Wax Extractors on the Loose

Keeping bees isn’t just about the honey, it’s also about the WAX!

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So how do you get bees wax straight from the hive (above) into a more usable form (below)?

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Meet our two new steam wax extractors! On the left is the industrial steam wax extractor and on the right is the homemade steam wax extractor.

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At 21 inches wide and 25 inches high this industrial steam wax extractor can get the melting job done in a jiffy. There is a false bottom that serves as a water reservoir sending steam up a pipe into the tank where the wax is placed. Wax filters through a screen and into a bucket. One con about the industrial extractor is that you need to have a lot of wax to make running the extractor worthwhile.

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Our homemade steam wax extractor is similar, but simpler, and super effective. The homemade extractor consists of an open-bottom wood box that has a hinged lid that is placed on top of a metal screen on top of the bottom piece of wood. A hose connects from a steamer into the top of the wood box. As steam is produced the wax melts and filters through the metal screen and drains into a bucket.

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Both wax extractors have been tested but have not been used for large quantities of wax. Stay posted to hear how our industrial steam wax extractor verses homemade steam wax extractor competition goes!

Meet Our New Hives: the Warré

Meet Our New Hives: the Warré

Hot off the bandsaw comes two new hives, the Warré hives. Image

The Warré hive, also known as The People’s Hive, was developed by Abbé Emile Warré and the plans were published in 1948. The Warré hive combines the elements of the Top Bar Hive and the Langstroth Hive. The original design of the Warré hive allows honey bees to build comb in a continuous downward fashion by adding additional boxes under the last box. The Warré hive simulates hive construction in a tree where the honey bees can build feet of comb downwards. The stacking of the boxes is in the fashion of the Langstroth Hives, but the free building of comb off of a top bar is in the style of the Top Bar Hive. As fascinating as it would be to harvest six feet of comb, it is a little unrealistic to safely and easily perform that sort of harvest.

For this reason we designed our Warré hives to hold top bars in each box, like the Langstroth Hive, but the top bars do not have foundation so the bees can build comb in a free-form fashion. Each hive that was built has four boxes, but more can always be built. P1150325P1150336

A hive is not just the boxes, but also the floor board, the roof, and with a Warré hive there is a box called the quilt.

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The floor board holds the rest of the hive and has a ramp entrance for the bees. Entrance reducers have also been created.

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The roof is larger than the boxes because it completely covers the quilt box. The roof is designed to allow moisture to vent out of the hive.

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The final part of the hive is the quilt box. This box is shorter than the other body boxes and is placed on top of the top body box with the roof placed over it and covered (as seen in the first picture). The quilt has burlap attached to the bottom to hold organic matter, like straw, to allow moisture to leave the hive and protect the hive from moisture build up.

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And here is our new final product! Make sure you stop by our bee yard to view the rest of the beautifully painted hives by contacting southhillforestproducts@gmail.com.

If you’re interesting in building your own Warré hive then CLICK HERE. Our Warré hives have slightly different dimensions than the ones proposed, but done so for no specific reason. Keep posted for updates on how the Warré hives hold our bees!