My Beeswax

img_2027

I didn’t want to sell it. I wasn’t planning on letting it go. I had just about 3 pounds of the most beautiful, sweet smelling beeswax that you’ve ever laid eyes on sitting on my shelf when I got the phone call. ‘Hey Melissa, this is D. we’re friends with R and we want to  … and we’re looking for beeswax… starting a candle company… the refinery…’ I think my first response was something like ‘that’s awesome, but we don’t have any beeswax right now but if I hear of someone else with clean/chemical free beeswax then I’ll let you know. We are a very small operation and we don’t have bulk beeswax for what you’re looking for…’ It went something like that because I wasn’t going to sell my last couple of pounds of wax that I worked really hard to render and get all the bee parts cleaned out of to the competition. No way! After all, I just started making candles and needed it for my own candles and lip balms and soap. Besides, beeswax is valuable. At least to me. At least my beeswax is valuable to me because I know  that it is 100% clean and free of toxins. I know our bee yard is very secluded and we don’t treat our bees with medications and our honey ‘crops’ are wild and aren’t being sprayed with herbicides and pesticides and other junk. Mosquito control doesn’t even fly over. I know it takes 7-9 pounds of honey to make a single pound of beeswax and that a honey bee spends its entire life to make 1 teaspoon of honey. It’s valuable. And it’s sold. Andy sold my beeswax.

img_8887

After I spoke with D for about 10 more minutes guaranteeing him I’d let him and his wife know if I hear of any beeswax, I put Andy on the phone because of some other mutual interests and friendships. After my hackles went down (did you read the part about them starting a candle company and them being all professional with a cool name? ‘The Refinery’ is the name of their candle company by the way and Deliciously Unrefined is our farm business’ slogan by the way-weird, right?) and I heard Andy give a dissertation on honey and beeswax and beekeeping and then ask how much beeswax they need and heard him say-oh just a pound? Then I sort of gave him a glare and ‘don’t even think about it’ and then I totally caved and started looking for the scale to see how much I had. Because I’m a sucker and I felt guilty for having jealous thoughts and for hoarding my beeswax-even though it’s not technically hoarding when you use it and make things and sell those things that you make. That’s actually a business even if it’s a tiny business. Maybe it’s more of a hobby, but it doesn’t matter. My beeswax is sold and we’re actually having dinner with these strangers in a few weeks, because Andy also invited them over for dinner sometime and I suppose I’m going to have to get over the fact that I have to wait a while before we can harvest anymore beeswax for my own candles. That’s okay. Lord willing, we will harvest more and I’ll get over myself.

XO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Hay or Beehives

Every winter Andy takes inventory of our unoccupied beehive boxes and frames and repairs, cleans and assembles them to prepare for the Spring honey flow.

img_0638

Some frames need to have propolis scraped off or wax moths parts removed (we don’t fumigate and they don’t survive in empty boxes) or boxes just need a good dusting. I love seeing how our beehive collection has grown over the years and remembering  the ones that were painted with ‘oops’ paint or that are so chippy they’d make the latest shabby chic trend setters proud.

img_0639

I love thinking about the honeybees that will occupy these beehives and hoping that they’ll survive for years to come. The hives all change year after year. Some strong hives have half a dozen shallow or deep boxes on them. Some weak hives just a couple. It’s always a puzzle and an interesting one to configure and observe.

IMG_0640.JPG

Andy’s been keeping bees for 8 or 9 years now and it’s something we are both proud of and love to reap the benefits from. Just tonight, Pinecone asked why we have so much honey and simply understood that it’s because we are beekeepers. We are beekeepers.