Tag Archive | make your own

DIY Honey B Healthy Recipe

May 16, 2015

When feeding the bees sugar syrup, I always add a bit of Honey B Healthy to help boost their brood building and to help keep them healthy.  Honey B Healthy consists of essential oils that help eliminate bacteria in their little guts, and even aid them in fighting off mites.  It’s good stuff, and the bees love it!  They’ll start buzzing around outside my screened window when I add it to a fresh pot of sugar syrup.  A bottle does go a long way, but it’s over $30 a bottle!  Not cheap!

So I found a recipe for making my own Honey B Healthy.  This one is published regularly on Beesource.com.  Keep in mind also that the lemongrass oil used in this recipe can be traced outside the entrance of a swarm trap to attract swarms.  A little goes a long way.  Just store it in the fridge and use as instructed below.  I also added this recipe to my Bee Recipes link a the top of this site so you can find it here anytime you need it.

Homemade Honey B Healthy

Much less expensive and just as effective as the real thing!

5 cups water
2 ½ pounds of sugar
1/8 teaspoon lecithin granules (used as an emulsifier)
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemongrass oil

Add ingredients in a blender and blend til mixture is completely emulsified and doesn’t separate (several minutes).

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Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.  The OJ container below works well cause I can give it a good shake before using it.   Just don’t confuse it with orange juice :o)

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Mix with 1:1 sugar syrup in amount listed below:

  •  1 tsp per 1 quart syrup

Note:  I get my essential oils from LorAnn oils, website:  https://wholesale.lorannoils.com/.  LorAnn oils are organic, food grade essential oils.  Email and tell them you are a beekeeper and they will provide you with login access to their wholesale site/prices.

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Soap Making Obsession

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Lavender Milk Mash (left) made with milk, lavender essential oil and crushed spent grains; Forest Glen Yogurt Soap (right) made with whole milk yogurt.

My latest craze…soap! I am learning all kinds of wonderful ways to make soap. Soaps in the crockpot, cold process soaps, soaps made with milk and yogurt, soaps made with beer and spent grains, and of course soaps made with beeswax and honey!  It’s surprisingly easy to make, and based on the number of recipes, sites and tutorials out there, everyone is doing it!

For beginners, I recommend the hot process method, for two main reasons:

1. You don’t have to be precise, and
2. It’s ready to use straightaway.

The crockpot cooks the soap, pushing it through the gel process and allowing it to soaponify within an hour’s time, so you can start using it immediately.

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Start off with a few basic recipes using inexpensive kitchen oils (like crisco, soy oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, rendered fats like beef tallow – and don’t forget beeswax), some hardware store lye (like Red Devil – I get my from Ace Hardware), and distilled, bottled or rain water.   Don’t use water from the tap since it has different chemical make-ups and can cause inconsistent results.  You can substitute other liquids for the water, like beer, tea, and milk.  These liquids need to be treated differently because they react differently with the lye.  But the options are endless.

You can use the hot process method on virtually any cold process soap recipe.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be designing all kinds of different soaps, and family members will become your test subjects.  Ha!  No more store bought Coast soap for you dear husband!

Soap making resources are everywhere on the internet, so instead of adding yet another tutorial, I will refer  you to some of my favorite soaping resources so you can begin your own soap making obsession…

GoodEarthSpa Hot Process Soap Step-by-Step (my favorite tutorial for hot process soap)

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More of my favorite tutorials and resources…

GoodEarthSpa Channel on YouTube – Full of detailed tutorials and recipes for all types of soaps, cold, hot, solid, liquid, laundry, and more. Plus, she’s a beekeeper!

SoapQueenTV Channel on YouTube – Tons of wonderful soap making video tutorials and more!

Chickens in the Road – Hot Process Soap Tutorial

Chickens in the Road – How to Make Soap Tutorial

From Nature with Love – My favorite Soapulator (for calculating soap recipes)

The Chemistry Store – favorite supply resource

Amazon – my other favorite supply resource

Smart Soapmaking by Anne L. Watson (99 cent kindle book on Amazon.com – a great starter book and she has other books to help you advance into other areas of soap and lotion making, all 99 cents)

Pinterest – for soap recipes galore!!!

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Happy Soaping!!!

 

Hand Rolling Beeswax Candles

When I signed up to help my Beekeeping Cub demonstrate how to make beeswax candles at the county fair, I envisioned myself sitting on a stump, wick in hand, dipping tirelessly into a pot of hot wax while waving at the kiddies.

I arrived to a table piled high with beeswax foundation – the long flat sheets of wax that are inserted in the frames of the hive to help bees draw out their comb. Using a precut cardboard template and an exacto knife, I was instructed to cut out the shapes from the sheets of wax. The wick cord was then wrapped around a precut piece of cardboard and cut to length.

With everything precut and ready to go, we invited passersby to sit down and make their own candles. And I mean everyone – kids, parents, grandmas, men, women, teenagers…regardless of age or gender, everyone loved it!

