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Episode 51 Beekeeping

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

Honeybees may be an excellent addition to your homestead. The produce a harvest both directly and indirectly. We are going to go through the basics of beekeeping.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, honeybees contribute $14 billion to the US crop production. Several crops are highly dependent on the honeybee for pollination. 90% of the pollination of blueberries and cherries occur as a result of honeybees and 100% of the almond pollination is a direct result of these wonderful little workers.

Honeybees are not native to the United States, but then neither are most of us. There are native pollinators like certain types of wasps, insects, and carpenter bees, but taking care of the honeybees is well worth the effort.

Honeybee Production and Benefits

First I want to say that the very year we put bees on our little homestead we saw a 30% increase in the production of our garden.

Honey – honey doesn’t just taste great on a buttered biscuit, it is also very useful. Honey can be used in making soaps and can even help heal minor cuts and scrapes.

Wax – Wax can either be harvested or fed back to your bees. Wax can be used to make homemade candles, balms, salves, and if melted and mixed with boiled linseed oil makes a very good coating for metal to prevent rust and for wooden handles of your tools.

Pollen – Pollen is used in several herbal remedies. You can read some of the benefits here.

The Hive

We will be talking about 3 styles of hives, the function, and a little on the benefits of each.

Langstroth – this is the hive everyone pictures in their mind when someone talks about beekeeping.

Image result for l langstroth

The langstroth yields the greatest amount of honey of the three types, with little to no wax yields. The reason for this is the langstroth has honey frames that contain a wax base. This base allows the bees to spend more time making honey and less time making wax. Special equipment is normally used for the honey extraction. We will get there, I promise.

Warre – The warre hive looks a lot like the langstroth on the outside. On the inside it is quite different. The warre has bars on the top of each section, but no wax frame. The bees conduct themselves in a more natural way, because they have to do all of the interior “construction” themselves. This reduces honey yield and increases wax yield. Annual honey yield can be reduced by as much as 50%.

In the langstroth when new boxes need to be added which in their case are called supers, they are added to the top of the hive. In the Warre configuration additional boxes are added to the bottom.

Top bar hive – The top bar hive is the easiest of the three types to make yourself. I has the lowest honey yield and the highest wax yield of the three.

Gear

You can get by with a limited amount of gear. The bare minimums are a bee suit, bee hood, smoker, and hive tool.

Bee Pests and Problems

There are several challenges that our honeybees face. Most of these challenges are dealt with fairly well by strong, healthy hives, but sometimes we have to go to the rescue of our hives. Here are some of the bad guys when it comes to bees.

Varroa mites

Small Hive Beetle

Foulbrood

Tracheal mites

Wax moths

Rodents

Colony collapse disorder.

Only two of these cannot be treated successfully. If it is found that a hive has foulbrood, that hive must be destroyed. There are steps that can be taken that have been shown to prevent foulbrood, but there is no cure.

Colony collapse disorder is still a bit of a mystery. According to a study by Harvard the most likely cause is pesticides. Of course the chemical companies have come out swinging to try to prove that it is not their products that is causing the problems. It is my opinion that this just strengthens the importance of organic practices.

I hope you enjoyed this. If you did consider sharing the show in some way. It is available on both iTunes and Stitcher.

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Episode 50 Fishing

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

In this episode we talk about freshwater fishing.

We talk about basic equipment, bait, and 4 types of fish that are common in our area.

Equipment

Jug fishing/Noodle fishing – really the lazy man’s way of fishing. Really need a boat for this type of fishing to be effective. This method has always worked well for me in winter. Primary target species is catfish. (may or may not be legal in your area.)

Cane pole – time honored, poor man’s method. With practice fishing with a cane pole can be very effective when it comes to line placement, especially when fishing in and around underwater treetops.

Rod and Reel – this is the method most people think about when you talk about fishing. The combination of rod and reel can be as cheap or as expensive as you are willing to spend.

Trotlines – May or may not be legal in your state.  Must have at least one anchor or tie off point and are typically used in more narrow streams and tributaries.

Types of Fish

Bream – Probably the easiest to catch any time of year. You will have to use a bobber and adjust the depth of your hook and bait. When bream are spawning (on the bed), the will bite at almost anything. This fish has the highest creel limits of the fish listed.

Bait can be artificial or live bait. I have always gotten best results with crickets and/or grasshoppers.

Catfish – Bottom feeders. Best bait for these fish are things that are stinky, blood baits, or rooster livers. Rooster livers are tougher than hen livers and will stay on the hook better.

Crappie – In my opinion the best tasting of the fish listed. Normally fish in downed tree tops, using minnows, cane poles work great for this fish. Spring time is the best time to fish for this species. There are some artificial baits that will do well with this fish.

Largemouth Bass – This is the main sports fish in our area. Artificial bait is primarily used. Can be fished for from bank or in a boat, but a boat gives you an edge. Even when this fish gets large it still tastes pretty good.

