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  1. Yesterday
  2. Thursday morning.

    I was drawn as Brents partner for the next two weeks Sunday. He is Johns brother in law is how we met and became part of the group so long ago. He is a hyper guy and set very much in his ways, he isn’t some one you want to be stuck in a boat with trolling on Lake Huron or Saginaw Bay. We met at the truck stop and headed out for our first sets. Along the way I was telling him about How Dean and I had been doing all day hunts and had some good luck at mid day. He just said nope you guys were just lucky the coyotes were moving and I have things to do this afternoon. We make the first farm the Reynolds beef farm, gather our gear and head out for a stone pile on a hill over looking the 20 acre wood lot. Set the decoys out about 25 yards from the woods then get back to the brushy stone pile and start calling. Isn’t to long and I see a coyote sneaking thru the grass at the woods edge but I wasn’t the first to see it. Brent shot and the first coyote was down in that grass. I would have let it get in the corn stubble. Had a hard time keeping him in place for a full 20 minuses let alone a full 30 minutes. Back at the truck I asked why he didn’t let the coyote clear the grass so it was closer and in clear view. He just said what makes you think it would have came in the clear? Best to take a shot when you see them. I had a feeling that the morning isn’t going to be much fun for me, am starting to think I am going to be really busy the rest of the week. Arrive at the second farm Crushanks dairy operation, milk around 200 cows give or take. Not much of any place to set up there except in a fence row with some taller grass and it is a flat farm as so many in the thumb of Michigan are. I think the chance of getting a clear view of any coyotes here is going to be a good bet since we are about 200 yards from the woods and slough. Got the decoys set and settle in for the calling. It was 28F when we parked the truck but you could feel the sun warming things up when you were out of the bitter NE wind off Lake Huron. At 20 Minutes nothing had showed up and I motions for Brent to set still for a bit he shakes his head no and started to get up and a coyote pops out of the slough sees him moving and switches ends and is gone. We get back at the truck and I ask why he can’t wait for 10 minuses more to make sure there are no sneakers? He says all the books say 20 minutes and if nothing shows quit and git to another spot. I tell him this isn’t 1900 and things and thoughts have changed, you still running deer with dogs like in the 1900’s? We are even useing decoys and Ecallers they didn't have when your old books were wrote. He just shuts up and drives to our next farm another dairy operation. Mister Jenkins comes from the barn and meets us at the truck and says they saw 4 on Wednesday while spreading manure and they were in no hurry to leave as they spread more manure. Said they had disappeared in the big drainage ditch in the south west corner of the place. We get back to a brushy fence line set the decoys out about 150 yards away from us settle in and start calling. At 15 minute mark a coyote comes over the top of the ditch, I sign to Brent to wait there were supposed to be four of them. About 5 more minutes another appers and there is no holding Brent back he signs to take them. I fire and have a coyote down as does Brent. Get back to the truck and Brent says that has been a good morning, maybe this afternoon will be as good. I tell him if he is quitting till late afternoon I am going home and do some work the rest of the day. We get back to my truck and part ways, with a call me when you are ready for another morning. Al
  3. Last week
  4. I solved the problem. My dumbass cat torn the vacuum line loose from the top of the vacuum pump when she was climbing up in the engine compartment during the Winter.
  5. Earlier
  6. The honey house.

