Tag Archives: Beekeeping

Making Your Own Natural Beeswax Jar Candles

by Texas Homesteader ~

Back in ‘the day’ I had lots of scented candles and I burned them often. I loved the gentle flicker of the flame and the scent of the candle itself. But then I heard of the nasties that can be released by burning traditional paraffin wax candles. So as time went on I burned them less & less. When they were gone I just did without.

But now we have our own apiary and I have access to that precious all-natural beeswax. So today I think I’ll make beeswax candles with it!

It's easy to make your own natural beeswax jar candles. It's fun, it's easy, and it's natural. And who doesn't love a beeswax candle?? #TexasHomesteader

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How to Bottle Honey: Beehive to Jar

by Texas Homesteader ~

Last week we talked about Preparing The Hive For Harvest. And in my Beginning Beekeeper’s Series we’ve talked about everything from becoming NewBEES, obtaining your bees, caring for them and more. Links to all of those articles are below for your convenience. But now? Oh now we’re going to take that sweet honey from frame to bottle!Honey frame. See how we took our honeybee's honey from hive to glass jars. I share tips about honey moisture monitoring and more. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Build A Quick 5-Frame Beehive Nuc Box

by Texas Homesteader ~

Spring is an exciting time in beekeeping. The bees are finally able to get out of the hive & forage from the blooming plants. The hives grow by leaps and bounds this time of year too. It’s a good time to split the hives to keep them from becoming too crowded.

But spring is also a time when some hives will swarm. Sometimes when we capture a swarm we put the bees into an empty deep hive box with frames and let them get busy. But sometimes so many swarms are caught that we don’t have a deep hive box available. Let’s make some 5-frame nuc boxes for temporary housing for them. They’re super quick to put together & you can build four nuc boxes with a single sheet of plywood!

We needed temporary housing for a swarm of bees we caught. We can quickly build FOUR 5-frame nuc boxes from a single piece of plywood. #TexasHomesteader

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Beeswax Wraps – The Sustainable Answer to Plastic Wrap

by Texas Homesteader ~

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 Texas Homesteader ~

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. #TexasHomesteader

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Frame-Swap Split for Beehives Doubles Your Hive Numbers!

by Texas Homesteader ~

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!

We did a hive split by swapping frames - then two hives came from just one! We find this frame-swap method helps both hives to recover quicker. #TexasHomesteader

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Wordless Wednesday: Honeybee On Sunflower

~by Texas Homesteader ~

Wordless Wednesday: Sunflowers & honeybees. Two of my favorite things in one shot. Both just beautiful to me! #TexasHomesteader

Sunflowers & honeybees – Two of my favorite things in one shot!

~TxH~

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Beekeeping: Feeding Your Bees With A Frame Feeder

by Texas Homesteader ~

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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. #TexasHomesteader Continue reading

5-Minute Beehive Stand Using Cinder Blocks & Posts

by Texas Homesteader ~

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 box 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! #TexasHomesteader

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