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Michael Jordan

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About Michael Jordan

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  1. Mead, The Drink of the Gods

    drink mead
  2. Mead, The Drink of the Gods

    Thank you. I love this drink. you can make mead taste in many ways. I love to freeze and all the tasty cubes to my ginger ale. 1) control the alcohol: Potential Alcohol levels vary on the source. This is because the actual quantity of alcohol produced is dependent on the individual yeast strain and fermentation environment. Some sugar is also used by the yeast for growth and production of other compounds, and some alcohol escapes with the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. My style of open fermentation it is hard to control the alcohol content. when taking a brewing class, you will lean how to read specific gravity and this will tell you your final readings of alcohol content in your mead. This takes time to work with. The More sugar used to make more alcohol the more completed the drink and how it is put together. to get over 20% you have to pitch the mead twice to reach that % of alcohol. I age mine one year open to exposed air, then bottled for 6 months of aging. most are aged in the bottles for a year after brewing. aging is for taste, the more it ages the more you may end up with vinegar. It also depends if you are making wine or champagne as well. basic mead or any wine drink you age for one year…beers 2 to 4 weeks after brewing……whisky 1 to 10 years in a cast wood barrel depending on taste.
  3. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival - The Stingless Honey Bee

    I do>LOL I have gotten the little bees to the university of Arizona for study. you have to contact the department of USA AG for inspections, but can be done. The use of the bees in green houses is what I want to do to make permaculture seed companies.
  4. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival - The Stingless Honey Bee

    There are none in the USA. I am working with a man from India to bring some in to do green house gardening. Think of aquaponics with bee pollination. The USDA does not mind you binging in domesticated species in the USA. Look at the rich that bring in African Stags to hunt. I worked with a man from New Zealand that grows 30% of all the strawberries for China. They do it all with hydroponics in doors. Wanted to produce more. we adding stingless bees. his workers can work all day with no problems now. 20% production increase. You want to talk permaculture….get me there and we cam work on how to pollenate your reseeding crops and more food production.
  5. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival - Getting Your Bees

    DEPENDS> LOL what kind of bees? Bees of any kind are hard to get out of any place that they have found to make a home. If a queen is laying, she is a staying. Now I have done bee box traps in California. a trap box is different then a swarm box. to trap bees you place a hive box/nuc/trap where the bees are going in and out with a one way door. the bees will smell the sent of the queen, still going in and out of the box, but will not get back to her. TRAPED IN THE BOX. They will start to build comb if left over two to three weeks in the box. Two things will happen, one she will find where the bees are working and move into the box as well, or two the bees every day can be moved to a new location so you can get inside and get her out. Now on part two, you many need to see if that is what you really want to do. That is work on a hot day. I will be sending a article in on bee removal, how too, and job aspects. I have a friend that I was introduced at an earthworks course in TX (TSP FANS) that does this all year as a job, hell he might expand if the opportunity is right. On my face book site you can see what it takes to remove bees from a wall. I did this filming for the Discovery Channel. The photos were taken by the home owner. Shows the camera crew all bee’ed up with cameras in the removal…..BIG REMOVAL. John, If they are not hurting any one, leave them. If they are making a like the snow on the TV sound, well you have more then 80,000 in there. if you spary to kill them and do not get honey comb out, you will have mice, ants, and the bees will come back. call a beekeeper local, see what they say. some removals are easy, some not so much and costly. Thanks for the question MJ
  6. Bees used for Home Fortification

    Its a long one Ok! I have never lost a hive From CCD, that said I have starved out a few in my day....(ok depending if I can get to some hives in the high mountains do to quick cold weather or rain that year. I have three hives that I like to see if you eat the pollen form poison sumac ivy you can be come immune. It is just a Myth but I try stuff)... To fix what you have you need to find two old sleeping bag. Free cycle, Craig's list, trader news papers, good well, ect are places to find some. place the sleeping bags over the hive. (clean off all snow or water on the top of hive first. in warm days it is liquid and can drip in the hive and hurt the wood, then when the temp drops it freezes and makes a ice ball of bees.) let this set for a day that is 37 at lowest temp I would ever open a hive to 41 out. You want the hive to warm up in side, make the bee active and want to eat and work. work makes heat. On a top bar hive you will remove two top bars (there are around 30 top bars on a typical TB hive. a TB beekeeper numbers the bars for rotation from door to back. the top bars removed are 15 and 20.) This will have a place for the bees to go up in to the top of the hive and walk on the top bars. Dust the door way with powdered sugar and use a blow dryer on low to puff the sugar in the hive over the ball of bees. fan back and forth dropping the sugar at the door. use about three cup full. sprinkle and fan. takes a little practice. the bees will clean off and get their grub on. Dust the top bars with powdered sugar so the bees have food. by just going up threw the two bars that are removed. It is most of the time past the ball of bees in the hive that are trying to stay warm. on the back end away from the bees place a peace of 1/4 copper tube 2' long over hanging the back of the hive and one frame from 20. this will raise the lid for the bees to get in the top. Cover the hive with the sleeping bags. so the copper tube sticks out for air flow or you will smother your bees. cover the whole hove but door and the tube hole. On days over 45 the inside of the hive will be around 52 to 57 and they will eat. they will put bee glue to move the air flow. (cheap trick use bubble rap, duck tape and the copper tube. raise lid as before, go around the hive so you have 2" cover then every 6" wrap duck tape around to hold the tight.) to make a sugar board or sugar frames to place in hives in the winter time is a good idea as well. You can place your hive over an extra empty hive box or wood box for TB and put a light bulb in it to warm the hives so the bees can eat. Bees will not eat if the need to stay in the pack. they will starve out first to keep the colony warm. Drip feeding or Iv honey drips are good on warm days but freeze and break at cold temps just like entrance way feeders do. I have never tried it do t the fact well I never tried it. I want to try some time a reptile heat pad on the floor of the hive. If you are a BKeep and know about removing bottom boards and putting screen board in for summer. I wonder if you can put the heated board in the winter time. Never know unless we try it. good question. drop me a line some time or have me come see you. I love bees. Bee Whisperer Out.
  7. Bees used for Home Fortification

