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Monday December 31st, 2001
Last year on this date

The last several days have been cold and overcast.  The temperature first thing today is minus 16C.  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 13 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.

Mainly sunny. Wind light. High minus 13.
Clear. Wind light. Low minus 21.

Sunday December 30th, 2001
Last year on this date

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.

Mainly sunny. Wind light. High minus 13.
Clear. Wind light. Low minus 21.

Saturday December 29th, 2001
Last year on this date

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.

Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind light. High minus 12.
Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind southeast 20 km/h diminishing. Low minus 19.

Friday December 28th, 2001
Last year on this date

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.

Greetings All, 

Allen posted a request for information about other pre made pollen substitutes on the market. Around the St. Louis area, many of us use a pollen sub called Bee Pol, produced by International Ingredients Company. It is sold in 50 pound bags, and priced a quite a bit lower than Mann Lake, or other supplements on the market. Dr. Ray Nabors did a study on the effectiveness of this particular pollen substitute, and it surpassed the others that are on the market today...

... For more info, and a copy of the fact sheet and probably a copy of the Nabors' research, contact them via phone or snail mail. I have used this before, fed both wet and dry and it works great. One of our locals has designed and placed a pollen tray on top of his hives all winter long, because around here the past few years, winter weather has been warm enough to break cluster every couple of days. His hope is that the bees will use the substitute more readily, and come through winter stronger, and build up faster. We will see what happens. 

Happy Holidays to all! 

and this:

In 2001, Dadant introduced their Brood Builder and I have heard glowing reports.  

B & B also introduced a product that I understand was used fairly extensively in Calif.  I forget the name.  800-342-4811.

I have not tried either, as I always trap lots of pollen for my 100-hive operation.

Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc.
Manufacturer of round comb honey equipment and Sundance pollen traps

and this:

Hi Allen,
A commercial beekeeper in NW MN has developed a liquid protein feed that he claims is giving good results.  
I have not tried it but you might want to check it out.  
He sells the concentrate and you add it to syrup and feed that way.  
No need to make up patties etc so the labor savings would be significant.

Dale Bauer
Bauer Honey Inc
RR 2 Box 265
Fertile MN  56540


Here's another worthwhile reference

Richard & Connie came by for a late afternoon visit and stayed for supper.

30 percent chance of morning flurries then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind light. High minus 10.
Clear. Wind light. Low minus 21.

Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.

Thursday December 27th, 2001
Last year on this date

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.

Sunny. Wind light becoming northwest 20 km/h. High zero.
Partly cloudy. Wind northwest 20. Low minus 17. Wind chill minus 25.

Wednesday December 26th, 2001
Last year on this date

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.

Sunny. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High minus 1.
Clear. Wind west 20. Low minus 9.

Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.

Tuesday December 25th, 2001
 Christmas Day 
Last year on this date

EnlargeJean 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.

Sunny. Wind increasing to northwest 20 km/h. High plus 3.
Clear. Wind northwest 20 km/h. Low minus 7.

Monday December 24th, 2001
 Christmas Eve 

Last year on this date

Jean and Chris came for the day and stayed over.  We're all went to Elliott's for a turkey supper.

Sunny. Wind light. High plus 2.
Clear. Wind light. Low minus 6.

Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 3.

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