wild" hive in our shed that had to be moved as we were tearing down the shed, we transferred the hive from the barrel they had made their home in to a box and now have 4 hives.

IMHO even if a wild colony is put in a box and left alone without anyone collecting the honey and otherwise "working" them the planet is better off than if the hive is destroyed! That is, of course, providing that it is not an africanized colony as they can be VERY vicious!
 

MirandaH

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As a hobby beekeeper I was saddened when I started reading this thread and saw that the hive was destroyed. but the last post makes it worth it!

We started with a "wild" hive in our shed that had to be moved as we were tearing down the shed, we transferred the hive from the barrel they had made their home in to a box and now have 4 hives.

IMHO even if a wild colony is put in a box and left alone without anyone collecting the honey and otherwise "working" them the planet is better off than if the hive is destroyed! That is, of course, providing that it is not an africanized colony as they can be VERY vicious!
I have known about the bee problem for years and have raised my kids to not kill any bees they see and to just leave them alone. They know all about the bee problems. I am a total tree hugger and it really broke my heart that there was no way to save them, but I certainly was not allowing my husband to throw the trunk in the chipper with those bees still in it. I have learned so much and can't wait to start the classes in Feb.

But more importantly, since there are no bee keepers in the area where my FIL lives, and he was just as fascinated and upset, he has gone forward full force with learning everything he can and has already started buying boxes for his land in SC. He owns more than half of the town (which is very large in size, but not in population.) and has more money, time and land than he knows what to do with. He has gotten together with some other people in town and they are all getting together on his land and planting a huge community garden (like, land as far as you can see in every direction) to grow flowers, food and spices and he is going to speak with the few tree companies within 2 hours driving distance and rescue the bees that he can down there and put them around these gardens. They are all going to grow different things that are beneficial to bees and then harvest and share everything they grew. I really hope he is able to do it and he's not the type to give up easily on something he feels is right.
 

mel z

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Really enjoyed reading this thread and the entire process.

Happy the bees can find homes. I never knew!!!

Wish I had some of that raw honey for the allergy season. Wish I had some of that wax for other bath, body, and crafty goodies.

Hope you guys like to eat the combs too. Dad taught me to do that. You can clean and save for a nice, all natural, honeycomb pattern maker. ;)

I wanna' live with all you guys so we can share and learn together, lol.
 

boyago

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Really enjoyed reading this thread and the entire process.

Happy the bees can find homes. I never knew!!!

Wish I had some of that raw honey for the allergy season. Wish I had some of that wax for other bath, body, and crafty goodies.

Hope you guys like to eat the combs too. Dad taught me to do that. You can clean and save for a nice, all natural, honeycomb pattern maker. ;)

I wanna' live with all you guys so we can share and learn together, lol.
YEAH! SMF cult living co-op! I am very handy. We'll be the best smelling cleanest hippies around.
 

reinbeau

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We won't be doing any rescuing for quite some time, if ever. We are going to take the classes and get our own stuff, and we have checked and the class and registering with the state and following their requirements (notifying them if there a large number die, etc.). We have looked into local bee keeping clubs and have found some in Norfolk and there are a couple of people who are more local that Chesapeake that will do rescues and we have talked to them about what he does and programmed them into our cell phones, so if there are bees at any of his job sites here at home, we have someone to come and take them away.
That's awesome :)

We are in the process of getting the wax taken care of now and have just boiled the pieces for the first time. We ended up with 7 and a half pints of honey that we strained 4 or 5 times and it was beautiful and so yummy. I say way because there isn't much left. Everyone that comes over wants some and we won't eat it all, so we have been giving away pint jars to friends and family that we have seen. You snooze you lose in this case!

I am anxious to see how much wax we will get out of it and how in the world that brown mucky looking stuff turns into pretty beeswax. I am hoping we haven't screwed it up, but we shall see.
You won't.

The easiest way to clean beeswax is to use a double boiler. Put the wax in the top with about an inch of water. Bring the boiler pot to a good hard simmer, and keep an eye on it. Don't let the water all burn out of it. The wax in the top will melt down, you can stir it to help it along.

While the wax is melting, prepare something like an orange juice carton (a waxed paper carton), clean it out, and put a folded piece of cheesecloth or some other filter material across the top. Let it hang a bit into the carton. I used binder clips to hold the filter material in place.

Once it's all melted carefully pour the contents through the cheesecloth into the carton. I used a spoon to press it through before it cooled. Most of the yuck stayed in the cheesecloth, I rolled the cheesecloth up and will use it for firestarters - they work great!

After the wax cools what you'll have is water in the bottom, the wax will be on top, and there will be a layer of slum-gum in the water inbetween. Just tear the carton loose over the sink and cut off any residual yuck from the bottom of the block of wax. If you want you can chop that up and do it again, it'll be even cleaner, although I've always found if I use a thick enough cheesecloth filter it's clean enough.

If you have any questions just ask, I'd be happy to help.
 

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