Dandelions are starting to open now. Bill reports they are just buds up in
Matt has gone north to retrieve the forklift and to work on hives. Jeff
started work this morning and went out with Steven to unwrap. Ellen went south
to look at some hives. I went to Three Hills to se the banker.
Annual review time was easy this year, and I was out in a few
I stopped on the way out of town to report the deer accident and was assisted
by a pleasant young officer. Without exception, all the RCMP officers I
have met over the years have been mannerly, helpful people and this one was no
exception. I returned home to meet the insurance adjuster who announced
that the car is likely a complete write-off.
Dave has been working on siding the honey house part of our building and the
work is getting close to finished. The change in appearance is amazing.
Yesterday afternoon we made up some Blue Shop Towel treatments using 20kg of
Crisco and about 20kg of menthol crystals. Here are some pictures of the
process. (See also recipe)
We cut the towels in three instead of two, since I hear that when cut in two,
the treatment may be too strong and kill brood. I figure that having the
towel smaller and a bit farther forward will help reduce this risk.
I have also heard that it is almost 100% effective with half sheets and so I
think I can reduce the power a bit.
After soaking, the towels are drained and placed in gallon ZipLoc bags to
keep the menthol from evaporating.
In the third picture is a remote reading thermometer that can read
temperatures of objects (and people) from several feet away. We bought it to
diagnose engine problems, but anticipate it may be good for determining brood
conditions in a hive and other interesting details we have not imagined yet...
The fourth picture shows the towel on the hive. The procedure calls for
a second towel to be added in ten to fourteen days
Unwrapping continues. We should be done today, but we'll
see. Steven and Jeff unwrapped 375 yesterday. The weather has been
so cold and windy that we have been reluctant to hurry, but there are some jobs
that simply must be done. The new sleeve (individual hive) wraps make some
of the jobs possible regardless of weather, but most of the hives are wrapped in
four packs. It is getting late for Apistan if we want to get it out before
time for supering, so the push is on.
Matt worked on hives that are unwrapped, putting in Apistan and Patties and
menthol. Les continues to unwrap a yard or two every day.
We have 100 queens arriving today. The order was for 200, but we cut it
back a bit since we are having a slow year and we also do not plan to do much
splitting. We decided last year to make increase in the summer and to
leave the hives strong in the spring.
There are still a few yards left to unwrap, but they can be handled in the
flow of other work now.
The queens arrived last night.
Steven and Les came this morning and we went off to do a training
session. I went through the EE Highway yard with Les and
Steven and found 10 extra strong, 10 weak and the rest average. We picked
up the dead-outs and cleaned up. I suppose we could have split a few, but
I think I will save that for a stronger yard. The yards vary quite a bit
in strength. As far as I can tell it depends a lot on the stock in the
hive. We have a variety of stock and the populations and hive weights vary
quite a bit, possibly as a result. We have tried some conservative stock
and is not very compatible with my management and area. Prolific
stocks suit my style the best. The conservative ones don't have enough
brood or bees when I want to split hives, and tend to bee to heavy in
spring. Small populations are more susceptible to excess moisture and bad
weather such as we have had this spring since they have a harder time occupying
the while hive.
Today: Mainly sunny. Wind southeast 20 km/h in the afternoon.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Wind southerly 20 shifting to west 20
overnight. Low 9.
I wrote the following on my Palm m105. Although Graffiti writing is quick and
accurate (more accurate than my typing), I find it tedious to write long
pieces using Graffiti for some reason and like the keyboard better- -- so far,
We worked on two more yards today, picking up dead-outs, cleaning up, putting
in Apistan, grease patties, blue shop towels, and protein patties, and just
generally cleaning up. We are running late compared to most years due to the
late spring, and some hives are still wrapped - the ones in our new single hive
wraps. There is really no rush to unwrap them though since we can work on them
as easily as if they were unwrapped. The extra protection may do them some good,
but it is hard to know for sure since some hives are doing equally well in each
of the wrapped and unwrapped groups.
We found three hives in the second yard that each required a third box - the
bees were covering the floor! We stuck on anther brood box since we are still
medicating. We'll have to split the strongest, I guess, since they will
peak far too soon at the rate they are going. I wonder why these particular
three hives in a windswept yard are so much better than any others we have seen.
It could be any of a number of factors. It could be that these hives were the
product of combining hives in the fall, they could have been the beneficiaries
of drifting, or they could just be genetically superior. I wonder.
The pictures at right show a lot of interesting details and are worth
clicking. There could be a lot to learn by studying the detail.
FWIW, I keep my enlargements at 640 x 480 for economy and speed, but have larger
and much more detailed copies of most images on disk. If anyone really
likes a particular one and asks -- and if I can find a higher resolution
copy on my disk, I am usually be happy to email one out. These images are
suitable for magazine or newsletter covers, etc. If they are to be used
for something like that, I don't mind, as long as I am asked in advance, but I
do like to be asked and given a subscription or some appropriate small token in
Jeff showed up at work this morning with a horrible tooth ache. He had
a white filling put in the other day and now it was causing intense pain.
Both Jon and I had some trouble with the white fillings being cold and pressure
sensitive compared to amalgam, but nothing like this. Jeff's mother got
him in to see the dentist within an hour and the whole thing wound up in a root
canal. I guess that the filling must have been too deep into the tooth and
resulted in infection. Jeff called to say he will be in tomorrow.
Today: Mainly cloudy. Wind southwest 30 gusting 50 km/h this
afternoon. High 18.
Mainly cloudy. Wind diminishing to light. Low 7.