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Galen Morgan

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since Aug 24, 2010
Ashtabula, Ohio zone 5b/6
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Recent posts by Galen Morgan

After being inspired by Paul's original Kitty litter bucket video my cycling partner and I decided to try this. The buckets needed to be quickly and easily removed from the bikes as part of our journey was by rail. We decided on 2 1/4" automotive exhaust clamps after pondering and wandering the hardware store. The U-bolt was not used, just the steel brackets. Two brackets were welded side by side, one rotated 180 degrees from the other. One clamp slid over the rail on the rear bike rack, the other pointed up and fit perfectly inside the gaps of the bucket designed to reinforce and mount the handles. We did not remove the handles from the buckets. My partner cut holes in the buckets to attach a bungee cord that applies downward pressure. I was concerned about tearing the plastic and installed a couple eye bolts on my buckets. This method keeps the buckets 100% water tight because no holes were drilled in the buckets themselves. On both bikes our backpacks sat on top the buckets and were held down by another bungee. This kept the buckets from bouncing up and falling off. We had a couple mishaps after some large pot holes...those are some tough buckets! The only other mod was thick adhesive tape over the lids where they hinge. Our buckets held up great after a fairly short ride of 600 miles, only a bit of discoloration from the plastic stressing where they mount to the bike. They also make great carry on luggage for Amtrack! We were happy with the performance overall.

Rack and Clamps

Bungee Hook

Fully Installed, Mile Zero



5 years ago
Thanks for the links David, that round hive looks like it would be very pleasing to the bees. I remember Sepp mentioned round hive corners improve the air circulation in the hive vs square corners. I hope the 'wild hives' do well, I'll try to construct a couple this winter.
6 years ago
Yes it does Tel, I just finished watching your great bee chat video. I've heard good things about the Perone Automatic hive before but I wasn't aware of it's management. I'm interested to see how it does for you once bees move in. I might try one of those here too. I should have mentioned I'm referring to Langstroth hives, most of the hive components were free so that's what I started with.
6 years ago
David and Matt, thank you for your time on Permies! The first I've heard of your book was from Paul's daily-ish email. I recently met a retired bee inspector who gave me some advice about keeping bees. She told me after inspecting thousands of hives she can now tell exactly what's wrong with a hive just by putting an ear up to the side and smelling it when approaching. She said large triple deep hives and 'free comb' is the key to success around here, which is Northeast Ohio, Zone 6a. She recommended three deep hive bodies for the brood chamber, with bars only across the top deep hive body. She said the bees build the comb down to the bottom eventually, and it is much more productive for them to work on large smooth pieces of comb. She called this method 'free comb'. It makes sense to me and seems more natural for the bees, a real Permaculture practice. She said the brood area is not to be opened and the less you disturb them the better. Even using the smoker is a great disturbance for bees and sets them back. She stressed her views on observing nature and a hands off approach. I believe she only harvests honey. I tend to put faith in this woman's observations and want to give it a try. I'm curious if you have any knowledge or experience on this method.

Thanks,
-Galen
6 years ago
I've been debating this myself, Patrick. I live in Northeast Ohio, barely zone 6. My hives have mouse guards all year because they are in an Oldfield mosaic where mice are prolific. This is only my 3rd spring going into beekeeping but so far my two hives have done very well keeping the reducers in place all winter. Yellowjackets and moisture are an issue here too. I made my Reducers out of two pieces of wood and 3 drywall screws. The first piece of wood leaves a gap like the standard reversible entrance reducers, but is only approx half as thick. The bees can still squeeze out the entire width of the hive if they want to and seem to guard that little sliver of horizontal entrance space. I just screw another little strip of wood on top of the first piece to fully reduce the entrance as usual. It was just something I came up because I felt in late summer I wanted the bees to be as unrestricted as possible at the hive entrance but still be able to defend the Yellowjackets. As it gets colder I add the second piece of wood. I have small upper entrances for ventilation on the inner covers. In Montana last year Sepp Holzer mentioned upper hive entrances let out the air that has been naturally disinfected by the bees. Perhaps the need for moisture to escape is more important in our climates? I did notice the bees sealed my two piece reducers with a bit of propolis where it rests on the bottom board. I don't think they would seal this small gap if they felt the need for more entrance space or ventilation.
6 years ago
Check this out: http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-move-a-hive-any-distance/
I haven't tried this yet but will at some point.
7 years ago
I love that thing! The most decent Christmas decoration I've seen this season. I find miniature fascinating.
7 years ago

Rustic Bohemian wrote:

For instance, one driveway road I drove on in Thailand was made of a kind of concrete honeycomb material that allows grass to grow up through the holes. This allowed water to sink into the ground, eliminating the possibility of collecting considerable amounts of runoff, but it also added firmness to what would otherwise have been a very muddy surface. I have no idea about the price of this road, how it would stand up to heavy traffic, or even what it's called.



The bricks are called Permeable Pavers. They are marketed as an environmentally friendly paver stone for the exact reasons you stated, to reduce runoff. They come in standard stones like these: http://www.belgard.biz/environmental-pavers-permeable.htm and in the honeycomb shapes that you saw. I only know because I attended a hardscaping class for an old job. I also know they are not cheap and probably wouldn't hold up as a major road. Better for secondary roads/driveways/patios I would think. They are also made out of concrete just like any other paver. We have many freeze/thaw cycles here in NE Ohio and there's a parking lot made from these that's holding up well but it's only a few years old. Here's a picture of a city street paved in these: http://www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/14512
7 years ago
Brenda is right, it looks like a big prickery disaster but when you get down to the base it's just a few main stems and the roots aren't too serious.  If the bushes aren't huge get some loppers and gloves and pull.  They come out so clean there's no need to spray anything.
7 years ago
I remove these rose bushes all the time.  I usually take a front end loader and smash the bushes down so I can get to the base of the bush.  Then I put the bucket lip angled down slightly and positioned right at the base and drive forward.  Once it starts to come out of the ground you might have to back up and get the lip of the bucket under the roots.  This rips the majority of the roots out and if your careful can be a lot less messy than digging them out with a shovel.  I lop all the branches off at the base and shake the dirt off the roots.  Move onto the next bush.  You can also wrap a chain around them and pull them out.
7 years ago