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  1. Last week
  2. Good morning Fred. So sorry to hear of your very serious medical issues. How are you doing? Are you healing up well? I never realized how difficult recovery from surgery would be until I had surgery last year. Rehabilitation was at first seemingly a waste of time but I made a point of just forcing myself to stick with it and do what they asked me to do. As it turned out, it was VERY helpful. Hope you are on the mend and doing much better as well as making good strides with your physical rehabilitation. I finally decided to got to my local Kubota dealer that now has apparently fired the previous staff and all new faces and MUCH better service and attitude. I showed them the prices that Messicks was advertising and they beat their prices. After watching the Messick's video's on the comparison between the Kubota and NAPA filters, I decided to go with the Kubota filters which are obviously manufactured MUCH better and just overall much better filters at about the same price or just a little bit more. I am now reconsidering allowing the local dealer to do the service on my RTVX-1100C. After a number of previous VERY poor experiences of VERY poor workmanship and quality of service I had initially decided that I would NEVER allow this dealer to touch ANYTHING of mine EVER again. My recent visit to the dealer and discussion with the parts manager was very positive and I am now considering allowing the dealer one last opportunity to show me they can be trusted to do good quality work on my equipment. I'll let you know how it goes. Great to see you posting again Fred!
  3. Sorry to have been so remiss in getting on the board this year, but I''m still checking in occasionally. I've been having my own medical issues, with a quintuple bypass and artificial aortic valve in September. I have dealt with Messick's once this year, a very pleasant experience. Excellent follow-up by them on a couple of issues, one a substitution for a part, and the other a backorder which they had drop shipped directly to me from the vendor. Many people on another popular site swear by them. I would recommend them, as they consistently have good prices, good stock, and good service. Fred
  4. Earlier
  5. alleyyooper

    Opening day 2018 firearm deer season

    Well it is over. I didn't get what I wanted to get but I do believe a young buck so should make for some tender eatting.I walked out to the dog house blind just after 2:15 PM. does were all around it. They didn't spook and run off scared as it is normal to see the old guy walking and talking to them as they moved aside.Get in the blind and it is wark in there since the wind is blocked by a couple of pine trees as well as the sun shining in the blind.I watch the deer go into the brush around the apple tree and mill around for a bit then come out in the pond to graze.About 3:30 I see a deer following close behind a doe that is moving along. I see it is a buck and think it is the wierd one I let walk opening day and have been kicking my self every since. I like odd ball antlers, have several in my collection.It gets behind the brush before I can get the cross hairs on him, so I picked a big hole in the bushes and waited for him to enter that hole.When he is in that big hole I settle the cross hairs on him and squeeze the trigger on the 870 20 ga. slugger fireing off the 23/4 in. Remington Buck Hammer ammo. I watch him go down like he had a load of fire wood dropped on him.I watch him for a bit them get out of the blind and walk down there about 62 yards. I was totaly disappointed when I saw his antlers.Was not the one I was wanting, Have never seen this one either. But he is a legal Michigan buck for my area. Al
  6. alleyyooper

    Opening day 2018 firearm deer season

    Season opens one half hour before sun rise, which was 7:24 so the season officially started at 6:54 AM. I woke at 2:30 AM and turned on the TV and watched the CBS early morning news and a couple 1960 sit coms.At 4:30 AM the local news came on so I watched that for a while to see just what time they were saying the snow was going to start. Cracks me up how even the way hunting has changed in the last 40 years the News media People think deer hunters want snow. Maybe some doI don’t want snow I like really cold frosty mornings so the deer walking in the leaves are crunching away so you can hear them even if you can’t see them yet.At 5:30 I start breakfast no reason for Kare to get up too make a few eggs and cook sausage and make my morning allotment of tea.I had to get my tea maker out so I could make the amount to fill up my 2 quart thermos. But when I got it out decided to just make a quart this morning since I had not tested the New 2 quart thermos. Yes I have a new 2 quart since the old one was not keeping my tea warm for even 4 hours so Stanley sent me a new one to replace the old one. I got ready and turned the last light off at 6:45 am and started the 140 yard walk to my favorite blind behind the pole barn. Gawd that takes a horrible long time LOL. At 6:52 I was setting in my chair and pouring the first cup of tea. At 7:30 I saw my first critter a squirrel, who went to the creek like it was going to drink took a tentative step then walked across. At 7:55 saw my first deer a doe coming from behind our woods on the ridge angled down to the creek at 94 yards soon a second deer hustles to catch up as she jumps the creak at 82 yards where I finally see it is a buck that is following her till it jumped the creek then it gave her a good 20 yard head start going up the draw to the west.The buck was a 4 point a odd one with a 3 or 4 inch stub on the right side and a nearly straight up beam with a point about 4 inches long and a second point about 2 inches long. I decided to let it walk as there are some nice bucks here I have seen with my eyes personally.About 8:20 2 deer came running like spooked from the west and it was the same doe and buck. They didn’t stop till they hit the top of the ridge at 94 yards then walked at an angle to the north and east to mill around by our east fence line I was seeing them off and on thru the trees.At 11:30 we started getting grapple, you know those snow pellets and flakes all together, is the local weather guy that started calling it grappleAt 12:05 a button buck came down the tractor trail on the north side of the creek and worked it’s way down to the 60 yard mark and browsed a bit but soon laid down.At 12:57 Kare told me dinner was ready so I closed up the blind and left. Had dinner and told Kare I was going over on the new place and watch down the old fence row and along the south side of the creek. Was setting in my portable PCV frame blind and watching the squirrels running around in the snow. Then I saw a deer over on the ridge Haven’t lazered any yardages from that spot but bet it was 125 yards. I am comfortable at 125 yards with my shot gun but wasn’t going to shoot at a buck thru brush, at a buck I had passed on that morning. I tell Kare to keep watch out the living room window as it was going down the tractor path.Soon she tells me I was wrong it was a really nice 6 point at least a 20 inch spread. She said she was looking thru the binocs to count the points. Then she said it was chasing a doe that had been eating dog wood berries beside the house across the road side yard. I never saw another deer. :D Al
  7. TFF Admin

