Sunday, 26 May 2013

Log Skidder

After learning the limits of my tractor be shattering a gear in the transmission of my 1964 Wheelhorse my dad had this made up for me.

So now no more busted gears on my poor tractor.
It pulls it along like nothing is attached to it at all

Thanks again dad.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Magic Mushrooms??

Chris spotted this mushroom last week & I took some pictures with my phone. The other pictures were blurry so this will have to do. I have no idea what kind of mushroom it is or even if it's edible. But it's really cool looking. It stands about five inches from the ground to tip.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Mr Turtle

Found this little guy by the pond.

He was the size of a bread and butter plate.

Look at the claws on this guy!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Kryponite for Ants

Cinnamon is kryptonite to ants. Within a few hours there were only 2 ants on the outside of the hive.

 Mass reduction in the amount of ants as they all gravitated to the box sides that were clear from cinnamon. So Chris just lifted the box & knocked off all the ants that remained.

So there are only a few ants left considering the amount prior to the use of cinnamon, and the ones that remained actually were moving really slow as though they were either disorientated or dying. I'll have to pick up lots more cinnamon from the bulk store.
We also took the idea to lift the hive & place cinnamon sticks at the base so that the ants would actually have to go over the cinnamon sticks in order to get back in the hive.

Ants in the new Hive.

 The ants started on our new hive right away & we have no idea what the attraction is but that's our situation.
When we put the sugar syrup on we got more and after a week the syrup was gone. We're not sure if the ants have taken the syrup or the bees but the jar is sitting directly on the wood so we're hoping it's not the ant.
This is the outside of the hive where the ants are getting in. After seeing so many ants on a small hive we thought we better do something. I'm very adamant that our treatment for our bees is as natural as can be. So I Googled my question, "how to keep ants out of bee hives" and I got my answer right away. So this morning we're going to sprinkle cinnamon in the top box and visit the hive in the afternoon & see if the ants are leaving. We'll post again with the results.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

SMC - Sustainable Mite Control

The girls are out and busy.. Time for some SMC. Check out Werner Gysi for a full description, it's a brilliant way to help control Varroa mites without antibiotic use. We're really pushing for organic beekeeping, so we're trying to help the bees help themselves rather then trying to control them or the diseases they're dealing with.

Busy babies.

Switching out the bottom boards

I love the activity in this picture. They aren't happy!

They're all staring at us, wondering what we're doing.

Comb closeup.

Ready for frame removal.

Gotta find the queen! She stays in the original hive.

Where the hell is she?

Oops... Too much spacing in this hive.

It was pretty cool to check out though. The queen was hiding under one of these chunks.

This is how bees will build their comb if they don't have foundation to build on. We're hoping for this for the foundationless hive!

Three hives. The first two (painted) have had all covered brood removed, and placed in the baby (unpainted) hive that you see in the background. Removing all of the covered brood from the two hives that still have a queen breaks up the mating cycle of the Varroa mite. The hive in the background has frames from two separate hives, full of covered brood, and no queen. They'll raise a new one, which also helps break the mating cycle of the Varroa.

I did notice one Varroa in the hives, but it was the only one that I saw. They're pretty obvious! Now that we know what to keep an eye out for, I'm not even worried.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Backwoods Bunkie - It's starting to look like a building.

Grandpa recommended we move the window slightly off center.. Apparently it helped with structural integrity?  Would you believe that window only cost me $30?

We moved the final location of the picture window I found on Kijiji. Only $60!

It's been a busy few days.

We've had to learn quite a bit.

Tar paper under the pine boards will help prevent water/frost from getting inside.

Tuck Tape fixes everything.

Apparently the pine boards are a great place to hang out.

Got all of the walls up before lunch!

James and Dad got the window up while Grandpa and I were out getting lunch!

The last thing we did was get the roof started.

I love working together.

Two hands on the tar paper.

Lots of structure discussion.

Lots of planning.

All hands on deck.


An enlightened moment!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Backwoods Bunkie - It's growing

Getting the walls up was probably the easiest part of the entire thing...

We double and triple checked. We were always within a half inch! Very spectacular. Grandpa kept saying that if it was any more perfect, we couldn't take credit for it. (Dad says he's been saying that for a very long time...)

The roof took some planning...

Dad basically held up pieces at different angles until we liked it.

Tacking it in so it won't move.

Yay building!

Building the rafters in the driveway. They were quite light, so it was easy to do.

Getting them up there was quite the balancing act. But turns out, Dad's a trooper.

Success is sweet.

Lots of room in the sleeping loft!

And we're exhausted. Cheers!