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

William Bronson wrote:Clearly chest freezers are more efficient, but an upright freezer converted to a fridge is probably more efficient than a standard refrigerator.

I'm not sure this is true. chest freezers are more efficient primarily because of the orientation of the door, not because they're freezers. the heat pump apparatus is optimized for freezer temperatures, not refrigerator temperatures. so I would guess that an upright freezer would be slightly less efficient than the same size upright refrigerator.

one advantage of most upright freezers and refrigerators is that the condenser tubes aren't usually in the skin, they're on the back or bottom. if that's the case, you could actually add insulation to the outside as long as you didn't restrict airflow past those tubes. my guess is that a chest freezer conversion would still come out ahead, but that might depend on how often you'll be opening the thing. the more it's opened, the better the chest option looks.
4 days ago
adding water isn't about insulation, it's about adding mass. you're making a sort of thermal flywheel so that the compressor doesn't cycle as frequently. it might run a little longer when it does cycle on, but it should work out to be a bit more efficient that way and last a little longer. the beginning of a compressor cycle is when the bulk of wear on the moving parts takes place, so if there are fewer cycles, there's less wear.
5 days ago
yeah, Casie. for the same reason it won't work on the outside, it won't work on the inside: instead of condenser tubes, there are evaporator tubes under the skin on the inside. insulation there would just keep energy from traveling out of the freezer box, which is how it's cooled. any additional insulation would have to go between the evaporator and condenser tubes, at which point you're probably better off starting from scratch.
5 days ago
to reiterate Sebastian's point about the condenser: at least on the models I'm familiar with, adding more insulation would actually dramatically reduce efficiency. the condenser is placed under the outer skin of the freezer so the whole surface acts to radiate heat away. if you add insulation over that, the heat will not be radiated away and the compression cycle won't be able to cool the freezer.

for more insulation to work, it would have to be placed toward the inside of the freezer from the condenser tubes, which would not be a trivial undertaking, to put it mildly.
5 days ago
I would also add that getting hives up off the ground by 18" or more is advantageous in climates where excessive dampness could be an issue for the colony. a hut would accomplish this, but so would a much smaller and simpler hive stand.
1 week ago
I like your plan. I did build a sort of hut for my Warré hives, but I don't think I would do it again. putting hives close together increases mortality through horizontal transmission of pathogens and parasites, which greatly hinders adaptation. so to get the benefit of a shelter without those drawbacks, each hive would need it's own shelter. that doesn't strike me as a good use of resources. changing the construction of the hive itself would give most of the advantages of a hut, and arrangements like what you describe would cover the others.

flower gardens around the hives: if you like the look and feel of flowers there, go for it. bees don't tend to forage much directly outside their hives, though. could be because that's where they shit the most. 20 acres might sound like a lot, but planting forage anywhere in that area will be much the same as anywhere else for a bee. until you're up above several miles for them to get to forage, it just won't make a difference.
1 week ago
it's interesting research. could be used a couple of ways, though. it would be great if it contributes to spreading the knowledge that complex thriving ecosystems are a really good thing, including for bees. I fear, however, that it is more likely to be used to sell new bee treatments that will prop up industrial agriculture and wholesale ecological destruction a little longer.
2 weeks ago

Mike Barkley wrote:Any recommendations on HOW to roast chestnuts?

depends what you plan to use them for. if you just want to eat whole roasted chestnuts, roast them however you like. in an oven. over a fire. a microwave would probably even work. they're much easier to peel and less likely to explode if you score the shell (I believe this is the intended use of chestnut knives). most folks score an x on some part. the hotter they are when peeled, the easier the task is. the pellicle (the skin under the shell that is a little bit astringent) comes off more easily if there are some American (Castanea dentata) involved. I don't mind the pellicle, but some folks do.

if you're going to make flour with them, boiling, steaming, and smoking are also good options. dehydrated might also work, though I've never tried it and I'm not sure how to go about it to ensure that peeling is easy.

don't know if I mentioned candying or preserving chestnuts in sugar syrup previously. I've done that a couple of times. it preserves them well enough, and they're sort of tasty, but the sweetness washes out most of the actual chestnut flavor. I may just not have found the best use for them.
2 weeks ago
that sure depends. on how you measure (e.g. per hive, per hour of work, per money spent). on what sort of hive you're using. on your management practices. on the provenance of the bees.

given those variables and others, I would guess a range of 0% to 250%.
2 months ago