Friday, June 25, 2010

Honey Harvest Tomorrow!

If you can, come buy and hang out.  I'm expecting to get ten or more gallons of honey tomorrow, so it should be a lot of fun.

Likely prices this year are the following:

1 lb. Plastic Squeeze Bottle $6
Pint Mason Jar  $7
Quart Mason Jar  $12
Buy a gallon (4 quarts) get a Squeeze for free!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wax Melter

Here it is, the new wax melter.

It's a stainless steel box, made custom for someone who ended up not wanting it.

I put a camp stove under it to warm it up.  I need to upgrade to a propane double burner, the camp stove just almost could do it.  This thing is the perfect size, it's about 24 inches long by 18 inches wide (perfect for setting frames on) and like 20 inches deep.  What you see in it there is about 25 frames worth of wax.  I know it doesn't look like much now, but eventually, there will be enough wax for the slumgum to sink to the bottom leaving the good wax at the top.  I had wanted to build one out of a steel sheet metal spool center, but now that I think about it, it probably would have rusted immediately.  This will last forever.

It probably won't pay for itself in wax sales for a while, but it definitely does by saving time stripping the frames.  Does anyone have a heavy duty camp stove they'd be willing to give up?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parker Farms Now Offers Beeswax.

What you see above are little wax cupcakes.  I needed a mold to put the wax in for sales, but I needed it small enough in case I didn't have enough wax to fill the mold when I melt it in my solar oven.  So I found these little silicone cupcake mold thingies and they work wonderfully.  I will probably at some point invest in real molds, but for now, these are fun. 

As you can see, different batches of wax come out different colors.  The yellower wax came from moth eaten comb, and the more tan colored stuff came from a solar wax melter that I built back in Oregon, and not moth eaten.  What you see is about 3 lbs. (2 oz. per cake) that I have processed so far, and I have plenty more to do.

At this point, I'm charging $5 per pound.  Tell me what you think.
Sol Parker

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Oregon Trip Report

I went Oregon for Christmas and brought back some good stuff.

I brought back 24 deeps and a shallow with frames, a frame grabber, a hive tool, and a bunch of Parker Shims.

Unfortunately though, it seems that the cold snap we had while we were gone killed 3 of my six hives. That means I'm going to have to work extra hard to build up this year to have good numbers for the following year. Hopefully I can still pull off a decent harvest. It is a setback, but it is doable.

Good news though, I now have 54 deeps plus two double wides (more on them later). That's enough for about 11 whole hives, though filling 25 boxes with foundation will represent an investment. It's going to take a bit of time to rehabilitate that many frames and get them ready to go on hives.

I'm gaining some experience with the double wides. They seem good for keeping empty boxes on to keep moths out, but it seems that they would have difficulty changing positions between the stacks in winter time. Also, I've noticed them move out of the entire bottom box just as with a regular hive when they have room.

More information to come as it is gathered.