Not much has been happening around here lately at least on MY part. The Bees have been working, but I haven’t had any occupied traps for three or four weeks. Almost all of the hives are currently either building up or filling honey supers. Other activities such as weeding the garden, canning, messing with the chickens, and organizing my junk have been keeping me busy.
One thing I have been up to is melting wax. Several weeks ago I bought 20 used deep supers. All of the boxes had 8-10 frames with old comb in them. I’m not going to use any of the comb in hives since I know nothing about where it came from. I decided to melt it down just to see how much of it I could scrounge up.
The wax keeps piling up in the box and I still have a lot of frames to go. Holly has been wanting to experiment with candle making. It is amazing (to me at least) that in the morning I can load the melter up and in the afternoon I have a pan with wax in it.
The solar melter started getting some use around here last year. Its efficiency has been greatly increased by placing it inside the greenhouse these past few weeks. The greenhouse was a freebie that I got in exchange for removing it from a co-workers house. It took me two years to get it put all back together, but was worth the wait. It was very useful early in the gardening season, but the weather now has made it too hot for growing purposes. Inside it gets to at least 120F, and the inside of the melter gets even hotter. I say at least 120F because that is as high as the thermometer will register in there and the needle goes further past the mark.
Along with wax melting the greenhouse is also a great place for drying smoker fuel. I have been using old rotten maple from a stump in the back yard all year as fuel. It lights easily, stays lit, and puts off a fairly cool smoke. My main attraction is that it is free. Once dried the large chunks are just ripped apart and stored in a five gallon bucket.
Along with getting over my computer woes that’s what I’ve been up to. There were rains in the area on Friday 6/29. It was fairly spotty, but some trap locations received substation precipitation. There is a chance that some swarm traps will get occupied as a result. I would really like to pick up a couple more before the second week of July. I will keep you posted.
What are some activities on your list during “bee downtime”?