WET WINDY WEST.IRELAND.sometimes warm and mild

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by antonius, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. antonius

    antonius Member

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    i missed planting up my true potato seed this year---although any berries i may have missed from last years crop could have started up in the beds , they should be grown along the same timelines /method as tomatoes in a greenhouse 4 to 6 weeks before last frosts--which means around end of january for me---good news though is is advised to let the seed mature for a year --so by mistake i may be doing it right for next season. Been following and reading the info from Cultivariable site--didnt pay to much attention to all the detail last year when i first glossed over it , but now going back over it makes more sense and a fascinating read--well for me it does as the involvement and getting first hand experience has me hooked, my crop of berries came from the Mayan Gold variety.
     
  2. antonius

    antonius Member

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    About grafting of cherry onto blackthorn root stock, found out a bit more and hers why its difficult , blackthorn awakes a bit earlier and puts out blooms first then leaves ,before the cherry ,so to get them synced time wise requires storing blackthorn root stock at a cold temp until the cherry starts to wake up and try to graft. Or cut cherry scions late as possible at the end of winter,early spring , then warm them indoors to bring them on , to co -inside with blackthorn when it wakes---OR a subtle combination of both techniques and some luck . No guaranteed success as the graft might take at first to only fail later years as the two are out of sync , advantages ---not any i can see other than the right to boast how good you are. Some work was done on blackthorn rootstock for plum but not to any great advantage or increase of yield , so i will consider this a dead horse and hang up the flogger , so , onto another partially dead horse. Grew on some tree lucerne to about 8 to 10 " in hight last year and planted out approx 2 dozen up on the embankments around the property , they did all righr at first , slugs munched them down then the winter snow and drops of temp down to -8C knocked most of them dead , down to 3 stragglers now but they are coming back --heres one
     

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  3. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    oh dear, that must have been a learning experience... ewww...

    i've heard of bone-grinders before, like setting up a sink type garbage disposal unit
    outside with some water to go along with that and then run stuff through to grind it
    down to more manageable size. haven't done it here. i am just feeding everything
    through the worm bins and then burying that in the gardens, any remaining bone
    pieces go out with that. i may find one here or there in the garden, but i just stick
    them back under. any bones left in the worm bins for a few years do soften and
    break down. it is interesting to observe what soil creatures reside in them when i
    find them. those little centipedes are common.

    i till very little, depends upon the garden and what i'm doing, and all by hand. my
    body loves digging as exercise and i like seeing how the soil is improving and what
    is going on down there. but otherwise, yes, i want no till as much as possible. one
    big project this year for finishing up weeding a big area and then that will be returned
    to mostly no till for as long as i can keep it there via cover crops and various other
    vegetables.
     
  4. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    your late frost is in January!? that's a long season... we had a frost just a few nights ago and will
    likely see a few more before winter is finally done with us. flowers are up and showing and with
    the extended winter that means things i could have had done are now waiting to all get done at
    once. ah well. it's a good life. :)

    cheers, hope the potato sprouts do well for you there.
     
  5. antonius

    antonius Member

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    sorry i meant planting out the potato or tomato seeds would start in the end of febuary, which according to our last frost time calender is about 6 weeks before last frosts--which are 10 april or so , but this year we last had frost on 30 april, i had been looking at the the wrong colour banding on the map, further south gets better milder weather and more of the warming effect from the currant off shore. i would need an industrial size bone grinder to deal with the cattle bones
     
  6. antonius

    antonius Member

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    I have been talking about building a bee hive for over a year and now i have started into it , read and scanned over many ideas and plans--but not much sparked off "thats the one ", i am not keen on a commercial hive right now plus i would need to upgrade my wood working skills to the next level to build them ,and after reading a few years back how our wild bee and domestic bees are struggling my leaning is towards a natural hive of sorts and letting them alone to live , hopefully thrive and minimum interference from me for now .Maybe attract a wild bunch which could be the start of a few swarms into a few more hives, The work of people like Matt Sommerville and the eastern european tree hives have influenced my build--which is about half way now --a few pics to follow
     
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  7. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    there was an article a few years ago on the main site about bees and encouraging
    native bee species. i think it was a stacked construction of pieces of wood and some
    dirt used too to provide a number of different habitats for various bees.

    we have so many rocks and pieces of wood around here that bees are not in short
    supply, but the large bumblebees and mason bees which are common on the squash
    plants are not in big numbers. have declined in recent years due to neonicotines/
    pesticides. sadly i had to discourage them from nesting inside the garden shed one
    year, but otherwise i leave them alone. as they can sting more than once and hurt
    like heck that's a good enough reason... :)

    i see them on the beans quite a bit too...

    good luck with the hive...
     
  8. antonius

    antonius Member

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    somethings gone wrong
     
  9. antonius

    antonius Member

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    sorry about this , seems to be working now , for awhile it was server error and hence no posts
     
  10. antonius

    antonius Member

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    heres my hive with out lid or base on , pics arent in order, its about 100 liter and has about 5 inches of insulation around the main core --my miscrete type of insulation---its heavy but not meant to be disturbed or moved so its going to stay up in the tree , about 12 feet off the ground and south east facing, there is a clear flight path to it
     

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  11. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Antoinus, I'm pretty sure you have the same laws as we do in regards to inspectable frames.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.
    With the problems with Varroa and diseases like AFB, I would suggest that you use a hive that has frames in them or top bars if you really dont like the idea of frames, even if you dont.

    I started with a long hive that has a window along the rear long side. I learn alot from this and am setting up a couple of double deep hives using lang hive bodies bolted together so that they are deeper than normal.
    That also means I have had to bolt together the frames to go into them.
    We shall see how all turns out.
     
