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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

I'm not an authority on this by any means, but I would think a vapor barrier under the foam board would be enough if you were able to level the surface well enough.

mostly, though, I'm posting to say that looks like a real nice place.
3 weeks ago
tonic water would do it, though it's often pretty sweet so you might want to ease up on the honey. I think bark from Remijia species is most often used to flavor tonic water. not sure how easy that is to get hold of.
1 month ago
very nice. I think I would want something bitter in there, too. especially if the rum was left out. some kind of bitter citrus might go well with the other flavors. rhubarb root?
1 month ago
if the only alternative is burying them, you might as well try. I have no advice about how to go about it, unfortunately.

the wall looks nice.
1 month ago

Eliot Mason wrote:I was astonished to learn that within the Portland, OR city limits fully ONE THIRD of the city is right of way.

and that doesn't take into account off-street parking dedicated to cars. I haven't done all the work to calculate it, but I'm confident the number would be much higher in my small town. easily over 50%.

in the United States, our built environment makes cars all but required in many places. in that situation, I don't believe it's wrong to be thinking about what sort of car is the least detrimental, but that can distract from more important things. things like minimizing one's own automobile use and supporting changes that make automobiles less dominant and easier to live without.
1 month ago

Eliot Mason wrote:There is also the problem of upending funding mechanisms for roads.  For now I'm perfectly willing to be that obnoxious, morally-superior fellow who says "Giant gas-sucking SUVs should be penalized and pay more for road maintenance since my shiny electric car is a gift to the world."  But clearly that won't hold and there will be a change.

funding mechanisms for roads need to be upended. really, the building of roads needs to be upended. regardless of what powers the automobiles moving over them, roads have huge negative impacts on ecological and human communities. regardless of what powers an automobile, its use makes space less hospitable to other activities, to put it mildly.
1 month ago
something that's been studied more recently is the impact that vehicle weight has on ground-level pollution. because the lithium batteries used for electric cars are heavy, and because higher range per charge requires more batteries, electric vehicles are much heavier than ICE-powered vehicles of the same size. that, in turn, increases tire wear, road-surface wear, brake wear, and particulate resuspension, all of which are components of ground-level air pollution.

this isn't, for the most part, pollution that has a global impact as does greenhouse pollution. its effects are local but very negative. these are the sorts of pollutants that decrease life expectancy, and electric cars cause more of them than modern ICE cars (old and poorly maintained ICE cars are pretty bad all around).

in this way, switching to electric power trades one sort of pollution for another. in many cases, it will reduce carbon emissions, but in nearly all cases (switching from a large ICE vehicle to a small electric one might be an exception) it will increase localized ground-level pollution.

this is especially true of electric buses. that veers somewhat afield from individual consumer choices, but it's one that I think about a lot spending a fair amount of time in cities on a bike. diesel and diesel hybrid buses are loud and smelly, have brake compressors that release at high decibels without regard for who might be right next to them, and weigh upwards of 20,000 pounds. electric buses are much quieter and (I believe) have regenerative brakes that don't use a compressor. but they're also much, much heavier (and very expensive). at that size, they're not only creating much more ground-level pollution, they're also causing expensive damage to streets and roads far above and beyond what their diesel counterparts cause.

I guess to me, switching from ICEs to electric motors is somewhat akin to switching from bloodletting to leaches. there might be some advantages and disadvantages at the margins, but the big picture remains the same: regardless of how it's done, removing someone's blood isn't good medicine. regardless of how it's powered, using an automobile to move people around isn't a good transportation choice.

(I do want to reiterate that sometimes a car or truck or bus truly is the right tool for the job. in those cases, I guess you'll have to choose which sort of mischief is most tolerable, but I'm not convinced it makes much difference.)
1 month ago

John F Dean wrote:I tried the knocking, there was no real increase in noise or activity. I think maybe  3 additional bees left the hive only to turn around and go back in.

did you put your ear against the hive? I realize I forgot to mention that important step. I should also mention that this doesn't work well if the hive is made out of very thick material. I've got a few with full 2" walls that I can't hear any activity through regardless of what's going on inside.

without having been there, though, it sounds like they're probably queen-right (have a queen). without a queen, colonies often get real defensive and easily perturbed.

I know it's unpleasant to not know for sure, but I think your best bet at this point is just to wait and keep observing from outside the hive. foragers carrying pollen in is a good sign. a dramatic increase in the number of drones is a less good sign (though if it's just for an hour or so twice a day, that's just the daily drone exodus to their hangouts and return). activity that seems pretty normal for that hive is a good sign. increased defensiveness is less good.

opening the hive up and looking for brood and eggs is certainly an option and one that a lot of folks would recommend. that's more invasive than I'm generally interested in (and not without risk to a queen and brood), but it's a quicker and more certain way to know the hive's queen status if you don't yet recognize entrance behaviors. whatever option you choose, this is a good time to be observing entrance behavior and correlating it with what you eventually determine is going on. taking notes of your observations might help, though I'm personally not organized enough and/or too lazy for that.
1 month ago

John F Dean wrote:No, I meant there was no absence of bees if would be the case if the hive had swarmed.

ah. I misread your message as saying that you had seen evidence of a swarm. whoops.
1 month ago
giving the hive a gentle knock with your knuckle and listening to the sound the colony makes is pretty reliable, too, and really easy. if there's no queen, they sound angry or distressed. with a queen, the just get louder for a moment, but sound perfectly fine.
1 month ago