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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. 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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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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