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Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

So I went out and got a truck full of horse manure today and put layer two on the garden.

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After the manure I put a layer of top soil and then, to protect my seedlings from our destructive chickens, a cattle panel that fits exactly over

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The beds are the exact width too for our chicken tractor, so after growing is done, we can let them corralled in there to dig up the soil and contribute some more manure

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The success was hinging upon an actual crawl off, up the ramp and down into the bucket. Well it has happened 3 different times now and I haven’t seen any yet come out the drip hole at the bottom

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And the chickens are satisfied with the results too

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So I finally put this out a week or two ago and looked yesterday to see larvae crawling around. It is full of coffee grounds from Starbucks and then things like cucumber peels, home coffee grounds, chicken fat and other misc kitchen scraps and topped off with a layer of cut grass. The flies seem to like laying in bins with just layers of grass over any cardboard laying spot I give them on the underside of a roof. A Tupperware lid from Goodwill (the bottom half is being used as a watering hole for bees) that is nearly perfect size keeps excess rain out. Here are some photos.

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And collecting the leaching liquid

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I had just dumped a cup or two of rain water that had collected on top of the lid.

I’ll have to see how the crawl off ramp works before I declare total success

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I finally have the nuc trap setup in a tree, about 8 feet off the ground. It is setting on a T-shaped, bamboo platform and seems fairly stable and nearly level. It is baited with lemongrass oil with the two entrance holes facing East. Fingers crossed I catch a swarm. I already saw a bee investigating.

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Well the cheap plastic railing brackets I was using to hold the legs on cracked already, currently with no bees and no load. I bought metal joist hanging brackets to replace.

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Yay!  It is out and baited with Lemongrass oil.  The ants can be a real issue here since they never go away. The buckets have a hole cut into them to allow rain water to flow out and always remain at a constant height below the island. I just have to make sure they are topped off in our dry winters and hopefully the moat keeps the ants at bay.

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The bottom door for letting debris fall out (if the bees don’t wax them shut) is secured with a pin through the leg.

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So the roof has been haunting me for a couple of weeks now. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to pick up a free topbar hive from a beek (beekeeper) up in Tampa, and his top was inspiration to finally finish ours here at Hot Rock Acres.

Here are a bunch of pictures

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The following are pictures of the free hive built by user Sundog on http://www.beemaster.com

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And a nuc (nucleus)

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I had to make bars for his hive. Luckily they will be interchangeable! Here are pictures.

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How they fit in his. Ours will have a little bigger space between side wall and the bar.

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There are qty 32 of the 1 1/4 inch wide bars (brood) and qty 31 of the 1 1/2 inch wide bars (honey).

Yay, now apply some Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus) we got at the whole foods store and hopefully get a local swarm to take up residence.

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