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    • Thu, May 30, 2019 - 07:02pm

      #17

      apismellifera

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      A key trait of my dog, Rowdy

    • Fri, Aug 17, 2018 - 12:34am

      #25

      apismellifera

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      And on investing

    Keynes:

    The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    (I rephrase this one as “In investing, being early is the same thing as being wrong,” which is something I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way over the past ten years!)

    • Fri, Aug 17, 2018 - 12:17am

      #24

      apismellifera

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      From a farmer

    Wendell Berry:

    “To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”

    (It’s especially meaningful to me as someone who loves farming, especially the livestock piece.)

    • Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - 12:35am   (Reply to #5)

      #37

      apismellifera

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      A small correction

    TechGuy wrote:

    ….WW 3 likely already has begun as the US started its Oil resource conquest on the Middle Aast and has initiated proxy wars with Russia in Syria & Ukraine. We can see a rise of hatred propagana against Russia and China by the US & Europe, setting the stage for future direct conflict. Both China and Russia have responded with substaintial increases in Military spending.

    I agree (boradly) with your observations about the rise in hatered propaganda towards both Russia and China. A small correction, though — Russia actually cut its military budget by about 20% last year. 

    • Fri, Jul 21, 2017 - 08:56pm

      #4

      apismellifera

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      I think not~

    Seems a very selective use of evidence about the alleged benefits of capitalism on the bees.  The author neglects to mention neonicotinoids and other systemic insecticides, along with their interactions with commercial fungicides as a major cause of bee mortality.  The classically capitalist manufacturers of those substances seem perfectly content to externalize the larger costs of their products.

    And one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, that bee diseases spread so rapidly nowadays is commercial, migratory beekeeping, where sick hives infect others before everyone packs up and moves on to new locations.  I think almond pollination in CA is notorious for this.  It's a crazy way to grow food, especially when you count all the energy it takes to truck bees thousands of miles. Hard to think of a less sustainable, less resilient food system.  

    A quibble, too– I do not believe that even most "commercial beekeepers are migratory" as the article asserts.  Most don't truck their hives around extensively, with the exception, perhaps, of local pollination.  But that's a far cry from the Florida -> Maine route or anything similar. 

    He also writes as if the problems with bee mortality have been solved.  They haven't.  Maybe "managed" but not solved.  Queens could often last 3 or 4 years in the old days of beekeeping, now you're doing well if you can get two years.  A system that requires constant human interventions to prevent massive losses is not a stable system, it's fragile. 

    Keeping bees was once fairly simple– you could check once in a while, add new frames to the top of a hive during major nectar flows, and sometimes harvest a hundred lbs. of honey per hive with relatively little effort.  That just ain't gonna happen today. 

    Mark me down as unconvinced. 

    • Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - 12:33pm

      #32

      apismellifera

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      I heartily agree re: “Take Shelter”

    "Take Shelter" is of my favorite recent movies, (and not just because of the subject matter). The acting was terrific, especially Jessica Chastain. 

    • Sat, Mar 26, 2016 - 12:20pm

      #5

      apismellifera

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      Another option

    A third colleague just ditched his wireless plan and bought a mobile hotspot that lives mainly in his family van.  He uses Google Hangouts for all calls now, saving considerable money.  This is a less integrated solution than what I described above, but he's a big fan of all things Google and owned his phone outright, so it made sense for him and saved him a ton of money.  

    • Fri, Mar 25, 2016 - 11:09pm

      #3

      apismellifera

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      An oddball,, alternative choice

    I've been with a little alternative cell company called Republic Wireless for years now.  Love 'em. They realized that most of the time, people are within range of a wfii network, so they sell customized Android phones that will place calls over wifi whenever possible.  If you're talking on the wifi network and walk out of range, the phone transparently switches to true cell service, (primarily on Sprint, but there is now supposedly a second national carrier able to handle their cellular calls now.)

    You can pick from several plans based on your likely usage patterns, and if you're always near wifi, cost per month is crazy low, like $5.  But if you're going on a trip, you can change your plan to a higher rate plan, then back to low, multiple times a month.  Best of all, if you sign up for a data plan and don't use what you pay for (most people don't) you get a CASH credit towards your next bill.  Not minutes.  Average cost works out to be around $13/mo. I think. 

    You buy a phone outright, too, which costs around $300, depending.  I love the complete transparency of pricing, and their goal of disrupting the big boys. I like their wiki-based and largely volunteer support, too– people love to help other users of the service. Consumer Reports said they had the highest satisfaction of any cell provider, too.  Lots to like, but definitely a bit quirky.  Check 'em out.  Two co-workers of mine switched a year or two ago, and are pleased with the decision.  All this is from memory, so please don't take my word for every detail. 

    • Fri, Aug 01, 2014 - 06:19pm

      #2

      apismellifera

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      I made my first TBH this year

    I tried a couple of extra things, just for fun:

    1. One side of the hive has a plexiglass window into the hive, and I rigged up a hinged flap to keep the hive dark when not observing.
    2. I tried to make the dimensions such that I could use just the top of a standard Langstroth frame, with popsicle sticks glued into the slot as a guide. I had a bunch of old unassembled frames that I hadn't ever used for years, and figured it would be good to find a use for them. 
    3. As recommended by Les Crowder (I think) the sloped angles on the bottom insides are identical to the interior angles of a hexagon– 120 degrees.  I've still had some problems with comb attachment but nothing too bad. 
    4. I gradually expanded the usable space inside with a movable rear wall– worked well, the bees expanded very predictably from their initial package.

    I am very curious if they will make it through the winter successfully– there will be somewhat less honey than what I like to see in my Langstroth hives.  I'd be interested in how you configure the frames before winter– is the cluster of bees sandwiched between frames of honey, or are there more frames on the back? 

    In my TBH 2.0 I will make the hive longer than what I now have (going from about 20 bars to at least 30) and will make the observation window more rugged, easier to close off from light.  I might also be interested in a long hive, no window, just a long bin without worrying about the 120 degree angle. I think Russians did it that way traditionally. 

    It strikes me that the main disadvantage of these hives is the inability to get extra frames of brood or honey easily unless your apiary is standardized on one size.  I think I would want multiple hives all using the same size frames to make rebalancing populations, requeening, etc. easier. 

    One note– the TBH has the calmest bees of any of my hives– probably just the luck of the draw, but they still are a delight to work.

     

    • Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 09:27pm

      #3

      apismellifera

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      A how-to on feeding bees in winter

    A little blog post documenting how I fed a couple of hives yesterday on a relatively warm day.  It's the easiest way to feed bees in winter that I've ever seen.

    http://www.joesbees.com/winter-feeding/

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