Fall Clean Up

Corn Crib Lean-To

Bees clean things first.

Like always post honey harvest equipment was in needed of attention. The first order of business was to get everything wet with honey / nectar residue dry. I freeze and store my extracted supers every year. This has presented a problem in the past because they must be dry before placing them into a plastic bag. The results of not doing so are moldy, fermented, stinking mess.  The drawn comb in honey supers is very valuable.  I like to have equipment close enough to monitor, yet far enough away from my hives that it doesn’t set off robbing Armageddon.

Previously I always had bees where I lived, but not this year. Last winter saw to the end of all 4 swarms that were placed at the new homestead. Therefore I gave the neighborhood ferals and hive-kept bees alike a shot at cleaning up for me.

A mornings scrapings.

A mornings propolis scrapings.

Now that everything is dry I have been scraping propolis and wax from frames and boxes. This has been made easier by the cool morning temps. It is much easier to scrape propolis when it is cold and brittle. The wax will be put into the melting can.  As for the propolis, in a future post I will be talking about the plans for it. There’s quite a bit of it around so I need to start researching a way to get rid of it profitably.

Getting the freezer treatment.

Getting the freezer treatment.

Once each frame and super is scraped it is time for a 48 hour shift in the freezer to kill wax moths, larvae, and eggs as well as anything else living in there. This year thanks to my good buddy Mike, I have a freezer solely dedicated to this task.  It is making me a lot more popular with my wife than other years.  Previously I was bringing bagged supers into the house and freezing them right next to the food in our deepfreeze.  Glad I don’t have to do that anymore.  For winter the supers will be stored in a mouse free building.

Soon it will be time for winter activities.

Are you prepared for winter?
Are you saving your propolis?
What are you doing with it?


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5 Responses to Fall Clean Up

  1. J. Morgan says:

    I saved propolis for a while but finally ditched it. One day, I will look in to it more to see what can be done. I have found however, that I’m allergic to it. It’s the only reason I have to wear gloves now. When I get it on my fingers, I break out like a case of poison ivy. I’ve tested this this again to confirm by waiting until I was all cleared up, then removed the gloves to work the hives one day. I broke out again that evening. Even happens if I get it off my fingers right away. I had eczema when I was a kid and maybe I’m just a sensitive bloke.

    • Jason says:

      You are the first person I have ever known to be sensitive to it like that. I wonder what component you are allerigic to and whether you would be allergic to propolis from another geographic location….

      You would make a good test subject for the determination of potency of my 10%, 20%, and 30% extracts. 🙂 Just kidding. If you have some propoolis you are looking to get rid of drop me a line. Mike B. gave me quite a bit of the bright-orange-shiney kind.

      Its strange, you begin looking at propolis closely you see a lot of variation in appearance and texture.

  2. J. Morgan says:

    No doubt man. I plan to check again maybe next season. I have thought long and hard about other things I may have had my hands in to. I could have wrecked them from years of winemaking. I have my hands in the must a lot at different points in time but have been wearing nitrile gloves more recetly just to keep the acidity off. I really don’t want to believe I’m allergic to propolis, but what else could be in the hive that may do it? Time will tell. I am trying to be objective in the matter.

    • Jason says:

      I don’t normally have my hands in the wine that much, but they still get stained. Especially with something like blackberry. I’m going to be talking about some blackberry mead I made sometime this week using uncapped nectar.

      Ever work walnuts without gloves on? I did. I was unaware at just how good a stain that stuff was. I had to wear white cotton IV-Room gloves around work for weeks afterwards. I looked like an auto-mechanic.

      We can be allergic to anything and what we call propolis is a complex substance with all many ingredients making it up. You could be allergic. How much honey do you consume? I know mine has small pieces of propolis just suspended in it sometimes. It takes a long time for it all to make it to the top. I just eat it.
      That’s a bummer man.

      • J. Morgan says:

        Ha! Oh yeah… walnuts. I have been through the same experience as you. Last time I did – http://www.allmorgan.com/harvesting-and-processing-black-walnuts/ – I did use gloves, and they broke, and I still got a good staining. Know exactly what you mean.

        BTW, I also did make a furniture stain out it and used it on a project. The stain on a light wood is beautiful.

        As for honey, we consume a ton of it. I’d like to think that maybe the propolis that I broke out from had something in it that I wasn’t familiar with. That’s why I was thinking of trying again next year, and seeing the affect. Maybe it was just something unique they brought in once.

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