The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:46 pm

Yea, except hubby and I have no palette for alcohol - we think it all tastes horrible, so I can't imagine we'll enjoy the fruits of this labor. :lol:
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:28 am

Halfapint wrote:Not even going to lie mead is a bit if an squired taste, but move you have the taste it is the most delicious stuff on this planet
Geez, I'm surprised you could even understand that incoherent mess! hahaha... If you don't like alcohol though then you probably won't like it. Mead (especially home brew) is very potent initial taste, but the ending notes are that of honey. So if you can get over that initial "ew alcohol taste" it's quite pleasing! hahaha but hey, in a SHTF type situation turning honey to wine can be useful information to have.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:31 am

Halfapint wrote:
Halfapint wrote:Not even going to lie mead is a bit if an squired taste, but move you have the taste it is the most delicious stuff on this planet
Geez, I'm surprised you could even understand that incoherent mess! hahaha... If you don't like alcohol though then you probably won't like it. Mead (especially home brew) is very potent initial taste, but the ending notes are that of honey. So if you can get over that initial "ew alcohol taste" it's quite pleasing! hahaha but hey, in a SHTF type situation turning honey to wine can be useful information to have.
My husband couldn't read it, but I'm used to typing when I'm too tired to make sense and was able to translate. :lol:

Yea, my primary interest is knowing we can do this successfully so that we know what to do if it becomes necessary. Also, I'd like to see what kind of vinegar comes of it and if I can make some good pickles with it. Vinegar will also be a pretty big deal in a PAW type of situation, so I want to make sure I can make both alcohol and vinegar.
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:38 am

Mom tried making vinegar a few years ago. The mother is difficult to make, you can buy some but the stuff she bought didn't work well. It just make a foul tasting mess. Maybe with the mead that in the carboy right now I'll try to make some. Making pickles would be DELICIOUS with honey vinegar.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:49 am

The article I have about making vinegar from wine makes it sound super easy, but everybody I've talked to who says they tried it says it didn't work so well for them. I guess I'll see, but I am painfully aware that it may not work nearly as well as I expect. If it doesn't work, I'll just do some more research and see if I can find another way to do it.
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” ~Book of Eli

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:31 pm

If it works please let us know, I know I would really like to get some vinegar going.
JeeperCreeper wrote:I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:07 pm

Damn you Anianna :)

Last night I ordered stuff to start making mead :clap:
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:16 pm

:rofl: :clap:
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:35 pm

NamelessStain wrote:Damn you Anianna :)

Last night I ordered stuff to start making mead
:clap: :clap:

It's delish enjoy!

:clap: :clap:
JeeperCreeper wrote:I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:30 pm

Halfapint wrote:
NamelessStain wrote:Damn you Anianna :)

Last night I ordered stuff to start making mead
It's delish enjoy!
Well I don't want to side track the thread, but there's a reason to my madness.

I'm working on my Master Degree. My boss and I are huge Vikings show fans. I told him I wanted to grow my hair and beard so when I graduate, I can walk to get my diploma looking like a viking. He's Ok with it and I've been growing it for 7 months so far, final time will be over 2 years.

I figured, what would a viking drink to celebrate? MEAD!! It will be aged well over a year before we celebrate, which should make a good mead from what I've read so far.

Besides, making booze is a nice prepping skill :)
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:01 pm

My hubby had an epic viking-ish beard and there was an event at work where some guys came out from across the state. One of the guys brought his subordinate just to see the man with the epic beard, unaware that hubby had trimmed it neat days earlier for an interview. :lol:
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” ~Book of Eli

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:08 pm

NamelessStain wrote:
Halfapint wrote:
NamelessStain wrote:Damn you Anianna :)

Last night I ordered stuff to start making mead
It's delish enjoy!
Well I don't want to side track the thread, but there's a reason to my madness.

I'm working on my Master Degree. My boss and I are huge Vikings show fans. I told him I wanted to grow my hair and beard so when I graduate, I can walk to get my diploma looking like a viking. He's Ok with it and I've been growing it for 7 months so far, final time will be over 2 years.

