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Author Topic: Hello from an island  (Read 2128 times)
Dimar
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Location: Madeline Island, WI, Lake Superior


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« on: September 23, 2005, 12:39:36 PM »

Hi everybody.  I'm the newest of the newbies, and I don't have a single bee--YET.  It's too late in the season here on Madeline Island, out in Lake Superior.  I'm writing in hopes I can get some help getting started.  I plan to take the winter to educate myself about all this, and get going this spring.  I think my environment is ideal--we have TONS of wildflowers, many kinds, from spring to fall, and also flowering fruit trees. We also have lots of BEARS.  Do they get in the hives a lot?  We have LOTS of bees of all sorts, but no beekeepers, so I plan to be the first.  I realize that honeybees are the ones I'll be keeping.....  I don't have any fear of bees--even when they land on my face, which they have been doing a lot lately.  They seem attracted to me, but I almost never get stung.  A friend of mine noticed this recently and thought I should look into beekeeping, and a lightbulb went on in my head.  I love working with and harvesting from my natural environment (We all live pretty green out here--on an island , you have to.)  I currently dive for clams, (also trash and "treasure") and harvest such wild goodies as various berries, hazelnuts, fish of course, am keeping an eye out for wild rice and cranberries. I recycle and compost EVERYTHING--I even have a composting toilet. I am a novice herbalist as well.  My interest in beekeeping relates not only to the close relationship with bees and their honey, but also other bee products such as pollen and propolis.  I would like to experiment with making honey soap as well.  I am a big fan of Burts Bees products and would like to make some of my own....  comments, anyone?  Oh--by the way... I am backofthebusgirl because I live in a 1977 66 passenger school bus.  Recycle, reuse, as they say.  (yes, I took the seats out.) huh
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backofthebusgirl
manowar422
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2005, 06:16:40 PM »

Dimar,
Welcome to the forum.

>We also have lots of BEARS. Do they get in the hives a lot<

Big time shocked
You need an electrified fence to keep bears out of any apiary.
They love honey more than humans wink

Your island, being home to bears will be a challenge for you.
Read posts searching for "bears" and ask those who deal with
them in their own yards.

Good luck
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Jay
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Location: Concord, MA


« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2005, 09:14:55 PM »

Welcome to you Dimar! Spending the winter to educate yourself is a very wise thing to do. As with anything I think, the more you know, the more you know you don't know! cheesy
All of the things in your post are not only possible but fun to get from your own hives. Your fruit trees, flowers, and vegitables will be happier and more prolific with the introduction of your "new friends". And the girls will love their new home with all that forage and a built in water source.
As manowar mentioned, the bears will be a challenge, but nothing that hasn't been dealt with before by others. There are many ways to deal with the bears from the lowest of low tech (wooden boards with nails driven up through them to discourage the bears from walking around your hives) to the highest of high tech (solar powered electric fences) and everything in between to fit every budget. Good luck, welcome again, and most of all.... have fun!
 Cheesy
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By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to Aprils breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world
-Emerson
Dimar
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Location: Madeline Island, WI, Lake Superior


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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2005, 11:25:58 PM »

Quote from: Jay
Welcome to you Dimar! Spending the winter to educate yourself is a very wise thing to do. As with anything I think, the more you know, the more you know you don't know! cheesy
All of the things in your post are not only possible but fun to get from your own hives. Your fruit trees, flowers, and vegitables will be happier and more prolific with the introduction of your "new friends". And the girls will love their new home with all that forage and a built in water source.
As manowar mentioned, the bears will be a challenge, but nothing that hasn't been dealt with before by others. There are many ways to deal with the bears from the lowest of low tech (wooden boards with nails driven up through them to discourage the bears from walking around your hives) to the highest of high tech (solar powered electric fences) and everything in between to fit every budget. Good luck, welcome again, and most of all.... have fun!
 Cheesy[/quote  I don't really get the quote part of this website, but here's one I'll pass on that I think is appropriate.  A friend of mine who is really clever about just popping out with great quotes, seemingly out of nowhere, said this to me three years ago, and I wrote it on the wall in my bus.  I do that a lot when I here good ones.  "If you haven't learned from your mistake, you've wasted a perfectly good disaster."  Cliffy
You're welcome to write it on your wall, too.
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backofthebusgirl
Jay
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Location: Concord, MA


« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2005, 04:40:25 PM »

Dimar,
You got the quote feature perfectly EXCEPT, you forgot to put the end bracket around the end quote [/quote]. The software doesn't know where to end the quote without that end bracket.

That's an interesting post-it system you have for yourself inside the bus.
By the way how do you heat in winter? shocked
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By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to Aprils breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world
-Emerson
Dimar
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Location: Madeline Island, WI, Lake Superior


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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2005, 05:37:31 PM »

I heat the bus with an old wood/coal stove, using wood.  It really cranks once you learn its quirks.  I have a small spaceheater for backup, and an electric blanket.  Also, my blown-out pair of Steger mukluks, which are now bedroom slippers.  The bus gets warm to hot from the waist up and cool to cold from the waist down, since heat rises.  I put plastic over some of the windows (not all in case of a backdraft in the stove, which poofs smoke into the bus, although since I got the hang of things, this doesn't happen often.)  The plastic helps hold the heat in.  It's actually warmer than a lot of trailers and it's definately sturdier, too.  You can't beat the view! Not many people can say they paid $300 for their house, either! One side faces south, and this creates a passive solar effect.  The sun comes in the windows all day and helps heat the bus.  The natural rounded top sheds the snow automatically with no help from me, which helps to skirt and insulate along the lower wall and floor.  In the summer, I have tarps with a silver side facing up to deflect the sun which keeps the bus cool.  I even have a room air conditioner.  Mind you, this has all been a work in progress.  I started out in a tent, heating with red hot basalt rocks in a kettle and worked my way up from there.   For this, I left a perfectly good apartment with heat and running water.  What can I say?  I'm nuts!  I also love it here, and it was worth it. Cheesy
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backofthebusgirl
Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2005, 06:39:57 AM »

> Also, my blown-out pair of Steger mukluks

I LOVE my Steger mukluks.  Almost as much as my Marine Corps Mickey Mouse boots.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ApisM
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Location: Red Lake, Ontario


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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2005, 09:58:47 PM »

Hello Dimar,

I live north of you in Red Lake, Ontario.  It gets v. cold so one needs plenty of honey to get through the -40 winters.

Get an electric fence, otherwise the bears will get the honey.  How many bears live on your island?
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It is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar
gottabee
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Location: Palestine, North Carolina

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler.


« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2005, 09:46:58 AM »

Hi Dimar,
You have a very interesting lifestyle. In many ways I am envious. I would gladly trade many of my creature comforts in exchange for a pass of this rat race. I like rustic rural America (Alaska) and often dream of a remote lifestyle there.
10-4 on the bears. Good luck. What kind of bears do you have on the island? Are they there year round?
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