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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. 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.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

Need help with an Atlanta area swarm? Visit Found a Swarm? Call a Beekeeper. ‪(404) 482-1848‬

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bill Owens and the Bees that Found Me

At GBA I ate lunch on Saturday with Bill Owens, the only Master Craftsman Beekeeper in the state of Georgia. I was telling him about the swarm that appeared in my backyard last week. I told him they weren't from my hives because my hives were chugging along and hadn't absconded.

Bill suggested that the bees were from my hive. Perhaps the hive I re-queened actually had a queen who wasn't laying due to the dearth. When I added a queen, the old queen gathered some bees and left. That makes sense to me because when they returned to my backyard, they landed about 20 feet in front of the hive from which they probably originated.

Today I came home about 3:30 to find the original hive looking like it was being robbed. I closed the top and put on a robber screen. The frenzy continued, so I got out the hose and sprayed water over the hive as if it were raining. When I stopped the hose to go back to work, I found that the bees continued swirling and frantically going toward the hive.

I left the hive closed up - bees can come in and out at the right lower edge of the robber screen, but it was otherwise closed up.
When I came home tonight, I noticed a clump of bees at the corner of the telescoping cover. What could this be? I wonder if a queen were in the center of the clump. Maybe they are balling the queen after all the ruckus this afternoon and maybe it's the small swarm trying to return to the original hive.

I guess I won't know the rest of the story until I can open the hives on Thursday. I'll leave it relatively closed up and we'll see what happens.

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Randy Oliver on Beekeeping in the 21st Century

Randy Oliver gave three talks at GBA. His energy and smile infuse all of his talks with enthusiasm and his obvious love of beekeeping. I read his articles in ABJ and he is someone who is referred to often on the bee forum discussions online, especially on BeeSource.

One of the talks I heard was on beekeeping in the 21st century. I'm going to try to share what I learned from this talk.

He said that management in the 21st century would include optimal nutrition, managing parasite loads, and using appropriate biotreatments at the right time.

Optimal nutrition means having a variety of pollen being brought into the hive. If you pull a frame with pollen on it, you should see lots of colors - this indicates a varied diet for the bees. He showed a slide comparing a "fat bee" with one that is not. House bees have lots of vitagellin and this keeps them alive and kicking. Foragers lose this fat and begin to age rapidly. Although he encouraged avoiding feeding bees as much as possible, if one feeds a pollen patty to the bees, they should be fed sugar syrup 1:1 at the same time.

For parasite management, he talked about the rapid increase of the varroa in the hive - at the rate of a 2.5% population increase per day. Sugar dusting with powdered sugar can help.

He had a wonderful picture of his methods, as he has described in ABJ.....a bee brush duct taped to a measuring cup in such a way that one can dump the cup and then with a flip of the wrist use the brush to brush the sugar off of the frame tops. The brush is taped one way for left handers and the other for right handers. I can't find a picture on his site, but you can imagine.

He also discussed working on retarding mite growth during spring build up and encouraged us to check for mite levels before supering up. Beginning August 15 all beekeepers should work like crazy to get the mite levels down in the hives so that the September bees who live through the winter will not be mite-infested.

When he is checking for mite levels with a sticky board, he sometimes does a check 10 minutes after sugar dusting. He uses his sticky boards over and over and cleans them with an ice scraper - really quick and effective.

If you can keep mite levels down under 1%, this will help not only with bees' health but also with honey production. Under 1% means that a 24 hour sticky board fall would be 10 mites or less, doing a sugar shake with a jar of bees - I believe he said 1 inch of bees in a mason jar = 100 bees - should only yield 3 mites, or a 10 minute sugar shake check of the sticky board should show a drop of only 5 - 10 mites.

He has invented a fabulous frame for drone management in the varroa fight. People use drone cell frames to grow drones and freeze the frame to kill the mites. These frames have to be on the hives for 28 days to assure readiness to freeze. To address the time issue and be more efficient (I experienced Randy Oliver as incredibly efficient about time usage), he invented a frame for drone management that does not involve freezing.

This frame has a bar in it about 1/4 the way down. He puts it in the hive with no foundation. The bees store honey in the upper fourth. In the lower fourth they will build drone comb. He pulls this frame, cuts out the capped drone comb and throws it away or melts the wax down. The process takes 15 seconds, can happen at the hive, and doesn't take up freezer space - see what I mean about his efficiency!

