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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

How to light a smoker and other things I learned at the Folk School

I learned many things at the Folk School workshop.

1. How to light a smoker

Virginia used wood shavings. She lit a few at the bottom of the smoker and then built the fire up from there. I am lousy at lighting the smoker, but I think I have been packing it too full before starting it. She dumps it all out when she's through and starts over each time. I have left the unburned fuel in mine after using and just stopped it up to end the fire.

These are a little out of focus because I was taking them while wearing my bee suit and veil and it was awkward to take pictures.

2. How to use a honey extractor.

We took the extractor apart to clean it and then didn't know how to get it together. It took five of us working together before Charles, a class member, finally got it right! That's probably the beginning of a good beekeeper joke - how many beekeepers does it take to put together an extractor? (someone will have to supply the funny answer) For us, it would be one: Charles, but it took five of us klutzing around before we found the answer.

3. How to melt and use beeswax.

Virginia's secret was to pour the wax through the control top part of (unused of course) control top panty hose to filter out any extra stuff from the comb and frames that might accidentally be in the wax. She poured into a 1 liter plastic bottle which is just the right thickness to handle the heat of the hot wax.

4. How to use the hive tool.

I've been using the curved end. Virginia almost exclusively uses the straight end and this allows less of what I end up doing - breaking into comb and causing drips of honey and damage to the comb. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:40 PM


    If you get an extractor,please remember to call me down to Georgia to clean it up for you...we can then call Charles to put it back together!!!


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