    Diesel fumes inside a building lingers and stinks. Al
  7. Sunday Sunday

    Dean and I met at our meeting restaurant, DST Sunday morning. I don’t know why the time switch effects me so much as I am normally out of bed by 3:00 AM any day. But maybe because of my age never have like the effects on my internal clock it has mentally. After a breakfast and several gallons for coffee we hit the road to a sheep farm about a hour and a half away. Arrive Just as it gets light enough you can see the nose on your face. Trucks temp read out says 12F, so glad I put on my medium weight long johns. Climb out of the truck and start putting our camo on as the farmer comes out the door. He said he would be a minute and would be around to give us a lift part way back . We say no thanks as we have our packs, rifles and such and the cab of a MF 1105 is not all that big. One thing the snow has melted down to just a couple inches deep in some spots but mostly frozen mud. I’m happy as I still have not found the pattern for my ski binding, Knew I should have copied it to a flash drive. Work our way back to a finger field surrounded by woods. Nice stone pile not far from the edge of the field, presume some time in the past there was a stone there that could not be moved with the equipment of the day so a stone pile formed there. We set the decoys out on either side Decide we would go with one caller and use the distressed piglet sound. Saturday was over cast all day and not overly warm but today by the time we were set in place the sun was just starting to peek over the tree line. The call had only been going a short time when 5 deer come out of the woods to our left and walk single file along the fence to our front to a bald hill top to browse on the grass. The callers sound has them uneasy how ever as they kept looking at the decoy set not far from the caller. They do not stay long and enter the woods near by. After a half hour of calling we had seen nothing but deer so wait a bit and pack up to go. Back at the truck the farmer has just put the tractor away after seting out a round bale for the sheep. Tells us he has not heard a coyote in close to a month, laughs and says we have did a good job cleaning them out of the area. We tell him to not be holding his breath as the coyotes will be back and maybe soon, just the way they are now here in lower Michigan. Say our good byes and leave. Drive about 10 miles where we hit a beef farm and have got a lot of coyotes. Is the first farmer who called asking us to do some thing about the bold coyotes that had been getting in the feed bunks eating grain. Sun is up now, we could feel it starting to warm up still glad we had long johns on as the truck read out still was not to 20F yet. We walk back to a fence line with a rise where we can set up across from a slough full of multa flora rose. Decided to go with two callers and clip turkey feathers to the decoy so it looks bigger. Go with the cat sound in one caller to start after Dean has a happy coyote family sound going. At 5 minutes nothing has shown and the cats disagreeing kicks in, that did the trick as a coyote comes tearing out of that slough bee lining for the decoy. Is Deans zone so I am waiting for him to fire and when he does it still made me jump. In case you wondered we do wear those foam ear plugs, light to carry and work well. Wait a bit to see if any others show, nothing does. It is a big old tooth worn male shows signs of mange so it gets drug over to the fence and pushed under to feed other critters. We hit two other farms with no luck be fore we decided to go grab some lunch. The plan was to make a day of it. Tempture had climbed to 31F sun shining bright and snow slushy. Al
  8. The honey house.

    Thanks Al! You know.....that is a VERY GOOD point. I had not even considered that, at least not to large extent. Most of my equipment is diesel but still fumes of any kind would be very serious issue when extracting and bottling honey. It would be best to move all of that equipment and anything else that could possibly generate any fumes outside.
  9. The honey house.

    Rereadding you post I see the plan is to have one building with home, honey house and farm shop all under one roof. Not a good Idea as the honey can draw the taste of gasoline and oil not to mention the dust and dirt of the shop getting in the honey house section. Seprate them by more than a wall. My wife would screem bloody murder every time fumes of gasoline, oil , welding and exhaust from the shop got in the home part of the building. Al
  10. Mopar1973man might be able to help you. I found this on his forum, which I think you might find useful: https://mopar1973man.com/topic/9504-another-exhaust-brake-question/?tab=comments#comment-103772 Good luck Fred
  11. I have not started nor driven my truck for about 6 months. She started right up but the exhaust brake in not working. I have suspicions that our dumbassed cat which has been crawling up into the engine compartment may have something to do with it. I think I have some ideas on where to start troubleshooting but it never hurts to get as much information and advice as possible before hand. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions on solving this problem. Thank!
  12. The honey house.