He also discussed, as many people are today, the idea of making late summer splits to interrupt the breeding cycle of the varroa mite.

When he talked about biotreatments, he discussed oxalic acid and formic acid. He treats his hives on the day after Christmas because the bees are not growing brood at that time.

This is purely an overview of what I understood. I encourage you to visit his site and read his many articles. I love reading his articles in ABJ because he writes in a very easy to grasp way. He ran a series on Nosema earlier this year and has written on Honey Super Cell, Powdered Sugar Treatments and many other topics.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pollen Substitute and Greg Rogers

At one point at the GBA meeting I decided to go outside and found a fun-filled workshop with Greg Rogers from North Carolina. He has 300 hives and runs his company, Haw Creek Honey in Asheville.

His workshop was on making pollen substitute. He began feeding his hives pollen substitute because in the last couple of years he had lost a number of hives and attributed this to their being weak and in need of more nutrition.

He said that the biggest problem in the south with feeding pollen substitute to the bees is the small hive beetle. The SHB has a breeding cycle of about 21 days, similar to the honeybee. So his reasoning is that if you put a pollen substitute patty on the hive, the bees should consume it within 5 - 7 days to avoid it being a constant food source for SHB to use for their young.

The pollen substitute patty is placed on the hive about 2 inches above the brood to allow ease of reach for the bees.

Here's his recipe:
1/2 bag of Megabee
10 lb dry sugar
1 cup canola oil
24 lb corn syrup or 2:1 sugar syrup

He adds the oil to the syrup and then puts the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients. He uses a masonry hoe to mix these things in a large vat - I didn't get a picture on the slideshow of the mixing but it looked like making bread on a very large scale. It takes him about 4 minutes to mix the whole thing up.

He greases the bucket that holds the finished 54 pound mix with some oil poured in the bucket and then swiped around with a paper towel - just like you would oil the pan for bread to use to rise.

I tasted the patty and it was really good. The Megabee has a citrus flavor and it looks like ginger bread with a citrus taste before it is baked. This was the most fun of all the talks and workshops I attended. Greg is practical and funny in his presentation.

Here are the slides. Click on the picture to see the whole show enlarged and with explanatory captions:

Making pollen patties

Honey Contest at GBA

I decided to be brave and enter my honey in the honey contest on the state level at the Georgia Beekeeper's Association annual fall meeting. I learned from my Metro entries and had polished, polished, polished my jars.

I was so excited at the end of the contest to find that I had won:

First place blue ribbon for light honey
First place blue ribbon for chunk honey (comb in a jar of liquid honey)
First place blue ribbon for cut comb honey (square of comb in a box)
Second place red ribbon for my wax block

There were cash prizes so I also won a total of $110!

I also entered my amber honey which didn't place and I forgot to pick up the jars and left them in Rabun County. Even though it didn't win, it was delicious honey, so I hope someone enjoys it!

The wax block wasn't the one I poured 19 times. After the Metro contest, it had some knicks in it and needed to be re-poured. So I re-poured it several times. The last re-pour before I was scheduled to leave for Rabun County cracked as it cooled.

I took all of my wax stuff with me to my mountain house and actually poured the block again on Thursday night before it was due at 9 AM on Friday! The last pour (that won second) wasn't perfect. It had stuck some to the bottom of the mold so the top was marred.

While at GBA, I went to a talk by Robert Brewer, the judge of the honey show and the certified Welsh Honey judge who teaches honey judging at Young Harris (and co-founded the Young Harris Institute). He discussed the wax block and I learned (in addition to what I had learned from Keith Fielder) that the edges of the wax block at the top of the pour need to be smooth. Robert suggested taking your thumb and rubbing the edge to smooth it out. Mine had edges that needed this. He also talked about how important it is to use well filtered wax - perhaps pouring it through silk. I'll be interested to try silk as a filter next year.

The other thing I was surprised by is that Virginia Webb, a beekeeper extraordinaire, won first place for the wax block. Her block was poured into a mold with raised designs. It was a solid block but had raised designs all over it. I had no idea and thought you had to have a solid, smooth block which is what I have been trying for - so here's something for me to learn more about for the future. I took a class from Virginia at the Folk School three years ago and learned so much from her.

