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My Beekeeper Class Part 5 - Wax

Beekeeping Class

My Beekeeper Class Part 5 - Wax

My teacher called me before class started and asked me to bring some candles. Our topic was going to be wax. Yay! In former times, bees were considered more valuable for their wax than their honey. Candle light was a privilege and a luxury. With the introduction of chemically produced waxes such as paraffin (the sludge from the bottom of an oil barrel), beeswax lost its importance. Beeswax is a luxury product to be cherished. Read about the advantages of beeswax here.    In my first bee class, we learned about the worker bee and the different stages of her very...

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My Beekeeper Class Part 4 - Queen Breeding

Beekeeping Class

My Beekeeper Class Part 4 - Queen Breeding

Raising a new queen sounds like a topic for advanced beekeepers, at least that's what I thought. But during my last beekeeper class, we learned that queen rearing and mating are actually one of the most important jobs of the beekeeper. So please bear with me as this got slightly confusing at times.   The first reason for raising a new queen is the obvious, your hive is without a queen. We talked about how to find out if your hive is with or without queen during my last beekeeper class. Another reason to breed a new queen is that your...

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My Beekeeper Class Part 3 - Swarms and Honey

Beekeeping Class

My Beekeeper Class Part 3 - Swarms and Honey

During my last beekeeper class, I got to taste my first honey direct from the comb. I'll get to that in a minute. But first we learned about the main job of a beekeeper - swarm control.   Why does a honeybee colony swarm? The first factor has to do with the age of the queen. Here's a rule of thumb. In her first year, she will not swarm. In her second year, she will probably swarm. In her third year, she will definitely swarm. The second reason a colony swarms is because they need more room. But let's discuss the...

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My Beekeeper Class Part 2 - The Hive

Beekeeping Class

My Beekeeper Class Part 2 - The Hive

What happened to Spring? Too cold for me and much too cold for the bees. It should be at least 12 degrees Celsius before you open a beehive. And seeing as the thermometer in my car on the way to my bee class read 6 degrees, we weren't going to get a peak in the hive. Instead, about 15 of us huddled in the beekeeping clubhouse to learn about the different breeds of bees, frame sizes and where to best place a beehive.    We discussed three of the most popular races of honey bees, not very many considering that there...

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My Beekeeper Class Part I - Bee Basics

Beekeeping Class

My Beekeeper Class Part I - Bee Basics

I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be a part of a beekeeping class offered by the beekeeping club of Konstanz. Yesterday afternoon was my second class so I have a lot to catch you up on. But first, a little bit of Greek Mythology which our instructor shared during our first class. Did you know that Zeus, the god of the sky and the ruler of the gods, was raised on honey? The story goes that Cronus, the father of Zeus, ate each of his children after they were born as he feared that they would overthrow...

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