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A Beginners’ Guide to Placing a Beehive

Photo by: Deb Collins

Todd’s Note: This is the second guest post by Lee Flynn on bees.  You can also read his previous article on the Essential Equipment for a Beginning Beekeeper.  To view other articles on bees, visit the Prepper Webiste tag cloud – click here.

Once you’ve got your basic equipment all figured out, and you’ve settled on a hive design and a breed, your next important decision will be concerned with where to locate your hive. Although this decision is one that will have a great impact on the safety and productivity of your burgeoning colony, it’s also one that may be partially out of your control. After all, you may not have a wide range of locations to choose from if you’re just getting started. Thankfully, bees tend to do fairly well in most locations, provided that they have what they need to survive. Bees don’t require much space, after all. However, there are some basic guidelines that you should consider when deciding where to put the hive, some for convenience and others for the sake of the bees themselves. Because as they say in real estate: location, location, location.

Country or city?

Most beekeepers reside in rural areas away from heavily populated areas, but not all of them do; some beekeepers have managed to build thriving colonies in the heart of the city. However, not every town is as welcoming to apiculture as others. Some places may even have laws forbidding citizens from engaging in beekeeping within city limits. If you live in an urban or suburban setting, then check your local laws, and also make sure to run your idea by your neighbors (some—especially those who may have children who are allergic to bee stings—may be opposed to having a bee farm in such close proximity). If you can’t convince your neighbors to give you their blessing, then it’s best to find another spot of land elsewhere. If you decide to just go ahead with your plan anyway, those neighbors could make things very difficult for you. All things considered, you’re much better off setting up your hive out in the country.

Sunlight

Bees rely on the sun for warmth, but they also use it as a natural alarm clock. Bees are diurnal, which means that they sleep at night and work during the day. Setting up your hive so that it faces the direction of the unobstructed rising sun (generally southeast for those living in the continental United States) will provide your bees with the incentive to get up earlier and produce more.

Flowers

Contrary to what some believe, bees don’t need to be in close proximity to flowering plants to be able to produce honey. As long as there are flowers within a few miles of the hive, your bees will have no problem finding them and transporting nectar back to the colony. Thus, you don’t need to plant a bunch of flowers right outside their door to be able to end up with enough honey to fill out your food storage.

Shelter

Although the hive itself will act as a home for your bees and keep them out of unfavorable weather, other forms of shelter should be located around the hive itself. Small bushes or boards that can be used to block the wind should be placed behind the hive. Also, too much heat in the middle of summer can have a negative impact on your colony, so find a spot that has some nice, natural shade (not too dark) to keep things cool.

Dryness

The hive should be kept someplace that won’t allow too much moisture to get into it, which can hurt honey production in the colony.

Tilt

Be sure to place your hive on a level surface. However, the construction of the hive should allow for a slight tilt between the front and the back of the hive. Having the front stand and inch or so higher than the rear will allow rainwater to drain out naturally.

Water

Just like every other animal on the planet, bees need water. Providing an easy to reach spot with clean, fresh water will help your bees remain productive and happy. By filling a water dish, creating a small pond, or even just leaving a faucet to slowly drip, you’ll be providing a means by which the bees will be able to regulate their hive temperature and create better honey.

Predators

Wherever you choose to set up your hive, be sure that the area is free from animals or other insects that might try to raid the colony. Pets and children should also be kept away from the bees as serious injury could result from an unintentional disturbance of the hive.

Remember, your bees will instinctively make the most out of whatever area they find themselves in. However, if you can provide the optimal conditions, they will reward you with a rich harvest.

Now, it’s time to introduce your little friends to their new home and start the hive.

About the Author: Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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FREE: Aquaponics Information - A Gold Mine

Photo by: U.S. Department of Agriculture

From time to time, Al Hodges sends me a collection of material that he put together from all over the internet in regards to Aquaponics.  His collection continues to grow.  If you are interested in Aquaponics, this information is a gold mine!

You can see his previous work here and here.  This time, I have placed his research on Google Drive where you can view it in the cloud and I have created PDF’s if you want to download it to your machine.

There is so much information here that I have not had a chance to go through it all.  If you find this information helpful drop Al a line here in the comment section.

Google Drive – In the Cloud
Anyone Should be able to view this.

