Mothers’ Day Honey

Today is Mother’s Day in North America (I think it was celebrated last week in Europe). My kids wanted to make something special for their mum. You see it in the picture above. It was pretty nice.

Save your burr comb!

We have two hives in the back yard. The weather has improved, bees have been gathering nectar and pollen, and they built a lot of burr comb because our hives have some space between the top bars and the lid (there isn’t yet a proper inner cover in place).  We had saved burr comb each time we’d worked the hives. The bits and pieces of wax had nearly filled a 4-litre (one-gallon) plastic bucket.

4-litre pail with chopped burr comb.

My daughter chopped it up and put it into the microwave where it reduced to about one-tenth its volume.  The hot mixture was pulled out every minute so the kids could stir it. The goal was to make a hot messy slurry of melted wax and honey. All of this took about five minutes.

Once melted, they dumped it, while it was hot, into a tall glass container. Wax floated to the top. The wax was poured, as a liquid, into a little bunny candle mold. The rest of the slurry was filtered through a sieve to remove bees’ knees. Next, the kids sieved the mixture into another glass container. That container, which by now was mostly honey, was plunged into ice-cold water so that the hot honey would quickly chill, preventing darkening and burning. They waited a day, skimmed debris from the the surface of the honey, and poured the remainder into the fresh clean jar you see in the pictures.  And, voilà, Happy Mothers Day!

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This entry was posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Hive Products, Honey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mothers’ Day Honey

  1. gregmbutler says:

    Great job!! …how timely too ! I just rendered some burr comb myself this morning.


  2. susan rudnicki says:

    What charming children!! great smiles! (I’m a dental hygienist….) love their ingenuity—Mom’s always cherish the small things most. I miss my sons, one living in Bangkok and the other at university in Santa Barbara. Mother’s Day is my most favored holiday of all.


  3. savedandsmiling says:

    That is the sweetest gift ever! (no pun intended).


  4. mondayswitholiver says:

    Lovely! I soooo want bees and think about them every spring yet I have yet to get a hive.


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