Monday December 31st, 2001
The last several days have been cold and overcast. The temperature first thing today is minus 16ºC. We're using more coal, and going outside is less pleasant. We had planned to go skiing today, but the high in Banff is forecast to be minus 13º and that can be on the cold side. I consider minus ten to be the cut-.off unless we are very anxious to get out there.
I am exercising once or twice a day now and find that the walking, lifting, etc. grows on me, now that I am getting into a routine. If I miss my workout, I notice my metabolism drops and I get listless. However I am weighing in at 237 this morning. Guess the scale is broken?
I finalized my plans to attend the AHPA convention in Arizona and got the air tickets, car, etc. all arranged. Joe Meijer and I are going to travel and room together. I haven't heard back from Aaron. I was initially reluctant to plan for more than a few extra days, but then looked back at last year's trip to the ABF convention in San Diego and realized that I should probably commit to at least a week extra. The additional cost is not that great, and there is a chance it may pay off. Last year I had allowed extra time and planned to visit some beekeepers, but had a bad cold and was not enthused when the opportunity was presented. Maybe this year will be different.
I'm sorry not to be going to the ABF, but it is farther away, Joe wanted to go to this one, and the AHPA preliminary program looks much better. Last year the preliminary ABF program appeared inferior, but when I got there -- I went because I preferred San Diego to Texas -- it turned out that the actual ABF program was every bit as good as the AHPA's except for Bill Wilson's retirement party, which I am sorry to have missed. Frankly I cannot distinguish between the two associations when I attend the meetings, other than the people in attendance. There is no apparent difference to an outsider. I shall miss seeing my ABF friends, this year though.
Jean and Chris came down late in the day and Fen came over too for the evening. We stayed up until midnight playing board games and watching movies, then called it a day -- and a year.
Sunday December 30th, 2001
Another day of doing not too much. I slept in, spent some time on the internet, asembled the saw and two heaters we bought, filtered some mead, and that was about it.
Fen came by in the evening for a visit.
Saturday December 29th, 2001
El & I went to Red Deer to do a little shopping -- I needed a chop saw for the lid project -- and met up with Jean and Chris there.
We returned in time to meet Joe for supper at the Athens Restaurant in Three Hills, then went home to discuss the design of the hive lids we will be building soon.
Friday December 28th, 2001
I started the day off with some exercise and felt better all day for having done so.
The time for making spring patties is fast approaching, so I've been rooting around in the BEE-L archives for an hour or so, going over what we have discussed about pollen supplementation and substitution over the past decade or so. I realize that there is really no substitute for real fresh high quality pollen, but wonder what is new this year on the market or in peoples' minds.
In past years, we have been using yeast and soy and sugar with enough (3%) pollen to attract bees or the same formula without pollen. This is is summarized at my pollen patty page
The supplier we used -- California Spray Dry -- has apparently stopped drying yeast due to energy problems and we have heard that there is a supplier in Kansas that is as good, but we are also noticing that maybe the price spread between Bee-Pro and yeast is not what it used to be.
Since we have to make some changes, anyhow, we are wondering if there are any new commercial feeds on the market and if we should use a commercial diet instead of our own mix.
Is Bee-Pro a good substitute? Is it better than yeast? Is there a competitor on the market that is giving Mann Lake a run for its money?
I took this to BEE-L and got some response.
Here's another worthwhile reference
Richard & Connie came by for a late afternoon visit and stayed for supper.
Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.
Thursday December 27th, 2001
We awoke to a fog that obscured even our Quonset. It soon burned off, leaving a wonderland of hoar frost covered trees and roofs.
I continued to tidy up my computer. El went to the city to get glass for here stained glass work.
All in all, I accomplished very little.
Wednesday December 26th, 2001
We spent the day cleaning house and tidying. It's amazing how much accumulates if you don't keep at ai all year.
Bert and Fen came by for supper.
Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.
Tuesday December 25th, 2001
Jean and Chris left for his sister's around noon. El & I chatted with relatives by phone during the day , went for a long snowmobile ride, and spent an otherwise quiet day tidying up. I also put quite a bit of time into re-organizing the backups on my computers.
Monday December 24th, 2001
Jean and Chris came for the day and stayed over. We're all went to Elliott's for a turkey supper.
Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 3.