Wednesday, August 6, 2014

LESSON 160: Adding Wax To Frames To Speed Up Drawn Comb

(This entry is time sensitive, meaning  prices and items are subject to change. Visit our website for current items and prices: www.honeybeesonline.com)

MB Pin I want to share today about adding wax to foundation to help the bees draw the comb out faster. But before I do, let me tell you about the great time I had at the Eastern Apicultural Society in Richmond, Kentucky. The pin pictured here is what is awarded to those who pass the four tests to become a master beekeeper. The master beekeeper certification runs parallel with the EAS conference. 

Dr. Dewey Caron serves as the advisor to the MB program. Dr. Caron is the author of, Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping. 7 more master beekeepers were certified and earned their MB pins. New bee research findings were revealed and the workshops were great. The best part for me is hanging out with people in the halls or at supper and talking bees.

MBtesting

Here I am (yellow shirt) field testing master beekeeper applicant Andrew Joseph, Iowa state bee inspector at the Eastern Apicultural Society conference. Andrew is now a newly certified EAS Master Beekeeper, along with 6 others tested this year. Congratulations to all! To find out more about becoming a master beekeeper go to: http://www.easternapiculture.org/master-beekeepers.html

Andrew was the first person I’ve ever tested who scored a 100 on the field test. It was a pleasure watching Andrew demonstrate a hive inspection. The master beekeeper certification consists of 4 areas of testing: Field, Lab, Written and Orals. This year the oral panel that I served on tested Louie from France. I was really impressed with his mastery of the English language in his short time in the US.

All the applicants were enjoyable to meet and talk with. It is encouraging to see so many people wanting to know as much as possible about keeping bees.

 

winterbeekindclick Our Winter-Bee-Kind winter feeding system is on sale now. Orders will start shipping in Oct once the weather becomes cooler. Orders will be shipped in the order they were received. We usually have several hundred orders placed prior to our shipping date, so order soon! We have a video online that you can view prior to purchase. Just click here. We sell both 10 frame and 8 frame Winter-Bee-Kinds, so BE SURE you are clicking on the correct size when you order. If you’ve never heard about this item it is a candy board with sugar and pollen substitute. It also has a 1” insulation for the top of your hive as well as an entrance/exit to help with winter condensation.

FACEBOOK

We almost post something daily on our Facebook page. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/longlanehoney and Like Us while you are there please and thank you.

My good friend Jon Zawislak and I produced another HiveTalk episode when we were at EAS. Take a listen as our guests were: Dr. Jeff Harris, Dr. Dianna Sammataro, Kent Williams, Steve Repasky, Erin MacGegor-Forbes, and Karessa Torgerson. Go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

HiveTalk Our next Hive Talk will be August 28 at 10 a.m. central time. Join us and ask questions live on air or just listen in. The number to call is: 1-724-444-7444. When you call in you'll be asked to enter our SHOW ID which is: 129777 followed by the # sign. Then the automated system will ask you for your Pin number which is 1 followed by the # sign. At that point, you'll be on the show with us so you can ask your questions. You will be muted unless you press * 8 on your phone and that will allow us to unmute you so you can ask your question. Call in around 10 minutes prior to broadcast, at 9:50 a.m. central time.  If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

NEW CLASS:  A Better Way To Get Your Bees Through The Winter

And while we are talking about winter survival of bees, why not take our over wintering class. Sunday Sept. 7th Noon-6pm. Get Your Bees Through The Winter Class.  The winter of 2013-2014 was very hard on colony survival and it was hard on beekeepers. Maybe you lost your hive last winter. It can be confusing trying to figure out why your bees died. They may have had plenty of stored honey and still died. Maybe they had a great queen and were very populated but still died. Join certified master beekeeper, David Burns, for an extensive 6 hour course on common reasons why bees die in the winter and what you can do to improve your bee's chances of survival. This class will cover topics such as: fall preparation, mouse protection, mite reduction, wind blocks, wrapping hives, heating lights, winter feeding, insulation, moving hives into buildings or shelters, the biology of fat bodies, the timing of a new fall queen, pros and cons of double walled hives, dynamics of both Langstroth and top bar hives in the winter, the winter cluster and more. Sunday Sept. 7th  2014  Noon-6pm. An email will be sent to all registered students with hotel information, directions and other important information. Click here for additional information. Our Sat. class filled up and we are offering this Sunday class, but only a few seats are still available.

LESSON 160: Adding Wax To Frames To Speed Up Drawing Out Comb

We are in that time of year when we want every last drop of nectar bees can carry in. But, this means we need supers on the hive with drawn comb. Beekeepers around the country are buying up supers like a gold rush in order to capture the honey stores for this summer.

Waxtest If the colony does not have drawn comb nectar gathering can be lost, and no honey harvested. Here’s what I do to help speed up my bees to draw out the comb. I clean my wax cappings gathered from when I harvested my honey supers. I melt it in a skillet, then I brush the wax on to my plastic foundation. It comes with wax, and usually that is fine. But to give my bees an extra edge it doesn’t hurt to add some wax if you have it.

When you add additional wax to plastic foundation it can greatly increase the chances that the bees will draw out the comb faster. They will use the extra wax you’ve given them along with making more of their own and drawing out the combs for faster use.

By using your own wax, you know the quality of your wax. Be careful not to brush on the wax if it is very hot or it will warp the plastic. Let the wax cool enough to where it is thicker and cooler.

If you do not want to heat your extra wax cappings you can ball it up and then rub it into the plastic foundation. As you rub the wax into the foundation small amounts will catch and adhere to the cells.

wax test There are several ways to place wax on plastic foundation and you can even add extra wax to wax foundation too. I’ve tried sponge brushes, paint brushes and they all work fine. I started using a drywall sander because it is spongy and it was all I could find one day. Currently I’m running an experiment to see how much faster it is to add additional amounts of wax to foundation. In my case, I took 7 frames and configured them with various degrees of wax and foundation and some with no wax. I started this experiment on our anniversary, Aug. 3rd. It might be too late in the season, but I’ll see how the bees will do. What I mean by too late is that it is more challenging to get drawn comb later in the summer. However, as long as there is a nectar flow, it works. The heavier the nectar flow the better.

Soon, summer nectar flows will stop until fall nectar flow starts. A good rule of thumb is try and get all the wax in your supers pulled out before fall. I have had some wax building in the fall, but bank on spring and summer.

Thanks for joining us again!
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
www.honeybeesonline.com

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