“It tastes strange.”, the wife said. I would agree, the fresh loaf of bread, minutes from the oven, had an off taste. It did not rise properly, either. It kept rising, then falling, rising and then falling; not enough gluten, is my guess.

I chalked it up to just being part of a ho-hum Saturday. Do not get me wrong, it was a very nice day weather-wise; there was a bit of sun and a lot of snow melted; many birds visited the bird feeders. My general sense of insipidness started yesterday at work; I will not go into detail.

Nothing really extraordinary happened today, a little of this and a little of that taken care of. A trip to the coop for groceries, cooked dinner (baked pork chops with apples, onions and red peppers; home-fries and mixed veggies), completed assembly of one of the two hives. No photos, though. In sticking with the ho-hum day, I left the camera turned on and connected to the computer – the battery drained overnight. Adding a little salt to the wound…the charger is no where to be found. I ordered a replacement, but it will not be here for a week.

The hive boxes did turn out very nice. Solid stained a light green-gray. The larger deeps, I calculated, took 40 screws each. The supers took 24 screws each. Three supers, and two deeps – (2 * 40) + (3 * 24) = 152 screws. I can see why, when doing this on a larger scale, that it is more economical to use nails.

My idea of the day occurred when looking for tools in the garage. I noticed two pieces of plate glass – 8″ x 10″. They were replacement panes for windows we completely replaced with new vinyl framed windows last fall. I had been tossing the idea around of having a passive solar bees wax melter. The beekeeper I shadowed last year had such a device. I saw the panes and had an eureka moment. I dug around in the basement and found left over pieces of oak and walnut from my desk project. The basic idea is to have a box (in this case, it will be made of nifty pieces of hardwood) with a window which is pointed toward the sun. The wax is put onto mesh or a metal grate (in this case, two hard drive heat sinks from a Compaq server). I will probably put a piece of metal screen under this to catch any legs or wings that may be in the wax. As the wax melts, it will flow through this screen, more or less cleaned, into ingot molds or metal coffee can. I will try to post a sketch of this device when I get a chance.