  12. antonius

    antonius Member

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    hello, yes i would have liked to build in an observation window---but its done now --the hive is up ---no bees yet --tried to attract some with comb inside and some lemongrass oil but i think the swarming started early and i was too late for a chance , but i have been on the look out for passing bees and to date ---nothing ---a few kilometers away my kids spot them in their schools planted garden patches and hedges nearby---we at home have plenty bumbles and solitaries /miners and others just no honey bees . I am hoping for our wild type of bee the irish black to take up residence --not the introduced european italian honey bee---or its feral version ---which has hybridized here with wild black but fortunately they dont seem to prosper that well when left to on own with out some human management ---they do okay for a few years but one bad winter --- badder than we normally have and they dont make it through --seems their genetics is out of sync with our wet climate.My intention is not to first harvest honey but rather a few swarms for another 2 or 3 hives--when i have gained a bit more experience --then to harvest some honey from those , once a season in modest quantity---all from the irish black bee ---if possible. I will more than likely have to buy in a nuc of black bees next season to get started---the next type of hive i would build a bit different then ,cheers DSC03836.jpg DSC03822.jpg DSC03837.jpg
     
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  13. antonius

    antonius Member

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    i suppose if i was producing honey to sell and a professional bee keeper i would be registered and liable to the law of inspection .
     
  14. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Great work on a very unique hive! Hope you get some tenants soon.
     
  15. antonius

    antonius Member

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    heres a few more pics , not in order again , the plastic former pipe is 13 inches diameter od , and slid out once the plywood bases were fixed on
     

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  16. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi, I wasnt trying to be mean by saying you should abide by the law.
    You should of course, but I know how gutted I would be if I had a hive that came down with a nasty disease like AFB and this went went on to affect hives around you.

    There is the other point of not being able to harvest honey if you wanted to without wrecking the hive and harming the bees in the process.

    I honestly feel that it is a dis-service to the bees to install them in the hive you have built.
    I cant see how you can treat them for varroa mites, which will also be an issue unless you are very fortunate in getting bees that have already been regressed to a more natural size and/or have hygienic behaviour.

    I am also not suggesting that you treat with harsh chemicals, but they may need some help in dealing with this pest.
    So far I have only treated on an as needed basis and only with light treatments like Food grade mineral oil, Apivar-life which is the essential oil bought treatment and more recently with Oxalic Acid vapour and have made a start on getting them to a smaller size by giving them small cell frames to build on.

    Unfortunately, there is more to keeping bees now that just give them a box and let them rip as they will.
    I wish it was like that and that I didnt have to be concerned with disease and pests, then I too would just let them get on with being bees.
     
  17. antonius

    antonius Member

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    i didnt take your reply as being mean ,and sorry my reply appears blunt ---this is an open forum ---we are all allowed to express opinion and concerns ---i post up mine ---but i dont do those little happy or sad or angry little symbols ---so there are no emotion /nuances like in real life conversations---i was just stating a fact if you are a registered bee keeper producing honey on a commercial level i suppose you would be liable over here to inspections ,sorry to follow a different approach to the bees --its not my own unique way or hardly one that others ---with far more knowledge than i will ever have ---arent already using--if you read past down the few lines ---i am hoping to attract or buy only the native irish black bee. I dont profess to be an expert or experienced , so i wont be able to advocate or offer advice on what you are doing is right or wrong---if it works for your introduced italian /hybrid/buckfast domesticated honey bee ---then you must do what it takes
     
  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Nah, I am a bee concierge and am really only interesting in having healthy happy bees and not much of a conformist as some here would like me to be.
    While I do have inspectable frames so I can be legal, (or risk getting dobbed in), I also find them handy to see what is going on inside the hive and as I am also using small cell plastic frames to regress the bee size down to what Dee Lusby and Michael Bush say is best for them....these have become a key element in my personal efforts to have healthy bees that one day will be totally treatment free.

    I am envious that you have native bees that are honey producers, ours are not like that and unfortunately, I have not been able to find out how to help them other than planting native trees and shrubs that they are known to forage on.

    I get my butt kicked here for saying we should not have to treat in order to have healthy bees/that bees are not healthy if they must be treated in order to survive.
    I am only in my second year of bee having,so I am in no way an expert, even if I have spent a number of years studying about them.
    I think nothing teaches about bees better than actually having some to look after/watch/learn from and Do !! wish you all the best with yours, when they arrive.
     
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  19. antonius

    antonius Member

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    yes its a vast subject and lots of emotion around it, i have the luxury of my opinions based so far only on what i have read ----as for being legal --meaning we have to comply to an industry of their standards and their regulations --when thats exactly how this whole disaster got going---topped off by a whole lot of greed---but as a consumer of honey i played a part in this ---always wanting a cheaper product and more of it whenever i want---well i used to ---i now read labels to look out for origin/organic and buy as local as i can get
     
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  20. antonius

    antonius Member

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    i have just had some chilean hazel nuts germinate , planted out a bit late in the season due to a late/lost delivery of post , but i suppose i can bring them inside as it gets colder, to make sure i dont lose them --took some tracking down and waiting to get hold of ---part of of longterm food forest plan, which was to include some holm oak . The suppliers of holm over here all state how edible the acorn is --even the specialist fruit and nut nurseries----well i was just about to place an order for some bare root and only by chance after some goggle up on the net about acorn coffee did i find out ---not all holm oak is that edible unless soaked and the tannin leached out . There is an edible variety straight from the tree --on which the the iberian black ham pigs are raised ---but no one supplies the seed/acorn for sale --well none that i have tracked down yet, recently there has been a coffee developed for sale in portugal from these ---the other distraction /temptation is the more i look up and search for them the more i keep wanting/wishing to move over to portugal
     
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