Wednesday, 9 July 2014

His first QUEEN BEE sighting EVER!

His first QUEEN BEE sighting EVER! The Young Beekeeper

His 1st QUEEN BEE sighting! How EXCITING! Our young BEEKEEPER got his bee suit on, smoked the beehive, and searched for the honeybee queen. AND found her Royal Highness! Visit our blog on for many great videos and articles.

Beekeeping with kids is EASY. Yes, there are some costs to get started, such as the beekeepers suit and veil in a small size, but such a bee suit will cost you around $70, which if you buy it 3 sizes over your child's current size will last you for many years. As will the small beekeeper gloves and any other items you may wish to purchase from your local beekeeping supplier or an online beekeeping store for your young budding beekeepers. If you have siblings, they can easily share and or pass down the line their suits as they get older.

Either way, it is a small investment for a fantastic cause as your kids will love the fact they are out there in the field with you working the hives in your apiary. They get to see nature in action, they feel like they are contributing, learning new skills, they gain an understanding of not only the honey bee life cycle, but the cycle of life in general. They will get to witness how the honey bee colony its social networks operate. Your children will also gain respect. They will quickly learn, that frustration, anger, or short tempered behavior will not get them very far in beekeeping, and a few stings later, they will automatically begin to adjust their actions and behavior accordingly. Oh and let's not forget, they will also understand, that honey does not just drop from the sky by magic. It takes hard work by both the bees themselves and the beekeeper, but always make sure you reward your children for their hard work with plenty of the the amazing liquid gold so they can learn the different taste profiles honey has depending on which flowers are in bloom at that time. Honey will display different colors, density, aromas, flavors, and will be either in abundance or a scarce resource for the bees. All this will educate your child, you will spend quality time together, and make everyone feel good.

So what are you waiting for? Visit our Beekeeping with kids playlist for some inspiration:

If you are new to beekeeping or don't have a beehive as yet, then you should start by contacting or visiting your local beekeeping association, which will provide you with lots of useful information, such as your local council regulations, licenses or registrations you may need to adhere to, they will show you and tech you the basics, possible provide you with access to a beehive so you can test the waters to see if you are ready to embrace all the tasks of a beekeeper, and then, if all goes well, get a beehive. You can do this in a form of an established hive, a small starter hive or a nuc box, or purchase (or build your own hive) and order a package of 3,000 or so bees with a queen which you can then install into your new hive. There are also many interesting books we recommend you read, and we have a list of these on our blog:, so come and visit us and look around.

Have a fabulous day





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Music composed, performed and provided by Groovey - Adam Kubát a Pavel Křivák. You can visit their website on:

Also, a big thank you goes to Kevin McLeod for providing his royalty free music "Cipher2". We appreciate your kind contribution - (

Sunday, 6 July 2014

HOT knife vs HEAT gun part 2 - the VERDICT post extraction

HOT knife vs HEAT gun part 2 - the VERDICT post extraction

Well, the experiment is over. Our mind is
made up. If you would like to know the outcome, click the video link HOT knife vs HEAT gun part 2
- the VERDICT post extraction
or the thumbnail above and take a look at the results. We believe most of you
will be surprised with the results. 

So, let’s talk about the outcome. Is there a place for the heatgun in beekeeping? That is a resounding YES. Is it good, great, or fantastic at
uncapping the honey frames? In our view, it is not. It works OK at the best of
times, and only on very specific frames, where tiny air pockets exist in between
the honey and the wax capping itself. In absence of such air pocket, the wax
did not pop open or melt at all. It simply heated the wax, heated the honey
(which is what you want to avoid if possible – although the hot knife also
heats it, so the comparison is on par for both methods), and then the wax hardened
again, thus sealing the #raw honey inside the cup/cell again, never to be
extracted unless further uncapping process, such as the use of an uncapping
fork is used.

There is a valid argument for the use of #heat gun for the
uncapping process in that it reduces the need for beeswax cappings processing.
This does take considerable time if you choose to harvest the cappings, strain them
(to reduce loss of your honey harvest), then wash, clean, melt, filter, and
refine a few times to produce a product ready for further utilisation or sale
to the many beeswax dependent industries, such as cosmetics and candle making. You
can watch our 3 part video series where we cover the beeswax processing for small
home based quantities:




However, the amount of beeswax that is left behind on the frame
itself is substantial as it is not removed by the knife, leaving a mess on the
comb itself. It also leaves the frame dirty and uneven. The hot knife tends to
level the comb nicely to maintain a healthy bee space in between your frames
and the comb is nice and straight to pull in and out of the hive as required during
the hive inspections and honey harvests if done on a frame by frame basis. Then
there is the much reduced efficiency of honey extraction to take into
consideration. All beekeepers are aware of the hard labour that it takes to go
to their apiary location, open the hives, inspect, collect the frames,
transport back to the processing sheds, extracting the honey/beeswax and by-products,
and so on. Then the trip back, re-deploy the honey supers and frames. The work
is immense. Now if you use the heat gun, the yield is almost ¼ or more less than
it otherwise would be using the more traditional, tried and tested methods. So
yes, the honey and wax are returned to the hive, so nothing is essentially
wasted (unless you are going into winter, in which case there is a problem with
so much honey retained inside your frames, but that is a separate issue), but
all that means, is that you will have to make the next visit much sooner, and
extract on a more frequent basis as the bees will fill the frames much faster –
obviously… as they are half full already.

If you choose to use the uncapping fork, then the uncapping time taken
per side of the frame is about the same and the hot knife, AND THEN you have to
deal with the tiny amounts of the uncapped beeswax anyway. Get all your gear
dirty, get the strainer out, get the beeswax washed, dried, processed,
filtered, and poured into moulds anyway.

Lastly, you don’t have the by-product that can also bring in more
revenue, or save on further costs by reusing your own beeswax for foundation if
that is how you choose to assemble your honey frames.

To conclude, this little experiment was fun and interesting to do.
It was certainly exciting at first to see all the beeswax cappings just pop
almost instantaneously, and one would be forgiven for thinking they found a
holy grail in the time consuming uncapping process, BUT… once the entire process
was completed, it was clear that it was just that. A mirage, a fun experiment,
and one that we will probably only undertake to show and teach others about the
pros and cons in our educational courses.

We hope you found this 2 part HOT knife vs HEAT gun
series educational, interesting and that we provided you with an unbiased
objective perspective on the issue. We appreciate your support and trust we can
see you come back regularly to check out our weekly video updates. We value
your feedback and invite you to SUBSCRIBE.
Enjoy your beekeeping!

Music composed, performed and provided by Groovey - Adam Kubát a Pavel Křivák. You can visit their website on:
Also, a big thank you goes to Train Robbin'Scoundrels for providing "their royalty free music "Murrow's Boys". We appreciate your kind contribution.

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