Bee keeping is a preferred hobby or even a profession today due to the various benefits and profits it offers.
Bees produce beeswax in the form of small scales. These scales are formed under the abdomen of the bee. By gorging themselves with sugar syrup or honey, bees stimulate beeswax production. In order to raise cluster temperature, bees huddle together.
It is necessary for bees to consume at least ten pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax. However, bees are found to produce more wax if they feed on sugar. Beeswax, when cooled quickly after passing through heat becomes brittle and pale in color. Rapid contraction also results in development of cracks.
This is one of the main reasons why wax has to be cooled in a gradual manner to ensure preservation of colour and texture. Melt beeswax using a water bath. It is highly recommended not to raise melting point of wax too much as this may result in reduced aroma.
Ensure that you do not place on the gas ring or hot plate the pan of wax directly. If you overheat, beeswax tends to become damaged. Melting of beeswax should be done using aluminum, plastic, steel or tin plated containers. If you melt wax in a copper, brass or galvanized iron pan, it tends to change colour.
For heating honey, it is recommended to use a warming box, oven that has a manual temperature control or water bath. Localized overheating is best avoided.
If you are stung by the honeybee, you will find that even after the bee pulls away, the venom pump and sac are left on your skin. During the initial twenty seconds or so, the venom is injected into your system. If you want to minimize the effect of venom, it is recommended to take the sting out fast.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is no harm in squeezing out the bee sting if you do it immediately. This will minimize any harmful effects of the venom. You can use a hive tool or even your finer nails to scratch out the sting.
In order to stop other bees from stinging in the same area, the alarm pheromone must be effectively masked by smoking the area. For immediate relief, you can move away from the hive and apply a soothing lotion such as calamine or Witch Hazel. A pack of frozen peas or ice pack will effectively help reduce swelling or pain.
If a bee stings you through your clothing, then you can just remove the clothing and smoke the area immediately. It is highly recommended to wear protective clothing when you work with the bees. For any delicate tasks such as clipping and queen marking, you must wear thin gloves to protect your hand. Wearing gloves also ensures that your hands are kept free from Propolis and to keep it clean as well. If you are a beginner, be sure to wear complete protection suit when you work with the bees.
Beekeeping is a wonderful experience and by following certain safety methods, you can make this activity highly lucrative and enjoyable.