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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.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

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, February 08, 2010

Julia Child with Wax and Oil

I had four assignments at the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference:

1. To do a talk for the advanced beekeepers on How to Prepare Honey and Wax for Competition.

I enjoyed doing that so much. Most of the audience had never entered a honey contest. I was so grateful that I had gone to a lecture by Robert Brewer in 2008 at the state meeting of the Georgia Beekeepers Association and had heard him talk on the subject.

Most of all I was glad that I have entered honey contests ever since I started beekeeping five years ago. I've learned a lot from every wax pour and from pouring each jar of honey. And I've won a lot of ribbons! So I covered liquid honey, chunk honey, cut comb honey and wax blocks. I learned a lot by organizing what I know into a PowerPoint presentation.

2. To talk to the beginning beekeepers about Honey Harvest from the Bee Hive to the Jar.

Most of them were, as many new beekeepers are, a little overwhelmed by how to get the honey harvested. I of course talked about the simple honey harvest that I do. I used a PowerPoint to show them how to harvest with minimal clean-up, a simple approach to the bees, and honey without extraction. This talk was only about liquid honey. I also showed my movie on harvesting honey via Crush and Strain .

3. To talk and demonstrate how to make lip balm and lotion from the wax from the hive.

I felt a little like Julia Child, essentially cooking in front of everyone. The whole conference was there - advanced and beginners....so about 60 people.

I had a burner to use to melt the ingredients on, but in the end we used the much more effective stove in the kitchen. I showed them how it is helpful to use a chopstick to stir - chopsticks are just great and I use them a lot in various aspects of beekeeping.

Here I am, thanks to my friend from Beemaster, JP, who generously took these pictures. I am using a syringe to squirt the liquid lip balm into tiny lip balm containers. I had lots of help with this project. Brendhan and Eric manned the kitchen stove and cut wax, Janel went out to buy all the ingredients and supplies, and others help cap the containers when I was done.

I also mixed up lotion for everyone, but that takes about 2 1/2 hours to cool so they went on to other activities while the lotion was in the blenders for 2 or more hours. I had brought samples of the lotion bars that I had made at home a couple of nights before, so I used ice trays that I bought at WalMart to make everyone tiny lotion bars as well.

In the end all of the participants went home with a lip balm, a jar of lotion and a lotion bar. Everyone had fun doing this, I think.

4. I was supposed to help judge the honey show.

Dr. Mikhail Kruglyakov, a Robert Brewer trained honey judge, came to judge the show and I was to be his steward. I learned so much. I own a refractometer and didn't know how to use it and he showed me. He also showed me how to examine a jar of honey from start to finish and write notes about it for the entrant. He was a lovely person and very kind and encouraging. We had very few entries into the show but tried to write good comments to help the entrants learn for the next show.

I hope that I can take the Welsh honey judge training at Young Harris in 2011 (if I get Master Beekeeper this year - otherwise I'll be taking the exam again in 2011).
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  1. Thank you for a great blog!

  2. Linda, your willingness to share your knowledge is wonderful. Thank you for that. I'd love to see that powerpoint presentation -- maybe I can talk you into a U-Tube video??
    I'm going to attempt candle making for the first time this winter.

  3. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Linda, Thank you so much for all that you share. I am planning on putting out my first hives this spring...and your website has been my inspiration and such a wonderful source of knowledge. Thank you again!

  4. Anonymous2:14 PM

    this is so great. i wish your talks were on youtube. it would be great to get that information out there for people who can't travel to you! distance learning for your dedicated readers.

  5. Thanks so much for all your helpful information. I also make lip balm and lotion bars from my beeswax, and they are just simply the best! Never has anything worked as well.

  6. I think the mini lotion bars and lip balm are awesome!


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