    We have been below normal since the 3d week of November. we are 10 inches ahead of normal snow fall and we did have a January thaw last week end. Al
  13. One of the forum members on Bee Source who goes by SNL offered the Pro Vap 110 vaporizer with a $50 discount back during the Thanksgiving Black Friday sales everyone was offering. That prompted me to buy one. https://oxavap.com/product/provap-110-sidelinercommercial-vaporizer/ I have not had the weather to try it out yet but I want to treat my bees for varroa mites before their Spring build up. I purchased a Honda EU2000 Inverter generator to power the vaporizer. I also installed an hour meter/tachometer on the generator if anyone is interested in how I did this, post a question and I can go over that. I also installed a magnetic dip stick and oil change extension funnel kit as well. I have been reading up on and following Ian Steppler of Steppler Honey Farm who also uses this vaporizer. He modified his by wrapping oxalic acid vaporizer bowl with heat resistant wrap. I modified mine with exhaust header wrap (looks like the same) but folded the 2 inch wrap in half so I could wrap the top and bottom of the bowl. The middle of the bowl is obstructed by the power wire. In cold weather the re-heat times for this vaporizer can be significantly shortened by insulating the vaporizer cup. I am looking forward to putting this vaporizer to work. Compared to the Varrox vaporizers I have been using in the past, this vaporizer will increase my productivity exponentially. I can treat my entire apiary with the ProVap 110 in a single day vs. 3 to 4 days using 4 Varrox vaporizers. The work good but are just too slow to heat up. https://oxavap.com/product/varrox-heavy-duty-oxalic-acid-vaporizer/
  14. The honey house.

    It's 15 degrees here with light snow. Last Thursday it was 68 degrees. These wild temperature swings are tough on my bees.
  15. The honey house.

    We do like our current place but after much consideration, if we are going to put this much effort and cost into a new home and shop, we don't idiots moving in next to us. There are a couple of places that join up to us that are either abandoned or the owner in possible financial trouble that either will not sell or will only sell at an outrageous price. Just don't need nor want that kind of potential headache in the future. Of the other joining neighbors, 2 of them are fantastic neighbors, 1 has moved to a new home far away and wants to sell but way too high, 1 neighbor has had a history of drug problems, a suicide, and other issues, the other neighbor has abandoned the place but has plans for their irresponsible 21 year old grandson to move in to a house that is so far gone deteriorated that it will have to be totally renovated.
  16. The honey house.

    Why though you liked the old place? I could see it if you were moving to Alaska to get out of the summer heat and humidity and this down right cold winters. Been about 44F adverage all winter up there and hardly any snow. Friend says every one is rideing their bikes in parkas, shorts and aviator helmets. Al
  17. I'm a bee keeper again.

    No I was not able to split the swarm. Hopeing it makes it thru the winter. Winter has been tough with well below normal temps. I am even fearing running out of fire wood to heat my house. Been cutting a lot of dead Elm and Ash I can get too. Al
  18. The honey house.

    Yes. That is the plan.
  19. The honey house.

    So you are building a new home on a vacant property you bought. Al
  20. The honey house.

    It has been a long time coming with some time out for losses of family members, graduations from college, graduations from the Air Force Commissioned Officer School, and a frustrating loss of over 60 hives 3 years back but I am getting my act together and beginning the journey of moving to our large acreage and building a home/shop building. In this case it will be one large building with our living quarter in about 1/3 of the building and the remaining part will be our farm shop/honey processing facility, apiary storage area. First thing I have to do is get the perk/construction permit but at the same time begin work on the upgrading and rebuilding the road accessing the property. That in it's self is going to be a big job as I have over a mile of road which is already in fairly good condition but needs work. I also need to talk to the power company to get an idea of cost to bring the power to the build site. Many years ago, there was power back there but the power company removed the poles and line due to non-usage. There are a number of springs on the property but I need to talk to the well drilling people to go over drilling a new well vs. using the spring water. Yesterday he wife and I spent the afternoon at Lowes buying marking flags, marking/stripping paint, stakes, and flagging tape. If the weather would either clear up and dry out or just hard freeze again, I have arranged to go to the build site with the builder to mark off the building, septic, drain fields, and potential well site. We are planning on building either a steel pole barn building or 100% steel building on a concrete slab but have to go over costs, pros & cons, and the required equipment that may have to be rented. Once I get started in earnest, I will start another thread and post pictures and comments. This is going to be a big job but I am looking forward to it. We have waiting and saved up for a LONG time to do this. At 60 years old, I am not getting any younger and it is time to do it or just let it go. We want to move to this location to get off the road we live on and hopefully have peace and quiet. We are also working into our plans the things, and features that we will be a blessing for us in our coming and older years like having everything we use and need in our living quarters on the ground floor. Insulation and the HVAC system will be in this category although I will probably still have wood furnace heat but have the furnace outside. Al, this honey house thread has been a BIG help as I have periodically reviewed it and taken notes. I can hear it now "cha ching.......cha ching". Building a home is never inexpensive but doing it right means hopefully doing things ONCE and brings the peace of mind and reliability that makes a good home.
  21. I'm a bee keeper again.

