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Posts Tagged ‘candles’

A gift in the bee box

And it’s about to get busier for a while. We are all set for tomorrow’s Pearl Farmers Market. If you are coming to see us, don’t forget we have relocated to the lot directly in front of the CIA Bakery (you gotta love that name – it’s really the Culinary Institute of America) and it’s only for tomorrow. After that, we’ll all move back to the usual spot on the other side of the stable. After market, we’ll load up for Yulefest here in Seguin at the Coliseum on Sunday – 10a to 4p. Great place to find some nice gifts for the family and friends. I want to get some of that awesome soup in a jar from Jett’s Jelly. Yum. Speaking of jelly, the box above was on loan and then returned to us by a friend. She also left us gifts inside! The eggs are from her hens and she made the most delicious blackberry jam I have ever tasted. I’m not even really a jam/jelly kinda gal but this was excellent. I hope she sells it one day so we can buy it all up. Danielle was a student in one of our classes and now has hives of her own. She also raises the yummiest chickens – I can testify to that. I am still talking about the chicken now. lol – just go check her site out if you want some great eats. Click here for Hanson Family Farm.

Mark’s been busy, busy. All week he’s been filtering wax and trying to catch up on beeswax orders and also stock up for markets. He sent this great shot the other day and I really loved it. Obviously he’s taller than I am and has a perspective y’all don’t get to see often in our photos since I see the world differently from my level. Ever thought about that? Tall and petite people shoot pictures differently. Anyway, here’s the awesome shot of his candle table. 🙂

The beekeeper's candle table this morning

Some of Mark’s other work this week included checking on and feeding some of the hives that needed it. Things are looking pretty good as he preps the hives for winter. He is also moving the Honey House over here bit by bit now that we have that new shed set up with electricity. He’s got to build a new candle table, however, and then we’ve got to move all those heavy buckets of honey! Looks like the garage will be our little honey shop until we can get the new HH built here at the new property. Very exciting! Somewhere along here we need to sit and plan out the space. I love doing that sort of thing!

Next topic: the “interesting” photos Mark sends me from the fields as he drives the country roads. I never know what he’ll send and sometimes he doesn’t warn me. Remember that shot of the wild hog’s head hanging from the tree down in the Runge bee yard? With the beer can in its mouth. Weird. I won’t post the two he sent this week but one was a headless hog (no one can figure out who would do that and why) and the other one was of a coyote sort of eaten up. Interesting. Made me laugh out loud literally. At work. Luckily I was alone. I think I may have screamed a little scream of shock. Maybe. lol

Oooooooh! I almost forgot! Tomorrow we are also delivering our first batch of Guadalupe County Wildflower AND Frio County Huajilla to Melissa Guerra! We are so excited to have a such an awesome new retail outlet in the downtown area. And besides that, we really like the look and feel of the shop, the friendliness of the staff and what Melissa does with the store. Looking forward to this new partnership. I’ll try to get a shot for y’all tomorrow post-market.

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Another chilly night in Seguin so we now have two heaters running in the honey house. This keeps the candles from cooling too quickly, which can make them brittle and break when removed from the mold. Mark likes to keep the temperature constant around 100 and then slowly decreased the heat after letting the candles set overnight in the honey house.

We continue to prepare for the Yulefest event on Sunday at the coliseum here in Seguin. The honey is pretty much ready but we need as many candles as Mark can make between now and Saturday night. Business has definitely picked up since last year as we continue to fill orders online and in person, and at the same time, also prepare for class and the event this weekend.

Time to get some shut-eye so we can get back to work tomorrow morning. 🙂

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Perfecting the Candles

Panini candle bottom melter

I love how much Mark is learning about all the things related to the business that we didn’t even know we’d be learning about when we started GBR officially three years ago. We’ve talked about the candlemaking before, I know. But Mark’s always trying to find ways to perfect them. He is like that – if you’re going to do something, then you should do it right. So…there’s lots of reading and experimenting going on with our gorgeous candles. Neither of us have ever made candles before so it’s all new in many ways.

In the above picture, Mark is about to peel a pine cone candle out of it rubber mold. That beautiful candle has been a real hit since Mark started pouring them. That’s actually a panini press on the table. He uses it to melt some wax and level out the bottoms of the candles so they sit just right. He had been hunting for a single hot plate thingy but we never saw any – only doubles and he didn’t need something that wide taking up valuable real estate in the honey house. So I went to one of my favorite stores and found this press. Perfect! And on sale. Even better. I love target.

One of the other issues he started noticing is that the candles, especially the pine cone, sometimes had wax flaking on them. Or they’d break or get blemishes. Big no-no at the Bee Ranch. 🙂 So check it out – I get home one day and he’s got this little tank all set up and filled with sand and I had no idea what was going on at first. I just love learning stuff from him! Anyway, the problem lately is that all of a sudden, he started having these issues. The only factor we saw that changed was the weather. It’s fluctuating like crazy lately as it tries to decide between cold and hot. (Forecast for tonight, by the way, is the mid 30s! I’m thrilled. Tomorrow it’ll be another gorgeous day in the 70s.) Sorry, I always have a lot to say about all sorts of things. Back to candles…he’d been thinking on this matter for some time now and is now trying out the drum. The heater warms up the drum and sand and this keeps the candles from cooling too fast. After some more experimenting, he has found a good range for the heater and the candles are coming out the way he likes. I think they are beautiful even when they aren’t super perfect. But I’m happy it makes him happy to find ways to improve the products for our customers. I hope he doesn’t learn how to perfect ALL of them, ALL of the time – what if he never brings in the defective ones for me to burn in our home!?! Yikes! lol

Candle heater

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Beeswax Candles

Our very first candles

Yesterday we tried our first candle – the lovely bee skep mold arrived before the other candle molds so we gave it a whirl and loved the way it came out. We are very excited to learn how to do the candlemaking as well as the beeswax deal – something we’ve both always thought would be neat to try. Our plan is to produce a good amount of both to take to our next shows the first weekend in December. Looks like we are heading back to Gonzales for two days and then we’ll also do Yulefest in Seguin. We’ll keep you posted. Finally, we also want to thank everyone who’s been going by Lily’s Cookies in SA! Apparently honey and honey dipper sales are going well there and the products are really moving. Hopefully you guys are also trying the cookies. Who can resist those lovely creations?!

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