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Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

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  • Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

    I reckon that there would be some interesting tales out there of encounters with nature while gathering firewood.

    I have had a couple of recent interactions with nature, most recently finding a hive of native bees in a newly fallen dead tree. Since they are now vulnerable to fire I will rehouse them and relocate them into my garden. They don't sting really but get everywhere (in the beard, ears, nose) when they get excited and a chainsaw will get them excited.

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    The other one was finding this bloke in amongst the wood when I unloaded it at home. Glad I saw him first. He was released into a remote part of the garden. He wasn't very big, about 2-3 inches long. There was also a large centipede aboard but he escaped the camera.

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    Worth dodging the hazards to have a decent supply of good quality wood stored up for when the rains come (if they come).

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    Cheers ......... Steve

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  • #2
    Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

    Well done.

    I always let the wildlife go, other people I meet think Im nuts, which I prolly am.

    Ive let snakes, scorpions, spiders and all manner of stuff go about their own business.

    I must get out for some firewood, lately we have had a lot of rain which makes the ground soggy and strong winds which blow the trees over in the soggy ground.

    Rain and strong wind is the god of the firewood gatherer.
    Last edited by brickie in oz; 10-12-2013, 11:12 PM.
    The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

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    • #3
      Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

      Gudday
      The native bees are great little pollinators to have around, I've a boxed hive for a number of years now. I split it every year and give a hive to a friend so I know I will always have a split should I need one.
      I keep telling myself that next split Ill Take the honey but I never do
      Regard. Dave

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      Last edited by cobblerdave; 10-13-2013, 12:31 AM. Reason: Replace pic
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      • #4
        Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

        Lucky taipans prefer piles of rocks to piles of wood

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        • #5
          Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

          Dave, insulate, insulate, insulate
          rotate, rotate, rotate,
          The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

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          • #6
            Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

            Sorry
            Bl@&dy I phones you have got to take pics in landscape. No way of changing it neither.
            Regards dave
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            • #7
              Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

              Gudday
              Taking the pic of the bee box I've discovered that my banana has flowered
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              These are a Panama red variety. They only grow 5 ft tall so there great you don't get a bunch of fruit 15 ft up a tall post. Being down low means you can put a bag over the to stop the bats and possums. The little bananas form under the leaves/ petals and as the petals drop of more form. If a fruit bat or possum is after the nectar that drips from the bell at the bottom knock the next banana as it forms it will stop forming more.
              I'll put a chock feed bag over these now with the bottom end open to keep it safe. The nectar will continue to drip and the bees love that.When all the fruit has formed Ill cut the bell off and the goodness will go into the fruit. I could get up to 40 to 60 banana on the bunch.
              When the ripen in 2 to three months it a frantic race to use / give them away as being natural and ungassed they ripen fast.
              My too favorites are banana bread which freezes well. What I like is to put a skewer through a peeled fruit dip it in that ice cream choc stuff and freeze it.
              My boys are grown up, so few kids around, bugger, more for me
              Regards dave
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              • #8
                Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                Dave,
                That's really cool that you can grow your own bananas. Having to worry about bats is wild also. The only thing around here in Pennsylvania that bothers the fruit is birds and insects. I would love to try banana bread made with fresh ripe fruit.
                Chris

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                • #9
                  Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                  Originally posted by Greenman View Post
                  I reckon that there would be some interesting tales out there of encounters with nature while gathering firewood.

                  I have had a couple of recent interactions with nature, most recently finding a hive of native bees in a newly fallen dead tree. Since they are now vulnerable to fire I will rehouse them and relocate them into my garden. They don't sting really but get everywhere (in the beard, ears, nose) when they get excited and a chainsaw will get them excited.

                  Name:  eb41c279928afcfa4dffdd17e9481e12.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  113.8 KB

                  The other one was finding this bloke in amongst the wood when I unloaded it at home. Glad I saw him first. He was released into a remote part of the garden. He wasn't very big, about 2-3 inches long. There was also a large centipede aboard but he escaped the camera.

                  Name:  6e7a1303b01a41a6d4f3a42cba73fd81.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  93.3 KB

                  Worth dodging the hazards to have a decent supply of good quality wood stored up for when the rains come (if they come).

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Views: 1
Size:  169.7 KBName:  e82be7f25dde4be33480bee71de1e014.jpg
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                  Gudday
                  What's happened with that hive?
                  There a little tricky to relocate or box up . No I'm no expert on this but I believe there's a local bloke up your way that's good. A quick search ill find him on the net
                  For now keep it off the ground ( ants) cover it back up and don't move it more than a mtr each day or the workers will not find there way home ( opinion of the guy I got mine off)
                  Regards dave
                  Measure twice
                  Cut once
                  Fit in position with largest hammer

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                  • #10
                    Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                    Thanks Dave - I have covered it and intend to box it late one evening and move it after dark. I have had plenty of experience with European honey bees and have boxed plenty of swarms and wild hives but have had nothing to do with these little guys. It would be simple if they had made home in a limb or similar but this is the trunk of a large tree and it will be a bit harder since I have to remove them from there completely.