I hope you enjoy this episode. If you do please consider sharing.

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You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. We now have a YouTube channel and we cover all sorts of things. Hop on over and check them out, oh and don’t forget to subscribe. I have just joined Instagram if you would like you can follow us HERE. We will be sharing several things over the next year, I hope to see you there.

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Episode 49 Should You Take a Wilderness Survival Course

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

Bringing Rural Back Podcast

In this episode we talk about wilderness survival courses.

General Information

Wilderness survival courses last anywhere from a few hours in an afternoon to a couple of months. Generally the longer the course the more intense the training. Course cost runs from $25 to hundreds of dollars per course.

Shorter courses tend to focus on surviving long enough to be rescued and more advanced courses teach bush crafting and true long term survival.

What You Will Learn

Basic Course

Suggested Gear

Firemaking

Water acquisition and prification

Basic Knots

Basic Shelters

Signaling

In a basic course you may not cover food at all.

Advanced Courses

Navigation

Basic Herbal Medicine

Foraging and Trapping Food

More Permanent Shelters

Benefits of Taking a Course

Confidence

Skill Development

Problem Solving

Who Absolutely Should Take a Survival Course

Hunters

Fishers

Hikers

Campers

Skiers

It is more optional for everyone else, but still provides all of the same benefits. If there is a low cost course in your area, I strongly suggest you consider taking one. If you have an avid outdoors-man in your family that does things the old way, you may be able to learn from them.

Outdoor activities are great fun and can be enhanced by knowing these skills. If you are a prepper these skills will cross over in to everyday life if something happens.

Bringing Rural Back

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You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. We now have a YouTube channel and we cover all sorts of things. Hop on over and check them out, oh and don’t forget to subscribe. I have just joined Instagram if you would like you can follow us HERE. We will be sharing several things over the next year, I hope to see you there.

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Severe Weather Preparedness

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Bringing Rural Back Podcast

This is the time of year that many of us are thinking about being prepared for severe weather. We are going to help you be ready.

Know Your Risk

In our area the major risks of severe weather are as follows.

Severe Thunder Storms

Tornadoes

Hail

In that order. Other areas the major risks will be things like floods, hurricanes/typhoons, or wild fires. Knowing your risk is the first step and you have to be honest with yourself.

Make a Plan

I believe that everyone should have a plan to shelter in place and a plan to evacuate. In our area if there is a threat of a tornado, you can be your boots we will be evacuating.

Shelter in Place

For sheltering in place the things that might be needed are easy to prepare foods.

Foods:  Canned soups, stews, canned ham or chicken, really anything that can be opened and heated or prepared with just water is a good idea.

Water: A case or two of bottled water or even 2 liter bottles rinsed out and filled with water and stored in a closet are a good idea. This is one you can do for free.

Blackout Kit:  An alternative way of cooking, like a cook stove, flashlights, lanterns, flame-less candles, regular candles, are all good ideas and we have some of all of the above. We also have oil lamps. Just the above and you will be able to cook (at least some) and have lighting. I suggest all of your lighting be led based.

Now we will talk about saving everything in your fridge and/or freezer. If you can’t afford a generator, don’t worry, there is a way to take care of everything without mortgaging the farm. Get a good quality inverter and extension cords and rotate your fridge and freezer by powering them with your car idling.

Evacuation

Evacuation is where you need a backpack. It doesn’t have to be all tactical, in fact for this type of even a tactical backpack can create more problems that it will fix. This is especially true if you are going to have to spend a short amount of time in a local storm shelter.

Things that should be in all backpacks are basic comfort items like blankets, change of clothes, and even some travel games. You should also include some food items. The last time we have to go to the local storm shelter it would have been a lot better if we would have had some snacks and some water.

Stay Informed

There are several ways to stay informed. First is get a good quality weather radio.  Weather apps are available on all smart phones, I suggest getting one from your local television station if possible. Our local EMA (emergency management agency) has a way to get text notifications directly from them. I really like this service.

Take Action

When the time comes you would rather react and nothing happen than not do anything and be caught in the storm. Be safe and take care of your family.

Bringing Rural Back

Enter the Listener Appreciation  Contest.

You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. We now have a YouTube channel and we cover all sorts of things. Hop on over and check them out, oh and don’t forget to subscribe. I have just joined Instagram if you would like you can follow us HERE. We will be sharing several things over the next year, I hope to see you there.

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Episode 46 Opting Out of the Political Circus

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Bringing Rural Back Podcast

In this episode we dive into the political environment. We talk about both Trump and Clinton. We cover my thoughts on how sad the national election system has become and the importance of local elections.

 

We also talk about working on personal independence.

I hope you enjoy. If you do consider giving us a rating on iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever podcast directory. That will really help us out.

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Check out our YouTube Channel.

Bringing Rural Back.

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