Sunday, 13 November 2016


We had a fun trip to the Ideal Homes Christmas Show yesterday, picking up a few presents for people—and a moose for us. For no better reason than we liked him.

Giles the Moose (© Ian 2016)

From the ridiculous to the sublime: we managed to get our new grandfather clock working this afternoon. As we thought, the chains for two of the weights had got jammed too high: my theory is that it was wound with a little too much enthusiasm, and the chains pulled too far, which sprang the hooks off the weights' rods. With a little care and persuasion, and aided considerably by the fact that the case has the removable side panels I hoped it would, we were able to work the chains down fair enough to rehang the weights. There's a bit of damage to the brass shells of the weights, but it's pretty cosmetic, and I've been able to resecure the weights (luckily, the threads don't appear damaged by being yanked free).

It's now up and running, and we'll next check whether it keeps time.

This afternoon's project was processing our first batch of honey from the bees. This has been sat, still in the honeycomb, for a few weeks since coming off the hive. First step is to slice the top off the comb (the cappings) using a large serrated knife. The frames then go into the centrifugal extractor, and are spun round to drag the honey out of one side of the comb. We flip them over, and do the other side, before draining the honey from the tank. From fourteen sides (two frames were only filled on one side), we've got about 14lb, which is a good rate. The cappings are now in a sieve, draining the last of the honey, and then we can clean the cappings and melt them: this wax is, typically, the 'best', as it's only been in the hive briefly (so less time for bees to traipse muddy feet over it), and only for honey (the comb that's used to raise baby bees gets dirtied from the process). It will probably be very light in colour.

A comb of honey ready for uncapping and extracting (© Ian 2016)

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