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tel jetson

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since May 17, 2007
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tel jetson currently moderates these forums:

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

Frederik Grøn Schack wrote:As far as I remember, they honey from black locust is sold as acacia honey, even though the tree is not an acacia.

not an acacia but passed off as one... hmm. maybe you could call it a pseudoacacia. what do you think?
1 day ago

Gordon Haverland wrote:But it is nice looking flooring.

yeah. I kind of like the checks, I think. if I were doing it, I would maybe just let them fill in with wax and grime over time.

I imagine black locust used this way could make an exceptionally hard-wearing floor.
2 days ago
been noticing black locust marketed for flooring recently. ship lap like other common hardwood floors, engineered, and end grain blocks. that last one is tempting to try on my own.
2 days ago
I've got quite a few. they sucker and there are some seedlings, but they aren't too much of a hassle. the patch of plum seedlings and suckers I've got is a lot more trouble.

I'm glad I've got both the plums and black locust, though. they're adding a lot of biomass to the really sandy soil they're growing in. once I find some time, I'm also hoping to regularly cut most of them down. I'll buck up the bigger stems for firewood and building material. the smaller stuff I'm hoping to use to make some char to help hold some nutrients in the dirt (like a lot of soil in the rainy northwest, it's deficient in roughly everything but phosphorus). and the leaves can go in the hayloft for winter critter food.

which reminds me: goats would probably be a decent biological control if black locust suckers and seedlings start getting out of hand. one place there aren't any little locusts is in the long-term goat paddock. there are three big trees, but no seedlings or root suckers. there are poultry in there, too, and so I guess there's also a chance they're eating the seeds.
3 days ago
there's a short video showing a beekeeper collecting and installing book scorpions here:
5 days ago
I haven't used one, but they're really similar to Warré hives. really the only part missing is the top bars, which aren't difficult to make. the importance of the top bars really depends on how you plan to manage your hives, though. the way I do it, top bars aren't really necessary and might contribute to what's sometimes called "false floor syndrome." basically, a colony with plenty of room to expand swarms when they encounter top bars as they're building downward. having one long uninterrupted cavity (as in the Japanese design) might, therefore, make early swarming less likely.

skipping top bars would make harvesting slightly trickier, and pretty much rule out taking individual combs out separately: you'll have to take whole boxes instead. that's the way I do it anyway, but I do sort of like the top bars there for support. decreases the chance that the comb will all just fall apart when you take a box off. the Japanese hives do use a mid-box support that may be enough to prevent collapse, but also complicates harvest a little bit.

one other thing to keep in mind is that many (maybe all?) traditional beekeepers in Japan are still using Apies cerana instead of A. mellifera. I won't claim to know what that means for the hive that's most suitable for each species in any particular climate, but it's something to consider. those two species do have fairly different proclivities, strengths, and vulnerabilities.

my advice would be to try both Warré and the Japanese design and see which works best for the bees and you. they're effectively identical apart from the top bars. if you can do the Japanese one, you can do a Warré. if you've got some of both and you decide you like one style better than the other sometime down the road, it will be really easy to switch them all to the style you prefer.
1 week ago
how about cork? I don't know much about its permeability. I do know that it's pretty expensive, but also  real nice to look at.
2 weeks ago
I've got a heat pump water heater in my basement that acts as a dehumidifier. of course, it also cools the air, so probably not a great idea for a living space that will be heated.
2 weeks ago
it would be a lot more work, but I really like the idea of insulation outside the concrete that a couple of other folks have mentioned. that would move the dewpoint to the outside of the concrete and your living space and turn the foundation into a nice thermal flywheel to moderate temperatures.
2 weeks ago

Michael Cox wrote:Long term, any "solution" to SHB is going to depend on bees evolving resistance traits to them.

that's one half of co-evolution. the other half is small hive beetles adapting to be less detrimental to bees. if they aren't causing serious problems, they'll be left alone. they may even become one more part of a thriving hive ecosystem. reducing species diversity (eradicating a pest) often isn't the best long term solution, in beehives or elsewhere.
2 weeks ago