Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making Rose Cream, Second Swarm and Stray Kitty

I am following my dear friend Lucinda’s instruction for making this rose cream. I decided an infused herbal oil would be nicest. I used the double infusion method. First I put a generous amount of dried fragrant rose petals in the top pot of the double boiler, poured sweet almond oil over it to cover, lidded it and let it slow simmer over a flame for two hours. I strained this, and then added the rose infused oil back into the pot, more dried rose petals, and again, slow simmered it, lidded, for another two hours. Strained, and now I have a nice, fragrant, double infused rose sweet almond oil. Please refer to Lucinda’s post for complete instructions, I will just show you pictures of mine and give you the proportions I used :)
     Melting beeswax and oils together. I used 6 ounces of double rose infused sweet almond oil, 3 ounces of coconut oil and 3 tablespoons of melted beeswax.
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              and pour them into my blender
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              I allowed them to cool till they began to solidify
GEDC7612  then the blender is turned on slow blend and the floral water and glycerin is dribbled in and it is all blended gently. I used 8 and 1/2 ounces of rosewater, 1 tablespoon of glycerin, and 3 drops of Rose Otto that dear Lucinda had shared with me:) I didn’t add more as the type of rose water I used is very, very fragrant, as was the double rose infused sweet almond oil.
GEDC7614a GEDC7615a This recipe made 4 6oz jars of luscious rose cream:) Heavenly!
Now, my daughter had came over for lunch before I started the rose cream project. While she was in the back yard giving our dog Thor a treat, she saw a stray cat sitting outside Thor’s enclosure right next to Max the Duck! When she spoke to the cat, it ran though. While I was waiting for the oils in the blender to cool, I looked out the window and saw the cat on on patio. It ran when I went outside, but came back to eat when I put out food. Must be spring, we always find stray kitties in the spring:(
I took this picture through the window. We will see if I can gentle him/her down then go about trying to find out if it is a lost kitty or one who needs a home… sigh
GEDC7611 I was just getting ready to try out my new cream when the phone rang. Someone had a swarm of bees they wanted removed! So off I went! This was a nice big swarm and very easy to remove as it was so low down on a small magnolia tree, the bottom of the swarm was on the ground.
The lady didn’t want me to cut the branch, which would have been easiest, so I slip a piece of cardboard under the swarm and then lifted the branch up, slid in an empty brood box and gave the branch a good whack so that the swarm would fall in. An easy catch!
My wonderful hubby Gerald was home when I got the hive back to my house and he hurried and put together my lid that was only partially put together! I feel like such a split personality in the spring! Should I garden, make herbal creations, wild forage, or work on bee equipment!? lol! I think I better work on more bee equipment since now I have increased from one to three hives in just a week!
GEDC7622a My daughter Michelle and I were talking tonight that we should paint a box robin egg blue and re-hive this new swarm later in it.  Then we would have pink, yellow and blue:) We are thinking it would be a fun time to have the kids paint different things on them too:)
GEDC7623 The pink hive is the oldest hive and its boxes are more than ready for fresh paint! The yellow hive is the swarm I got last week. When I caught it, I had to put the branch it was on in the hive and so I still needed to remove that branch and insert the rest of the frames. When I opened it I found they had started building their own comb on the inner hive in that empty spot that had no frames, so I had to remove those
I just took my hive tool and gently ran it along the inner cover lid, (that is the piece with the oblong cut out hole in it), and removed the comb they had built. You can see how that comb fit right into the slot where I had left the branch and not put in frames. After removing that comb I then put in enough frames to complete the hive. This is how pretty and pure their comb looks that I removed
GEDC7629 I then reopened the new swarm’s hive to complete putting in it’s full amount of frames
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So, last weeks hive looks good and strong and has settled right in and is storing pollen and nectar and this new swarm looks very strong so fingers crossed it likes its new home too and starts building up quickly. The old pink hive is very, very strong and so I think that I might be making my first split from it soon!
To top of the day Michelle and I took a 2 1/4 mile walk around Lakeland so now I am off to get cleaned up and finally try out my new cream! :)
Honey and Herbal Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xxx

19 comments:

southernherbalist said...