    Fire arm deer season starts tomorrow.

    The full blown stupidity starts this weekend with gun opening of rifle season in Tennessee on November 17th. All walks in the wood STOP and blaze orange and yellow is worn by all outside the house. I am a strong supporter of hunting but sometimes I have some serious wonderment when I see some of the deer that get shot. It appears some shooter have no deer management program to allow the younger deer to grow and harvest the oldest deer as well as take does when populations get out of balance. Seems more like a "shoot anything that moves" deer management program. Gun safety and personal responsibility are an oxymoron these days too. Hopefully this season will be an enjoyable and safe season for ALL. Good luck and be careful out there!
  8. alleyyooper

    Fire arm deer season starts tomorrow.

    Have been waiting for nearly a year for tomorrow . There has been a lot of changes to the area thru the year. To start with we bought 10 acres next door to the south that is over grown with Autum Olive and other brushy stuff, some white pines that were planted there around 1986 so are farly large now and many Hickorys and a few Oaks. I have set up a blind on one part for this season, may be able to do some thing more for Muzzle loader season with the short break between if need be. Another change it the person who bought the farm on the cross road north of us has built a elevated blind about 50 yards off the property line, May lazer it to day to know for sure. I was told he did a food plot there and then set up a feeder in Oct. I have seen 3 bucks with mine own eyes a for sure 6 point, a for sure 8 point and a spike. Have all but the spike on the trail cam. Yes I now after deer hunting for 56 years have a trail cam my wife talked me into getting. I didn't think I would care for one or really have a use for it but it has been fun pulling the card and seeing what I have gotten. Racoons, pussoms, squirrels, house cats and the deer. Lots of does just behind the honey house about 20 to 30 yards like this one. This buck early one morning. wish it was not so blurry. There was this one laying in our front yard one afternoon I got the picture with my hunting carry camera. I don't see any brow tines. Like I said a house cat, really a barn cat, and coons. This early morning Buck on the trail cam too. Al
  9. TFF Admin

    The great debate.

    Wow! This is an oldie that I must have missed Al! Sorry about that! I can tell you that during this time of year, we mix our sugar syrup with as much sugar as the water can hold soluble. That would be at least 2:1 and probably more like 3:1 since we heat the water to a rolling boil and then dump in the sugar leaving the heat on full blast until all of the sugar is stirred into solution. My theory is that the bees are going to treat the sugar syrup like nectar and store/process like honey and cure it for storage for use later. This keeps the queen laying provided you make a good source of a high protein pollen substitute dry feed available. Late summer blooms of goldenrod, asters, and other flowers will be foraged by the bees for nectar but in my experience, there plants don't make large volumes of nectar. At least not enough to make large stores of honey although they do make very good honey, just not large volumes of it. The August time frame is the MOST CRITICAL time of year for honey bee colonies as this is the time they begin making their Winter bees which are physiologically different from Summer season worker bees in a number of ways but primarily in 2 distinctive and important ways. Winter bees have a much large "fat body organ" and Winter bees live for 6 months vs. the 6 weeks for Summer worker bees. Brood nutrition during this period of time is critical to produce healthy Winter bees. That and properly treating them for varroa mites.
  10. I used MAQS for the first time this Fall and I can say that they are VERY strong especially if used in warmer temperatures even beneath the 85 degree limit. The bees DO NOT like them but gradually adjust. Over the space of a week, the strips pretty much off gas and air out to the point that they have almost no smell at all. I put my MAQS on at 78 degrees which dropped into the 50's within a few hours and stayed there. I initially noticed a fair amount of dead bee larva on the landing board which the bees quickly cleaned up. Over all the hives seemed to bounce back and are pretty strong. The critical point of using MAQS is that not only does it kill phoretic varroa mites, it kills reproductive varroa mites under the capped brood as well. This is VERY important especially going into the Fall and Winter.
  11. TFF Admin