    Freezing brood is not really freezing them. It is a statement used to place capped brood in a freezer at a low temp to keep the brood from hatching. the cold will slow down growth and will keep the bees longer for next year. Done in places like Turkey and Nepal. The bee sting was given to me by the Wyoming Dept of Ag. That one in 20 people can show signs of anaphylactic shock, but not death.
  8. Bees used for Home Fortification

    Thank You very much for reading. I am going to put a link in for bees for starting out. Here is what I tell every one. Three to five hive max. You need three hives so you can see and compare growth. If you lose a hive you can pull from the two to make a new one. you can pull brood to build a weak hive and freeze brood to do fast brood build for places like where I am with short seasons. Pick one style of beekeeping and one type of hive. I keep all kinds of bees, hives, and do different styles. But I do it to teach or to maybe throw a cell phone in to see if it mess with them. you should find a local beekeeper and see if they spilt hives, or will make a nuc for you. Bee tracking is good and putting an ad in Craigs list help for swarms. Nut and bolts: Best thing is to find a package of bees as cheap as you can. $75 to $85 is good. get the package of bees and order a queen that is artificially inseminated for full laying production. The thing is bees die in 30 days. so 65 % of the bees you get will be dying off in the next month and what you get is from the queen. So get Italians with a Russian Queen. Italians build comb fast and Russians last over the winter, so they will make a lot of comb before they die and then the brood will last strong over the winter. then split the hive and have the queen mate with a new hive and make your own crosses. working with clubs or finding a beekeeper that would like to change a line will keep better stock for you. Here is a line of good bees http://www.honeybeegenetics.com/bees.html Try to find cheap by you. or that will UPS, then get a Queen. I hope this helps. If you fly me in and out, put me up, we can work something out on cost. We can spend the day looking for mites, foulbrood, water control feeding, bee food from your wind blocks, reflection for early and late production, or basic set ups for you to get started to getting you on a new product (I am tell you lead is gone so wax bullets is a new sale.). Message me any time. I love to talk bees. MJ
  9. Bee Removal 101

    Dan, I have a site below. Brushy Mountain Bee Farms is a good place. I think it is around $130 + s/h you can see plans every where. I would make one and work with it. make one out of a deep super so you can just add it to a hive for marriage, or just to place fames in. Just my take. BEE Whisperer Out http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Owens-Bee-Vac/productinfo/318/
  10. Hops - For More Than Just Beer

