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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:31 am 
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Location: centre France
Bit quiet around here... everyone on holiday or something ?

So, do any of you have problems with insects that build nests in your drones ?

I had this years ago in Australia... I was making a set and roughly assembling the parts when I noticed that the drones were already humming.... My first thought was.... these are Magic Pipes!!... but it turned out that a type of wasp was getting into the drone bores and blocking them up one end with a pithy substance/secretion... then it would murder a few other bugs and pack them in the bore for sustenance of the baby wasps... lay some eggs and seal the other end of the cavity.

Well I do not recall it ever happening in Ireland but yesterday I was doing my daily test playing of a new set and one of the drones did not come on... ok new drone reeds often need a flick or two when playing-in.... to no avail I reset that reed... tried to mouth blow the reed... no air going through.. took out the reed... it worked well... looked down the bore... no light showing at the end of the tunnel ...! Somebody camping in there...aggggh!

So I cleared out the blockage and all was well. The pipes were returned to the same shelf for the night.... tested again this morning.... same problem again! That pesky bug has been at work !

Anyone else have this happen ?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:27 am 
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No such problems with bugs in Canada. But it is recommended that you shake your pipes every spring in case a bear spent the winter hibernating up the bore. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:32 am 
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PJ wrote:
No such problems with bugs in Canada. But it is recommended that you shake your pipes every spring in case a bear spent the winter hibernating up the bore. :P

Only a problem with concert pitch sets. :P I don't think Geoff should worry about anything larger than a hedgehog using the mainstock as a hostel in a flat set...

dave boling

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:23 am 
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There's too much dog and cat hair in mine to allow for any invasive peskies.

And yes, I was on holiday.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:56 am 
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This happens to me all the time. If I pre-bore a blank, those wasps will get in there and block it up. Lots of these critters in Florida.
What I do now is lay a blank in front of the bored ones preventing anything from getting in. They prefer small holes 1/8" or 3/16".


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:03 am 
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Location: Behind the anthracite and shale curtain.
It's a hive of honeyed sound, whaddya expect?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:13 am 
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Might as well stuff some burr comb in one and see if you can attract some honeybees!
At least you'll have a steady supply of beeswax, and maybe something sweeter :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:41 am 
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We have those wasps (or their near relations) in Texas also. Pipes are not a problem, as the room I keep them in has window screens and they can't get in - but out in my workshop, the little sods fill every open bolt-hole in my Indian motorbike and Land Cruiser parts!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:02 pm 
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Look at an 'insect hotel':

Image

and think what do you have in the workshop that looks like it?

Quite a few things, I believe.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:12 am 
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So, maybe I should find something more tempting for the insects Peter ?

I covered the drone exit holes with masking tape and put the set back where it was before, on a shelf in the office.... my wife came out to the workshop a few minutes later saying she had seen the culprit , a small wasp, fly in the window and straight up to that drone endcap... it was perplexed by the taped up hole. :-?

So, I went to see the creature and managed to swat it in mid air..... perhaps that will be the end of the problem... but it is always good to remember these odd happenings .... it's like " check you have fuel in your car before diagnosing a complex problem that does not exist". :poke: :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:54 am 
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Yes, a fellow pipemaker friend of mine lent me a set of C# drones he had made. I had them laying in my workshop for a few months and when I went to blow them I found that they wouldn't sound the way his drones normally purr like a kitten; In fact they wouldn't sound at all. So I blew down the hollow mainstock with my mouth and out from the end of the drones popped a couple of dozen black ants and a bit of ant sand. On further investigation and a few knocks of each drone on the floor revealed a colony of household ants nesting in the drones and mainstock. Once cleared, the drones sounded as good as new.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:48 pm 
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I recall the late Declan Affley telling me about some trouble he once had with the chanter on his Harrington set. It just wouldn't work. He checked the reed; he checked the keys for leaks; everything. Then a cockroach emerged from the end of his chanter -- totally dazed, no doubt. Cockroaches are more than numerous in Sydney. (Even the New South Wales rugby league team is known as The Cockroaches.) The wonder is that it was only one of the little critters!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Quote:
So, maybe I should find something more tempting for the insects Peter ?


Perhaps not, but looking at bug hotels it always strikes me that alot of things in them are much like sticks of cane, drone ends and other bores, piles of wood and things like that. And that would probably explain why insects may take up residence.

Most people will be familiar with the caterpillar in the chanter story from the Miltown reedmaking? Or is that now of a 'certain generation'/

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:03 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:

Most people will be familiar with the caterpillar in the chanter story from the Miltown reedmaking? Or is that now of a 'certain generation'/



Perhaps we'd like to hear of it, even if it generates something :o


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:48 am 
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I'd like to hear it... I also would love to know if there's a story behind Chris Langan's "Earwig in the Chanter" reel.


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