PDF – Download
Adobe Reader Required

 

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The Unpredictability of People and What You Can Do About It

People are unpredictable.  Sometimes, they zig when you think they are going to zag.  Knowing how to read people AND situations is an important part to anyone’s preparedness.  This is true if you’re just going to the store or you think there is a potential for a future where people won’t be too friendly.  Spending a little time working through scenarios and situations is a great way to start problem solving what you might want to do to help keep yourself or your family safe if the need arises.

About 15 years ago, I started playing online games.  I started with MOHAA (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault).  MOHAA was a great game.  It was a first person shooter game where you could use different kinds of rifles to shoot bad guys.  Single player was pretty boring and it didn’t hold my attention too long.  The real fun was when I started going online and playing against other people….real people, not bots or against the computer.  Playing against others brought on a different dimension to the game.  Yeah, noobs did the predictable thing, but experienced players were a challenge.  Sometimes so much that you yelled at your computer and cursed the HACKERS! (sorry…flashback….)

I soon hooked up with others online.  We regularly played together.  We chatted using Xfire and teamed up against others. I played with some of these guys for years…Aftershock, DesertFox, Sgt. Barns…to name a few.  We moved from MOHAA to CounterStrike Source, Call of Duty 4 and eventually played Left for Dead and Left for Dead 2.  We still keep in touch on Facebook.

The point is, the more someone played, the better they got.  They learned tricks and tips.  And if they weren’t a glutton for punishment, they would learn from their mistakes and do better next time.  This is the same idea behind scenario based training.

I don’t play online games anymore, I just don’t have time.  But there are games, low-tech, available that can help preppers problem solve through scenarios and think about what they would do in a given situation….

Conflicted – One of my favorites right now is Conflicted.  Basically, a deck of cards has “End of the World” type scenarios on each card.  Someone in a group draws a card, reads it out loud and answers how they would respond.  There are so many variations to playing it.  But the thing is that it gets people thinking about how they would respond.  It also allows you to see how people in your group might respond.

Recently, the brains behind Conflicted came out with another deck.  They are very reasonably priced at $14.95.  Purchase Here.  Think guys night out, family night, camp out or use the cards as an ice breaker… ;-)  If you would like to read my review on Conflicted, click here.

Doom & Bloom Survival – Two of my most favorite people in preparedness have created a game.  Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of Doom & Bloom have created Doom & Bloom Survival and are currently getting it funded through Kickstarter.

This game is a board game.  It has characters and challenges and items you need to stockpile.  Each time you play, the game is different.  Again, your reaction and decisions will be crucial to winning the game.

 

The thing I like about Kickstarter is that you get to support an endeavor and also get something in return.  I have backed the Doom and Bloom Survival Game and can’t wait to get my board game.  To get more info. about this game, watch the video above and visit the Kickstarter site – Click Here.

Conclusion - Games will never take the place of the real thing.  But rehearsing through “what-if’s” is very powerful.  In my post, Mental Rehearsal, I quote Dr. Williams where he states that mental rehearsal is a great way to enhance and build upon skill development.  So build your skills AND use play time to reinforce them. ;-)

Do you play in survival based games?

p.s.  The video below is from the MOHAA days. ;-)

 

 

 

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Survival Situation? 5 Items to Include in Your Prepper Car Kit.

Photo by: State Farm

Todd’s Note: This guest post discusses keeping and maintaining a car kit.  This is a good idea for every vehicle that you own.  After reading these ideas, what would you add?  What do you carry in your vehicle?

You’ve done the research, made a plan and stocked up on non-perishables, and now your home is a prepper’s paradise. But what if an emergency happens while you’re on the road? Many preppers have created bug-out bags (aka BOBs) to keep in their vehicle for this scenario. Beyond the fairly obvious items like food and water, the following five items are Car BOB must-haves:

First-Aid Kit

Create your own first aid kit, as opposed to buying one at the local drug store. This way, you can customize it to include the things you know you would would want and use. In addition to items like Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment and hand sanitizer, the kit should contain medicine that family members take on a regular basis. Since most BOBs are created with a three-day rule (keep enough of everything on hand to survive three days) in mind, be sure to include enough prescription medication to last at least 72 hours. Freshen up your first-aid kit every six months or so; rotate the medications with fresh doses, and be sure the expiration dates on the other items have not passed.

