Tag Archives: bees

Adventures in Beekeeping: Hive Removal

On Saturday, Wheat and I helped our good friends Lee and Ben move a colony of bees out of the wall of a tenant house on their family farm into a hive box.  It was only our second hive removal (the first on our own), so we were pretty grateful it turned out much better than expected!

The hive was in the wall of this very old tenant house.  They were using this knot hole as an entrance.  Lee and Ben wanted to remove them and put them into a hive box to begin keeping bees, so Wheat and I offered to help them do it.  It was just as exciting as last time!

Knot Hole Entrance to Wild Bee Hive in a Wall | Oysters & Pearls

Knot Hole Entrance to Wild Bee Hive in a Wall | Oysters & Pearls

We began by using a handheld saw to cut the boards right next to the studs, which we figured were bordering the comb.  Luckily, we were correct, and the guys had the boards down in no time.  Cutting Open Exterior Wall to Remove Bee Hive | Oysters & Pearls Removing a Bee Hive from a Wall  | Oysters & Pearls Removing a Bee Hive from a Wall | Oysters & Pearls Removing a Bee Hive from a Wall  | Oysters & Pearls Bee Hive in a House Wall | Oysters & Pearls

There were a LOT of bees in there!  This colony was pretty well established, and had quite the stock of honey.Honey Comb and Bees | Oysters & Pearls Bee Hive in an Exterior Wall | Oysters & Pearls Established Bee Hive in an Exterior Home Wall | Oysters & Pearls Established Colony of Bees in a House Wall | Oysters & Pearls Lee and Ben and a Bee Hive | Oysters & Pearls Bees on Honey Comb | Oysters & PearlsWe took a group picture when Keri, Ben’s wife, stopped by, then got started on the removal.

Natalie, Wheat, Lee, & Ben with the Hive | Oysters & Pearls Natalie, Wheat, Lee, & Ben with the Hive | Oysters & Pearls

We cut the comb piece by piece and used large rubber bands to fill empty frames with the pieces of comb.  It just so happened that Ben had a hefty supply of the huge rubber bands they use on the farm to bundle collards. :) We shook as many bees into the box of frames as possible, and even managed to find the queen bee and seal her into the bottom box!  It really went as well as it possibly could have.

Wheat Replaces the Home's Exterior Wood Siding | Oysters & Pearls Shaking Bees into the Hive Box | Oysters & Pearls Bees in the Hive Box | Oysters & Pearls Honey Bees Removed from a Home | Oysters & Pearls Honey Bees | Oysters & Pearls We ended up with a good bit of solid, clean honey comb, even after filling 20 frames with comb, so we decided that we would spend the afternoon harvesting it.

Natural Honey Comb | Oysters & PearlsWe transported the whole hive box back to Lee’s house, got them settled in, then got to squeezing comb.

Installing New Hive | Oysters & Pearls  Lee and Wheat with the Hive in its New Home | Oysters & PearlsThe honey comb was really beautiful, so we cut the prettiest pieces and put them in jars whole.  Then we simply squeezed comb with our (clean) hands over the jars until they were full.  Then we strained all that was left in the bucket (a good bit) through a clean cloth and into a bowl to finish it off.

Jarring Honey with Honey Comb | Oysters & Pearls Freshly Jarred Honey from a Wild Hive | Oysters & Pearls Honey with Honey Comb | Oysters & Pearls Fresh from the Hive Honey | Oysters & Pearls

It was a messy, sticky, not so pretty process, as evidenced by the tailgate pictures, but the honey was perfect and delicious and no one minded a bit.  It was a family affair. And the honey was finger-licking good.Finger-licking good!  | Oysters & PearlsWe got all the jars cleaned up and divvy’d up.  It was pretty unbelievable that even with stocking the hive with 20 frames of comb, we still got all this honey.  The honey itself was light in color with a lot of floral notes.

Honey with Comb from a Wild Hive | Oysters & Pearls Ball Jars Full of Honey | Oysters & Pearls Fresh Honey, Honey Comb, and a bit of Pollen | Oysters & Pearls

We got a couple bit of pollen in some of the comb, but we decided to leave it.  After all, it can’t do much but help even more with allergies!  I also fell in love with the dish towel Nikki serendipitously had out on her counter.  #beesonbeesBees on Bees | Oysters & Pearls As Fresh As It Gets! #hivetotable  | Oysters & Pearls

We had a blast helping them with this hive removal and were lucky enough to take a jar of the honey home.  It was a good day spent with friends, and I love that we have two more buddies who are as excited about bees as we are.

Until Next Time

You may also bee interested in:

Adventures in Beekeeping, Part 1

Adventures in Beekeeping, Part 2: Another New Hive

Adventures in Beekeeping Part 3: Processing Beeswax At Home

The Trials and Tribulations of Beekeeping

Weddings, Honey Bees, and Pumpkins, Oh My!

Good morning!  I hope everyone got their taxes filed on time and no one is running around like a chicken with their head cut off this morning. :)

Per usual, I’m posting my weekend recap a day late because we didn’t get home until late Sunday night.  It was a jam-packed weekend, but there were some relaxing times, too.

