Posted by: Gregoryno6 | September 27, 2010

Home remedies.

I’ve had an ongoing problem with bees in my back shed. A few years ago they decided it would be an ideal place to set up home.

The shed dates back to the 1960s, I would guess. It’s old-style cement sheet over a wooden frame. With the passing years some of the sheets have shrunk or come loose, and every springtime one bee would discover the wall cavities and bring the whole damn tribe along.

It wouldn’t be such a problem if they’d chosen the northern end of the shed. But they went for the south end, which is only a few metres from the back door. And right behind the compost bin.

Solutions? I tried filling in the gaps. Pollyfilla, wood filler – ha. Do you know bees EAT that stuff? The little bastards would get to nibbling before it was dried in place.

Obviously, I had to be more enterprising.

Two layers of wire netting. First layer fixed with double-sided tape, the second with gaffer tape.

Not exactly cheap, but it’s been quite effective. The vertical covers have been in place for two or three years now and there hasn’t been a nuisance bee anywhere. I left the horizontals, but I noticed the fillers were beginning to break up. Also, I didn’t have a ladder. But the green bin in lower right made an adequate substitute. This photo was taken from the back door, so you can see just how the proximity was a concern. Not to mention the fascination bees have for clothes on the washing line…

My CD player and LP turntable have been troublesome for a long time too. CDs would skip on the first couple of tracks, especially in the cooler months. Some internet research suggested the problem might be dried lubricant on the mechanism that moves the player’s laser backward and forward. On most players this is a belt operated mechanism. When I opened up my Rotel, I found that the laser sits in a small tray with a toothed edge along one side. The teeth mesh with a gearwheel, and sure enough, at one end of the teeth I found some excess lubricant.

Fixing this also required some bucks. I bought some isopropyl alcohol from Dick Smith, and ceramic grease from a hobby store. Ceramic grease? I was dubious too, but when I asked for it, that’s what it said on the box. With a little isoprop on a cotton bud I cleaned the teeth on the player’s tray, then added an infinitesimal dab of grease to make it all nice and fresh again.

Unfortunately the cotton bud wasn’t able to get right in to the teeth and some of the old lube was left behind. After a few weeks of absolutely flawless service I’ve noticed a few CDs skipping again. So today we go in again. This time equipped with a tool better designed for narrow places…

(At the pharmacy:)

“I need to buy a mascara brush.”

(Pharmacist lifts one eyebrow.)

“It’s for my CD player.”

(Pharmacist takes brush from the display with sneering disbelief.)

Fixing the CD gave me confidence to tackle the turntable. However, when I tested it after some years of nonuse, it performed without problems and has continued to do so. This is quite a relief, given that it first began acting strangely the same day I saw this movie in 2005. Nothing necessitates a change of underwear like an LP that starts spewing satanic babble the same day you see a flick about Him Downstairs… I tried the turntable a few times later, but always it was stuck between 33 and 45.

Whowhatever was causing the problem, it seems fine now.


  1. Enterprising as always…my father used macadamia nuts for the strangest repairs….it’s a needs must thing, isn’t it? Love the gaffer tape solution…

    • my father used macadamia nuts for the strangest repairs
      Don’t be shy, share a few.

  2. he often used them as bumpers, so you wouldn’t stick yourself with the end of a sharp piece of dowel. For example, he used a piece of thin dowelling with a nut on the end as a curtain holder backer doodad, a little hole drilled into the window, and there you have it, stick the dowel into the hole, nut on the end, and you have a very neat solution…another one was a dowel with nut to lock the home made letterbox, the nut gave enough leverage to allow you to pull the dowel out….

    needs must, as you can see…

  3. and I just realised why I’m not getting notified of the replies….LOL!

    jeeez I’m thick sometimes….

    • Your dad would shake his head and ask himself where your mother had gone wrong.

  4. I have a feeling he may have asked himself that nearly every day of my life, but I am certainly my fathers daughter…!

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