Saturday, August 16, 2014

Entering Honey in the Fair

   I entered honey in the fair again this year.  I'm not all that excited about getting blue ribbons as I am about supporting the Open Honey and Beeswax exhibit at the fair. I think things like that are very good for beekeeping.  While I'm not excited about getting more blue ribbons, I would be crushed if I got something less than a blue ribbon for my honey. That would reflect on me personally as a beekeeper.

I poured five one pound jars like this one and chose the best three for my fair entry
    I did something different this year in that I also did a beeswax entry.  On one hand, I do a lot with beeswax. Together with my trusty minions at the Beez Neez, we rendered out 542 pounds of clean unfiltered beeswax this past winter.  I teach candle classes in November and December each year and I sell a lot of 100% beeswax candles in the store, especially around Christmas.  The problem is that most of what I do with beeswax is not done with beeswax from my own beehives.   It takes a large number of beehives to generate 542 pounds of beeswax and I only have 12 beehives in my back yard.  Usually my personal beeswax gets lumped in with all of the other beeswax. In order to submit a beeswax entry to the fair, the wax has to come from my personal apiary.

    It just so happened that a few weeks back I stumbled upon a large paper grocery bag at the store which contained the cappings from last year's honey harvest.  I put the cappings  into my solar wax melter and was lucky enough to have a good 90 degree day just a few days later.  I ended up with a nice brick of beeswax weighing just a little under three pounds. Being more than a little prone towards procrastination I delayed filtering the wax until yesterday, then had to stay up until close to midnight in order to remelt the filtered wax and pour it into one pound hexagonal molds.  I removed the wax from the molds this morning and chose the best of the two blocks for my beeswax entry.  The block in the photo below is the one which didn't make the cut. It had a small speck of some foreign material. It still looks pretty nice. I have to admit that I am pretty proud of the girls' work.

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