    The Urban Guerrilla “Hops, it is from more than just BEER” By Michael Jordan A.K.A: Freyr MOJ, the Crimson JUGGERNAUT Hops, world renowned for the use in beer, is making a big comeback for gardens and baking. I was asked what I do with hop, well I make starts every year. Hops is getting expensive, so, over the last 10 years, I have been growing my own. Yes, I do brew beer, but there may things hops is good for. Hops are primarily used to reduce tension and aid in sleep. As a sleep aid, hops can be used in a sachet inside of a pillow. The aromatic properties of the herb will help one to fall asleep. For tension, hops can be taken to help relax the muscles and soothe anxiety. As a digestive aid, hops can help to relax spasms of the digestive system and aid in digestion Dosage: As an infusion, drink one cup in the evening to aid sleep. As a tincture, take 20 drops in a glass of water 3 times daily for anxiety. Take 10 drops with water up to 5 times daily for digestion. As a tablet, take for stress or as a sleep aid. As a capsule, take 500 mg, 3 times daily before meals, to help increase appetite. A sachet may be made and placed in your pillow to aid in sleep. Safety: You should not use hops if you suffer from depression. Consult your health care provider before beginning use of any herb. The shoots that corkscrew up out of the ground in the spring are quite tender and can be sautéed like asparagus. Combs stuffs hop leaves with hop flower petals, cheeses, and aromatics before tempura-frying them to make a cheesy-herbal beggar's purse. One of my favorite things to make with hops is bread. The hops give the bread a distinctive, though not very pronounced, hoppy aroma, and also, as I thought it might, a bitter finish, which is quite nice, once you get used to it. You probably need to like hops a lot though. The crumb is relatively heavy for a white-flour loaf, but soft and moist; the crust is soft and chewy. The flavor and aroma is awesome. This bread helps me with sleep and tension. Soft Hops Yeast Equipment: 3-quart sauce pan 1 quart glass jar with lid small sieve Ingredients: 1/3 cup dried hops 6 cups quality water 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast or 1/3 cup good soft yeast from the previous batch Process: Simmer hops in water for 1/2 an hour letting the steam escape, to make a strong tea. The water will boil down to about 3 1/2 cups. Sterilize jar and lid in boiling water. I do this by pouring boiling water into the jar and over the lid. Place flour and salt in sterile jar, and strain boiling tea over the flour. Stir thoroughly. It is important to scald the flour to keep the yeast from souring. Cover loosely and allow to cool. When it is cool (not cold) add yeast and stir to incorporate. Cover loosely and keep at room temperature. It will bubble and ferment, producing a quality yeast. When it has fermented (6-12 hours), cover tightly and store in a cool place. Yields: 3 1/2 cups soft yeast. Keeps 2 week, properly stored. When the yeast has a strong tart smell and watery appearance, it is too old for use. Soft Hops Yeast Bread Ingredients: ¼ cup corn meal 1 teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups water 2 ½ cups milk ¾ cup soft hop yeast 10-12 cups flour, divided Optional Glaze: 1 egg 1 tablespoon water Instructions: In saucepan, combine cornmeal, salt and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer ten minutes, to form a thin gruel. Transfer to a non-metal mixing bowl. Stir in milk, to cool the mixture. Add yeast and 4 cups flour (I use whole wheat) to make a thick batter. Mix thoroughly and cover. This is called a sponge. Let sit in a warm (room temperature) place 2 – 12 hours. It can be worked again when the surface appears somewhat watery, though it is best to mix the sponge in the evening and finish making the bread the next morning. Stir in 4 cups all-purpose flour, to form stiff dough. Turn out onto a heavily floured surface, cover with more flour and knead to incorporate ingredients (10-15 minutes). Leave dough on the work surface, to rest while you clean out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead dough for twenty minutes, to develop the gluten. Return dough to mixing bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk. This rising will take 45 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how long the sponge was allowed to develop. Knead again, divide and shape into loaves. This recipe will make three 4” x 8” loaves, or two 5” x 9” loaves. It can also be divided and shaped into rolls or hamburger buns. Place the dough in greased pans, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. This rising should take no more than an hour. Mix glaze and brush on loaves or rolls. Bake loaves at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 50-60 minutes, or until the bread comes away from the sides of the pan and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. - Rolls and buns are baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 25 minutes. When bread has baked, turn out of pans onto a wire rack to cool. For a softer crust, cover loaves with a hand towel while they cool. Note: This dough tends to rise up and not out, so make the base of the loaves or buns the desired size of the final product. Yeast Cakes from Hops 1 cup mashed potatoes 1 cup potato water 1 cup flour 1 cup dried hops 2 Tbsp. sugar 4 cups corn meal (approx.) 1 dried yeast cake (optional) Boil 3 or 4 peeled potatoes in unsalted water. When done, drain the potatoes and mash them well, but save the potato water to use later. Cover the hop blossoms with water and bring to a boil. Drain off the water and save it, too. (Ella's mother dissolved a dried yeast cake left from her last batch into this water as a booster.) Put flour in a pan and slowly stir in the potato water you saved. Be careful not to use too much water. Mix slowly so that the flour won't be lumpy. If the mixture is too runny, it might be necessary to cook it until it is a thick paste-like dough. Add mashed potatoes and sugar. Mix well and then slowly add the hop water until you have a medium soft dough. Let rise double. Then punch down and work in enough corn meal to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough on a board to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into cakes. Let the cakes dry, turning them often to make sure they dry evenly. When you think they are good and dry, hang them up in a muslin bag for a few days to make sure they won't mold. After this you can store them in fruit jars or however you wish. We followed this recipe using the called for amounts of ingredients and found it made two large pans of yeast cakes. Whereas this amount would be fine in a large family where bread is made often, it was much more than we needed. You may want to cut it down some, especially the first time you make it. So then next time you plant something, try some hops. Not only will you have a great vine plant to weave in and out of your trellises, you have a plant that you can use to make something more than beer with.
  11. Mead, The Drink of the Gods