GBA Talk - the History of 8 Frame Equipment

At GBA (Georgia Beekeepers' Association) in Rabun County this past weekend, I heard an entertaining talk by Steve Forest of Brushy Mountain Beekeeping. Steve pointed out that 8-frame equipment has been used and written about as long ago as 1894. He owns the entire year of Gleanings in Bee Culture from 1894 and there are, I believe he said, 24 articles on the advantages of using 8 frame equipment in that year!

He quoted a number of beekeepers who use 8 frame equipment, noting that bees tend to move up and not out. Often the frames on the outer edges of 10 frame equipment are not really used by the bees.

In 1915 Root moved to 10 frame equipment and began advertising it as advantageous. It's all about advertising, and beekeepers began moving to 10 frame equipment. By 1919 everyone believed that "bigger is better" and 10 frame equipment was all the rage.

I love using 8 frame equipment - it's so much lighter to move boxes during inspections. I didn't get to ask Steve what changes in measurements between 8 frame and 10 frame equipment.

My frames in my 10 frame equipment are snug in the box and fit tightly together. In my 8 frame equipment from Brushy Mountain, there is about 1/2 inch of wiggle room making the frames sit loosely in the box. So far that doesn't seem to be a problem, and maybe it works out the same as if I put 9 frames in a 10 frame box, which many beekeepers to do encourage really thick comb.

Fall Wildflowers at Black Rock Mountain Lake

I love the fall with the golden rod and blue asters.

The picture below is Euonymous Americanus, also called "Hearts A-Bustin'"--I love seeing it in the fall. It's an American native plant and is found all over the east.
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Candle Results

The candles came out just fine. I took them to the Ga Beekeepers' Association show but then found out the only way I could enter them in the show was in a holder - and I didn't bring one with me.

We did burn them at my mountain house and they were just lovely. I can't wait to make more. I learned a lot with this group but they did have depressed ends (at the tops of the mold). I filled it in with wax, but it left a line. There must be a way to do this better and I'll research it on the Internet before I try again.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pouring Candles

Today some mold release that I ordered from Brushy Mountain and a candle mold arrived on my doorstep. I was so excited that I had to try it out right away.

I was planning to melt wax tonight anyway since I'm trying to get a good wax block to take to the Ga Beekeeping Association Honey Contest. Keith Fielder, a Master Beekeeper - one of the few in Georgia, wrote me with some helpful hints so I poured this block using his hints - but he made me promise to keep his secrets, so I am not sharing them here.

Suffice it to say, my first effort was almost good enough and the second effort is solidifying in the oven as we speak. However it turns out, I will enter it in the show, if only to be able to thank Keith through my actions (using his methods to try for a good block).

I melted last year's wax block to make candles. Threading the wicks made me want to SCREAM. My wicks have been waxed (ie, I dipped the wick in melted wax) and that made it a little easier to thread them through the holes and the length of the mold. However, I couldn't get the wick to go through two of the holes - so I didn't make candles in those mold sections.

After threading the wicks into the molds, I tied them to bamboo skewers to hold the wick in the center of the candle while the liquid wax was being poured.

The directions that came with the mold said to put a wet sponge in the freezer to get it really cold and to set the mold on top of the frozen sponge. Thus when the hot wax leaks out of the tip of the candle which is against the sponge, the tip of the candle will quickly solidify! Who knew?

It was a messy process as you can see above. As the candles cooled, they shrank, leaving a concave space on each candle. I remembered from taking class with Virginia Webb that sometimes you have to go back and fill that area with wax, so I remelted some wax and did exactly that - see the picture below.

I don't think these candles will go to Ga Beekeeping meeting with me, but I am taking the wax block, my honey, my cut comb honey, my chunk honey, and I believe that will be all. It's a little silly for me to enter a state level contest, but I figure why not make the effort since I am going to be up there anyway and my honey is still bottled in good shape from the Metro contest.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Would a Hive Abscond?

This little survivor hive left its original home. Bees now are preparing for winter. Why would a hive leave everything behind and try to find a new home when there are no food sources in Atlanta right now and when their numbers are small?

