“Every healthy farm should have bees” – Jerry Freeman (expert bee keeper)
These bees, or as Jerry calls them,” his girls,” increase yields, pollinate like crazy, and of course beautify the farm by supporting the bountiful biodiversity it contains. So, we’re learning bit by bit about beekeeping but finding there is so much more you can do with your bee buddies! On Tuesday, Ruben and I learned how to make pure beeswax candles. The wax is straight from the The Sacred Valley Honeybee Sanctuary’s hives located right on AASD’s Demonstration Farm. Visiting expert bee keeper, Freddie Terry from Arizona and our local beekeeping experts Ruben and Jerry were a wealth of information, sharing insights into making natural bee products ranging from candles, propolis extract, and lotions, creams, and more!
Buzzing about experiment #1: Beeswax Candles
Above is a picture of our experimental candles, part way through the process. Yes, I know this round of candles is relatively unappealing to the eye. But hey, we’re just getting the process down. Once the wax dried we peeled off the cups and took off the q-tip holding the wick. Can’t wait to get some wax molds and cool designs going. Vegetable candle molds anyone, ehh?? Plus, the candles burn 10x longer than normal candles and it is a cleaner burn than many other candles. Neat!
The Sacred Valley Honeybee Sanctuary is working closely with the Andean Alliance to launch beekeeping courses. They are experimenting with sustainable, alternative hives and of course creating awesome bee products. They hint at even eventually open a apitherapy clinic. I’m pretty excited to be part of this process, learning, creating, and enjoying the natural products of our farm’s busy buzzing bees!
Thanks to Freddie for giving us some candle making tips – this photo below shows him heating up the wax before we start candle making. ~Kat