I figured, what would a viking drink to celebrate? MEAD!! It will be aged well over a year before we celebrate, which should make a good mead from what I've read so far.

Besides, making booze is a nice prepping skill :)
Should be ok to talk about mead because its made WITH honey

If you are going to make it, mead takes nearly a year to actually ferment and clarify. I've had some in the carboy since march. It's sitting in there to settle all the gunk out. None of my mead has lasted any longer than about 3 months but at that point it is really really good. I bottle all my mead in 1 liter bottles because I find that when start drinking it, I'm really REALLY hard pressed to stop. Lastly when you drink it, you do feel like a viking, and a viking needs a proper drinking vessel.....

Image
JeeperCreeper wrote:I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:35 pm

So today was rob the bees day! I got to the parents place around 0830 and by 0900 the neighbor down the street had come up (we keep a couple hives down there). We only have 2 bee suits so dad and the neighbor dawned them and went out to raid the hives. I stayed inside to sanitize and get the work area ready and also to move the boxes in and shut the door as quickly as possible without letting the bees in. After about 2 hours or raiding this is what we came up with. Every box was completely full, minus the top one which had about 4 frames missing out of it...

Image

Now the work begins! Dad did the hot knifing, while I did the spinning (I'm really hating you right now Ani) and the neighbor unloaded and loaded the frames to the spinner.

Image

Image

MONEY SHOT! Look at that liquid gold!!

Image

Since parents don't have goats are other small livestock to cause shinnangines in the garage, this is how we clean up. Set the supers out on the lawn, and open up the garage!

Image

Image

Image

For those that don't like the sound of a few hundred thousand bees you may not want to watch this video. No I wasn't wearing a suit while shooting it either!

JeeperCreeper wrote:I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:43 pm

Sorry to side track the thread a bit, but it is about mead again so it's not too far off.

Is there a mead thread on this site? I couldn't seem to find one.

Most of my research has been coming from: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/

Can anyone suggest more sites please?

Finally, do any of you honey producers have a site where you sell the honey? If so, please PM me the site. I figure most can't "compete" with large retailers like Sam's or Costco, but if it's reasonable I'd rather buy from smaller producers than large corporations.

Thanks in advance all!!
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:51 pm

NamelessStain wrote:Sorry to side track the thread a bit, but it is about mead again so it's not too far off.

Is there a mead thread on this site? I couldn't seem to find one.

Most of my research has been coming from: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/

Can anyone suggest more sites please?

Finally, do any of you honey producers have a site where you sell the honey? If so, please PM me the site. I figure most can't "compete" with large retailers like Sam's or Costco, but if it's reasonable I'd rather buy from smaller producers than large corporations.

Thanks in advance all!!
I haven't seen a Mead thread on ZS, and http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/ is pretty much the goto site for mead making. It's where I first went and where I still go to read about mead and mead accessories.

About the honey I'll PM you.
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:55 pm

Thanks Halfapint. Btw, my brother said if I make the mead and graduate, he'll find someone who will craft me a "proper drinking horn" which scares the shit out of me since he knows people who breed longhorns. I'll be trashed on one drink.. LOL
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Looks like you had a much more awesome haul than we got this year, Halfapint! We really need more hives!

Now sell that honey and get yourself a real extractor! :rofl: :rofl:
Feed science, not zombies!

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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:27 pm

Anianna wrote:Looks like you had a much more awesome haul than we got this year, Halfapint! We really need more hives!

Now sell that honey and get yourself a real extractor! :rofl: :rofl:
LOL, I've been talking with PMs to Half, I'm trying to help him get it :)

Edit: My starter kit from Midwest Supplies came in today. Also found out a local micro brew sells a lot of the stuff I'll need to expand. Yea, already thinking of 1 mead a month. I have a problem, I go at new hobbies full bore :)
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:40 pm

Hey its not he size of the extractor.... its... uh.... well... ok ok fine it IS the size that matters! LOL. To be honest the process we use is slow with one person decapping, one person working the frames in and out of the extractor, and one person spinning. We can pretty much keep keep everyone busy and not idle all day, or until dad starts to get tired.