Cindy Bee says that if the SHB (small hive beetle) has gotten into the hive and fermented the honey, then the bees have no supplies. Desperate, they don't know what else to do beyond abandon their home.

Jerry Wallace, a wonderful Atlanta beekeeper who is always willing to muse over things bee with me, says, "Healthy, well-fed robust hives minimize most beekeeping problems."

He also says:
1. The bees only need to have only as much room in the hive box as they can defend. This means having only the number of frames that the bees can cover. In Atlanta he leaves each hive with the brood box and one super filled with honey as winter approaches.
2. Hives are weakened when eager beekeepers rob the hive of all the honey supers and leave them with no stores for winter, planning to feed sugar syrup to make up for greed since "removing all the honey for harvest adds more stress"
3. A stressed hive offers more opportunity for the SHB to gain the upper hand

He also pointed out that a hive slimed by SHB is usually not worth saving but should be combined with another hive.

If I were to combine this rescued hive with another, I'd have to kill the queen. At the moment this queen has been quite brave, making two forays in an effort to find her bees a home. I am going to try to get this nuc up to par and overwinter the hive in the nuc.

Michael Bush does this on a regular basis and talks about it on his site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rescued Bees are Hungry

I left a full quart jar of syrup on the nuc hive this morning after adding the second box. When I came home from work the jar was almost half empty and now at bedtime, it is half empty. I have another ready to go for tomorrow morning.

I'm going to the Georgia Beekeeping Association fall meeting in Rabun County this weekend and want these bees to remain fed. I think I'll leave with the Boardman with a full jar and remove a couple of frames in the top box and put two Boardman bottles of syrup inside the upper box of the hive as well so that they don't run out of food while I am gone.

On second thought, I have another deep nuc box - I can put it empty over the two hive boxes as a shim to surround the feeders and then put two Boardman feeders on top of the frames of the second box. That way the bees can continue to use the 10 medium frames available to them to build up and get ready for winter - and I won't need to worry about their having enough food while I'm gone.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bees Found Me!

Today as I left for work, I noticed a swirling swarm of bees in my neighbor's yard across the street. I was running late and couldn't stop but I could see a plate sized pile of bees on the ground with others circling overhead and rejoining the group.

When I got a break in the day, I called my neighbor, Tom, and told him about the bees. He was shocked. He said he had been standing in that exact place earlier in the morning and there were no bees. I asked him to leave them alone and if they were still there when I got home, I'd put a hive box with them and try to retrieve them.

I called my local beekeeping guru, Cindy Bee. She said this was probably a hive that had absconded because of some problem like small hive beetles ruining their stores. Hungry and desperate, the bees leave the hive because of lack of supplies and lack of choice. She suggested that I set up a hive box with drawn comb and put it next to the pile of bees with a ramp of cardboard or cloth and that the bees would probably march right into the box.

At the end of the day, I drove home and looked over at my neighbor's house. The bees were gone. Oh, well, I thought, it wasn't meant to "bee." I checked my hives for signs of absconded bees but all of my hives were full and active.

When I get home at the end of the work day, the first thing I do is to let out the dogs. I opened the kitchen door and went out with Henry and Hannah. I was running with Hannah when I noticed the dish sized pile of bees in the center of my backyard.

The bees found me!

I did what Cindy suggested: I put out a medium nuc box, filled with drawn comb. I made a cardboard ramp and smeared a little swarm lure on it for encouragement. Right away the bees started climbing the ramp into the box! I had to go to a working dinner but by the time I left, they were steadily entering their new home. I have another box for this nuc - it's a medium nuc from Brushy Mountain - that I will add tomorrow.

Cindy suggested that I feed them heavily because they are now in a hive with absolutely no stores. I mixed up 2:1 syrup and put it in a Boardman feeder on the front of the hive. I didn't think about stings and did all of this with bare hands and no veil. I only got stung once under the fingernail of my right index finger - and that was because I smushed a bee while moving them around to put on the Boardman.

I hope they live and thrive - I'll sure try to help.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Mellona and Bermuda

These two hives are my standby strong ones. Mellona is entering her second winter. Bermuda is entering her third. She has barely made it through both of her winters, but perhaps this one will be the best one yet.

