Jul
15

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Expedient Queen Rearing on Plastic Foundation

I was out in the beeyard looking to find the queen and get her in the nicot to produce some additional queens for splits.  As luck would have it a rainstorm was getting ready to roll in yet again and I couldn’t find her – but I did find a frame with a bunch of eggs and new larvae.

Printed queen cage

Queen cages by 3D Printer

So I ended up setting up the frame for the hopkins method of reporduction – that is orienting it horizontally in the hope of getting some of those cells drawn out and placed it wedged in at the top of one of my hives.  Now I didn’t go to through the effort to go queenless and then queenright or crowd – as I indicated this was last minute.

Now because it was a piece of plastic foundation I knew I wouldn’t be able to cut out the drawn out cells – so I ended up designing and 3d printing cages designed to protect the cells and trap the virgins as they hatched out.

The worked well enough to be an ok backup if you find yourself in a similar spot.

You can find the STL file on Thingverse.

 

 

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Whole wheat pretzel buns

From time to time you’ll see the fast food chains advertise a special promotion featuring pretzel buns.  They are great with hamburgers but where they shine in particular in my opinion with bbq chicken breast.

Pretzel buns formed ready to boil

Pretzel buns formed ready to boil

Now, you’ll seldom if ever see pretzel buns in the grocery – they just don’t keep very well.  The good news though is that they are really easy to make at home – and you can’t get fresher than that!

If you’ve make bagels at home – and you should – making pretzel  buns is pretty much the same process.

The key for that great and characteristic crust is to boil the raised buns in a basic water solution before baking – an easy way to go is with baking soda – but I use wood ash (lye) because the wood fired pizza oven I have keeps me in loads of wood ash, and I need it around anyway for making massa for homemade tortillas.

So, easy, simple, quick – and since they are best consumed within a day or so after baking are ideally suited to making in your own kitchen.  Of course, I’m making these with home ground whole wheat flour, but if you don’t yet have your own mill commercial flour will do.

Click on the post title to expand for the recipe.