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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April and May is swarming season for honeybees

Hi All,

It has been a while since my last post. Over the last month and a half my wife Jody and I have contracted COVID-19. We have obviously serviced. It is 7-10 days of a serious bad nasty head/chest cold with fever and fatigue! Anyway, we now have the antibodies in our system. And just in time for honeybee swarm season!

I have set a dozen of my honeybee swarm trap in hopes of catching several wild honeybee swarms. This time of year the queen bee is laying about 1500 eggs per day. In no time the hive in a hollow tree or and old barn wall becomes overpopulated with bees. So the queen instructs 1/2 the hive to gorge themselves with honey and find a new home for her new colony of bees. Once they fine that new place (hopefully one of my traps) they will quickly draw new wax comb with the honey they have eaten so the queen can start laying eggs to populate her new colony! My success rate catching swarms in my traps is about 50%. Once they establish the new colony in one of my traps, I will bring it to my bee yard and put them in a proper hive box.

I also am starting to build several long hives out of 2-1/4” thick red cedar slabs. The reason for these new types of hive? Is once built and placed in their permanent location the heaviest thing you need to pick up is a single frame of bees or honey. No more lifting 100 pound brood boxes full of bees and comb. Also no more picking up 60-80 pound honey supers. I will be 68 years old this year, picking up these heavy bee boxes is getting harder and harder on my back.

My hope is to have a dozen or so of these long hives built and placed in the next few weeks! ?

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Snow Storm Week

The last three weeks have been interesting to say the least. Three weeks ago the Pacific Northwest was hit with a major cold front. Lots of snow and ice. About a quarter million folks were without power in the Portland metro area. This is not counting areas further north and south. I’ve attached a short video I took before sunrise one of those snowy mornings! Then just like that the first signs of spring! Here are a couple of videos of a couple of honeybee hives that have survived the winter. These two hives are from a wild swarm I caught three years ago in the woods on the lower Columbia river. I will split those two have around the first of second week of April, so we will have four strong hives from that single wild swarm of honeybees. The thing about wild honeybees, they are resilient!! They have learned to commingle with hive pest like the Varro Destructor mite and hive beetles. These pests can only survive in a honeybee colony. The two pests kill domesticated honeybees. These domesticated honeybees are to be treated with chemicals. These chemicals are used to kill these hive pest but at the same time they weaken the colony bigtime!! So most of the time these colonies can not survive the winter. But wild honeybees not only survive they thrive!! Hence, natural wonderful honey and hearty pollinators! Most folks don’t relies there are thousands of living organisms in a single honeybee colony and when chemicals are introduced to the hive those very chemicals do not only weaken the honeybee population but they also kill many of those beneficial organisms. Honeybees are a true wonderment!! I could go on forever talking about them!!
I also attached a few wildlife photos. Plus one of the sunrise out our back porch. Enjoy!

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Anti-foul Bottom Paint Complete

This last weekend I finished all the winter maintenance on our Cape Henry 21. The masking and bottom painting is now finished. That’s it for her yearly maintenance. She’s now ready for summer sailing!

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Topside Maintenance is Now Complete!

This last weekend I finished the brightwork, varnished the bowsprit and companionway. Then painted the topside Jade Green on her transom and rudder. Next weekend I fire up the wood stove and tackle the red bottom anti-foul paint.

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This last weekend I fired up the old Jotel wood stove. I hand sanded all the brightwork with 220 grit then cut in a single coat of TotalBoat “Wood Finish” varnish. There are just a few more details before she’s ready for her Spring launch.

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Beginning Her Yearly Maintenance

This last weekend I started “Slough Coots” (our Dudley Dix designed Cape Henry 21) yearly maintenance. I prepped her hull by giving it a light sanding with 220 grit and an orbit sander. Then washed and dried it. The fallowing day I rolled and tipped a coat of Pettit EZPoxy Jade Green topcoat paint. Also attached is a photo of Saturday mornings sunrise! There’s nothing like a fine cup of Longbottom coffee as you’re watching the come up!! Cold winter sunrises are the best along with a nice warm fire popping and cracking in the wood stove!

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Mid January and They’re Bringing in Pollen??

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Moving the Staysail Sheets, Fairleads and Cam-Cleats

This last weekend I moved the port and starboard fairleads and cam-cleats for the staysail sheets.
I’ve posted 4 photos. The first is a full photo of the starboard side of our Dudley Dix design Cape Henry 21. You can see the cam-cleat mounted to the deck in front of the horn-cleat. This location has had its challenges.

1) When taking in the sheet your hand hits the pointy end of the horn-cleat. 2) It’s not a good location if you need to move quickly.

As you can see on the bottom three photos I moved the fairleads from forward of the port lights to the aft end of the port lights. I then moved the cam-cleat from the deck to the upper aft end of the cabin superstructure. This new location will make it easier to make quick adjustments while tacking or reefing the staysail.

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The Day After Christmas!

This weekend I removed the hatch cover for the companion way on my sailboat, a Cape Henry 21. I sanded it fair and added a coat of brightwork. I then tore apart my free standing sander and repaired the main belt pulley.
The two weekends prior I removed my burned out stove and replaced it with little potbelly type cast iron wood burner!! It heats up my shop nicely!!

Dec. 26th

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