Beekeeping during a pandemic has its challenges. Social distancing guidelines have made it difficult to work with fellow beekeepers and mentees. Most of the sites where I keep bees were closed at the start of the pandemic and some remain so. Having to coordinate with site managers to access the hives has made me a more organized beekeeper. Supply chain disruptions made it hard to get needed beekeeping equipment and supplies. But the Mother Nature and the bees kept working and it was nice for me to have the bees to look after when everything shut down.
Our weather was challenging too. That string of more than twenty 90-degree days in July was exhausting, but was perfect for my solar wax melter. Each morning I would fill the melter with bits of wax I'd scraped out of my hives and wax cappings from past honey harvests. As the wax melted, it would drain into a bread loaf pan at the base of the melter leaving the dirt and debris affectionately known as "slum gum" behind. The wax loaf cooled overnight and I'd extract it the next morning when I re-loaded the melter with another batch of wax to process. So far this Summer I've cleaned about 30 pounds of wax.
Wax piled into the melter. Empty loaf pan at bottom of image.
After a day in the sun, clean beeswax collects in the loaf pan.
The melter set up and ready to go to work.
Clean beeswax ready to use for candles and other projects.
Recipe of the month: Grilled eggplant with chili and honey