Sunday, March 17, 2013

Minding my daughter's beeswax

The comb

 It starts with curiosity, with love, with whatever this thing is that compels us to sit outside and just look, just sniff, just listen. If you watch honeybees long enough (and you can never truly watch bees long enough), you begin to get just how crazy crazy this living thing is, and maybe a little humbled, too.

Humans are not the be all and end all after all.

The melting comb
Bees screw up, too, it turns out, and the bees who made this comb didn't study the bee hive long enough to see that the frames were not in place. (I have no idea what I am talking about, my daughter and her beau are the apiarists, not me.)

The summer heat melted the combs enough for them to collapse in a heap on the bottom of the hive.

Beeswax melts around 145-150 F, but takes longer to melt in a double boiler than you might expect.

And what do Kerry and Eric end up with?

Beeswax, of course, made by bees--and if Wikipedia is right, then a pound of the stuff represents about 150,000 miles of flight, or well over halfway to the moon.

The spoon used to stir the beeswax

I keep a hunk of ambergris in my home, because I like it, and that's reason enough. I have no idea what will become of the beeswax, but for me, knowing it exists is reason enough for joy.

Great job, Eric!

Ain't life grand?

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