25 October 2007

How little I know: round sections in frames are Old News

Turns out that round sections in hive frames are Old News. In fact, there is pretty much every kind of doohickey, gizmo and and semidemihemispherical customisation you can think of.
The owner of Ross Rounds (http://www.rossrounds.com/), Lloyd Spear, was kind enough to write, "Thank you for your inquiry. We have three dealers in the UK. Thorne, Kemble Bee Supplies, and National Bee Supply. Email for Thorne is gill@thorne.co.uk; Kemble is kbs@btinternet.com; and National is info@beekeeping.co.uk.
"I am a little surprised that you have not seen them in shops. We spend a couple of weeks in the Midlands about five years ago and were very pleased to see them several times. They are fun to produce, and a lot easier than the wood sections.
"All the best, Lloyd Spear, Owner"

23 October 2007

Ross Rounds

I *think* these clever circular honeycomb cartridge doohickeys come from Ross Rounds, http://www.rossrounds.com/....

22 October 2007

Round and round the garden

Looking through wikipedia (The Source Of All Knowledge) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey, I came across this paragraph:
"Comb honey Honey sold still in the original bees' wax comb. Comb honey was once packaged by installing a wooden framework in special honey supers, but this labor intensive method is being replaced by plastic rings or cartridges. With the new approach, a clear cover is usually fitted onto the cartridge after removal from the hive so customers can see the product[citation needed]. "
I guess this refers to the video below.

10 October 2007

Partially inverted beekeeping

Tasting the Waxy Beelegs Honey reminds me - in part because of its consistency - of Golden Syrup.
Would bees like syrup as a feed, I wonder? Could they even digest something that has, effecively, been pre-digested for them?
Consider the following from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invertase):

"Invertase (EC ) (systematic name: beta-fructofuranosidase) is a sucrase enzyme. It catalyzes the hydrolysis (breakdown) of sucrose (table sugar) to fructose and glucose, usually in the form of inverted sugar syrup. For industrial use, invertase is usually derived from yeast. It is also synthesized by bees, who use it to make honey from nectar. Invertase is expensive, so when fructose is required, it may be preferable to make it from glucose using glucose isomerase."

British Sugar's site (http://www.britishsugar.co.uk/RVE8c65eef1771741df814105fe91a6a687,,.aspx) on Golden Syrup says "The term ‘invert’ originates from the effect on the polarimeter instrument traditionally used to analyse sucrose solutions. Compared to pure sucrose, a mixture of glucose and fructose "inverts" the plane of polarised light, and so this is known as invert syrup."
The pic is from Tate & Lyle (http://www.tateandlyle.com/).

09 October 2007

Ngaio's Contrapuntal Summer

Ngaio left this comment, which deserves more air:

"Shame about the extractor, I brought one today, along with a great amount of bee gear from a dear friend who has to give up his hives after 60 odd years due to failing eye sight. Bernard had made this 4-sided machine operated extractor and its a dream to use - will post pics after extraction of first frames for this year, during the week."

Ngaio is down under (or up over, depending on your world-view), so we enjoy contrapuntal summers.

Visit her site http://miro-ngaio.blogspot.com/ which is waaaay better than Incompetence will allow.

04 October 2007


Ingredients: Honey (bee spit and body parts, wax).

Waxy Beelegs Honey

My girls have done well: one vat of wax, honey, bee entrails, propolis and dirt!
Extraction took about two hours, starting cautiously at 15 minutes for the first side of two frames. By the end of it, violence and frustration held sway, and I could extract both sides of two frames in about three minutes.
I now have about 10kg of gunge, the ultimate aim of which will be to produce the first ever crop of Waxy Beelegs Honey!

03 October 2007

I cannot think why Paul sold it to me

The only good thing going for this manual extractor ... it's clean.
Well, it was at this stage, anyway.
Made out of thick polythene (like a homebrew beer bucket) and with a metal brace across the top for the winding gear, it is utter rubbish.
The gears do not mesh properly (incorrectly made). To clean it you have to take it to bits using spanners (poor design). The bearing at the bottom protrudes (poor design), which means the whole thing skitters about on the floor (generally useless). The tap at the bottom does not seal properly (poor design). The lid (which comes in two halves) does not seat on the rim properly (poor design).
Apart from that, I cannot think why Paul sold it to me. After I am done, I will chuck it on the muncipal tip.