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bees in the woods

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bees in the woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:55 am

lots of woodland owners seem to make a few quid from producing stuff from their woodland, and as much as the idea of making items from wood appealed to me, and I did a few, I'm not skilled enough in woodwork to make a decent profit from it, but with bees, well, they do all the work

having only putting the hives at our woods this year, I never expected a crop of honey until 2015, yet the bees proved me wrong and collected an abundance of pollen and worked there socks off, so not only did we get some honey, but enough of it so we can sell some, our local county show is next month, and our bee club has a stall every year, if we volunteer to mann it for the day, then we can sell our produce from it

so, a bit like old Hugh using every bit of the pig that he's going to cook, I use every bit of the bees hard work

first we take cut comb

Image

then, the little bits left are used to make chunky honey

Image

and then, anything too small to use, is crushed and the wax melted and strained, and we make these

Image

as I keep bees at home also, it's amazing to see the difference between the two areas, here's two jars, the one on the left is our Kent woodland honey,

Image

so, seems I am producing something from the woods after all, looking forward to next year and hopefully more bees and more hives
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby smojo » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:12 pm

That's really cool. Looks great. I have considered eventually inviting a beekeeper to put some bees in my wood. I tentatively enquired at the society showing at the Great Yorkshire Show but he said most keepers he knew had a surplus of offers from people. I don't have the time or wherewithal to learn yet another new skill and get all the gear otherwise I would have liked to have my own too.
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Bearwood » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:45 pm

It has been a bountiful year. I (with little experience) entered this year with one hive, and exited with three. 132lbs of honey and 12lbs of refined wax. All going great guns into the Winter. Time is the biggest requirement for bees in my limited knowledge; time to inspect, extract, process, refine, jar, prepare etc...
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:15 pm

Bearwood wrote: time to extract, process, refine, jar, prepare etc...


my reason for going down the cut comb route, having extracted around 77lb, which took a good 12 hours from start to finished, and left SWMBO moaning at me that everything in the kitchen was sticky, I can process around 30lb in 1 hour, and as your selling the wax also, it's around double the return on a super compared to jars of honey
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Bearwood » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:24 am

It's the wax I'm after ;)
I just wish they'd fill the comb with the stuff!
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:02 pm

are you a polish or balm or candle maker then bearwood?

fancy having a go at making some polishes and balms
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Bearwood » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:45 pm

Balms and candles in part, but I use the wax to douse leather tankards. Warm leather consumes a hellish volume of wax in order to make a vessel watertight.
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:07 pm

perhaps you could give me some pointers on balms, all I've heard some far is to use olive oil as the base mix? is that correct or is there better ways?
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:10 pm

this lot is from the hives in my garden rather than the woods, but still had a good crop from them, one super went into the crush and strain bucket, the other was for this

http://youtu.be/wdmNLMm7zXY
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Re: bees in the woods

Postby Bearwood » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:52 am

I'm not a fan of using olive oil as it doesn't seem to absorb as well as almond oil, which is what I use for mine. A good hand cream/balm recipe is;

60g beeswax,
250 ml almond oil,
250 ml warm water,
10 drops of lavender (or other essential oil/extract).

Warm the beeswax in the almond oil until it is liquid. In a separate bowl begin start to 'blend' the warm water with a hand blender and add the oil mixture in a steady slow stream to the water. As the mixture starts to thicken, add the essential oil followed by the remaining beeswax/almond oil mix. Allow the mixture to cool before spooning into tins for use.

An ideal remedy for sore hands after hard work coppicing in the woods!
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