Friday, February 4, 2011

Brushy Mountain Order

The UPS Man (aka. Santa!) paid me a visit yesterday.  I had placed an order with Brushy Mountain Bee Farm three days ago and it's already here.  Yea!

In addition to a few things I already had, I ordered two more deep hive bodies, two IPM bottom boards and new frames; enough to build three hives total.  Now I am ready for any swarms (or otherwise free bees) that may come my way.  I will see how strong my current hive is in April and may decide to do a split there as well.

So to add to my long to-do list today, I will be assembling the new hive bodies just as soon as I can get out to the hardware store for some nails.  They come precision cut for tightly jointed corners and you need to assemble them within no more than one or two days so that the wood will not have time to warp and make your life difficult.

But the thing I was most excited about is this:

Soap making supplies!
And how cute are these honeybee molds?  This first one is my favorite.  It makes a full-size bar, 4 oz.

This one is smaller and makes a guest soap sized bar, 1.75 oz.  The first thing I plan to use it for is a hard lotion bar.  More info to come on that...

I also got a gallon of 76 degree coconut oil and a pound of refined shea butter (and now I wish I'd gotten another pound or two of that.)  The last ingredients I have left to aquire are olive oil pomace and the lye--which is the most necessary ingredient. 

I have tallow I rendered from a couple fat does we took off my dad's farm last hunting season.  I don't know why, but the deer out there are always very well fed compared to others we harvest elsewhere.

And I have wax I got from my own bees.  There are a lot of things I can do with that:  lotion, soap, candles, lip balm, etc.

I am very eager to get started on this, but today is not looking very promising so far.  Among other things, I have a 3-year-old down with the flu and a hen in Chicken ICU that is needing bumblefoot surgery done.  Maybe I'll at least get around to making a few lotion bars...they are simple and easy.  Lip balms are too.

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