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Bees and other good news

Posted 3/18/2015 6:16am by Samantha Klinck.

We went to check on our bees the other day, and both hives are healthy and thriving! This means it is time for the farm to save up and buy more hives so we can split the colonies. If all goes well this summer, we'll have honey this fall! How amazing is that? It think it's pretty amazing. 

Harvesting honey in the fall also means we get raw beeswax in the form of cappings. When you carefully slice open the top layer of the honey-filled comb on the frames, you end up with cappings, which are the thin wax covers that protect the honey in the hive. The honey is removed (mostly) from the cappings, then there is a refinement process to remove the rest of the honey, bits of pollen, debris, the occasional dead bee, and anything else that doesn't belong in the final beeswax. 

A local bee farmer who has been mentoring us was kind enough to give us some of his cappings which I cleaned and melted down yesterday. These will be added to the oil which I have infused with herbs from our farm like plantain and selfheal, to make beeswax salves. 

Some other good and exciting news is approaching arrival of puppies! The first Maremma breed Livestock Guardian dog we purchased over two years ago was accidentally bred recently. Oops! Star is now due to whelp at the end of the month. She was not bred to another Maremma, but a small very friendly black lab named Remy, so the puppies will be interesting! We will be selling them to good farm homes and the money from the sales will help cover vet fees to have the mother spayed, to replace our LGD Missy that died late last fall, and if the litter is large enough, to add some more 'dog fencing' to the farm. We'll be sure to post pictures of these little cuties!

Beeswax

Beautiful beeswax, soon to be salve!