Homestead Update

1 May

The weather has taken a turn for the better and I have been going to work more often, but I still got a few things done.

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I got my bathroom in my shop hooked up to a septic system this week. Hey PP, my orange tractor digs a pretty nice hole doesn’t it? That hole is 5 feet deep, 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. That is where I buried the septic tank. I think 5 feet deep is about the limit of my backhoe attachment. I might go 1 foot deeper but it would take some careful positioning.

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I found this tool on the parking lot at Lowe’s. I think it is a pry bar that is designed to work on automobile brakes and rotors but I’ll find a good use for it!

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I have a good honeybee experience to relate this week. I had 2 frames of old black comb that I found last Spring, and I had them on my new shelves in my barn. I heard a loud buzzing sound and noticed several bees checking out the old comb. I got busy and finished my swarm traps and put a single old frame in each of two traps, but they were just sitting in my barn waiting for me to put them out.

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Thursday, I was in my office and looked out the window and saw bees flying around. I went out and saw about 100 bees flying around this hole in the wall where the AC lines run into the wall. I thought to myself those bees can’t go in there, the cavity is too small, but if I put my trap close-by, maybe they will go into it.

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I set my trap on the AC unit and as soon as I did, the bees started checking it out. By that time, I bet there were 200 bees flying around. I went back into the house and I could hear bees buzzing in the wall. OH No! Not good. If those bees take up residence there I will have to kill them so I hope they move. By 7:00 that evening, all the bees seemed to be in the trap and not in the wall. I checked them the next morning at 7:30 and I think all the bees were gone. RATS! I guess they didn’t like my trap after all. But by 8:30 I noticed bees flying around once again, so I ran to the barn and brought back a can of spray foam and filled in the hole in the wall before the bees went back into the wall. I moved the trap off of the AC unit to the porch about 15 feet away and I noticed scout bees checking it out all day so I hope they might settle in there after all.

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I also had one of these conical cardboard traps that I put out last week in a tree on the front of the homestead. I have noticed bees checking it out the past two days as well, maybe it will catch a swarm!

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We also made a trip to a nearby local plant nursery. They have this old VW bug near the road with a mannequin checking out the flowers growing under the bonnet. It sure makes the place easy to find. She had a lot of good garden vegetable plants, but I think I will take it easy on the gardening this summer, I have some other projects on my mind for the little bit of time off from work I will have. So until then, keep prepping everyone!

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3 Responses to “Homestead Update”

  1. Pioneer Preppy May 2, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    Swarms are funny. Sometimes they will send scout bees that grow in numbers until there are hundreds inside the trap holding it until the main swarm gets there and sometimes the entire ball comes after only a few hours. Sometimes the scouts from two different swarms will fight over a trap.

    I have been fooled many times by the number of scout bees coming and going that a swarm had moved in only to find out I was wrong after moving the trap.

  2. Victor Berthelsdorf May 29, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    Yep, it’s a tool for adjusting drum brakes.

    • doublebhomestead May 29, 2015 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks Victor, I thought it was something of that sort. I will find an alternative use for it as a mini pry bar.

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