Author Archives: coffeeadmin

Free canoe with a very Big Hole!!

Last weekend a friend picked up a free fiberglass canoe! The owner was going to take it to the dump. So Henry hauled it away and brought it to me. Henry kept the few pieces of fiberglass that were broken away. The hole was about 4” wide by 10” long. A big hole!!

The first thing I did was put the pieces back like a puzzle, then added a few sheets of 6oz fiberglass cloth and epoxied them into place. I then turn her over and started the repair and fairing process till she was ready for paint. 

Henry and his grandson Gage plan to give her a camo paint job to ready her for duck and goose hunting!

The whole process took about 2 hours over a three days period. Three days because we had to wait on epoxy drying time.

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Spinning Honey

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Harvesting Honey!

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Sailing the seven seas with my friend Larry!

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Honey Season

This past weekend harvesting honey!

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Post-Catching a Swarm of Honey Bees

This day I was in my house with the front door open. I started hearing bees buzzing! The buzzing started to get louder and louder. I stepped outside and noticed the sky was filled with bees. One of my hives was in the process of swarming. They lit on a branch approx 10 feet high. We fashioned a cardboard box duct-taped to a long 2×2 stick. We then put the hanging swarm into the box and gave it a quick jerk and about 95% of the bees ended up in the box. We quickly dumped those bees into a 6 frame nuc. In the last video you can see the bees that ended up on the ground march up the small stump and right into the nuc box because the queen is in the box. 

The following morning every bee was in the box. We moved them to a friend’s bee yard about 3-4 miles away.

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Catching a Swarm with a Vacuum Box

6-12-21 Yesterday late afternoon a huge bull swarm of honeybees lit way down deep inside a bush next to my driveway. To make sure I got all the bees and the single queen I had to use the vacuum box I built just for this type of thing, it sucks them right into a brood box. I also made an adjustment on the top to regulate the suck power to not hurt the bees. Check this out!! This hive will make #20.

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April and May are honey bee swarming months

The months of late April and May are honey bee swarming months. There’s a saying; if you catch a swarm in the month of May it’s worth a truck load of hay, if you catch one in June it’s worth a silver spoon and if you catch one in July there’s a good chance it will die. Well in the last month and a half I’ve caught 11 swarms. The wild honeybees I catch in my swarm traps that I set near the edge of the forests are mostly black! These black honeybees are survivors!! They winter over well, almost never die and make lots of honey!! I am in the process of converting my bee-yard from the typical Langstroth vertical standard hives to Long-Hives or Horizontal-Hives. I’ve been building them out of 2-1/4” thick red cedar slabs I’ve milled into proper boards. These hives are so thick the bees feel they’re in a hollow cedar tree. They are also very well insulated so the bees have a much easier time keeping the hive cool in the summer and warm in the winter! The other good thing for old beekeepers like me, is there is no more lifting heavy Langstroth boxes! The only thing you lift (once the Long-Hives are placed in its permanent location) is a single frame. No more back pain!! There is another huge plus to these black honeybees and the Long-Hives, that is the beekeeper never has to poison his hives again!! No more treating for Varroa mites. These black honey bees live with these mites and hive beetles in unison. There are hundreds if not thousands of living organisms in a honeybee hive. Introducing poisons puts their whole ecosystem out of balance, let alone hurts the bees and their honey!

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A Triple Split

A few days ago I took a video of one of my wild hives that I split three ways. This last August I added a third brood chamber for the hive to pack away Fall honey to feed themselves over the winter. This spring there were maybe 75,000 bees filling all three big brood boxes. Instead of doing the norm, which is splitting the hive in half (because there are normally only two brood boxes) there were so many bees I split it three ways. On May 1st I checked to make sure all was well in each hive. I took 2-3 frames of capped brood larvae and eggs and pulled them from the queen hive and added them to the other two hives. My hope is in thirty days a new queen will have been made, gone on two mating flights and started laying eggs. I will keep you posted!!??

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Long hive build

This last Friday I finished my first of many builds of a long hive! This build took two days. My hope is the next dozen or so will take me maybe one day rather than two. Like I wrote in the last post these long hives will save my back plus houses wild bees will easily survive the winters here in the NW in this type of hive.

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