    The drink of the GOD’s. A drink that can be served warm or cold, sweet that has a little bite, simple to make, but complex to perfect MEAD! I am speaking from experience! I got into beekeeping from this master’s dink known as mead. It is one of the simplest drinks to brew up that has sweet taste, complex smells, and can be high in alcohol. I have a recipe that is over 400 years old, and is one of the few open fermentation styles for making it. I highly recommend having some. *Wink* This art of wine making set me off on my quest to know everything I could on bees and to make KING'S MEAD, my show mead! MEAD Award for World’s Best International Mead Fest Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops, can be blended with fruits drinks or wines, and frozen into ice cubes for a sweet add to a stiffer drink. The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% to more than 20% of alcohol by volume, (mine is around 26% to 30% if I ice it not). It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks, and dates back to ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead dates to around 2000 BC. It is found all over the world, from the trail made from the Vikings just before the crusades. Mead, in its travels, still is looked for by wine lovers, mead makers, Paleo eaters, and food lovers. The background and flavor is unmatched, giving it its own line in the supermarket liquor store. Some of the first found writings on the drink are: “Take rainwater kept for several years, and mix a Galun (ancient units of measurement) of this water with Punt (ancient unit of measure) of honey. The whole is exposed to the sun for 40 days, and then left on a shelf near the fire.” You can download your own copy of this book for free from the gutenberg.org website. Just look up Digby as an author. "To every quart of Koney, take four quarts of water. Put your water in a clean Kettle over the fire, and with a stick take the just measure, how high the water cometh, making a notch, where the superficies toucheth the stick. As soon as the water is warm, put in your Honey, and let it boil, skimming it always, till it be very clean; Then put to every Gallon of water, one pound of the best Blew-raisins of the Sun, first clean picked from the stalks, and clean washed. Let them remain in the boiling Liquor, till they be throughly swollen and soft; Then take them out, and put them into a Hair-bag, and strain all the juice and pulp and substance from them in an Apothecaries Press; which put back into your liquor, and let it boil, till it be consumed just to the notch you took at first, for the measure of your water alone. Then let your Liquor run through a Hair-strainer into an empty Woodden-fat, which must stand endwise, with the head of the upper-end out; and there let it remain till the next day, that the liquor be quite cold. Then Tun it up into a good Barrel, not filled quite full, but within three or four fingers breadth; (where Sack hath been, is the best) and let the bung remain open for six weeks with a double bolter-cloth lying upon it, to keep out any foulness from falling in. Then stop it up close, and drink not of it till after nine months. "FROM THE CLOSET OF SIR KENELM DIGBY KNIGHT OPENED" Translation and explanation of how to make this mead recipe yourself. I will stick close to his quantities, which will give us about 1 gallon of mead. You can easily translate this if you want to make a 5 gallon batch. Put four quarts of water in a pot and heat it. Mark the side of the pot at the water level. Add 1 quart of honey to the water and bring it very gently to a boil. Skim off anything that rises to the surface. Put 1 pound of white raisins in a nylon straining bag (or a doubled cheesecloth bag) and drop into the water. When they are swollen and soft, remove them from the boiling water and press all the juices out of them. Add all these juices into the boiling mead. Continue to boil the batch down to the mark you made on the pan. This is the four quart level. Once this is done, cool the liquid and strain it into a fermentation bucket for six weeks. After this, the fermentation should be almost complete and you can transfer it to a carboy or bottle it, where you keep it for nine months before drinking. See, a very easy but every complex drink to make. The drink takes two years to make this way and one year of good aging for best flavor. I reason my recipe is so hard to do with people wanting instant gratification. Mead can have a wide range of flavors depending on the source of the honey, additives (also known as "adjuncts" or "gruit"), including fruit and spices, the yeast employed during fermentation and the aging procedure. Some producers have marketed white wine sweetened and flavored with honey after fermentation as mead, sometimes spelling it "meade." Lavender chilled Mead with Lemon Paleo and it's gluten-free, many more people are turning back to the time of drinking mead. For those looking to have an adult beverage and are on strict diets, mead seems to be the drink. Due to the fact it ferments in the wild, Paleo eaters are jumping on the mead bandwagon. Beer, despite the adoration it commands, it has its shortcomings. Mainly that it’s usually made with gluten grains, and that’s the non-Paleo. Honey, on the other hand, has no grain product in it at all, unlike most alcohols. To the Celts and Vikings mead is not just a drink but a cheer to honor life. Mead, for the old ways, was only for war, marriage, and Parliament. That the mead was the king's, and the king’s mead was the best in the land. Most of the time drank before and after a battle, mead was handed out in leather jugs for the warrior to take on his jest to Valhalla