Set of Auto Tools

Keep a vehicle tool set in your trunk. Make sure it includes a screwdriver, crescent wrench, ratchet set and spark plugs that fit the car. Keep quality tires on your vehicle and follow these tire maintenance tips, so you can meet just about any situation—but always have a tire iron, jack and full-size spare on hand as well, just in case.

Todd’s Note – Sometimes it’s a pain to get to your spare, but you want to make sure that it is good and filled with air!  I would also add a 12volt air compressor…or at least that’s what I’ve done.

Some Sort of Shelter

Woman camping and cooking with portable gas stoveTo make it for 72 hours or so, you are going to need to stay warm and dry. Your Car BOB should contain a tent, and you should practice setting it up ahead of time. Add a sleeping bag that can handle the elements, as well as a tarp or a sleeping pad to set the tent on.

Todd’s Note – Many times, it might be better to stay with your vehicle.  In cold months, you can keep a cheap heater in your vehicle.  Just make sure to vent it!

Duct Tape

Include a big roll of sturdy duct tape. From fixing torn tents to taping up broken windows and more, duct tape will come in handy in a plethora of ways.

A Reliable Light Source

Every BOB should have at least two light sources and backup batteries. For most preppers, this means keeping two new and reliable flashlights in their car, as well as packs of replacement batteries. Like the medication in the first-aid kit, be sure to check the batteries regularly and replace them with fresh ones with far-off expiration dates. Also, make sure your flashlights actually work; you don’t want to find out the bulbs have burned out when you’re in the middle of an emergency. If you have room for more flashlights, add them in; it’s almost impossible to have too many reliable sources of light.

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Do Preppers Know the Future of Medicine? 5 Ways to Prepare Now!

Photo by: Keith Ramsey

In the context of preparedness, there are a lot of topics that come and go.  I have seen a few trends and have researched topics that are important to me at various times in my journey.  But one topic has been important to me since the beginning, the topic of health and medical preparedness.  I feel it is easy (or easier) to learn about building shelters, starting fires, purifying water, etc…  But for most of the world who lives outside of preparedness and many of us who are becoming more prepared,  health and medical preparedness is something that is a little scary.  The main reason that health and medical preparedness is scary, outside of obtaining gear and meds is that we have grown up with the ability to go to the doctor whenever we are sick.  We have come to the belief that since doctors have all this “education” and “knowledge” that they know exactly what we need when we are sick.

So, preparing can seem a little daunting if we don’t have a medical professional in our midst.  I mean, you can purchase all the gear and meds you want on Amazon.  But if you don’t have someone who has the “knowledge” of how to take care of you, what are you going to do?

Not too long ago in our history, we didn’t have modern medicine, hospitals, specialized doctors, etc…  Many ailments and sicknesses were taken care of at home or someone in the town/village knew how to help.  People learned what to “look-for” and prepared home remedies and used common sense to help their loved ones get better.  Today, we run to the doctor for every little sniffle and get antibiotics, even when we don’t really need them.  We’ve lost that “common sense” and the “look-fors” and most importantly, those home remedies.  It’s time to get it back!

A lot of medical preparedness is based on a SHTF scenario.  The idea is that you are caught out in the middle of nowhere and someone needs medical attention OR the Poop has really Hit the Fan and you are now MadMax.  But I feel that with our current medical situation; the AFFORDable CARE Act coupled with the economy and what people can really AFFORD, that more and more people are going to think twice about going to the doctor and are going to become more interested in home remedies and that “common sense” that is not so common.

So what can a prepper do to obtain this “knowledge” to help others feel better when they are sick?  I’m not a medical professional, so you have to measure what I say against what you feel is best for you and your family.  But this is what I’m doing…

Read Articles/Visit Websites on Medical Preparedness

I believe that the second preparedness website that I ever visited was Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s Doom and Bloom website.  I feel I have learned a lot from their material (see more below).  I can also say that I have spent time with them and they are legit, not out to make a buck!

But I also read articles and watch videos from others in the medical preparedness niche.  As a result, some of the biggest tags at Prepper Website are the medical and health tags.  You will find pages and pages of medical preparedness related articles there.  You know that if you visit a link from PW, that it is coming from a preparedness website and not a random site on Google.

