David Lucey

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since May 30, 2012
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bee chicken food preservation goat medical herbs cooking rabbit sheep
Western Washington - 48.2°N, Zone 8a
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Recent posts by David Lucey

Hello all.  I just received my codes for the Hugelkultur MicroDoc, thank you.  

Clicking on the first two links I only got "Oops! This link is not available!".  Something is running afowl in UUID land.

Regards,
David
1 month ago
I don't have a convenient source of hardwood sawdust, but do you think hardwood pellets would work?  They don't have any binders and the moisture in the poop should break them apart.  My only concern would be the chickens picking them up as feed...but I can't imagine them doing too much of that.
2 months ago

Scott Foster wrote:

... I'm actually amazed at the Kazak seeds I got from the USDA.  I purchased 75 seeds and I was super worried about them because it took so long to figure out where and how to get them.  

I started a pack of 25 and every single seed sprouted.   These things are like seeds on steroids.  Just yesterday I took a batch out of the fridge that started sprouting.  One of the seeds has already pushed through the soil and dropped the seed husk.  

I'm seriously impressed...now if some of them can handle the CAR we're in business.



How did you get a hold of them, I'd love to give them a try.
2 months ago
Most 'spitters' (apples from seed) still make great hard cider.
2 months ago
Good point Tel, no point in riling up the hive.  I've used it in my bee yard in the past, but already had a pretty solid nectar flow every time I'm doing it.

As for opening, you can be pretty flexible.  it is a balancing act between temperature and defendability of the hive.  In conventional Langstroth hives the opening is about 14"x3/4", and at the base of the hive.  It gives a wide landing space for a lot of bee movement, but not so open that it lets all the heat out.  The hive will try to keep the temperature at about 95 degrees year round...and wind isn't your friend.

In the winter, or in low-flow seasons, some folks put in an 'entrance reducer' to make the opening smaller (maybe 4"x1/2", or even smaller).  This limits heat loss, but it also makes the hive more defensible from other bees or varmints trying to rob them.

When it gets too hot (you'll see the bees "bearding" on the entrance of the hive) then you can crack the top of the box with a small piece of lathe to improve airflow.

Hope that helps.  Most of beekeeping is "read, go ask some folks, then try your idea and see how it works".

2 months ago
A friend in Provo, Utah bought a house with a 'water wall'.  It is an internal, non-structural wall that is about a foot wide.  Internally it has a heavy plastic reservoir that holds about 10k gallons of water (on a concrete slab).  As a thermal mass it was pretty awesome, the open convection spread heat throughout the house, but it didn't shift temperature quickly. :). It was also valuable for moderating temperature seasonally (annualized thermal inertia).  It didn't have air conditioning or swamp coolers, and it gets stunningly hot in the summer and downright frigid in the winter.

Drainage was handled at one end with a small unobtrusive door to get access to a threaded spigot to put a hose on.
2 months ago
I agree with Tel on everything here, but just want to add a few things.

1. If they got into the next stud over then there are gaps in your house that the last hive remover didn't cover.  Kind of shocking given that they charged you $500 for it.  Generally, hive collectors will come and get the hive free of charge and leave you to do the cleanup and sealing, including cutting the holes in your house (boo!).  Look around that area of the house and see if you have any punched out grating in the soffits or attic vents.  Also look at the size of the hardware cloth used.  If it isn't quarter-inch or smaller, replace it with quarter-inch or smaller.  Bees can get through half-inch easily.

2. Unless you are in a very warm climate, they'll need a sealed box, you can use any wood box of size or make your own.  You will need to tie up the brood comb, but you can do it without frames.  The bees will make their own comb just fine...it may be straight or very harvest-able though.  If you want to feed the honey back to the bees you can just scratch the honey comb open with a fork and leave it out...they will clean it out and save you the effort to crush and strain.

3. In every area I've lived there is always some sort of swarm collection list run by the local beekeepers guild, or club, and they'll come out and collect the hive and put it in a box...especially since you've already done all the hard work.

Good luck.  It is obviously a successful hive, so if you choose to keep the bees you're off to a good start.
2 months ago
Didn't see this asked in the thread so I'll post it.

So I suck and went on vacation for three weeks.  Upon my return, I discovered this survey and that you reaped the addresses on the survey about 20 days ago.  

I went and filled out the survey today, but are you going to reap the list of respondents again before shipping?
(I am, in fact, getting physical DVDs.)

Regards,
David
10 months ago
I'm very late to the party, but this is a fantastic thread, thank you.

To comment on something from months ago: Angora goats are the source of mohair. I don't raise them personally, but have several friends that raise them commercially. they are a smaller goat, and their temperament varies, just like all goats.

You have to be a bit more gentle about their forage due to the nature of the fiber. Goats love stemmy plants, so if there are brambles on your pasture you end up with a matted mess - full of twigs and thorns to boot. I suppose you could start the spring with some brushers to deal with the brambles then put the angoras onto it.

Other than being a very soft fleece, mohair is valued by doll makers since the fiber is very similar to a fine human hair. I can't compare it to bison or camel down for softness, but it's pretty darn soft and it sells for between four and ten US dollars an ounce, depending on quality.

Here are some pictures I found of raw mohair: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EurekaMohair

Again, thanks for the great thread.