tel jetson

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since May 17, 2007
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zone 7? 8?: woodland, washington and portland, oregon. grower, builder, beekeeper, engineer.
woodland, washington
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Recent posts by tel jetson

G Brett wrote:I've told buying a nuc is probably the best way to go for a new guy, with a brand new hive.

opinions will obviously vary on this, but I would say the best way to go would be to get yourself on any local swarm lists you can find. my introduction to beekeeping was with swarms, and I think it really set the relationship on a positive course from the get go.

buying a nuc may seem like more of a sure thing, and it might be. but plenty of nucs fail for a variety of reasons. that can be especially discouraging if you've dropped a lot of cash for one.

I will offer this disclaimer: I have never purchased bees, so I won't claim to have any kind of authority on that subject.
3 weeks ago
and yeah, folks are typically a little wobbly on them. nobody has crashed yet, though!
3 weeks ago

Edward Norton wrote:What kind of bike do you have Tel? My Bullitt rides differently to a normal bike and I was very wobbly for at first. I’m concerned it would put people off if they tried for anything less than a day . . .

I picked up two, actually. they were used by a local ice cream company for deliveries, but that didn't work out for some reason. metrofiets is the brand. a defunct but well-liked Portland builder.
3 weeks ago
I haven't used anything but water to bathe for years at this point. occasionally soap if I get grease on me. it works fine for me, but... I'm very smelly, both my armpits and my hair. doesn't bother me, but the folks around me do occasionally object.

I only mention this because people make a lot of sensational statements about this sort of thing. in my experience at least, I definitely smell worse than I did when I used soap. I never used scented soap or soap with anything but oils and lye, so artificial smells and weird chemicals weren't an issue. my skin is also just as weird if not weirder than when I used soap (mild dandruff on my dome and in my beard).

so why don't I just use soap? I don't know, really. I think I just decided I didn't want to feel bad about smelling like a human. maybe I'm doing my small part trying to counteract industries that have convinced many people they smell wrong without special products. or maybe I'm just bothering the people who have to be physically near me.
3 weeks ago

Edward Norton wrote:I drove my car in NJ for a year and no one ever said ‘nice ride’ however, rarely a day goes by that someone doesn’t say something really nice about the bike.

I find the same thing. I don't ride my cargo bike every day, but I get positive comments whenever I do. if the setting is conducive to it, I try to let the commenters take it for a spin.
4 weeks ago
mouse guards and other means of reducing the size of the entrance work well. they're only necessary during the cold season when the bees aren't active. honeybees can easily kill a mouse, so mice aren't going to climb in there when there's a lot of bee traffic.
1 month ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:We have a van and a truck as it would not be safe or efficient to rescue wildlife by bicycle; such as this morning, yes the seal pup was only 10 minutes from my home, but it was another 15 minutes to the airport where it was flown to the Marine Mammal Rescue unit.

that seems like a pretty good use case for an automobile to me. emergency transport of humans over long distances is another one.
1 month ago

Jay Angler wrote:"accidents" rather than "collisions"

it's an important distinction. I've seen many headlines about people injured or killed in "bicycle accidents" when they were actually struck by automobiles. would they call it a "walking accident" if a pedestrian was killed in a automobile crash?

Jay Angler wrote: better training,  better roads, fewer distractions, and better knowledge of the physics involved

a transportation system that relies on humans always following rules correctly to prevent grisly deaths is not designed well. likewise, a transportation system that relies on high technology to do the same is also not designed well from my point of view.
1 month ago
couldn't tell you what's in the hive, but I can tell you what's not in the hive: live mites left from the previous colony. they can't survive without the bees there.
1 month ago
I assume you're asking about treating for varroa mites. because swarms don't bring any brood with them, mite loads are typically small to non-existent in a new colony, so there's no reason to treat for a while. allowing your colony to swarm also takes advantage of this because there's a period without any brood in the hive while the new queen is getting up to speed.

there are a few ways to monitor mite numbers. I generally spend a few minutes from time to time watching the entrance. if there are a lot of mites, you'll see them on the landing board and on bees coming and going.

I'm with Mike, though: I don't treat.

I don't know anything about swarm season in Wyoming, but it's getting to be pretty late where I'm at. a late July swarm would have a pretty difficult time building enough population and putting up enough honey to survive the winter here. that isn't to say they wouldn't make it, just that their odds would be a little longer. and if they didn't, they would still build comb that the next swarm to move in could use to its advantage.
1 month ago