Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Collecting Wild Beeswax

Our second bee inspection was super exciting!  It was our first chance of seeing the bees actively working on building beeswax and brood, (bee eggs).  Our second inspection happened after the second week of the bees being placed into the beehive.
Look at my head, that is a bunch of bees that have landed on the top of my head.  At the time, I did not know the bees were there, it wasn't until I looked at this photo that I realized my head was covered with bees.  And this my friend, is why we wear protective suits!  hahahaha.  When we open the top cover of the bee hives, the bees come out to investigate.  I guess they like the smell of my head, (mental note for next time), don't use hairspray.  Bees love fragrant scents so perfume and hairspray are attractors to them.  It's not wise to use fragrant products while you inspect the bees.  I shall remember that for the next time.
Once the bees come out to investigate, some try to get back in.  Here they are, crowding the entrance.
There are only frames on the bottom deep.  The top one is empty until the bees fill 7 frames full of wax and brood, then we can start adding more frames.
Here is a photo of one of the frames!  Boy have they been busy in 2 week's time!  This is a frame of capped brood.  The queen lays an egg in each of the holes of beeswax honeycomb foundation that the worker bees create. Each blank hole in this photo are baby bees that were born.  Cool right?
Here I am scraping extra honeycomb that the bees have been putting on the sides of the frames.  This happens when there is too much space between the frames.
A view from above the beehive. As we moved the frames apart, we can see that the bees have built wild honeycomb between the frames.
It's important to remove the extra honeycomb, so that bees build across the frames.
We really left too much space between the frames.  Look at this frame, how much wild burr honeycomb they built on the side of the frame!  The one on the right is giant!
Here is a closer look.
And another angle.
I took a bee brush and wiped away the bees.  Then carefully remove the extra comb without disturbing the beeswax underneath it.  Check this out!  How amazing is this??
And a closer look!  We save the beeswax in jars that we will melt down and use for candles and to make lip balm!
Another frame with more wild burr comb.
Here is Paul, proudly holding up one of the frames, with all the bees working diligently.  We were so giddy to see this!  Overall, the second bee inspection went really well.  The bees are happy building out their new home, and the Queen is busy laying eggs.  We are having so much fun!!  This is the best new hobby ever!!


  1. I can't even tell you how neat all this is!

  2. I totally agree with Japanese Redneck, it's so cool to see how it all works, like vicarious beekeeping. ;) Keep posting updates!


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