                    I have seen them installed in small styrofoam boxes but would be interested in how you keep/manage your hive and how you have them boxed.
                    Cheers ......... Steve

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                    • #11
                      Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                      Gudday Steve
                      The foam box that you discribe is usually only a cover to protect them from the heat. They are pretty messy brood makers as you have noticed and also use tree sap and wax they bring back to the hive so on a hot day the brood can collapse and drown the colony.
                      If you had had experience with European bee these little fellas are very different.
                      They don't produce that much honey and don't fan it to concentrate it like Europeans do. The honey is thin and has a very sharp flavour. They also get into flowers that Europeans can't . Added to this like I said they keep the honey in larger cells made of collected waxes and tree pitch so this adds to the flavour.
                      You can't "super" the boxes to collect the honey, so they are usually built in 2 halves so you can split them to make new hives or use 1/2 for honey.
                      They are very susceptible to worker loss when moving so you either have to move them over 500 mtr away leave for a week then move them back later to a different position or move them a mtr at at time. In this there not like the Europeans at all.
                      Ill send you the dimensions to build and instructions to build a box by the weekend.
                      Regards dave
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                      • #12
                        Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                        Thanks Dave - I had intended to box them one day and then give them a day to settle and move them at night. It is about 10k so that should work.

                        I am interested in making sure that they survive (fires) and have them in the garden as pollinators. I have a good spot for them in a pandanus where it has a multiple fork about 7 feet above the ground. That should keep them away from the toads.

                        I also intend to put a box of gentle little grey Carniolans in the back yard. They are less productive than the golden Italians but they are more docile and are good scroungers year round and one hive will provide all that my family and neighbours need.

                        Thanks
                        Cheers ......... Steve

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                        • #13
                          Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                          Gudday Steve
                          I did a bit if investigation and there now is a box with a super on the top which will allow you to collect some honey type in Sugarbag in your google.
                          With the entrance hole if you notice on mine it has a plastic 90 degree 1/2 in connector for irrigation piping . This points down and will stop driving rain. If you have to move a box a piece of pipe with fly wire over top will give a seal for the box. They use hoop pine I've also used double thickness 12 mm ply as well painted its good. ( do not paint the inside of the box)
                          The box is best place facing nth east to get the morning sun but be protected from the afternoon sun, that's why mines the the east of the banana tree. I would put it up a tree to much danger of possum attack. Placed on a post you can keep an eye on it greasing the post stops ants and the area can be kept clear of spider webs.
                          I'm still talking to a couple of people about boxing that hive up,you'll not find anything much on the net re this as the failure rate can be high.
                          Regards dave
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                          • #14
                            Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                            Gudday Steve
                            Had a talk to a few folk and how to box up that hive. Getting information out of them both was like drawing teeth. But between the two I came up with dome good information.
                            From your pic it looks like that hive is the right way up problem with a lot of hives when cut down they are literally turned upside down. The poor old bees have to rearrange the hive again to have someone turn it again can sometimes be too much. But it looks like yours is the right way up. When you box it you have got to keep it right way up of course.
                            The centre section is the "brood" and it looks intact and healthy which is were your future bees will come. You'll expect to lose bees on boxing.
                            The larger cells around are the honey pots and you'll need to include these as well for food for the hive.
                            I was given no details on how to actually get the hive out but it looks very open and I know that a couple of large serving spoons might help.
                            When's its done and boxed and you covered with scratchy bees it important that you take a piece of wax from the hive a rub it around the new entrance so the bees recognize the new one as there home. The combs full of hormones and chemicals and smells quite highly.
                            You might be best to help them out with some honey water in a sponge when you get them home.
                            They only produce about a kg or 2 of honey a year in comparison the larger domestic bees that can produce up to 75 as you know.
                            But the honey is completely different sorta sweet and sour , mine have citrus quite close and it has quite a citrus tang to it . I've tried it on chocolate ice cream once and its truly very pleasantly different .
                            Anyway hope something here helps. If worse comes to worse and you do loose it I could possible givee you a split from a friends box he owes me .
                            Regards dave
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                            • #15
                              Re: Firewood Gathering & Little Surprises

                              Thanks for that information Dave. There is a wealth of info there. I will take your good advices on board and box these in the next couple of days. It shouldn't be too difficult to lift the brood nest and the comb around it in pretty much one piece.

                              I will let you know how it goes.
                              Cheers ......... Steve

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