Building practice. First bees arrive.

After practical excercises in Ērgļi I had to find myself a building practice. I could build at home, but I had no tools except for my fathers chainsaw. So I contacted local enterprises, but they did not reply.

I took a closer look at their websites and understood that they make everything by some very expensive machines, so logs are all nice, even and round. I don’t understand why people like these lego houses. They are of course cheaper than human made. Many busstops are made that way, because Latvian public procurement has a principle that the cheapest wins. But I rearly saw these strange toyhouses at private owners.

Then a friend told me about new traditional culture center in Rugāji, Balvi region. They make logbuildings there, so I contacted a builder and found out that they already made everything in their hangar in March, but they desperately would like my help in transportation and mantling. I understood that it shall be very little of notches and more about powerlifting, so I decided to visit a friend and help him build his sauna.

He has a nice place in the forest with beautiful old cars.

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And one can admire mastership of old craftsmen in the past.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And cute dogs. A small one is Tina, because she resembles Tina Turner.

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We could not work for some time because I had back problems again, but as soon as I got alright, we started.

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Then we visited some friends who were upgrading some old sauna built more than hundred years ago without base. So they made base, replaced some logs and added second floor via some modern techniques.

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Then I visited Equilibre in Estonia to learn more about base making for a strawbale house.

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In the end I returned to Ērgļi and received a phonecall from Andris, who was practicing notches at home, an exam was soon after all. He invited me to visit him in Koknese, where they had some before-solstice folk events, where I of course took part with my fiddle.

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My father then informed me that he caught bees in our garden and put it in the hive which I gave to him as a birthday present some years ago. In the evening they calmed down in the bush and created a ball on the branch. My father asked neighbours for some advice, where he got beekeeping masks and smoker as extra. Then he saw the branch and put it inside a hive. He told me that this is as far, as he is going to deal with those insects. I am afraid of bees as well, but my excitement about simbiosis with nature is bigger than that. A few weeks later I tried to take the branch out, make some order and expand the beehive. It was my first experience with bees alone. Before I had only theoretical seminars and once I assisted a beekeeper in july works.

I removed this branch, and decided to leave the cells as they are for now. Some segment separated and was lost to the hive. I also almost lost the mother outside, but I managed to find her and put back into the hive. I am taking no honey this year, because they might lack food in winter.

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About Pavels Melnis

Independent ecology activist, family farmer, gardener and forestkeeper. Musician: violin, guitar, singing. Hobbies: traveling by bicycle, learning to play different music instruments - accordion, piano, recorder flute, harmonica, drums; languages, theology, prehistory, logbuilding, repairing and recycling. Religious. Ecological. Love all things ethnic and traditional.
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