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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:37 pm 
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profdlp wrote:
Do you open the box of bees inside their new home, or do they just naturally go for it?


We open the package and remove the queen. We put the queen cage inside the hive first, then we dump the bees over the queen and close up the hive. They will then exit the hive through the front entrance and orient themselves. Bees have like a built-in GPS system.

I got more hive stands built.

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Also, started cleaning up more of the property

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:33 pm 
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With the help of my wife, we were able to load some of the bigger stumps by hand and haul them off.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Looking good!

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:55 am 
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CIMARRON13 wrote:
Looking good!


Thanks!

The bees are happy in their new home.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:00 am 
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Excellent! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:56 pm 
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Your interesting bee saga reminded me of someone I used to work with, who moved to southern Utah to raise Queen Bees and other stuff.

http://www.queenbees.redstone.farm/index.html

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 10:55 pm 
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Draco wrote:
Your interesting bee saga reminded me of someone I used to work with, who moved to southern Utah to raise Queen Bees and other stuff.

http://www.queenbees.redstone.farm/index.html


Thanks for the link. I was able to connect with him yesterday and exchange a few email.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:53 pm 
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We've made a few changes to the house plans. Now they will be sent for the structural engineering review, calculations, and stamping. This is the final product:

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:42 pm 
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That looks beautiful. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:10 am 
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The mower broke down last fall. I didn't take the opportunity to get it repaired since winter was right around the corner. This spring we loaded the mower and took it to John Deere for a diagnoses and repair. The tech told us that the ethanol in the gas had caused corrosion in the starting solenoid unit (apparently this is very common). From this point on, we will be using 100% pure gasoline. The nearest location that carries non-ethanol fuel is an hour away. We filled four X 5 gallon gas cans (20 gallons) in preparation for the summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:10 am 
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Been using ethanol free for a few years now in the mowers, chainsaw and weedeaters, everything seems to run the same but with a lot less carb and fuel line problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:22 am 
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How big is the new house? Looks to be roughly 40x60 without the decks

I like the design, very much like what I built. I had to work within a 1000 sqft footprint. mine is 24x36, walkout basement and with the windows facing west across the lake.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:24 pm 
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BillyP wrote:
Been using ethanol free for a few years now in the mowers, chainsaw and weedeaters, everything seems to run the same but with a lot less carb and fuel line problems.


I switched to MotoMix that Stihl sells for my chainsaws. It comes in a can, is non-ethanol 92 octane, has a 7 year shelf life unopened, and a 2 year shelf life after being opened. You're smart for using ethanol free fuel in your equipment. It could reduce costly repairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:29 pm 
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bugnout wrote:
How big is the new house? Looks to be roughly 40x60 without the decks.


It looks big, but it's not. The interior footprint is 28 X 40 which means 1,120 square feet in the basement, 1,120 square feet on the main floor, and 690 square feet in the loft. (2,930 total square feet).

The good news is that the bank would like to move on the project before interest rates start to increase. We are waiting for our contractor to bid the house.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:36 am 
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Here's hoping it happens for you soon. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:32 pm 
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The honey on the left is from Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. As you can see in the photo, it's a very light colored honey. We took a small section of comb and placed it in each jar. I hate to see honeybee season come to a close, but I always enjoy bottling the harvest.

Image

Over the summer, we spent approximately a month clearing more land, removing stumps, and hauling off pine duff. As you can see in these photos, our work is starting to pay off. This was our first crop of Rocky Mountain Bee Plant!

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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:25 am 
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Which one is from your harvest? Do use a centrifuge to pull the honey out or just let gravity do the job. I would love to have the land and the time to start beekeeping. Nice work!!

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:47 am 
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bugnout wrote:
Which one is from your harvest?

The glass jar with the honeycomb is from our midsummer harvest. It's purely from the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. The late summer/fall harvest is much darker honey.

bugnout wrote:
Do use a centrifuge to pull the honey out or just let gravity do the job.


We practice two types of beekeeping. The first type involves the use of frames. Frames are placed in the extractor and honey is spun-out of the comb via centrifuge. The frames go back into the hive and the bees refill the empty comb with honey. The second type is top bar. The bees build comb from the top bar. I like to cut the comb into squares and/or rectangles. I will either sell the comb honey by itself, or I will place the sections of comb into a jar of liquid honey. The leftover comb is smashed and honey is left to drain out.

Our fall honey is so vicious, that the centrifuge method doesn't work. In that case, I have no choice but to use a gravity fed system and remove the 200, 400, or 600 micron screen.

bugnout wrote:
I would love to have the land and the time to start beekeeping. Nice work!!


Beekeeping takes a lot of knowledge, patience, and time. It can also be very rewarding and enjoyable. You really don't need much land to start beekeeping. Even in a residential setting, you can have a hive or two in your backyard. Beekeeping does take time, though. You need to perform hive inspections, know when to split a hive, know when to introduce a new queen, know when to add more boxes, know when to harvest, and know when to feed. Even though I've been beekeeping for a few years, I'm still learning a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:43 pm 
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I just found this thread and read all the way through it. Awesome work and loving reading about all this.

So any updates since Oct? Still making progress?

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 Post subject: Re: Going off the grid
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:30 pm 
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BlueLghtning wrote:
I just found this thread and read all the way through it. Awesome work and loving reading about all this.


Thank you for your interest and I'm glad that you've enjoyed reading it.

BlueLghtning wrote:
So any updates since Oct? Still making progress?


Unfortunately, there hasn't been many property updates since October. We did buy a house in the town that we're working in. I will probably move the RV to the property in the spring which will give us a place to stay on weekends and during the summer months.

There isn't much work we can do during the winter months. Once the snow begins to accumulate, accessing the property becomes difficult, if not impossible. Just a month ago, we still had 14 inches of snow on the ground. Due to warmer weather, the snow has melted quickly, and now it's just a matter of time before the ground dries out. During the winter, I've been planning and getting ready for the upcoming bee season. I hope that my Rocky Mountain Bee Plant seed distribution was successful and takes off like last year. We had a very good honey crop and hope to repeat that again.

I'm researching the possibility of putting in a solar field and selling the electricity to the electric company. Based on the math I've seen thus far, I should be able to pay off all the equipment in 3.5 - 4.5 years and begin turning a nice profit thereafter. I have a few other projects in mind, but I'm still assessing each project and trying to make decisions on what I want to tackle next.

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