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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!
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Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Wax Block Pours Again.......

Those of you who have been along for most of this journey remember the year when I poured a wax block for the honey contest 18 times.  This is the first pour when I innocently thought this might be pretty easy.  And this is the 15th.  I did get a blue ribbon, but now I think that was a little (are you laughing yet?) obsessive.

This weekend is the Georgia Beekeepers' Association fall meeting and honey contest.  I am going to miss the Metro honey contest this year because I will be on vacation.  So I am entering the GBA contest this weekend.  For sure I'll enter liquid honey, chunk honey, creamed honey (remember Jeff's and my detailed experience), crafts, and maybe photography, but I don't have a photo that just screams to be entered.  I'd like to enter wax block but I didn't pour my first one until last night.

Well, to be honest, I poured two.  I had enough wax and I figured that one would probably come out OK and I could keep repouring the other to try to attain perfection (or close).

The other aspect of this contest is that I'll be up against Virginia Webb - she wins everything.  Her honey has won Best in the WORLD at Apimondia - TWICE.  And she always wins the wax block.

The last time I went against her at GBA she entered a block that wasn't a classic wax block but was poured into a mold covered with designs. She got the blue ribbon and I won the red.  Our rules for MABA specify that the block has to follow the classic rules - a plain, no design on it, 2 - 3 pound wax block.  But this weekend Virginia is sure to enter a lovely designs all over it block and I will not get the blue ribbon - so I'm trying for the red.

The truth is I may not have an entry at all.

This morning I woke to find that neither block had finished well - both had cracks in them.



The prettiest wax I have poured all the right ways - left in a hot pan of hot water in a 350 oven that I turned off right before I put the wax into it.  I put a window pane over it, closed the door and left it for the night.  Nothing doing, it's a mammoth failure....










The second block I put in a pan of hot water on the work bench with glass over it and it too cracked in cooling.  That usually means uneven cooling but I had it in a hot water bath, with two sheets of glass over it.
















It looked pretty good from the top, but underneath:

















Undaunted, I repoured both of them tonight - we'll see.  I didn't change much - used a little more release (dishwashing liquid) and added some extra hot water to the pan.

We'll see in the morning.

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