Ooooooh, yummy awesomeness!!! I love your posts! :) ~Dana

Comfrey Cottages said...

thank you and love you, Dana! Wish we were neighbors! xxxx

nettlejuice said...

I have to try this cream technique!
We get stray cats too. I think folk come out to out road to drop them off.

Rowan said...

Another swarm - it looks a large one too. Your rose cream sounds so delicious - almost edible in fact:) I must try drying some petals from my Apothecary rose this summer - though when the flowers open I can never bring myself to pick them. It would be lovely to have enough to make that cream though.

Anke said...

Lots of things going on... I bet the cream smells wonderful and is great for your skin. That bee swarm looked really impressive, glad you were able to get it and add another hive to your backyard.

Cottage Tails said...

I listened to The Morville hours book this year and loved it - they have bee hives painted like towns - it took my fancy!
The rose cream sounds wonderful!
Love Leanne

Comfrey Cottages said...

Yes the technique is quite easy, April:) bummer about folks dumping strays off. we had that where i grew up on a farm... xxx
My husband said the same thing, Rowan, that he felt he could eat it! I understand about not wanting to pick your roses.. i get that way about harvesting also:) xxx
Thanks Anke! It was a nice big strong one! I used the cream last nite and it is heavenly! xx
I will have to look for that book, Leanne! Those hives would look quite cool! xxx

Sarah Head said...

Leslie, your many and varied skills never cease to amaze me! I love the sound of the rose cream and must try to make some this summer once the roses start blooming. Good luck with your new hives. I do wish I could find a beekeeper for the sanctuary!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thanks Sarah! I wish I lived close enough to be your beekeeper xoxox

Jo-Ann said...

what a lovely recipe will definitely give this a try

Crystalrainbow said...

ooooooh room for one more at your home? i wanna come make, garden and beekeep with ya :)

Karon said...

Really beautiful site thanks for sharing it with us. I'm creating using honeycomb right now so this was really a pleasure!

whisperingearth said...

Umm your creams looks delicious Leslie! I have been on a cream making mission this week too. :)
It's so lovely to read your bee posts and see the pictures, do keep them coming.
How is the little stray? Is it still hanging around? I hope everything works out for it. xxxxx

lemonverbenalady said...

You are a renaissance woman, Leslie! I'm just amazing by all of your qualifications. You and Gerald are an amazing team! It is wonderful to see you in action! I haven't done too many posts about roses and you've done at least 200! Ha! You are way ahead of me is what I wanted to say! Keep on inspiring us! xxoo Nancy

Comfrey Cottages said...

Very easy Jo-Ann, yes do! xx
Come over anytime Crystal Rainbow! xx
Thank you Karon, it is a pleasure! xx
Oh Lucinda, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been brave enough to try the cream and chance ruining the oil! I will keep posting bee photos. I am so glad you enjoy them:) I haven't seen the stray in a few days now.. I hope someone took it in and something hasn't happened to it big hugs and much love to you!! xx
Thanks Nancy! love ya lady! xx

*Ulrike* said...

It would be such fun hanging out with you! Bees, roses, lotions, creams, I could really learn a lot. Sigh, I just need to finish catching up on blog reading, and then making sure I don't forget your post on rose cream. The Pearl D'Ore I have would be perfect for it!
take Care,
Ulrike

Shayne said...

Question - my sister moved into the old family farm house that has been empty for 10 years. Sometime in that 10 years honey bees moved into the exterior wall of the house trough a hole created by red squirrels. my sisters family and the bee have been living together since august because we can't bring ourselves to kill them; however, we have no idea how to get them out of the wall. would you happen to have some ideas?

Comfrey Cottages said...

Shayne, many times a beekeeper can removed boards in such a way as to be able to repair it afterwards, and remove the bees. Check this link and see if there is such a bee person in your area. If not, call your local extension office or newspaper to see who does swarms in your area. The person you talk to might either do it or know who does.
http://www.bees-on-the-net.com/beehive-removal.html

xx

Shayne said...

Thank you