Melting Wax

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.

The beginnings of my box-of-wax.

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.

Wax melter on the inside of the greenhouse.

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.

Large chunk from a rotten stump being dried in the greenhouse.

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”?

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6 Responses to Melting Wax

  1. Mil says:

    Is your wax melter homemade or bought? We made one last year, and even though it doesn’t really get hot here, it works great.

    Has Holly made any candles?

    Has your computer been sorted out? I hope you didn’t have to spend hours on the phone with customer service.

    I’ve been weeding, fixing up my newly hosted website, and geocaching!

    • Jason says:

      I bought it, but was stupid to do so. It was so simple I could have made it and saved a bunch of money.

      Holly has NOT made candles yet. That is going to be something we work on after this heat-wave summer is over.

      I have the computer sorted out for the most part. I am still dealing with a couple of issues. This is my first time having Linux as my primary OS around the house. I have messed with it before, but this time I jumped right in. In another week or so I will get it ironed out. This time no hours with customer service. I have however spent hours and hours and hours on it. 🙂

      Geocaching is something that I have heard about on some different podcasts. It sounds fun. How long you been doing it?

  2. Mil says:

    Ick, spending hours and hours with customer service. I think I would rather watch paint dry! 🙂

    Everyone has been having strange weather. I heard in England it’s raining cats, dogs, and everything else.

    I’ve been geocaching for over a year. It’s really fun; I just got over 1300 finds. To me, it’s like being a kid again.

    • Jason says:

      Ah well all of the customver service crap is over, and I must say Amazon returned my money much to my surprise. It was a hassle, but at least I can put it behind me now and focus on getting ready for honey extraction.

      The last time I remember the summer being this bad was 1988. I don’t think it was quite as bad as this year. I am just hoping for one to two good rains before the end of July. I think if it does the white clover will explode again. That will give the girls something to do besides chase anyone around who might have a little water on or near them. The chicken waterers are coverd with bees as well as the dog bowl. The area around the garden hose is not a place to go if bees make you nervous.

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