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Mr. Bill Anderson

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since Aug 28, 2012
Mr. Bill likes ...
rabbit trees woodworking
Zone 8A Hartwell, GA, USA
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Recent posts by Mr. Bill Anderson

Love the pictures. Keep em coming.
5 years ago

Lightly Burdwood-Porter wrote:Not even a little!
I have loved this thread and, now, will have to try my hand at it, thank you so much!



I agree, wholeheartedly. I can't post enough +1's. "Not even a little tired of seeing pictures" (and reading the commentary that goes with) You should really make up some sort of picture album or at least a small publication to sell along with the forks / rakes, etc... they call that value-added.
I don't usually get excited about anything, but this... but this... Looking at your pictures, I see that I already have most of those tools. Definitely going to have to give this a try.
Huge Kudos to you and yours!!!
5 years ago
MMMM nicely done. Especially with using the nice bits left over from the initial searing.

Food - It's always a good idea.
5 years ago

Beatrix Hives wrote:Thanks for the design.

I went ahead and built one of these hives and I've had bees in it for just over a month. I opened up the hive today and while the bees have been very productive, I have a bit of a problem on my hands. All of their combs are crooked and about five of the bars are stuck together with one big old comby, heavy, honey filled mass. I was only able to remove and inspect one of the newer combs because all of the other bars are stuck together so badly. Any ideas about what to do with this mess and how to prevent it happening on the rest of the bars? The comb guide that I used on the bars was miniature dowel (approximately 20 inches long) stapled to the underside of each bar.

Any suggestions on how to remedy this dilemma would be very much appreciated



There is a reason for everything that bees do. Here are some of my observations.

Only been a month? Ouch. I'd say leave them alone for at least 5 months or so and let them work. Natural inclination is to check them to see if they are doing their job. Uh, they have their own natural inclination, which is to be left alone. Which is why we get stung, lol. They know what they are doing.

However, if you set them up with the bars too close together, they'll paste the combs together. If they are too far apart, they'll start fastening the combs together for stability. Check the size of your bees, there are plenty of size charts online to see what size your's are. Size the bars to the bees.

Make sure the ends of the dowels that you installed on the bars are far enough away from the ends. This keeps the bees from building comb against the sides of the hive body.
Make sure the dowels are STRAIGHT and not too large. Crooked or large foundation strips will, of course, make the combs touch in certain areas. Bee space is critical. They need to be able to get between the combs to keep the honey cool in summer by fanning their wings.

All that to say, I suspect that the bars are too narrow for your bees, or the dowels may be a tiny bit crooked. I've had good luck with cutting a groove in the top bar and melting some beeswax into the groove. Cheap ol junk wax works just fine, no need to use top quality stuff for this.

Don't give up!!! Keep at it and soon you'll be a proud beekeeper. Got Pics of your setup?
5 years ago
Fast on the draw, ain'tcha?
6 years ago
Check with your local electrical provider for off-peak times to get a better rate for your electric clothes dryer. Winter time, I'll pin out the clothes on the line and bring them in just before dark, then toss them into the dryer for 10 minutes just before bedtime 9PM or later. Not sure exactly how much the electrical rates go down, but it's worth it to save every penny possible.
Loving the smell of the outdoors on my clothes, I'll just do a "Damp" dryer setting. I don't care if anyone sees my boxers, but the wife's, um, intimate clothing is hung inside.
Great suggestions all. Great forum.
6 years ago
Great RMH forum. Cindee, we hope to see lots of pics of the Alaskan RMH build.
7 years ago
Found a link to it on this forum thread: Heating a 7000 sf Greenhouse

Other good stuff on that thread as well.
7 years ago
A bit of a bummer not having data and directions/experienced people available for Rocket Mass Heater consultation. Guess that's why they call it pioneering.

I'm working on building my RMH with the vent pipe running underneath a Deep Water Culture tank - 4 foot wide by 20 foot long. That makes the vent pipe about 50 foot long with the bends, elbows, etc...
Greenhouse will be 4 foot above the RMH, built above ground (not much help to you, is it?) Have been thinking of building an RMH berm/bench for propagating in the spring. Maybe a vent damper or something so the heat can be directed either underneath the DWC tank or toward the propagating bench. Heating all that water in the winter will keep the fish growing and plants from freezing.

But the fish tank area is another 12 inches or so lower than the RMH. So in the summer I'll be bringing cooler air from around the fish tank through the RMH vent pipes to help cool the mass of water in the DWC. Cool sinking is an idea that I got off this forum (from someones post).

In Alaska, I'd figure you could keep a greenhouse heated to at least grow cold season crops indoors. Using the row covers inside a greenhouse brings the temps something like 500 miles "South". Check out Elliot Colemans "Four Season Harvest" book. Definitely check out the cold sink idea. There is a video out there somewhere that shows how a guy built a deep sink inside his passive greenhouse and put boards over top of it to walk on. Tomatoes in January anyone?

What are you planning on growing?
7 years ago
From Wikipedia
...Permaculture design therefore seeks to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy. Permaculture designs evolve over time by taking into account these relationships and elements and can become extremely complex systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input
Would think that Aquaponics would fit into this description. Aquaculture is the raising of fish, Hydroponics is growing plants in soil-less media. The blending of Aquaculture and Hydroponics gives you Aquaponics. Raising fish in a tank, pumping the fish waste water to growbeds where it is filtered with some sort of media - gravel/expanded clay balls which then grows plants. Water flows back into the tank nice and clean. No salmonella or E-coli worries.
My current system is small with low input of fish feed and grows most everything I have tried. Arugula, spinach, buttercruch lettuce, squash, corn, strawberries, basil, rhubarb, carrots, millet, Tomatoes (Lord help us, the tomatoes this thing put out), peppers, broccoli.
Small pump with low wattage running 24/7, autosiphons to drain the water from the blue barrel growbeds. Lots of fun to create, but not much to do after it is built except sprinkle seeds, feed the fish, harvest, and some occasional clearing of roots out of my siphon drain pipes.
And covered with chicken wire to keep the girls from the "buffet line"
7 years ago