Since most of us beekeepers have a few extra sheets of beeswax foundation lying around, I thought I’d share a tutorial for making hand rolled beeswax candles. It’s super easy, they make great gifts, and it’s an easy and fun project for kids. In fact, many of the kids ended up showing their parents how to make the candles. Here we go…

Beeswax Candles

1 full sheet of deep foundation makes 2 candles. 

Supplies

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Supplies needed to make beeswax candles.

1.  On a large cutting board, lay one sheet of deep size beeswax foundation in front of you horizontally (skip this step if using pre-cut sheets).

2.  Use your ruler to measure across the top edge and cut a small slit to mark the top center of the sheet.

3.  Do the same across the bottom edge and cut a small slit to mark the bottom center of the sheet.

4.  Align the ruler with the two center slits and cut the sheet in half vertically with your exacto knife.  You’ll have two sheets.

5.  Put one of the halves aside and put the other half in front of you.

6.  Measure the left edge and cut a small slit to mark the center, then measure the right edge and cut a small slit to mark the center.

7.  Align your ruler with the two center slits and cut the sheet in half horizontally.  You should have two quartered pieces, as shown below.

8.   Put one piece aside and place the other piece in front of you horizontally.

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Two quartered pieces will make one candle.

9.   On the top edge right, measure 2 inches in (left, toward the center) from the right corner.  Mark with a small slit.

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On top edge, mark 2″ from the right corner.

 

10. On the left edge, measure 1 inch up from the bottom corner.

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On left edge, mark 1″ from bottom corner.


11.  Align your ruler between the 2″ and 1″ slits and cut diagonally along the top outside edge of the ruler, removing a triangular piece of wax.  

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Cut diagonally between the top and side slits.

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Finished cut piece – this can be used to cut a cardboard template that can be used for future candle projects, and it can also be used as a template for cutting the second quartered piece of wax.


12. Lay your finished cut piece on top of your other quartered piece so that right and left edges align.

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Lay the top piece on the other sheet and cut along the edges to create two matching pieces.

13. Use the top piece as a template, cutting along to edges to produce a matching piece from the bottom sheet.  You should have two matching pieces, as shown in the photos below.

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14.  Cut a 10″ piece of #2 (medium) candle wick cord and lay it across the bottom edge of one piece of wax, leaving equal parts extending outside the wax on each side, as shown below.


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15.  Gently press the wick into the wax, about 1/8″ above the bottom edge to help it stay in place, as shown below.


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16.  Use your fingers to gently curl the bottom edge of the wax upward and roll one complete roll over the wick, then stop rolling.

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One complete roll over the wick.

17.  Place the second piece of wax on top of the first piece so that the side edges align and so the bottom edge of the second piece aligns just above the first roll.

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18.  Gently continue rolling the bottom piece while incorporating the bottom edge of the top piece into the roll.

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19.  Continue to gently and evenly roll the combined pieces.  The more you roll, the easier the rolling will become, until you can easily push the roll tightly and all the way through to finish the candle, as shown below.


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20. FINAL STEP.  Turn the candle upside down, curl the end of the wick and press it into the bottom of the candle.   

Voila!  You have a finished candle!  

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These candles look great just as they are, or you can paint or stamp your candle using alcohol inks, as shown below.

You’ll enjoy about 2-3 hours of burning time from each candle.

These candles smell wonderful when burned, and because they are made from bees wax, they will not smoke.  That’s why only beeswax candles are used in the Catholic and other churches around the world.

So buy a few extra sheets of beeswax and start rolling some candles.  They are so much fun for everyone to make, and they make fabulous, inexpensive handmade gifts that your friends and family will love!  Enjoy!

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How to Make Pollen Patties

Since the pollen has died down, the girls need protein. So I ordered a bucket of BeePro – pollen substitute – and after watching a few videos, came up with my own recipe for pollen patties. Easy to do, I added HoneyBHealthy for some added nutrients. The girls took to them immediately! I kept the patties to no larger than 4×4 inches.  This recipe makes about 4-6 patties, but you can multiply the recipe to make more.  They freeze well until needed.

Note:  Pollen patties attract hive beetles, so ideally you want the bees to consume the patty within 3 days.  Best not to put more than one patty in the hive at one time, unless you have a very strong hive and minimal problems with hive beetles. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pollen substitute (I use Bee Pro by Mann Lake, available on Amazon for $19 at tub)
  • 1/2 cup sugar syrup (1:1 or 2:1)
  • 1/4 tsp HoneyBHealthy

Instructions

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Gather your ingredients.

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Mix them together. Hands work well. You want the consistency of play-doh.

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Pull off a piece no larger than a golf ball. The piece in this photo is too big.

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Place between two sheets of wax paper or parchment and roll them into patties.

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About a 1/4 inch thickness is good.

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Leave the patty between the wax paper and cut the excess paper around the edges.

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Here are your pollen patties. Use the edge of a knife to cut rows of small slits across the top and bottom so the bees can have easy access without having to remove the paper. The paper keeps the patty from breaking up and falling between the frames. The girls will eat right through it.

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Lay directly on top of the frames above the brood and remove the top layer of wax paper.

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Its love at first bite!