to see the Gods. One of the greatest things to see is a Mead Hall. It was made to have the whole town come and drink. The first bars of old, you would say. To sit in the halls of days of old and have this drink can bring you back. I have had lots of mead in my day. I do not think I have had a bad mead, not saying I have not made some bad meads in my day. I will leave you with wonderment on it and a quick brew for you. Here is a chocolate pumpkin mead recipe that I like. I hope you do as well. Ingredients: 10 lbs sweet cooking pumpkin 4 oz Cadbury's drinking chocolate powder 11lbs honey 3 T acid blend 6 teasp pectic enzyme 5 teasp yeast nutrient 1 pkg wine yeast Wash pumpkins. Remove seeds and stringy material. Cut into small chunks and boil until soft. The skin will soften with cooking. Leave it to cool. Heat 1-gallon spring water to 160 degrees. Stir in honey and mix thoroughly. Add 4 oz Cadbury's drinking chocolate powder and add 1-gallon cold spring water and add the other ingredients. Add to sanitized fermenting bucket. Add cool spring water until the level reads 4.5 gallons. Put the pumpkin into a large straining bag and add to the contents of the bucket. Pitch yeast when the temperature reaches 70-75 degrees. Close the lid and add an air lock. Daily open and push the pumpkin down, without disturbing the bottom of the bucket. When fermentation slows transfer to secondary. Rack as needed and bottle when clear and stable. I love to talk bees, I travel all over the world doing so. You can reach me at abeefriendlycompany@gmail.com. Get me there and we can all bee friendly. "Make a buzz, have a Bee Hive. When you Talk about Green Technology and Products, I laugh because there is nothing greener then a Beekeeper!" - Michael Jordan -
  12. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival Part 4 The Stingless Honey Bee This is a Trigona carbonaria stingless bee The social stingless bee! Safe for kids and fascinating to watch, these bees produce a delicious tangy honey and are fabulous for Green house gardens. Due to the fact they are only found in the tropics or very hot climates, they will only do well in the native areas or in warm greenhouses. There are around 14 species are stingless bees. They have a queen, drones and many sterile worker bees, just like colonies of commercial honey bees do. However, unlike commercial honey bees, these bees do not sting. The number of bees in a stingless bee colony can range from a few dozen to over 100,000. Many species of stingless bees are small, black bees only 4-6 mm long, whilst commercial honey bees are about 12mm long and are yellow brown or dark brown to black in color. However, the largest stingless bee species, Melipona falvipennis, has workers slightly larger than a commercial honey bee worker. The bees store pollen and honey in large egg-shaped pots made of beeswax, typically mixed with various types of plant resin (sometimes called "propolis"). These pots are often arranged around a central set of horizontal brood combs, where the larval bees are housed. When the young worker bees emerge from their cells, they tend to remain inside the hive, performing different jobs. As workers age, they become guards or foragers. Unlike the larvae of honey bees, meliponine larvae are not fed directly. The pollen and nectar are placed in a cell, an egg is laid, and the cell is sealed until the adult bee emerges after pupation The nest of stingless bees found in India A shoe box hive that is used for stingless bees What it looks like when opened Stingless bees make small quantities of a delicious aromatic honey that is harvested by beekeepers in many parts of the world. Unlike a hive of commercial honey bees, which can produce 75 kilograms of honey a year, a hive of Australian stingless bees produces less than one kilogram. The stingless bee is mostly kept as a backyard pet or pollinator for greenhouse crops. The earliest records of keeping stingless bees come from the Maya people on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Their methods used to keep stingless bees today are essentially the same as those used over 2,000 years ago. “Australian Stingless Bees” by John Klumpp is a valuable handbook for anyone interested in keeping the little bees. I highly recommend reading it for any one that would like to have the little girls. These bees perform the important role of pollinating native plants, crops and garden flowers during their search for nectar and pollen. Methods have been developed for keeping these species in small wooden boxes, the size of a shoe box, and they can be used to pollinate crops of macadamias, strawberries, lychees, watermelons, mangoes and may greenhouse crops. Now you have your beehive, read your book, got bees and maybe have gotten stingless bees for your greenhouse. Bees do so many things and keep surprising us as humans. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at ABEEFriendlyCompany@gmail.com Or message me on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Bee-Friendly-Company-Inc/147801815239144?ref=hl#!/pages/A-Bee-Friendly-Company-Inc/147801815239144. I would enjoy reading about your experiences and looking at photos of your work. Like I said I am a survivalist and love the outdoors and keeping bees will get you outdoors more. Like gardening, the work you put in makes great rewards. *Michael Jordan is the founder of A BEE Friendly Company (ABFC), based in Cheyenne, Wyo. Jordan often organizes courses at local clubs, fairs and schools with the hopes of renewing interest in the lost art. His goal is to teach the youth of the world the ease of beekeeping and help others see the how bees can save the world.*
  13. Bee Removal 101