    How are is swarm hopefully now a full hive doing Al? Were you able to split this hive and make 1 or 2 more during last season?
  22. I neglected to remind as does Randy Oliver in this article IF you DO use this treatment be mindful to ensure it IS legal to do so and has been approved for use in honey bee hives. Great to see you posting again in the Apiary section Al! How are your bees doing in this bitter cold?
  23. Just remember if you have state inspectors who visit your regestered bee hives what they find in the hive has to be section 18 approved or you will get a nice fine. There just are to many approved mite treatments and use properly is safe. And yes I read the articale and still don't see where it is new? every since rthe mites arrived in the USA beekeepers have tried about every thing under the sun up to and includeing laqure thinner. Problems arrise when the state has not gave the treatment a section 18 approval. Al
  24. Happy New Year 2018!

    Happy New Year to all. Hoping the start of the year is awesome. Jeff
  25. For those who want to read up on the most recent research and field trials using oxalic acid & glycerin to treat for varroa mites, check Randy Oliver's series entitled "Beyond Tactic".
  26. Happy New Year 2018!

    Best wishes to everyone for a happy, safe, and productive New Year 2018.
  27. Christmas Eve 2017

    The Lord has blessed me to be here for yet another Christmas and spend it with my family. There were many times in my life that I was not able to enjoy this blessing being deployed overseas or at work keeping Uncle Sam's helicopters flying. This year has had its tough times with the loss of both parents and all that comes with that. I am still recovering from surgery to repair a serious injury to my right arm. Still the Lord has blessed me more than I can describe. Not many come here as of late. Just a few hearty and determined souls. I thank you for hanging in there. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, best wishes for the holidays, and a joyful & productive New Year. I hope you are are doing well and let us ALL remember the reason for the season. Christmas is the day our Lord and savior was born. It is a time for great joy and good will for all. Let us remember to carry this joy and good will into and throughout the New Year towards one another. Thanks for your support. God Bless.
  28. How is your apiary doing this Spring?

    It is a bit early for Spring but may as well be with the crazy warm temperatures we have been having. Last Saturday early morning it was 72 degrees at 2 am! These warm temps have been pushing my bees to consume what stores they have so I fed them 900 lbs. of sugar last month in the form of syrup which they have just about totally consumed. Last Friday I finished feeding them another 225 lbs. of Mann Lake bulk Winter Pro Patty mix that I buy in 50 lb. buckets. Hopefully that will hold them until Spring and the buildup. Have all of my hives wrapped up and insulated as best I can with either Bee Cozy's or Reflectix bubble wrap insulation and I put the Mann Lake Wintering Inner cover with a 1 inch thick sheet of urethane foam insulation on top. I put an Immerie Shim with an upper entrance knotch under each of the Wintering inner covers which makes for a nice 3/4 square upper entrance/condensation vent. on the top of the hive. In a week or two they will all get one last oxalic acid vapor mite treatment for the Winter. I will be trying out my new Pro Vap 110 to do this with along with my new Honda EU2000 Inverter generator that I added an hour meter/tachometer and a magnetic oil dipstick to. I have 3 Mity Mite Killers that I will also be testing once the temperatures warm up and stay at least around 60 degrees. So. What's going on in your apiary right now???
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