Stock Up on Medical Supplies

Supplies will run out.  But while you can, it is prudent to stock up on supplies.  There have been many articles on stocking up at dollar stores.  I have purchased some things from dollar stores.  But for me, Amazon is my friend.  I think you need to be strategic and make smart purchases.  So you should also look for sales.

I do have one of the big medical kits from Doom and Bloom.  A friend of mine who is a nurse at a hospital was very impressed with the kit.  I have also made my own smaller kit to take with me, which is much easier to carry than the big medical kit.  But you shouldn’t be satisfied with just a few medical kits.  Here is an article with medical kit supply inventory lists that can help point you in the right direction.

Acquire Medical Books

I know I’m the biggest Doom & Bloom fanboy here, but you need to get their Medical Survival book.  It is a must!  Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy write for when the SHTF.  Many others give advice and then say, “seek medical assistance.”  But one of the reasons we are interested in medical preparedness is for when there isn’t any medical assistance.

I have also picked up books at Half Price Books.  Most of the ones I purchased where in the clearance section and were purchased for just a few bucks!

You can also find FREE books online.  For example, Where There is No Doctor and Where There is No Dentist are free downloads, if you take the time to download the individual chapters.  If you have a tablet or a laptop with the Amazon Kindle App, you can find free books to download.  Gaye Levy, over at Backdoor Survival, usually posts about FREE Kindle books on her Facebook page.  Another Facebook page that shares FREE Kindle books is Preparing for SHTF.

Learn About & Use Herbs

Before there was modern medicine, the world used natural herbs.  It is pretty amazing when you start to research the healing properties of many of the things we only use to cook with.  If you think about it, most medicine is a derivative of something found in nature, which means you can grow a lot of what you need yourself.

Echinacea – Photo by: Manuel Martín Vicente

When my throat starts feeling soar, I start taking a honey, lemon and garlic mix.  Recently, when I started to feel run down, I remembered a Hot Echinacea Tincture that I purchased online from Frugally Sustainable.  This stuff is HOT!  So I couldn’t take it straight.  But I mixed two droppers in a cup of Chamomile tea and honey.  I drank the tea and tincture in the morning, at work and in the evening.  I also used some essential oil on my feet at night and after two days, I was a lot better!  I’ve made the tea and tincture for others, but it is hard for them to truly believe that it works.  It does!  And now that I’m a little more familiar with herbs and etc… I can make it myself.

Making tinctures and using natural remedies isn’t that hard.  You just have to do it.  One of my favorite websites for herbal remedies is the Herbal Survivalist.  Nick has recently started doing videos, so you can see him prepare these natural remedies in real time.  This takes some of the mystery away from using herbs as you see for yourself how easy it is to make tinctures, salves, etc…

I have also recently found an ebook that looks very promising.  Surviving with Nature by Melissa Bull has over 1200 alternative remedies for 79 ailments.  At this time, the ebook is very affordable.  I spoke a little about it in one of my sermons not too long ago.

But my tablet is full with many other ebooks on natural remedies, many of them free.  If you want to research herbs and natural remedies, you can check out these TAGS on Prepper Website: herbs, herbal and natural remedies.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are finite.  Just like medical supplies, they will run out.  But a little goes a long way and they are easy to store!  Again, it’s hard to believe that a little oil rubbed on your body is going to make a difference.  But I’ve become a believer!  My wife suffers from headaches, so she has been using Peppermint EO on her forehead and on the back of her neck.  I have also used EO’s when I wasn’t feeling well.  I used Thieves, a germ fighter EO on my feet and put on some clean socks before I went to bed.    I’ve started to do it with my kids too.

As I’ve researched EO’s, I’ve decided to become an affiliate with Spark Naturals.  I rarely work with affiliates because they are a hassle.  But this is something I believe in.  I hope to share my experiences here and on Your Preparedness Story the more I learn about EO’s.

If you are interested in purchasing Essential Oils, you can get 10% off Spark Natural EO’s by using the coupon code: prepperwebsite at checkout.

Conclusion

As I mentioned, I believe that common sense medicine is going to become more and more relevant in our near and distant future.  Those of us who are learning and practicing ancient/common sense or whatever you want to call it medicine, might be in a great position to help others in need.  This just might be the future of medicine.

What do you think?

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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