Keeping bees in your backyard is a low maintenance activity that produces a product and has a great effect on the ecology of your area including your garden.
On today’s podcast I dive into my motivations for starting bee keeping, and my experiences thus far on my journey. Please know that I am NOT an expert in the subject, just an eager first year learner. I’ve been reading books and taking classes, but there is no substitute for practical experience.
This is the first post on what will be a long series on my experiences as a first year bee keeper. I hope you’ll follow along. If you are an experienced bee-keeper I would be glad to hear from you and please feel free to correct anything and everything I have said.
Please Consider keeping bees and support local Bee Keeping.
I left out one point on the podcast, and that is please check your state and local regulations! In Pennsylvania where I am at you have to pay a $10 a year fee to the state to register your Apiary. This is very reasonable, and for that fee an inspector will come out to your site and check on your hives and also offer advice and guidance. It is a great bargain!
Here in the City of Pittsburgh you can pay $250 one time fee and that will register your urban apiary. Once your site is designated in the city as an Apiary that status can never be removed and will pass down to future owners of your property. It might seem like a high fee but I consider it quite reasonable considering the protection it does offer, however I don’t live in the city and am thus not as up to speed on this.
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In this week’s podcast we learn how to build our own electric car cheap. Ben Nelson from 300mpg.org shares with us his experience of building his own EV (electric vehicle) with little more than ambition and a library card.
Ben also sells a great instructional 2 disc DVD set which goes over all of the details of building your own electric vehicle. If an EV conversion is something you have ever considered then Ben Nelson is the man to talk to.
In this video I show you the basics of a simple cider press I built from plans I purchased from whizbangcider.com. I actually built two cider presses and grinders. One of the presses was a gift for my uncle who plans to grow a lot of fruit at his lake house.
Here are 2 key things that attracted me to the ‘whizbang’ design:
Uses a 6 ton tube jack to press the cider rather than laboriously turning an acme screw
Uses a garbage disposal to create the mash, which I thought was a great idea.
In the book Herrick Kimball recommends that the disposal unit you choose should be modified with a more powerful electric engine to avoid overheating. I got antsy and decided to try it without the modification and it has worked fine for 5+ batches, however I do notice it does rather warm. I don’t run it for very long periods of time since it does such a nice job of crushing up apples.
Please check out Herrick’s blog post here: New Techniques for Cider Making for a more detailed explanation of the cider making process. You can purchase his book on his website as well.