Saving the Bees & Extracting Honey

Saving The Bees & Extracting HoneyBy Diana Ross, Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Today I was invited to my friend, Carolyn McQuade’s honey extraction party with other local bee keepers. They were so excited about joining each other and helping the new “bee” through the extraction process. Carolyn has a new hive she received this spring after graduating her bee keeping classes. They were quite abundant with honey and you could see in her yard that they were also very busy pollinating the flowers and veggies. And you can see by Carolyn’s smile that she was quite proud of her hive.

Recently in the news there has been a lot of attention to the decline of our honeybees. Very sad state because the bees pollinate our food and flowers and if they die our food system collapses. It is so important to be their keepers and consequently bee keeping is on the rise. I am going to start my classes this fall so I may be lucky enough to get my own bees in the spring. For my local readers her is the bee keeping link http://longislandbeekeepers.org/honey/honey.html

As you can see honeybees preserve the honey by capping it in wax cells. To extract the honey, the tops of the cells, or caps, need to be removed. Most frames have honey on both sides, so each side needs to be uncapped. The photos show uncapped frames stored in bin ready to be uncapped. Then uncapping with the hot knife. Next the cap scratcher is use to pick out any cells that have not been opened. The photo on the right is a uncapped frame in the extractor!

After all the honey and wax is removed other fun things begin. Making bee’s wax candles. Beeswax: Honey bees have wax-producing glands on the underside of their abdomens. They place their wax to create vertical sheets, or comb, of (six-sided) tubes, or cells, that are used to store nectar, pollen, and to raise new bees. Because beeswax has a high melting point (144 to 147 degrees F), it makes for excellent candles that have a “warmer” colored flame and very little visible smoke. There are other things to do with beeswax. You can use in natural soaps, lotions, and cosmetics such as lip balm.

I know that occasionally we share different but interesting stuff, like rain barrels so I felt this fit right in.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

 

Save The Bees & Have A Successful Garden

By providing pesticide-free safe havens with water, flowers and housing for bees, you collaborate with nature and play a small but vital role in reversing the dramatic pollinator declines that have occurred over the past few years. Here are a few tips we encourage you to try in your backyard.

House The Bees
Encouraging bees to visit your garden, this is a good idea for anyone who has fruit trees or berry bushes in their garden. Vegetable gardens with plants such as squash, tomatoes and peppers, need pollinators too. You can provide good nesting habitat by preserving a small brush pile, areas with dry reeds or grasses or deadwood.

Provide Water For Bees
Provide a water bowl with marbles, this is for the bees to drink from, the marbles slow the water evaporation and stop the Bees falling in and drowsing.

Feed The Bees
Single petal blossoms are best for bees. Flowers with double petals do not attract bees as well as single-petal blossoms. This is because most double blossoms offer less pollen and nectar than single blossoms. Often their extra set of petals has replaced pollen-laden anthers. Double blossoms also make it more difficult for bees to reach the inner flower parts.

We talk a lot about gardening in this blog to encourage you to help raise your spirits because of the amazing connection with Mother Earth. The rewards are no less with experiencing the beauty of Mother Earth’s creations. When the weather comes around so that we can witness the new growth of beautiful plants, trees and flowers blooming – We feel good!

 Sources:

Attracting Beneficial Bees at Gardener’s Supply Company

Take Care of The Bees at Echos & Bones WordPress blog

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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