I've been worrying a little about Mellona. She has always looked weaker than Bermuda - less bees on the front porch and always looks a little on the low numbers side. Today there was brood everywhere - capped cells and brood in all stages of development.

On this frame you can see five emerging workers - they're the bees coming out of the cells face forward. The nurse bees are going into the cells headfirst!

In the picture below you can see larvae in all stages of development.

I was tired and needing to shower and go to work when I got to Bermuda so I only took this picture. The brood is obviously still in process - so that's good. I noticed in Bermuda there are two boxes each of which had half of its frames filled with honey and the other half empty. On my next inspection I'll combine the two boxes.

The combination will be a little problematic because one of the boxes is a medium and the other is a shallow....this is the argument for using all the same sized boxes. I had to put a box on in a hurry when I was on my way out of town and grabbed a shallow by mistake since all of its frames were there. But next time around I'll put the shallow frames in the medium box and hope for as little burr comb as possible!

I just noticed the stick in the bottom left of the frame. I believe this is a box that I started with popsicle sticks as starters and the stick must have fallen out of the slot and been incorporated by the bees into the wax comb!

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How's It Going At Aristaeus2?

This hive started from the second swarm I collected. The swarm was tiny and the bees were small as well. I've left the hive pretty much alone and have occasionally inspected it - maybe three deep inspections since I got it on April 8.

Today I looked into the brood box - I've never seen the queen in this hive. She obviously is hard at work and here is her brood pattern. Looking good, she's still building up the hive numbers as we approach the fall.

Aristaeus2 had an extra empty box on top of it so that they could clean it up after harvest for me. Now they will winter in this shape:
one deep and two medium boxes. I may need to consolidate the top two boxes but for now both are heavy with honey.

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The Persephone Combo Succeeds

I opened Persephone to find a huge number of hive beetles. I call this first picture "Death by Hive Tool" All of the beetles including the ones congregating in the upper left corner are dead, smashed with my hive tool.

This hive has a shim on it under the inner cover because I need to feed it, but there were so many hive beetles that I think I need to put a trap inside the shim instead. The open area makes for more space that the bees have to defend, so I need to have a purpose for the shim or take it off.

There was healthy brood and larvae in this hive and I feel good about how the newspaper combination worked on this hive. It seems a little light on stores, though, so I need to feed it over the next few weeks. This hive had a hard time succeeding and the bees in it were without a queen at the beginning so they missed the honey flow.

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Devorah--the Re-Queened Hive and Her Progress

Right before Labor Day I installed a new queen in this queenless hive. There was absolutely no brood in the hive and the cells in the brood box were polished clean. The bees were angry and the hive was not doing well, as would be true of any queenless hive.

I installed the new queen and went out of town. When I returned the queen had been released and the hive seemed to be buzzing along.

Today I inspected to see if she had actually begun laying. My first sight was this wax moth worm being dragged out by a house bee. I took the shot after the house bee had returned to the hive. My heart sank at the idea that wax moths had overtaken the hive.

I also saw small hive beetles, as I did on this inspection in all of my hives. Here's one just hanging out with the bees.

But when I opened the previously empty brood box, I found to my huge relief, there were brood cells, capped and ready to emerge. I saw some larvae but didn't look at more than three frames in the brood box. I just wanted to make sure there was capped brood and I didn't want to take the risk of smushing Her Majesty. So relieved to see capped brood, I closed up the hive and left.

In a couple of weeks, I'll check again. I didn't do a powdered sugar shake on this hive because the varroa cycle was interrupted by the queenless problem. However, I may do a shake on my next inspection of this hive.

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The Metro Atlanta Beekeepers' Honey Contest

Tonight was the annual Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association honey contest and party. The food was great. I took a beehive cake like I'd made for my book club last year. The little jelly bean bees with almond wings turned out better than the previous cake I baked.

I'm so grateful that my daughter Valerie gave me this cake pan - what fun I've had with it!

We had an auction of donated items from a garden hive top and an observation hive to baskets of honey goodies, baked goods, etc. I bought a candle holder, a basket of homemade honey lotions, balms, and other body indulgences, a pair of bee earrings and a necklace, and a bee hand towel.

We did all of this while the honey contest was being judged.

