Bee Branding Iron

The last few weeks I've been making my own branding irons by cutting some angle iron from old bed frames and welding them into letters.

I'd gotten pretty good (in my humble opinion) and decided to take it up a notch.

I went down to the local farm and home store and got some 1/8" flat iron that I could bend a lot easier than thicker bed railing. With the thinner material I was able to bend loops and more intricate designs, so I thought about a logo for the bee hives and wooden-ware.

The brands are always backwards on the branding iron, so what you see above will turn out facing the opposite direction when branding something. This was sometimes tricky to keep straight (orientated in the direction I wanted) in my head when I was welding the image onto the plate.

Below are some images I took while practicing the new brand on some items.

Branding onto a leather glove.

Branding onto the super treated with linseed oil.

I'll probably brand my existing bee boxes that are painted. I'm wondering if I should cover the branded logo with something like clear spray shellac to re-seal the exposed (burnt) logo area of the wood to keep it weather treated?

Comments For This Post: (6) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Robin Edmundson says...
Date:   February 21, 2016, 12:31 pm

Love the logo, especially the stinger.   Awesome!

I asked my builder husband about the shellac thing and he said not to worry about it.  Carbonized wood doesn't decay [or something] - the Japanese use this technique on siding. It's called shou-sugi-ban.  They do it on cedar.   However, if you're concerned, then a clear coat won't hurt it.  

Oh!  What if you rubbed it in beeswax while it was still hot from the brand?

Mark Martin says...
Date:   February 23, 2016, 3:26 pm

Very cool!  Nicely done!

Paul Lamers says...
Date:   February 29, 2016, 9:30 pm

That is great! What a terrific way to mark or decorate your gear.

Eric says...
Date:   March 11, 2016, 6:25 pm

Chris, I super'ed a hive this week. Could that possibly be the right move? I'm in Eureka too, and the hive had so much honey and so many bees in it already that it seemed like the right move. I was actually planning to put 1:1 syrup on it, but ended up putting a super on instead. Do you ever super this early?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   March 12, 2016, 10:13 am


I did super one year in March this early, and I was able to harvest 3 times that year! I noticed my hives were filling with honey when I inspected them yesterday, also.

Eric says...
Date:   March 12, 2016, 10:27 pm may be a good year then if this is a sign of things to come.

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