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Surviving the Planet X Tribulation

Author Topic: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes  (Read 13365 times)

ilinda

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #90 on: August 03, 2018, 07:27:50 PM »
Fingers are crossed the rains will let up enough for Nature to take its course, as I recall Jacqueline Freeman's discussion about AI in honeybees.

Did your own area suffer excess rain this year?

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #91 on: August 04, 2018, 04:22:57 AM »
It has been torrential and nearly daily since mid-July.  Very little sunlight has been getting through the cloud cover.  Front yard was a lake this a.m., even though we're on a hillside (fortunately not a steep incline near the peak).  Because we're on a rocky outcropping, it usually drains quickly though.  We dug an extra channel recently to divert water from the driveway.

Will post a video on the flooding thread re: what Virginia is experiencing right now.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 07:20:56 AM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #92 on: August 04, 2018, 08:06:18 AM »
Amazing.  We had the longest winter I can remember in my life as an adult here in MO, and then perhaps one week of spring, then suddenly it was in 90's most of the time since, with very little break.

Rains were nothing like yours.  Weather is totally weird everywhere, and you're probably crossing your fingers your bees and garden can do well in the end.  My BEST WISHES to you, your family, your honeybees, and your garden.

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #93 on: August 04, 2018, 08:13:42 AM »
Likewise Ilinda, and thank you so much!  So far the only crop that seems to have rotted is the garlic - including the subsequent planting.  May need a greenhouse not for cold protection, but rot-insurance  :)

R.R. Book

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes: Harvesting Honey
« Reply #94 on: October 16, 2018, 10:00:33 AM »
At this point, after a year of floods in the East, the arrival of our Russian bees has been postponed until April.

Meanwhile, there was residual honey that I had rescued from the hives and wrapped for the freezer.  Today was too chilly to do much work in the garden, so I pulled the frames out of the freezer to process.  One of my sons was handy to help, which was a bonus!

We're very old-school here, and just use the "Mash and Strain" method.  The alternative is to use a honey centrifuge, which most of the larger operations use, and they do make manual cranked versions of those.  A centrifuge helps if you want jars of clear honey in which the wax cappings are entirely separated out.

Materials:
Two large stainless steel mixing bowls
Uncapping knife
Wide mouth canning jars in either pints or half-pints
Wide-mouth canning funnel
Big strainer that fits inside of canning funnel (about 5" diameter)
Old pie plates
Waxed paper
Foil
Old kitchen spoon
Potato masher or sauerkraut pounder
A damp dishrag to tidy up as you go

I suggest doing this job before it's too cold to leave the garden hose hooked up to the faucet, because all the equipment will need to be blasted clean outdoors in order to remove the wax.  For that reason, a work table situated in a location where you can get messy for a while is ideal.

Hold a frame of honey upright in one of the bowls.  Using the curved tip of the uncapping knife, dig all the way into one of the top corners of the frame til the knife stops, and then slice downward, peeling off sheets of honeycomb into the bowl.  When one frame is done, set aside in a clean plastic trash bag.

Try not to lick your fingers as you work!  ;)

In the other bowl, place open canning jar with canning funnel at the mouth, and strainer in the canning funnel.  It should be a snug fit.  Using the knife or kitchen spoon, scoop some honeycomb into the strainer, and mash with whatever tool you selected, moving the honey/wax mixture in a circle with the masher while you hold the strainer still with the other hand.  A creamy colored, rather than clear, honey product will pour into the jar. 

When it becomes difficult to mash and stir the contents of the sieve, it's time to stop momentarily and scoop the remainder of wax cappings (with a little honey still mixed in) into a pie plate, leaving the spoon to drain on the edge of the plate.  These scraps are valuable for two reasons:

1. chewing gum for the children
2. emergency bee food for late winter

Repeat until jars are filled, leaving a little space at the top.  Wipe and then screw lids on jars.  Store honey in a cool, dark place.  Blast dishes and utensils clean outside with the garden hose. 

Wrap pie plates of sweet wax scraps in waxed paper and then foil and store in freezer for emergency bee feeding, along with harvested honey frames which are still covered with bits of honey.  The wax scraps are especially good for the bees in the form of patties when brewer's yeast and a pinch of sea salt are added, as well as a drop of any essential oils that you may be using in an organic apiary (thyme, wintergreen, lemon balm...)

Photos below:
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 06:03:37 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Beekeeping in the Tribulation and Aftertimes
« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2018, 07:17:12 PM »
Thank you for that wonderful summary of how you harvest the honey and wax, and why you want to have some jars of the mix.  Wonderful, and the first time I've ever read the chronology of it in detail.

 

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