Our honey contest has grown - there were about 60 entries this year. Some of us entered in more than one category, but it is still a phenomenal number. Our Welsh honey judge, Evelyn Williams, declared that next year we need to have more than one judge or more time. I think she worked like a Trojan for several hours.

I am so excited! I won six ribbons - four blue first place ribbons and two red second place ribbons.

The blue ribbons were for:

1. The wax block that I poured in the end 18 times!!!!!
2. My boxed cut comb honey
3. My jarred chunk honey
4. My entry into the black jar contest - the honey is poured into a black jar and is judged purely on the taste and consistency. I wasn't planning to enter the black jar but did at the last minute. So I was particularly pleased about winning that because it was so last minute! My bees make delicious honey and I think it helps not to use an extractor in terms of the richness and thickness of the honey.

The red ribbons were for:

1. My light amber honey
2. My dark amber honey

Now I'll re-pour the wax block for the Georgia Beekeepers' meeting in a couple of weeks and I'll re-clean all of my jars and the cases for the cut comb honey and start all over again!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

And What of the Bees?

I've been focused on the wax block for so long that some of you may be wondering if I have forgotten the bees. I am going to do an inspection and powdered sugar shake tomorrow. I have not inspected the bees in a couple of weeks.

Here's the good news:
At Young Harris this year a number of speakers, Kim Flottum and Ross Conrad, for example, gave talks about how important splits in mid summer are to reduce the varroa mite issue. When you do a split and force the hive to make a new queen, brood rearing is disrupted.

In my hives, the hive I requeened a few weeks ago was in the middle of an interrupted brood cycle. I haven't checked to see if the new queen is laying or if she is established in the hive beyond removing her empty queen cage.

However simply by being queenless long enough to interrupt the rearing of brood, that hive is much less likely to have a varroa problem. Without eggs being laid and brood being capped and growing, there is no place for the varroa mite to lay her eggs or for young varroa to grow and thrive. The Devorah hive is highly likely to have a very low varroa count as a result.

I will check all the hives in the morning to see what's what and I'll report to you about how the requeened hive is doing, how the combined hive is doing and how the other three are doing.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Saga Continues

This may be it - it isn't perfect, but I give up - this is the 15th pour and I've had it with trying for perfection. I'm getting in the boat with the Amish who make mistakes in their quilts on purpose because they believe it is an affront to God to think that any human can achieve perfection.

And the Metro Beekeepers Annual Honey contest, Auction and Picnic is this coming Sunday so time is running out.

I poured this in a glass dish lubricated with dishwashing detergent. I've tried PAM, dishwashing detergent, Crisco, and Silicone Spray. The latter had to be sprayed outdoors and could only be used in a metal pan. I was so afraid that the chemical smell would ruin the wax. That pour had divots in it but popped right out of the pan. Thus I'm up to POUR 15......grrrr.

It cooled well and popped out of the pan looking shiny and lovely. The glass pans work well for smooth sides, but it's hard to pop out of the pan without flexible sides. Looks perfect, right?

But no, right in the center of the top are these tiny marks from the dishwashing liquid pooling on the bottom of the pan or maybe, since this spot is in the location of where the first wax went into the pan, they are the result of the pan not being hot enough. Usually when I pour I have the pan sitting in another pan of boiling water. This time I poured and then put the water around the pan. Maybe this is where the wax cooled faster than the rest since it was first in the pan and then the hot water didn't remelt it. Who knows?

I have been polishing it with a knee high stocking like crazy. Here's the damaged part:

I have polished and polished and it's looking better. I also poured Pour 14 at the same time with some darker wax. It didn't come out well - looks great but has three bubble holes on the top - small ones but quite obvious. I may pour that wax again into the pan of #15 and see. If it's better than this one, I'll use it, but otherwise #15 enters the contest on Sunday.

There's a fabulous candle maker in our club - she makes candles that look like bundles of asparagus, pine cones, etc. and they all come out of the molds perfectly. I'm trying for second or third place with this small attempt below. I poured my extra wax into silicone cupcake holders that I had poked a hole in and inserted wicks. I think they turned out cute. I can only enter one of them but the one on the upper right is perfect, so it will enter to try for 2nd or 3rd place.

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