    How to Get Rid of Bees is a question I get a lot. My company, filmed by the Discovery Channel doing a bee removal shown above, and I have tackled a lot of bees, all kinds of bees, to move them either safely to a new location, or eliminate them so you do not have other problems arise. Bee removal is an art in itself. Working with bees you plan to get stung once maybe twice, but a bee removal, if not ready, you will be falling from the ladder rolling on the ground in pain from more than just a few hundred bee stings. There are steps involved that one needs to take just like any part of beekeeping. If you are feeding, you switch from smoke to sugar water to calm the bees, when you take honey you put on crappy cologne on perfume to throw them off your scent. When removing bees you need good protection and a bee vac. If you plan to kill them, you need good ventilation and the proper insecticide. There is always the right tool for the right job, or a good wing nut to try anything. First, you need to see whether you're actually dealing with honey bees and not some other stinging insect. A good pest control like Orkin will tell you that a beekeeper needs to come to see if they are honey bees or not and if they can be saved. Some state laws and foreign countries say that honey bees are an agricultural business and if at all possible, they need to be removed and not killed. How it was explained in Denmark is that if my cow leaves my land do not shoot it, help me catch it. Made some sense, I guess, I never branded a bee, but if you want to mark your bees, be my guest. All of my bees are free range bees so I cannot say if they are mine or yours. Wasps, hornets, and yellow-jackets are just some of the nastier insects that sometimes are mistaken for bees. It's important to get the type of insect right, as the manner in which they need to be dealt with will matter for safety purposes; some are happy to let wasp colonies grow larger on their properties, while a small bee colony may be something that can be managed around. When checking what insects you're dealing with, do so with great care––a bee colony typically contains anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 bees or more. And, if it's not bees, you could be dealing with wasps or hornets and they are easily riled and can sting more than one time. Exercise extreme caution when attempting to gather more information about the particular insects. If the bees are a brownish orange color and have fuzzy bodies, they are honeybees. So this goes into the first phase of bee removal, site visit. You will have to go and see what you are dealing with, where their location is, do you need a ladder? I may need to do a cutout if I do a cut out do I do the repair or hire out? How you plan to get to them if you need to save them or destroy them. There is a lot to think on when doing a removal. If you are doing one on your own site, then insurance is not needed. I just want to throw that out at you. Any time you do work or help for someone in a field that has any kind of danger, see about insurance. Ask if they have home insurance. Pick up a small bond if need. Do not do any work that may cost you all that you have worked for. Speaking from experience of having companies come to a site and rebuild a historic block fireplace made of handmade sand stone block, that had no idea that removing was $3,000.00 for every 20 bricks to replace. It all worked out in the end, but be careful not only with protective garments and gear but in your wallet. After you see the site and it is in a vinyl siding wall of a home, or whatever you got yourself into, you will need to walk through the steps of the removal twice. Once to see clean run, once to see if they are not right in the location you see them. They may be going in a spot and crawling 20 feet to a good open space to place comb. When making the dry run removal, list what you are using at the time. So here are some basic steps on doing the walk through. After you do a few I am sure you will see things I am missing. I forget more than I ever get to even try being a BKeep. First make sure you have all contact information and site location. Identify the bee or pest. See the location where the pest is and the location where they go in if there is more than one location. If over 4 feet, you will need to see what kind of device you will use to get in the air; step ladder, lift, or sky crane. You will need to see if trapping is an option. (Trapping bees is used to get bees out without doing a lot of damage to a structure. They place boxes outside the hive to catch the bees in. By placing a one-way door on the opening of the hive they want the bees removed from, the bees will go into the box or the box is placed so the bees go in it and cannot go through into the old hive, starting to build in the new box. Very hard to do but has a 70/30 chance of working. And if you get bees, you still have the comb left behind to deal with and may be a stuck queen that could not make it through the one way door.) When looking at what you are taking apart to get to the bees, have you talked about the repair to the owner? If you plan to do the repair, do you have the equipment to do it or the time? Or will they take care of it? Do you have a contractor you can use? (This goes with insurance once more. You could be spending a lot if you do not know what you are doing.) Most of the time I work with local contractors that can give me a bid to replace any cut outs. (A cut out is any time you have to cut out a place to get to the bees. Some removals need not cut out. You may just have to lift up a shed floor or pull open an old wooden wire spool. Also good for a contractor that has any information on bees that need to be removed to call you. They will get work after you do.) Swarm removal is different than a bee removal. A swarm is a traveling group of bees. A hive of bees that are established and have made comb is a removal. Most swarms are just dropped in a bucket or box. They are then packed home and placed in a hive. FREE BEES by the way. Most BKeeps do not charge for this. If a beekeeper can just show up for free bees, they just put them in a box and leave. 30 minutes max if you need to use a ladder or have to get access to the property. Farrell bees are shunned in some states for fear of disease or Africanizing of the bees. (Removal of Africanized bees is very dangerous. That is all I am going to say on Africanized bees. I have a different position of them and own some.) Now that you have made a walk through and made the call to save the bees. You will need a bee vac and a way to save the brood comb. A bee vac is a vacuum that is used to suck up the bees without hurting them. Some are very expensive to by. You can see how to make one on YouTube I am sure. If you plan to do this for a living, you need a good one for long distance removals. The use of the vacuum is needed for a good removal. You can use it for swarm removals as well. You place the bunch of bees out of the bee vac right into a hive. The hard part of doing this is finding the queen. You need to find the queen or you are going to have to marry the bees to a hive or make a nuc box out of them to save them. (Marrying bees to a hive is to place a group of bees that do not have a queen, or the hive that is not going to make it on its own, to a strong hive that will take them in so you can split that hive before over population to make up a hive. A nuc box is a small hive that has four to five frames in it that is a starter hive. Mostly used for splitting hives, making queens, or a way to make stronger packages of bees for sale. A nuc has one frame of capped brood, one frame of honey, one frame of open brood comb, and then sometimes just frame of rice brood to make queens. Placing the bees right in the box that has rice brood from a removal is one way to move the hive and have the bees make a new queen. You will then have to remove the comb out of the wall. Yes, brood comb is saved and placed in nuc’s, new hives, weak hives, brooding hives, and even for feeding chickens. You cut the comb off and place in a new frame. Using rubber bands to hold the comb in place, you can put it in a hive. Using around three rubber bands will hold the comb well. I will use wire most of the time now, just wrapping it around the frame. Rubber bands break and snap. I have had one snap and kill my queen, just my luck. Think of a bungee cord spring back at you, or a rock being thrown at you on a motorcycle. That is what rain is to a bee or that rubber band. Just something I learned the hard way. So you have opened up the wall, porch, or trunk of an old car and sucked out your bees, removed the comb and placed in frames. Took a little honey for your problems, and saved the bees. You still have to scrub the place of removal with TSP soap or more bees will come back. You have to remove the scent of the bees and the smell of honey or it will be an open spot for bees to return. One reason Orkin loves when a beekeeper says I cannot save them, destroy them. He gets to come back three to four times. If the comb is not removed, ants come for the honey, then other bugs for food and homes, then mice or rats come to chew up comb for nests, or more bees come to fill in the old comb. You could pay an exterminator three times for the one problem. That is why you pay a BKeep the first time. You will have to work with the owner of the place. Some removals can cost thousands of dollars. If insurance will not pay or because it is not life threatening or the owner does not have a reasonable way to pay for the removal; in states that require it, you will have to have them destroyed. Bug bombs work well, and if you can get to them spray them with a 60/40 dish soap/water spray. That is an eco-way of killing bees. But if you kill them, I would call an exterminator to do it. You have to have the right chemical and that is their job, to kill bugs. You would hate to come back for someone calling and saying I still see bees. If they see one bee and only one bee 10 minutes after you leave, they will call you and you will have to go back. This can be costly if you do not make it clear that some bees were off to work and coming home, that you cannot take them down like a hit man. Hey I am The BEE Whisperer and I hope this helps with some of your bee problems or swarm removals that you have. If you have any questions hit me up on Facebook or email. If you need me to come to teach a class let me know. From my failures to your wins, Bee Whisperer out!
  14. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival - Getting Your Bees

