Tag Archives: Beekeeping

Beeswax Wraps – The Sustainable Answer to Plastic Wrap

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know I shun plastic like a banshee, right? I haven’t accepted a plastic shopping bag from the store in years, much preferring my pretty shopping basket anyway. And I refuse to buy over-packaged items too. I’ve learned that recycling isn’t the answer to our landfill problems – PRE-Cycling is! But what is precycling? Well that’s shunning trash from coming into your home in the first place.

But today I’m talking about cling film. You know the stuff, it’s always sticking to itself and hardly ever sticking to the item you’re trying to wrap. Use it once & throw it away.  But whaddyagonnado??  Well, I’ve started using beeswax wraps!

Beeswax Wraps are the sustainable answer to plastic cling film. I use beeswax harvested directly from the comb in our beehives. #TexasHomesteader

 

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How To Purify Natural Beeswax From The Hive

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have a small apiary.   The bees are fascinating creatures & invaluable in making sure my garden gets pollinated.  Plus they offer up that sweet delight during our summer honey harvest as well.   Around our area of NE Texas the honey harvest is usually done the first week in July.

But we don’t simply decap the honeycomb to get to the honey.  We go ahead & scrape the frames down.  We extract the honey and then turn our attention to that gorgeous natural beeswax!

I can easily purify our beeswax and pour the melted wax into cute molds. I use it for homemade soap, lip balm & beeswax wraps. #TxHomesteader

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Frame-Swap Split for Beehives Doubles Your Hive Numbers!

by Tammy Taylor~

Around the end of March RancherMan & I start thinking about splitting our beehives.  Splitting a hive accomplishes 2 things – it expands the number of hives in your apiary. (yea!)   But it also gives the bees a little elbow room by putting empty frames in each hive allowing for expansion.

You see, if the bees get to thinking things are too cramped, they’ll swarm looking for more space.  And that’s something no beekeeper wants since there’s been lots of time & effort into managing their apiary. We did our splits by swapping empty frames for full ones.  it was easy!

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Beekeeping: Feeding Your Bees With A Frame Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

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Busy as a bee!  Our hives have increased this year thanks to us performing splits and capturing swarms.  All our bees are busy, busy, busy these days!  During the spring when everything was abloom they had all they could harvest.  Those girls were coming & going from the hives with pollen pockets full!  But now that the heat of our NE Texas season is starting to set in the blooms are not quite as prolific.  Oh there are still wildflowers blooming, and the bees are all having a hayday in my garden alright.  But with the fading blooms and the fact that we’re trying to boost some of those smaller swarm hives, RancherMan & I decided perhaps we need to give them a little feed.  There are many ways to accomplish this, here’s what we do:

There are different ways to feed your bees sugar water when they need a little help. We like using a frame feeder best. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

5-Minute Beehive Stand Using Cinder Blocks & Posts

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I are still New-BEES!  Our apiary started out with two established single-deep beehives back in May of last year.  That first beehive stand was built using repurposed 2″x6″ boards that were 6-ft long from raised beds that we tore out.  We added a deep to each hive last year & saw those bees safely through the winter.  This spring we split them into four hives.  Now we needed another hive stand so we built another like the first from purchased 2″x6″ boards.  Then we caught not one, not two, but FOUR bee swarms this spring!  (I KNOW, how exciting!!)  But these swarms are being caught & brought to our fledgling apiary faster than we can build stands.  RancherMan decided to change direction.  He wanted to build the next stands using concrete cinder blocks and 4″x4″ 5-ft long wood posts.

Beehive Stands Put Together In 5 Minutes? YES! We're Using Concrete Cinder Blocks & 4x4 Posts. Come See How Easy It Is! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Beekeeping – Adding A Honey Super Box to the Beehive

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we bought our very first bees last year & it’s been a blast raising these girls.  But there’s typically no honey harvest that first year as they’re getting established. The honey they make during that first year needs to remain with the hive to see them through the winter.  We overwintered our bees and they came through this spring with flying colors!  So we split the hives about 8 weeks ago.  Bibbidy-bobbedy-boo our 2 hives turned into 4!  After the split we allowed the hives to recover a bit before we inspected them again.  The hives without a queen raised a new queen to take her place, the hives that retained their queen kept on with business as usual.  Our inspection today showed that now we’re ready to add a honey super to the two stronger hives.

It's time to add a honey super box to our beehives. The bees will fill it with the sweet honey we crave! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Wordless Wednesday: Beekeeper’s Delight

by Tammy Taylor~

Ever since beginning our beekeeping endeavor, I can no longer just merrily bounce across the grass. Now I'm taking very deliberate steps to assure I don't step on one of our honey-makers! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Ever since beginning our beekeeping endeavor, I can no longer just merrily bounce across the grass.  Now I’m taking very deliberate steps to assure I don’t accidentally step on one of our honey-makers!

~TMH~

(You can see ALL our posts about beekeeping HERE)

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C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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Beekeeping: Catching A Bee Swarm In A Tree

by Tammy Taylor~

Ya know how you start your day with an idea of the tasks at hand? Work on blog stuff, finish honeysuckle jelly, strain the honey from the comb we had to remove from a hive yesterday. You know, that kinda stuff.

Well that’s how my day started, then everything changed. RancherMan came in from the pastures & told me it was time to suit up, we’ve got a bee swarm to catch. Woo-hoo!  Apparently he saw a swarm of bees about 15-ft up in a tree right near our pasture gate.  We’ve never captured a swarm before so here’s yet one more opportunity to learn something exciting about beekeeping!  And maybe get to add a new hive of bees to our group as well.

We recently got the opportunity to catch a bee swarm high up in a tree. But we were able to stay on the ground! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Beekeeping: Doing A Walk-Away Hive Split

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know last year we became NewBEES when we bought our very first hives of bees.  There are many ways you can obtain your first set of bees.  You can buy a Nuc which is a queen with a small amount of bees.  Or you can buy a package of bees to put into a full hive box.  But we found a local beekeeper who sold established hives.  Her hives were sold complete with a deep hive box containing frames of honey, brood, bees and a queen.  It’s recommended that you have a minimum of 2 hives so we bought two and started our new beekeeping endeavor.

Our hives made it through the winter fine. Now that spring is around the corner production is ramping up. It's time to do a hive split! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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