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First dandelionsFirst dandelionsFirst dandelionsFirst dandelions
First dandelionsFirst dandelionsFirst dandelionsFirst dandelions

Wednesday May 9th, 2001, 2000

Click to enlarge
Dandelions are starting to open now.  Bill reports they are just buds up in his area.

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 moments.  

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.

Meijers came for supper and we had a good visit.

Today: A mix of sun and cloud. High 17.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low plus 1.
Normals for the period: Low 2. High 16.

Thursday May 10th, 2001, 2000

Cutting towels on a bandsaw. Click to enlarge

Melting the Crisco. Click to enlarge

Dipping and draining the towels.  Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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

Here is a list of BEE-L references on the topic. 

031577 00/05/03 10:11 45 Re: Winter Losses?
031578 00/05/03 10:40 43 Re: Don's method
031580 00/05/03 11:47 32 Re: Don's method
031583 00/05/03 11:02 27 Re: Don's method
031585 00/05/03 12:46 89 Re: Don's method
031586 00/05/03 12:55 30 Re: Don's method
034401 01/02/06 21:57 25 Re: spring progress
034929 01/03/27 00:21 66 Re: Don's method
Today: A mix of sun and cloud. High 14.Tonight: Mainly clear. Wind light. Low 2  Normals for the period: Low 3. High 16.

Friday May 11th, 2001, 2000

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.

Today: Mix of sun and cloud. Light wind. High 18.
Tonight: Mainly clear. Light wind. Low 4

Saturday May 12th, 2001, 2000

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. High 24.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Wind southerly 20 shifting to west 20 overnight. Low 9.
Normals for the period: Low 3. High 16.

Sunday May 13th, 2001, 2000

I unloaded my truck from Friday and did a little work around the yard.

A mix of sun and cloud. Wind increasing to southwest 30 gusting 50 km/h. High 21.
Partly cloudy. Wind diminishing to light. Low 6.

Monday May 14th, 2001, 2000

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, at least:

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 appreciation.

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.

Tuesday May 15th, 2001, 2000

Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary. We have some new help starting today and a eye doctor's appointment for this afternoon.
Today: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h increasing to 30 this afternoon. High 20.
Tonight: Increasing cloud in the evening. 30 percent chance of showers overnight. Wind west 30 diminishing to light. Low 7.

Wednesday May 16th, 2001, 2000

Today: Mainly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Wind increasing to west 30 gusting 50 km/h this afternoon. High 14.
Tonight: Windy. Wind west 50 gusting 70 diminishing to 30 overnight. Mainly clear. Low 4.

Normals for the period: Low 3. High 17.

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