Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Finally collected some honey and rendered some beeswax! Hops and honeybees and chickens...

 In the Hive

The last couple of years have not been good "bee" years.  The spring has been too cool or too rainy.  We have 3 hives and one died last summer which is really odd for it to die that time of year.  Usually, the bees have a hard time making it through the winter.  And that is what happened this past winter...one of the other hives died.  So...I went in and harvested the honey and wax...Ollie helped me...
I don't have a fancy extractor so I use a crush and strain method.  
I didn't get a pic of the bottling, but basically, there is a spout at the bottom of the yellow bucket and I just put a jar under it and fill it up.  Then, I got busy rendering down the honeycomb.  I put it into a big double boiler and let it melt down.
Then, I place cheesecloth over the top of a cardboard milk carton and poor the melted honeycomb through the cheesecloth and let it set up.  Voila...beeswax...I will use this when I make the herbal salves!

Keeping it short and "sweet" this time...pun intended. This was a pretty simplified explanation of the honey and wax collection.  I have done several more detailed blog posts about honey and wax rendering in the past and if you just search for "honey" in the blog, they should show up for you.  It has been at least 3 years since I have been able to collect honey/wax so I thought it would be good to review!  

Got 2 sets of new bees in mid-April so they are busy working on the farm now...the apple blossoms have just opened this past week!
The bees have been enjoying the daffodils!
I planted hops near the chicken and duck coops last year.   They grew but did not get very big.  I think because it was just the first year and they were getting established.  This spring they are taking off so I put up some wires to train the vines.  I am trying to get the vines to go over the top of the run to provide some shade in the summer.  I will keep you posted on this project...
I have read that hops contain a hop beta acids which is like kryptonite to varroa mites.  Varroa mites are deadly to honeybees.  I think if the bees interact with the hop flowers, maybe they could get the hop beta acid on them and bring it back to the hive?  It sounds like it is in the preliminary testing phase.  Also, I read that you can pick and dry the hop flowers and feed them to your chickens and they have some antibacterial effect in the chicken gut.  Well, we will see if I get around to picking any hop flowers.  I have zero interest in making beer...would rather make wine.  I mostly just wanted the hops for the shade because they are known to be a super fast growing plants.

Things are really picking up here on the farm...and Zach is off for the summer so I am going to be extra busy with Mark.  Therefore, this will be the last blog post until the fall when things start to get more manageable...I post almost everyday on Facebook so like "Remarkable Farms" on FB and you can keep up with the day-to-day activities of the farm.

Have an eggcellent day and summer!


  1. Very interesting about the hops and the bee's wax and honey harvesting. Happy that she are going back to the earth and that you have pstere raised chickens. I am vegetarian, but also in some part vegan but I do buy eggs but only pasture raised and humane certified. Good work on the farm and the BLOG!

    1. I have trouble figuring out the "commenting" on this too! In fact, I can only do it in FireFox i.e. a certain browser. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. I am SO excited to see how far the hops grows each day! Inches and inches every day!

  2. I couldn't figure out how to put my e-mail in so I didn't comment 'anonymously' but couldn't figure it out. wrightj45@yahoo.com