The winner: Our garbage and recycling bins are located in a hard-to-reach area one level below our deck, so my husband Jerry came up with a great solution. He put a little hole in the lid of each bin and threaded a metal hook through the hole. A string is attached to the deck and the other end is attached to the lid with a sliding hook. Now we can walk out on the deck and pull the string to easily dispose of the trash. When it's time to roll them out, the string is detached by sliding the hook off the ring that is attached to the lid. Jeanette Hartsell, Midland
Clever advice: You may want to check with your waste service before altering their bins.
To see a video of the bin rig in action, go to www.charlotteobserver.com/living/home-garden.
Does paper bag scare away bees?
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As a landscape designer and gardener, I’m often asked what to do about carpenter bees. I don’t like to use pesticides any more than absolutely necessary so I just live with them. So when I saw this goofy remedy on Facebook, I thought I’d give it a try even if just to discredit it. I hung a brown paper bag stuffed with newspaper (to fill it out) on my back porch where bees were furiously buzzing and drilling (wasps, too). By the next day, they were gone and have been for over a week. I figure it looks like a Hornet’s nest and we all know how foul tempered they are. Crazy but worth a try, don’t you think? Lisa Tompkins, Waxhaw
Clever request: If you try this, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know whether it works.