    Keeping Honey Bees for Survival Part 3 Getting Your Bees Now that you have your protective gear, a hive for the bees, and a book to reference, you are ready for the bees. There are nearly 20,000 species of bees—honey bees represent a small fraction of the species with between 7 and 11 species and 44 subspecies—and they come from all around the globe. Bees can be ordered online, and from local bee clubs—most are shipped via UPS. A package of bees can cost around $80-$200, depending on the species that you decide to purchase. The package weighs between three to four pounds and has around 10 to 20 thousand bees inside, which is a good number to start building your hive. Bees can be installed into the hive in a matter of minutes—and if you take your time, you can watch them get to work in the hive immediately. Shipped Package of Bees A honey bee queen found in most commercial bee hives Naturally, my favorite bee is the free bee. Free bees can be found when bees swarm, which happens when the queen bee leaves a colony with a group of worker bees in search of a new hive. They often gather in trees or the eaves of houses, which leave them in harm's way by people who do not want them around. By offering to collect swarms, you can get free bees for your hive. Put an advertisement in the newspaper, or local listing, that you are willing to remove swarms. When the swarm first settles down and forms a cluster, it is fairly simple to capture. Swarms normally last no more than 24 hours, so you must be ready. To capture a swarm, you’ll need: A box or a bucket with a lid. I use five-gallon buckets that have a hole in the top laced with a screen so the bees are able to breathe until you can put them into a hive. A soft brush and a wide scraper. These help to move the bees, if needed. A ladder to climb on to get to the bees so you are not reaching up in the air swatting at them—sometimes they are high in the trees or the roof of the house. Your protective gear—you do not want to get stung when collecting a swarm of bees for your hive. When collecting a swarm of bees in a bush or tree, put the bucket below the area the swarm is in and give the branch a good shake. Let the nest fall into the bucket. Use the brush to sweep the remaining bees into the bucket, and then place the lid on the bucket. If the swarm is on something that you cannot shake, take the wide scraper and place it so you can scoop the bees and place them into the bucket. Use your brush to sweep the bees on the scraper and drop them in the bucket as well. When you have nearly 90 percent of the bees in the bucket, place the lid on your bucket and look to see if the remaining bees start landing on the lid. They will start to land on the bucket and fan, which tells the bees that the queen is inside the bucket and they are moving. Let the bucket set for 30 minutes and let the bees inside and outside of the bucket collect on the lid. Then pop the top of the bucket so all the bees drop to the bottom of the bucket and take the lid off. Flip the lid and brush the bees on the lid into the bucket. Then replace the lid and take the bees to their new hive. When you get to the hive you’re going to place the bees in, open it and remove four to five frames, or top bars, out of your way. Pop the bucket on the lid once more so the bees fall to the bottom of the bucket and open the lid. Then shake bees in the bucket into the hive. Once you have the swarm in the hive, replace the frames or top bars and cover the hive. You have successfully placed your bees into the hive. Be sure to check the bees in one week to see if they are building comb.
  15. Keeping Honey Bees for Survival - How to Get Started

