My Honeybees

Backyard Beekeeping


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Swarm trap

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Last weekend I made a swarm trap to try to get some more honeybees. I used an old bee box and added a bottom to it. I used mill ends of cedar for the bottom and a new top. Some of the instructions I found on the Internet suggested painting it a dark color and all I had was a dark purple.

I used lemongrass essential oil as swarm bait. I put a few drops on a paper towel in the bottom of the box. There are only 4 drawn frame of comb in the box. On the tops of the frames I put a swarm bait paste I made. It is made of olive oil, bees wax and lemongrass oil. I made the paste the same way I make lip balm.

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Fall Hive Inspection – Lots of flowers are still in bloom

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I checked on one of the hives today and they have lots of honey stores for the winter. The honeybees were quite active today. They were out collecting pollen and nectar on the flowers that are still in bloom. It is a beautiful and sunny day here. Although it has been getting below freezing at night. I will have to winterize the hives soon.


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Honey Extraction and Wax Rendering

Over the past two weekends we have extracted honey from the beehives. We extracted four supers of honey-yielding about 10 gallons of honey. After rendering the wax cappings we had 26 oz of beeswax.

To render the beeswax I use a crock pot.

Rendering the wax  was is done by melt the cappings in a crock pot on low heat with water. I let the wax melt and then skim out the debris from the surface of the wax with a wire strainer. The crock pot is then turned off and the wax hardens on top of the water.

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The wax comes out of the crock pot in disks.

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Here I put the debris in a cup for you to see. It contains propolis, bee parts and pollen,

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Repeat the rendering process to further clean the wax by braking up the disks and placing in a nylon sock.

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Once the wax has melted the remove the nylon sock and then turn off the crock pot. The sock captures all the debris that was not removed before.

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This process can be repeated until the wax is clean.