tel jetson

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since May 17, 2007

zone 7? 8?: woodland, washington and portland, oregon. grower, builder, beekeeper, engineer.
woodland, washington
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Recent posts by tel jetson

if you don't have any frames, which direction the comb is oriented doesn't really matter. you won't be able to harvest individual combs very easily, but you can just wait until you're ready to take the whole box.
2 days ago
opening a hive in the winter is not generally a good idea unless it's an emergency.

your second option, leaving more in than you think they'll need, is a good one. unless your livelihood depends on it (and probably not even then), there's no good reason to cut it close. weather and nectar timing is too unpredictable, so leave extra.
3 weeks ago
what are you trying to accomplish?
3 weeks ago
it depends on:
-severity and length of winter
-size of colony
-style of hive
-materials used
-location relative to massive objects (the thermal mass Joshua mentioned)
-location relative to daily sun/shade
-probably several other things that don't immediately come to mind
3 weeks ago
the local-ish chestnut expert around here keeps nuts in cold storage. he said the traditional advice to store them in dry sand for consumption and wet sand for planting works, but results in a fairly high rate of loss.
1 month ago
we've had good luck with smoking chestnuts, baking them in an oven, and roasting them around a fire to dry them. they're all fine options, and the flour is different for each. I wouldn't use smoked chestnut flour to make cookies, for instance, but it makes really excellent pasta.

the smoked stuff isn't terribly perishable. can't really speak to the other options, as whatever doesn't get used immediately seems to end up in a freezer, either as flour or already made into dough of some sort.
2 months ago

M Johnson wrote:I dont know how people pull off no jacket.  I’ve seen it done.  I saw a guy at Mother Earth do a demonstration with just a veil and did a full inspection.

My bees would sting the @$&:@; out of me without the jacket. I leaned over once and dripped sweat into the hive and they went ballistic.

Maybe it’s handling practices or my pheromones or something. But I would be careful with just a veil.

FYI I have other friends who always suit up too

my guess (based simply on this one post, so take it with a grain of salt) would be your management practices. when I wasn't wearing any suit or veil, I was very careful not to do anything that would upset the bees. that includes probably the majority of conventional beekeeping practices.

I think it made me a better beekeeper because I really had to pay attention and think about how any action would affect the bees. now that I wear a suit (life-threatening allergy), it's a lot easier to remain mindful because I didn't wear it for so long.
5 months ago
could also use a bottom feeder. if you're strong enough or you've got help, lift the whole works off the bottom board, add an empty body, put a feeder in, and move the hive back on top. they won't lose near much heat if you never take the lid off or break the hive apart.
5 months ago
haven't tried it myself, but a friend has. she said brood tastes good, like coconut.

I don't know that I would go so far as to call brood, even drone brood, a free resource, though. the colony does expend a fair amount of metabolic energy raising brood, and removing it is a fairly invasive undertaking. if a person was going to remove the brood anyway, then eating it seems like a great idea.

my friend also said that bears raid hives for the brood, not the honey. I haven't confirmed that independently.
5 months ago
you could easily get away with just a veil. tuck your trousers into your socks. tape your sleeves to some dish gloves.

or, you could skip the protection altogether. as a point of reference, I only started wearing a veil when I found out that I'm allergic to honey bee stings. that was after five years of beekeeping*. avoiding actions that make the bees perceive you as a threat is much easier to do if you get immediate feedback...

* from the beginning, I wore a veil when I was cutting colonies out of walls, etc.
6 months ago