Friday, July 26, 2013

Caging Queens

So the date I plan to cage my queens this season is around August 10th depending on the weather.  It looks like I will have four out of seven successful colonies this season.  How are your colonies doing? 


  1. She's baaaaack!!! Her Majesty was being shy on last hive check. We gave her a pep talk-hope it works!

    Jill and Carl

  2. My super boxes are getting much heavier. Seems like a lot of honey to me, but there is still plenty of room for more. The bottom brood box has very little activity. They seem to be building wax comb in the top-most boxes first. The queens are laying up there too.

    I discovered a flower the bees really like a lot. I planted mustard just to see what it would do since I never had any before. The plants grow fast and produce gobs of small yellow flowers. The bees spend all morning collecting from these mustard flowers; there is more activity here than anywhere else around the hives. I am wondering if there will be any mustard flavor in the honey.

  3. I'm so happy to hear your queen is found, Jill!
    Thank you for the info about the mustard, Jeff! I would love to taste your honey. Maybe we should arrange a honey tasting this fall.
    Yes, by this time in the season most of the activity is in the upper brood box and the honey supers.

  4. Our hives are doing great! I wonder though, do you have any good book/internet resources for processing wax? I'd like to make a candle or two and we might have enough extra to do it this year.
    -Lili Misel

  5. Hello Lili,

    What I can also do is tell you how we process the wax. We put it in a very large stainless steel bowl and put it in an oven at 220*. When it is completely liquefied, we pour it through a screen to filter out any impurities (over another stainless steel bowl. When it cools, any honey will be trapped in the bottom of the bowl and the wax will be at the top. We tap the wax (drill a hole in it) and pour the heated honey out of the bowl. The completely cooled wax disk comes out of the bowl easiest if its been in the freezer. Then we melt the wax on an as needed basis in a tall, stainless steel cylindrical pitcher. After much experimentation, to make the hand-dipped tapered candles, you need to use a #4 square braid wick. Swan Candles is where we get our supplies - they are wonderful! Using molds works well, too! Just put them in the freezer after pouring hot bees wax into them and you won't need to spray the molds before pouring the wax. The cold really helps to get the candles out of the molds.