    Treating for mite with FGMO fogging

    This is an old thread but I felt a need to come back to it and update so that other beekeepers DO NOT DO THIS. EVER! Fogging with FGMO just does NOT work. I paid a LOT of tuition at the University of Hard Knocks learning this and after huge hive losses over the Winter have since moved on to other EFFECTIVE methods of treating for varroa mites like Apivar, OAV, Might Mite Killer thermal treatment, and MAQS. What can I say other than live and learn. I have found that beekeeping is a never ending and continuous process of learning. That's a good thing.
  12. Not sure if you guys are aware but rumors of Brushy Mountain Bee Farm closing have been circulating for weeks. The Brushy Mountian website has been down for several days. This is the lastest information about this and it does NOT look good for Brushy Mountain.
  13. Here is more on how to differentiate between real and fake honey: https://www.mybeeline.co/en/p/how-can-we-differentiate-100-pure-honey-and-adulterated-honey https://www.mybeeline.co/en/p/how-to-check-the-purity-of-honey-at-home https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-check-if-your-honey-is-pure-or-adulterated-1690779
  14. TFF Admin

    Do we have any Mead makers here?

    Well..........there was a plethora of wild and other flowers that came up as well as several vitex plants that bloomed. LOTS of bergamot too. We were able to extract about 44 gallons of honey this season which is not much per hive but then again, I did over 50 splits which will definitely reduce the amount of honey produced. With that in mind, our honey harvest was pretty decent. I can detect a definite note of sourwood in with the blackberry, and wildflowers. Not sure if we will make any mead this year but I may if we ever get caught up with the never ending list of chores and things that need to get done around here.
  15. TFF Admin

    I'm a bee keeper again.

    So how did your apiary fair this season Al? I haven't heard much from you since last May about it. We tripled the size of our apiary this season and I am on the home stretch getting the hives ready for Winter. Right now I am condensing down the hives to their smallest possible size for them to cluster up inside of as well as finishing off the last batch of sugar syrup to hopefully get the hive weights up to where I and the bees need them to be in order to last them through Winter until Spring.
  16. This is a LOT cheaper to make and just as good if not better than the sugar patties being sold by Mann Lake, Kelly's, and others. Kent’s Winter Patty 25 lb. Sugar 3 Tbsp.Citric Acid Powder (home canning supplies) 1 Quart Apple Cider Vinegar 3 Tbsp. Honey Bee Healthy Mix all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket. Kent installs a 2 inch thick patty, with a spacer, on a sheet of newspaper right on the top of the frames. He refills every 2 weeks or as needed.
  17. alleyyooper

    That will knock a wheel off their wagon.

    Was two sets. Al
  18. TFF Admin

    That will knock a wheel off their wagon.

