PREPARING BEE PRODUCTS FOR SALE OR EXHIBIT
The main rule for labeling of food products is that it requires you to be traceable for health safety reasons. Your label must include the product name, your name and address (especially if your phone number is unlisted). Honey should be described as either "Produced by" or "Bottled by" to denote if you are the original producer or a distributor. Cut comb should be either "Produced by or "Packaged by".Contents must list the weight in both english and metric units. No labels are allowed on entries for show. Save that for after the show.
Honey may be extracted from the comb or if using unwired, thin wax foundation, you may cut the comb into squares and package comb honey.The advantage of extracted honey iis that you can return the comb to the bees to refill. This reduces their having to rebuild the comb and the only wax needed is to cap the finished honey. For the small beekeeper, extracted honey is usually strained through nylon material to remove bits of wax and body parts and other debris. Cheesecloth is to be avoided as it leave bits of lint in the honey.
Propolis consists of tree resins collected by the bees and mixed with beeswax to use to seal things up in the hive or to cover over things too heavy to move (such as a dead mouse) .It has antibiotic properties and has been used to cure sore throats among other things. you do not need any special equipment to collect it. Use your hive tool to scrape the propolis off frames, the brood/super boxes, etc when cleaning up your equipment.
Propolis has a lot of wax, the lighter the color the more wax. Clean propolis looks like dark chocolate. I use disposable utensils for this job- cut off a plastic bottle to make a cup, use a wooden stick such as a popsicle stick or tongue depressor for stirring.
Put your propolis scrapings in the cup and add boiling water and stir. Pour off the the water and repeat several times. (You can save the water you pour off to reclaim the wax when it cools). Then pour the residue onto a piece of aluminum foil to cool enough so you can knead it to remove water. Use tweezers to remove any bee parts or wood splinters or other debris. Then repeat the boiling water treatment and kneading. Finally, I press it into a thin patty like a pancake. I score it into squares so that a piece can be broken off and used. The reason for this is that a ball of propolis by itself is pretty useless. For a customer to actually use it it needs to be in smaller pieces.
Pollen is collected by the bees as they visit the flowers. The worker mixes a little bit of nectar and forms the pollen into little pellets which she carries back to the hive on her back legs. A pollen trap on the hive removes the pellets as she enters the hive. Remove the pellets from the trap drawer and freeze them for at least 24 hours to kill all of the insect eggs in the mix otherwise you may wind up with larvae in your pollen. Then the pollen must be dried and cleaned. Use a clean piece of white paper to spread a thin layer of pellets and remove all foreign matter with a set of tweezers.