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Bank Holiday Weekend Work

Bit of a damp squib for most of it as I wanted to get out and sort out the bees before I’m away for a few weeks but was held up by the weather.

Got out there on Sunday though and sorted them out. Found a few queen cells which is a precursor for swarming so removed them. My best hive is still my best hive which is very active and almost full. I could do with moving it around this week but won’t be able to.

Planted a few items but my main work was sorting out and packing away. I’ve got several nice solid storage crates which hold about 80L like they use for office moves and which is great for most things. However, tools and similar items are just too heavy when packed in that volume so I have just had several small storage crates, at 25L, delivered. They are OK to lift when fully packed so fits into my rules of making everything lift able by one man.

I want everything to be lift able and carry able by one man in case the eventuality arises that there is only one of you and you need to move out. Going back and forward a few times in better than having to open and unpack in a hectic situation and if you do have to run having a self contained package with everything you can carry is the way to go. I label everything up so you know what is in each container.

One thing I wanted to do but not found out the best way yet is to pack items with an inert gas. I have seen several solutions that involve placing iron wool and salt in a container and sealing it up but I am not happy with that solution as some of the containers are metal and salt and metal are not good bedfellows. I’d prefer a gas that I can release into the containers and then seal but can’t find a reasonable way to do this. So still looking.

I’m also looking at changing my food storage methods. Currently I have stacks of tins in a spare room and I’m looking at making them more modular and thus transportable. The storage crates are not ideal for this as they are not really designed for this. Stacking them in the same way that they are delivered to supermarkets isn’t very good either as they assume a percentage of damaged containers and losses. I can’t afford that especially if they are moved around regularly by ham fisted lifters. By the time we come to open them and use them we could have a considerable loss.

I’ve looked at several options, wooden containers, bubble wrapping everything, bubble wrapping between stacks, small shrink wrapped packages, small storage crates and all have their issues regarding aspects of food storage. Either they won’t travel well, they are difficult to store, check for damage or leaks. In my view the only real way to store them is keep them in little trays like they are delivered, still shrink wrapped if you can, but if not shrink wrap them and then pile them up in easily manageable blocks. Try not to pile them too high though. This is where racking comes in. I have enough storage crates, racking and packaging materials to start my own removals business.

Shrink wrapping and packing away is going to start in earnest over the next few weeks.

4 comments to Bank Holiday Weekend Work

  • Fred

    Shrink wrapping can be quite protective.

  • Illini Warrior

    in regard to using inert gas to preserve food … in The States, before 02 absorbers came into common usage in the mid 1990’s …. dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) (cardice in UK) was used to create CO2 gas in a container that misplaced the 02 …. basically a small piece of dry ice is allowed to “melt” and fill the container – important – don’t place lid on the container until dry ice is totally melted ….

  • Skean Dhude


    Welcome and thanks for the info. Dry Ice is something worth investigating. I’ll have a look at generating my own from CO2.

  • Survival Skvez

    There are a number of options:

    1] Consume the oxygen. This can be done by placing active hand warmers into the package and sealing it. The active hand warmer continues to warm, consuming O2 until it runs out of O2. This should remove enough of the O2 to stop any biological activity in the sealed package.

    2] Displace the oxygen. This can be done by placing dry ice (solid CO2) on the top of the package and letting it vaporise. The gaseous CO2 should fall into the package and displace the air/O2, then you seal. In order for this to work you have to ensure that you don’t seal too early (air not displaced) or too late (Brownian motion has allowed too much air back in). Drafts and other air currents are you enemy with this method. In theory any CO2 source should work as long as the CO2 can be applied gently (setting off a fire extinguisher towards your box creates too much air flow). If you have a CO2 source there should be no need to try and create Dry-ice with it fisrt. While CO2 is denser than air in its own rite, the CO2 being cold will also help it fall into your container.

    3] Remove the Oxygen. Some form of vacuum pump to remove (most of) the air from your box before you seal it.

    I store my cans in plastic boxes with lids. They can be stacked three or four high before the bottom box begins to crush. Are easily moved (boxes have handles) and the boxes can be labelled to allow an index of what is in each box.

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