    Part 2 How to Get Started Now that I have told you some of the many the benefits of having bees, I am going to tell you the basic style of beekeeping and some cheap ways to keep bees. Again, my focus is on survival beekeeping, or “off the grid” beekeeping. I will give you a list of what you need, and then tell you how to make some of the items, or find them cheap. Once again, I suggest that you find a book about beekeeping to help you understand the terms I use and the different kinds of hives available for beekeeping. You can find books everywhere—used book stores and yard sales are the cheapest, and you may even find used equipment there as well. As a beekeeper, you must have protection. Beekeepers suits can be expensive—cost of protective gear ranges from $100-$200, depending on what you get (hoods and gloves, full body suits, etc.). Suits can be found online, in beekeeping stores, swap meets, or yard sales. However, if you’d like to take a thrifty approach you need to have: High rubber boots, which can be found at farm supply stores or retail centers such as Walmart. Make sure you own a pair that you can get in and out of quickly and can go over your pants. Pants that can be tucked into your boots. I like to use duct tape to tape the boots onto the pants so your legs and feet are completely protected. Long-sleeve shirts than can be tucked into your pants. Hooded jackets, which can be cinched tightly around your face, so only your face shows. A ball cap is worn under the hood—the starting point of a screened hood. To make this, stitch screen over the top of the hooded jacket and then use duct tape all around the screen to keep the bees out. The cap pushes the screen away from your face. Welding gloves that you duct tape the ends to the jacket sleeves so you’re all sealed up. Another cheap way is to use a rain suit that you can duct tape your gloves, boots, waist, and stitch a screen over the face. Now that you are protected from head to toe, let’s focus on where you will keep the bees or the bee hive. The most commonly used hive is called a Langstroth hive. It is made as an open top hive and holds frames that can be removed to inspect brood (aka baby bees or larva) and to pull honey out of the hive. You can order a pre-built hive or find plans to build your own hive from the internet. There are also many books on how to build and use the Langstroth Hive. I will repeat myself again: find a book and use it as a resource. And take any classes you can find in your area. I have been keeping bees for more than 10 years, and have lost hives due to my “learning experiences”. But just like anything, you never know until you try. The next hive I am going to show you is called a barrel top drum hive. It is made with a plastic 55-gallon drum. From one barrel you can make 2 hives. These drums can be found at car washes, dumps, and food centers. Always wash the drum out first to make sure it is clean. Start by marking the barrel lengthwise to cut it in half. Although the barrel has a seam that would make it easy to cut it in half; we want to use the bung holes for entrances, so we end up marking lines. It is possible to cut the barrel with a handsaw, but for the sake of time, use an electric saber saw. Once the barrel is cut in two, build a box out of 2-inch by 3-inch lumber, to fit snugly around the barrel. This frame acts as a stiffener, preventing the barrel from warping out of shape. It also acts as the support for the top bars. This will also keep the top of your hive even so that when you get your lid ready it will fit snug. Before the barrel half could be slid into the wooden frame, a portion on the barrel rim had to be cut off so that the barrel would fit squarely into the frame. Once this was done, the barrel and frame were put together and decking screws were used to secure the barrel to the frame. Counter sink the screws a little so the comb will not stick to the sides. The bees will make comb around the screws and it will be hard to get the top bars out with them stuck to the sides. Next, a set of legs were added. Try to keep the legs from extending out too far from the barrel and becoming a trip hazard while working on the hive. Also, try to avoid covering the bung hole so that there is an entrance for the bees. When making the top bars out of 3/4 inch rough-cut pine (1-inch thickness) make them long enough to extend to the outside edges of the support frame. The lid will cover the whole top so you want it even all the way around. Corrugated metal for roofing. This will get hot but you do not have to paint it or stain it every other year. Make sure you drill two holes in the front and back of the hive to help with air flow. In the winter time you can place a cork in the holes to help keep the bees warm. In colder places, you can place spray foam in the holes to keep the cold air out. You can either tie down the corrugated metal with rope or just set a couple of rocks on top. Since it is corrugated, there is plenty of ventilation as well. One sheet from The Home Depot is big enough to make covers for both hives. (In this demonstration, a stand to hold up the top bar so you can look at the comb—the bees comb mimicked the shape of the drum half.) *Note: all pictures are taken from an article, Barrel Top Bar Hive, on Robo’s World website, http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/barrel-top-bar-hive/. You need to put a little bit of wax on the top bar so the bee knows where to start building comb, but other than that you have just made a hive from stuff that is commonly thrown way. This is a great way to save drums, even metal ones, and use for something other than a trash can. It’s a great home for your bees and keeps the dump free of a landfill. As a survival person, I have done 12 hives this way. The cost is none and most of the time is only a few hours to build. I have found that metal drums work the best. That way the heat does not warp the hive and it will keep its shape. Now, remember a hive is a box with something for the bees to build comb off of. Here are a few different ones I have done as well and all seem to make good homes for bees.
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