Friday when we picked up our CSA box at Harvest Moon, I also picked up some fresh okra to restock the pantry with my spicy pickled okra.  I went to the grocery store Saturday morning and  grabbed some jalapeño peppers and got to work.  The secret to non-slimy pickled okra is soaking the fresh okra in ice water for at least an hour before pickling!

I also had another little project going on Saturday, but that’s a subject of another post!  Saturday evening we celebrate the nuptials of our sweet friend Rebecca and her handsome groom, Chase!  The wedding was gorgeous, as was the stunning bride. :)

I especially loved the table full of macarons!

Not sure where they got them from around here, but they were delicious!  And have fully reinspired me to get the hang of making them.  I tried a couple of times, back before I was blogging, with the French method, and they were not quite successful.  I will be trying them again (when I get some free time) and will be using the Italian meringue method instead.  That’s neither here nor there, but I just thought you should know.  Don’t be surprised when they show up on O&P!

We had a blast, and wish Rebecca and Chase all the love and happiness in the world!

Sunday Wheat went turkey hunting again and I had a leisurely morning of coffee and watching CBS Sunday Morning before Church.  Afterwards, we hit up Zaxby’s on our way to Bristol.  We visited The Bee House to pick up some supplies, and checked on our little ladies.  They’ve been busy!  But first, lemme take a selfie.

Disclaimer: I hate this song.  But it does crack me up, and I fully support making fun of selfies, even as I post one of myself.

I have since retired bee suits, gloves, and long sleeves.  Wearing my Masters tee shirt for Masters Sunday, natch.  I still wear the veil, because it’s really distracting when the bees bump into your face.

They had built honeycomb across multiple frames that we had to break up, which spilled copious amounts of honey down into the bottom of the hive.  Felt bad, but we tasted it, and ’twas good.

They had this cleaned up in 30 minutes, at the most.  It’s pretty amazing how tidy they keep their hive.

We added another deep box on top to give them room, and a queen excluder between the boxes to keep Queen Beeyonce in the bottom box.  The ensures that the eggs/brood/larvae will stay in the bottom box, and the top box will remain straight up honey.  Hopefully they move upstairs and start filling it up with tupelo honey!

After the bees, Wheat helped me plant a whole bunch’a pumpkins in the field.  I planted Seminole pumpkins, white Cindarella pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, and some decorative gourds. We will see what happens!

And then, we watched the end of the final round of the Masters.  From our Bubba to the green jacket winner, we are so glad Bubba Watson won!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Until Next Time

Homemade Coconut and Beeswax Body Butter

Happy Friday!!  I think this could possibly bee the last bee-themed post for a while.  At least, for this week anyway.  :)

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with all the leftover honey comb from the bee hive we moved, but I knew I’d figure something out.  I figured that I would figure out how to melt the wax down, and then figure out something to do with it.  And so I got the beeswax melted down and processed at home, but then I had a 8-inch square of beeswax to do something with.

As the title of this post so subtly hints at, I came to the conclusion that I would make coconut and beeswax body butter.  Mainly because 1) it sounded easy, and 2) I already had coconut oil.

Homemade Honey Scented Coconut Beeswax Body Butter | Oysters & Pearls

Also, yet another score for hoarding: I just so happened to have two mini Altoids tins rolling around in the bottom of my purse, simply waiting for just such an occasion.

Homemade Beeswax Body Butter Recipe | Oysters & PearlsHomemade Honey Scented Beeswax Body Butter | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Coconut and Beeswax Body Butter

ingredients

– 1 tablespoon grated or shaved beeswax, packed tightly
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 5 drops of Vitamin E oil

instructions

Measure the ingredients and place into a glass measuring cup.  Microwave at 20 second intervals until just melted.  Stir everything until it’s completely melted and incorporated.  Pour immediately into some sort of hoarded repurposed container and allow to cool.

Homemade Honey Scented Beeswax Body Butter | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Body Butter Poured into a Mini Altoids Tin | Oysters & Pearls

This makes a little more than two mini Altoid tins worth of body butter. I left the rest in the measuring cup just to use it up first.  It is amazing on your skin!

Homemade Honey Scented Coconut Beeswax Body Butter Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I was pretty excited about how this first test turned out!  It’s solid, but warms up easily with your touch and spreads smoothly.  I may play around with more of a cream recipe soon.  Any words of wisdom from anyone who has done this before?

IMG_3718

I just have this one block of beeswax, so I am not going to be making much of this stuff, so small batch recipes are what I’m looking for.  I’ll mainly leave making beeswax products to my local professional at Nunya Beeswax. :)  But it’s fun to try it out myself!  If you’re interested in trying out your own body butter or other creations, you can buy bricks of beeswax at our very own local beekeeping store: The Bee House, on Highway 12 near Lake Mystic in Bristol, Florida (in the old Lake Mystic Grocery, if you’re local).  It’s where I’ve gotten all my beekeeping supplies thus far.  Pay them a visit if you’re a local beekeeper or just want to purchase some honey, honey soap, or beeswax!

What else do you use beeswax for?

Until Next Time