    3 coyotes in one set? That is not bad at all Al! Excellent! Way to take those pecky dogs out!
  19. I had got an invite from Dean and Eric to do a coyote clean up at the Christmas tree farm.The owner had called and said they were seeing some coyotes around the place as they were getting ready for the you cut crowd Thanks Giving till Christmas Eve.Decided a morning hunt into mid day should work. We met at Deans house since he lives closer to the Christmas tree farm. Loaded all our gear into Deans SUV and headed out. We have hunted this place several times before and there are some good ambush spots to cover pretty much any wind direction except south. We can get around a South wind by setting up so it is a cross wind, no worry how ever as we had a NW wind during the morning. It changed too a W wind right about 1:00 pm as we were packing top to leave.When we arrived it was 53F with a light NW wind and damp from the over night rain. We had discussed the first place we would set up on the way there if the wind was still as Deans weather station said.There is a taller hill where two trails cross and out front and to one side they had cleared off to plant seedlings this spring about 10 acres square so seeing slinking coyotes should not be a problem. We set the two decoys out about 5 yards apart out in the middle of the seedlings. Back tracked about 20 yards and set the caller out another 20 yards and set the second caller out.Up on the hill we settled down started caller #1 with a distressed piglet about half volume waited about 10 minutes and set the second caller with the coyote pack having a party and turning up the volume of the piglet to about 3/4 volume. That did the trick two coyotes stuck their snots out from under a couple spruce trees then their body about 120 yards out. It was Dean and Erics coverage area so all I could do was turn my head to see what happened. Couldn’t see much from where I sat with my back almost to Dean and Eric in the middle I could see a bit.I heard two shots nearly on top of each other. I saw Eric give the fist jerk so I knew he at least had gotten one. We waited out the full 30 minutes with out seeing any more coyotes in that area. Was two females with fur that looked fairly good. Got them to the edge of the main trail in for later pick up by the SUV.We moved to another area of the farm where they have the tall trees for those who want to erect 10 to 12 foot trees in their huge homes.This area is a little tougher to set up in because of the taller trees and branches nearly scraping the ground. There was a bend in the main trail and another T’d into it I got the middle so was looking down the tee. We set a single Decoy out at the top of the tee and the caller at the base of the tee, then decided to reverse the set up. Changed the sound out to a chicken having a distress fit and then joined in a yappy dog possible chase it. I had about figured we were going bust there when coyote crossed the trail I suspect to see if it could scent the decoy. When it crossed back and stoped to look I squeezed the trigger of the swift and watched the fur fly and another coyote down.This one was a male and a young one by the looks of its foot pads and nearly clean teeth. Fur looked good on it also.It also went beside the trail for pick up. It was decided to leave the area since we had made so much noise with the callers and shooting. At this time of year we don’t figure shooting bothers the coyotes to much as there are small game hunters out. When we got the SUV and loaded up the three coyots on the carrier and the owner saw them he was happy. We told him if he heard any in the evening or morning to call and we would see if we could reduce the population more.Dean said he would skin sew and stretch the hides but we were not having any of that. We did the skinning at Deans liking his set up with easy clean up. Sat down with neddles and dental flosss to sew the holes up. Mine only had that 244 di hole in, but the insides was a mess after the HPBT' bullet I use came apart. :D Al
  20. I cannot tell you how many times I have observed from afar family farms in which some function and transition well to the next generation but more than a few have had serious issues of various sorts trying to work the positive involvement of all the family members into the farming operation. Some were able to work through the various family issues........some were not. Those that did not, usually did not last very long after the founder retired or passed away. Below is an excerpt from Progressive Farmer on this topic: Many family-farm and ranch owners define one aspect of success as the transition of the land and operating business to the next generation. "The opportunity for my kids and grandkids to come back to the farm" is a frequent refrain when I ask about the hopes and goals of the senior generation. Another goal often mentioned immediately thereafter is for the next generation to "get along" and "work together." I often ask which goal is most important: "If you had to pick, would you rather see the business intact but experience family discord, or see the land and business sold in hopes that family members have better relationships?" In my experience, most say they want the relationships but often end up with a business or family full of conflict. Neither option offers a guaranteed outcome. Passing the business to children does not guarantee they will be successful operators just as selling the land and giving them cash does not guarantee they will enjoy spending time together. But, neither are the two goals mutually exclusive; some families achieve both. In many cases, it is difficult to achieve the twin goals of business succession and great sibling or parent-child relationships. Why? NATURAL DIFFERENCES As much as family members share DNA, a similar upbringing or common family values, individuals in a family can be remarkably different. Personalities, conflict styles, political views, cognitive skills, goals, financial skills, communication preferences, egos -- all of the differences cause some to wonder if they really grew up in the same household. When you place those differences in close proximity (working together in the family business), there is bound to be friction. Even when family members don't work together, the differences can distract from efforts to build relationships. To read the rest of the article: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/livestock/article/2018/10/22/founders-paradox?referrer=NLCattleLink
  21. Last and most certainly not least is a thermal photo of the other beekeeper who does so much to help keep things going........my lovely wife.
  22. And of course.........no thermal photo display would be complete without the beekeepers cat Mr. Panther Puss!
  23. I recently purchased a FLIR ONE Pro Infra Red camera attachment module for my Motorola Moto Z Force smart phone which I absolutely LOVE. https://www.flir.com/products/flir-one-pro/?model=435-0007-02 https://www.motorola.com/us/products/moto-z-force-droid-edition I took some photo's of some hives out in my nucleus colony yard last night and thought you all (beekeepers especially) would enjoy viewing them. The size of the clusters in all of the hives appear to be very large and doing well.
  24. TFF Admin

    Hemp

    Any new developments on this Debbie? Hemp has been made legal to grow in Tennessee now.
  25. TFF Admin

    Hemp

    Any new developments on this Debbie? Hemp has been made legal to grow in Tennessee now.
  26. Here are a few pics of the Mighty Mite Killer treatments of my hives back during the summer months of July and August. Took me awhile to get them posted due to too many irons in the fire but here they are.
  27. I see what they did but I am just not seeing how it could work to any degree of effectiveness. Can someone please "edjumacate" me please??? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dodge-Diesel-5-9L-NV4500-NV5600-Transmissions-FAST-Coolers-PTO-Oil-Filter-Kit-/142919587199?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10
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