Our problem is we cant get a real extractor, no place to store it. I do plan on making a shed for the bee stuff but It'll need to be about twice the size that i was originally thinking. Especially if we plan on getting a larger extractor. I want to get more boxes and frames and possibly try to expand our hives a little more. We've got 11, I'd really like to try to get up to about 20 hives or so. The area we have to build on at my parents is limited, so that's the biggest problem about trying to make a "bee shed"
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:37 pm

So, we finally finished up and all totaled we have about 30 gallons of honey, I thought more but we weighed it out and per weight we had like 30.32 gallons of honey. About 6 gallons of that is "mead honey", as it was the stuff that we heated up to separate the honey from the wax. Some of it got a little to warm and dad things it's "burned" I actually like the taste of it, gives it some extra complexity to it, so I'm excited to try and make mead out of it.

Now, on to wax.... I've been thinking of stuff to do with the wax, one of my coworkers actually uses it to make hand and limp balms (its AMAZING stuff). But I was thinking the wax is edible, and I was thinking that you might be able to use a little of it as a "binder" in non cooked "Lara bars" often time the only binder in them is honey.

I bought my dad a candle mold for last year and we used some wax for that and they work well, candles burn for about 2 hours, and have a wonderful sent of honey. But I don't really want to use the good wax for candles. The good wax is the capping wax, it has a beautiful golden color to it. I'd rather use the brood wax which is darker for candles. We use to just burn the old frames but we switched over to the plastic frames instead of the natural wax ones a couple years ago and we dont want to burn those because we try not to burn plastic.

blah blah blah sorry I'm rambling.... Anyone have any ideas on using wax?
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Anianna » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:48 pm

Wow. We got maybe 5 gallons total, maybe a bit less. Then again, we only had two hives providing, but dang you got a lot!!

As for wax, I would have said the lip balm. I've seen various soap, lotion, and ointment recipes using beeswax. I was thinking about putting some dried or fresh fragrant flowers into a candle mold with the wax to see if it would add natural fragrance to the candle, but that would hit me hard with my allergies, so I probably won't try it. Hubby put some comb in a jar this year, but otherwise, he put the frames, wax and all, in the freezer and we plan on giving it back to the bees next season.

ETA: He's taking up half my freezer with his bee stuff. I wish he could have his own freezer!
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by NamelessStain » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:28 pm

Half,

When does the Knotweed honey become available? Just debating buying a few pounds :)
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:59 pm

NamelessStain wrote:Half,

When does the Knotweed honey become available? Just debating buying a few pounds :)
To be honest no idea, it depends if the bees stay active and keep looking for new food sources. Perhaps October if we have a nice dry "Indian" summer, if we get a decent amount I'll post up in here. That's our prized stuff, tastes completely different, very unique. So if we have extra or some we want to part with I'll let you know.

The last time we had a Knotweed harvest was 3 years ago and I just found a PINT of it. I swear I hit the lottery when I saw it! HAHA

Edit: Added pictures

Image
Thing of beauty isn't she!

Image
Normal (crystallized) honey for reference
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Re: The Beekeeping Thread (Pic heavy)

Post by Halfapint » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:31 pm

Some sad news dad passed so I'll be taking over our apiary. This is both amazing and scary as hell as I know the basics, but as the learning curve goes when you don't really deal with them everyday, or you aren't the primary caretaker of them..... You don't think about things.

I was hoping dad would hold on a few a little longer so we could get the bees winterized and maybe extract some more honey. So the bees wont be getting robbed this time (DAMN! we had a hell of a late summer/early fall I know there's tons of knotweed honey in there!).

I'm going to be going to the local honeybee association meeting (Puget Sound Beekeepers Association) to try and make some local connections besides the one that my dad had.

This is also the perfect time to expand the hives. I've been wanting to expand from our 11 or so up to about 20. I'll be going down to Portland this weekend and hope to meet up with a guy down there who started a honey business, he has hives around the city of Portland and keeps the honey separate so you can taste the different neighborhoods in Portland.

This thread really helped me in dealing with dads illness because it gave us something we are both passionate about. I want to continue his legacy of beekeeping and grow it in his honor.

So thanks a lot Ani for starting this!
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