Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Denial or Distraction

Today I had a ton of things to do. Tomorrow the weather  is turning more winter like with a cold rain moving in, and so we needed to get the coops padded down with extra straw and all of the outside chores completed.
I made candy boards for the bees and needed to get those placed on hives as well.
So I woke up feeling rather overwhelmed and did what I thought would be the best thing to do.

I spent the morning making candles.

I figure I was either in denial of all that I needed to accomplish or I was simply too distracted with more fun projects.
I bought some soy wax flakes and decided to melt them to make these simply wonderful jar candles. I plan to store a small book of matches under the lids and have a nice set of emergency candles ready to go in the event of a power outage. These will burn about 40 hours each.
Since I was in full candle making mode I pulled out my bees wax too and made even more candles.


I make candy boards for the hives each year and get them on the hives by Dec. 22nd.  Today I am happy to say all of the boards are in place and my hives all looked great...I even got a couple of stings through my bee suit:-)

Candy boards are simply a piece of wood similar to the hive inner cover that I cover with a sugar syrup that is boiled to the hard crack stage. I place them candy side down on the hives so the bees have a little extra food to see them through Jan and Feb.

I usually spend about 6 hours in the kitchen boiling syrup to make the boards but this year I tried a no cook method.
I mixed together granulated sugar, honey (I had some goldenrod honey here that came from my father in law. You can use water if you do not have honey.) and some Honey Bee Healthy stimulant. I mixed it until it looked like wet sand.

I placed a pollen patty in the center of the board and then placed the sugar on there. I pressed it down so that it was more compact.

Once the board was covered I placed it in the oven at 200 degrees and let it bake for about 20 minutes. My goal was to just liquefy it a tiny bit. Once it was done, I carefully set it out to cool.

I stacked the boards with some wood shims between them and allowed them to harden. It took about 24 hours and they were ready to be placed on hives.
This will be much needed food for the bees. The winter has been mild so far and so the bees are more active and eating lots more of their food reserves.


I did get all of my chores completed so I will spend tomorrow wrapping up a few errands then I plan to be home, home, home. The cold weather and the holidays really should be spent watching movies and relaxing. I plan to do as much of both as I am able.

What are your plans this week? Are you ready for Christmas or are you a last minute planner?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Sam! Interestingly, in the 10+ years that I've lived here, the power has only gone out for brief periods so that no candles have ever been needed. But I've heard from some that it's a regular occurrence, depending on where you live. I am definitely a last-minute Christmas person. Gotta run!


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