It was minus 19.7 this morning at 4:10 AM.
The concrete finisher was here at nine and the job went well. The pouring was done by noon, and then he stuck around until evening, toweling the surface periodically. After supper, he put on the sealer coat and gave me instructions for another coat tomorrow.
At three, I went to Global again, with a forklift to load Meijers' patties and they returned here for supper. For the second day in a row, Dennis had failed to check for fire in the stoker when he left for the day and there was no heat. Moreover, the sealer fumes were strong, and until we turned on the exhaust fan, we were annoyed by the smell.
Today..Snow. Wind increasing to east 20 km/h. High minus 18.
Cold wind chill minus 29. Risk of frostbite.
It's minus 20.5 this morning and dull outside. We got another centimeter or so of snow overnight, and the forecast is for continuing cold, with Thursday the first possible day for moderating temperatures. Even then, minus six is the high promised.
We actually got up to minus nine today and it was actually quite nice out at mid-day. Paulo went over to Creekside Sand and picked up some pallets. Matt found the heater core on the 4X4 is leaking (down the firewall inside the engine compartment) and I guess that explains where the antifreeze has been going.
It also shows that it does not pay to simply ignore the disappearance of vital fluids. When we do, we risk missing something important that can develop into a big expense. That is what happened with the Olds (still in the hospital). I should have realized that the timing chain had jumped and put the car on ice until we fixed that one little problem. Instead, I bent all the valves and wound up going over the whole engine.
Speaking of the Olds, Matt is just finishing assembling the engine and it should be ready for the road again tomorrow. Maybe I'll go on a road trip snowboarding and visiting friends west of here. I have been very disappointed to discover my snowboard(s) will not even nearly fit into the trunk of the Buick. It is surprising how much smaller it is than the Olds. If I do go, I'll have to leave some work for the crew.
This evening a concrete finisher called and wants to pour the floor tomorrow morning at 11. So, I should be here at 9, then again at 11:30 while the finishing is underway, if I want things done right. I have to drive Ellen to the ophthalmologist's by 10 and get the tires serviced. (They put the whitewalls to the inside when they installed them the other day and it looks dumb -- especially with whitewalls on the other wheels). In the afternoon, I have to meet Meijers at Airdrie to pick up the remaining patties, then return home in time to entertain. It promises to be hectic day.
When the weather breaks, we must get out to start feeding patties and checking the colonies. There is still a mountain of frames to boil for the wax. the season is picking up and the next weekend after the one coming up is Easter
Today..A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of flurries.
Wind east 20 km/h in the afternoon. High minus 14. Cold wind chill minus 25
this afternoon. Risk of frostbite.
It is minus 16.5 again this morning and I am sure this is beginning to hurt the bees, but there is nothing we can do but wait it out. A plus three day is promised for Thursday, but forecasts change often, so we really don't know. Maybe we'll get a Chinook (2). (Later...) I don't know where I got that idea. The forecast now is for continued cold. I guess they changed it when I wasn't looking (Later yet... Nope. I see now I was reading the Normals).
Today is Jean's birthday and around now, we are usually seeing runoff. Currently we have 6 inches of snow and there is no sign of melting.
Dennis and his kids came over and went snowmobiling. Then Dennis pulled me around on the snowboard. Then Matt came over. We pulled him around on the snowboard (his first try), and then I went again. We're off to P-Ss for supper.
Today..Mainly cloudy with flurries. Wind becoming northeast
20 km/h. High minus 15. Cold wind chill minus 25. Risk of frostbite.
More snow coming and continuing cold. Jean Chris and I met in Cochrane and drove out to Nakiska for an afternoon on the hill. The snow was excellent, but the temperature dropped and by 3:30 it was minus twenty and we decided to head home. The drive is 200 km exactly from my place and takes two hours. The Buick is now running beautifully and getting 27 miles per gallon at 110 KPH.
We wanted to be back by six anyhow, since we were all planning to go to the wild Game supper which is a local tradition. The WGS is served in an old one room school which serves as the Three Hills Rural Association's meeting hall. We met up with Walt, Bill, Fen, and Flo there and had a great country style meal. I was very lucky in the draws at the WGS and won two bottles of wine, a hat, and two cups. After, we came back to our place to visit and to eat birthday cake, since tomorrow is Jean's birthday. Jonny, Julie, Dave, and Bert also showed up for the evening..
Today..Snow. Wind north 20 km/h. High minus 16. Cold wind
chill minus 28. Risk of frostbite.
It is cold and overcast again. Minus 12.7 C, in fact, and predicted to get cooler. We have another dusting of snow and Paulo is out blowing it off the vehicles. Otherwise snow turns to ice and when we want to use the truck or car, it is a mess.
Today we are back to cutting out the combs and hope to have lots more done before the truck arrives to take them to the renderer.
Ellen & I went to Three Hills to meet Walt for the turkey buffet they serve every Friday night. Walt loves turkey, but his wife abhors cooking or eating anything with feathers, so we three go out for supper once in a while.
Jean & Chris started out to come to Swalwell, but the roads north of Red Deer were so bad they turned back. I don't know if we are still on for Nakiska tomorrow. I expect they will be here for the Wild Game supper tomorrow night though.
Today..Snow developing near midday. Wind north 20 km/h. High
Minus ten point nine C at 4:25 AM. Still cold.
I don't like this cold weather, but am not certain that it does actual harm to the bees wintering outside. I think it tends to keep the bees in the hives and tightly clustered, and that may be a good thing. If they get too far ahead of the season and start raising too much brood before reliable pollen comes in, they risk wearing themselves out.
I've read that people in the States are finding their hives short of feed after a warm winter and think I had better check ours personally before too long. We did some checks, but Paulo is not well trained to spot light hives, although he was looking for indications. We deliberately fed a bit less last fall, since in previous years we were finding hives so plugged with feed that they had trouble finding room to raise brood to expand in spring. It is time now to load a truck with a feeder and patties so it is ready to go out to put on patties when the weather improves. The last week of March is my usual start time. That is one week away now, and I put the guys on full shifts last week.
We are cutting out the old frames that have accumulated over the last few years and hope to have that done within a week or so. I came across one with aluminum foundation and measured it out of curiosity. The distance across 20 cells was 10 cm exactly. That gives 5.0 mm cells.
We did another (the second) beekeeper's samples and found both varroa and nosema, but no tracheal -- so far. We only checked twenty bees from the sample and he said to do another twenty to be sure.
Today..A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries.
Wind light. High minus 5.
The morning is starting off foggy and minus eleven. There is a dusting of new snow. By 8:20 the fog burned off and it looks like a sunny day.
After talking to another BeeMaid member this morning about a number of matters, I decided to set up a discussion group for active BeeMaid members. If you are a member shipping 40,000 pounds or more, write me to get onto the list.
Matt & I rebuilt the coal stoker today and finished around six. We discovered the gearbox needs work, so that is a project for another day. Dennis is finally finished the floor project and we can pour concrete anytime now.
We received our second outside sample to analyze today and it will be interesting to compare other beekeepers' mite and nosema levels to our own (which tested zero on all counts).
Today..Morning fog giving visibilities near zero. Otherwise
mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind light. High minus 6.
It's minus eleven and overcast. The days are getting noticeably longer as the vernal equinox (2) approaches. It is now only 60 days until we are in the midst of splitting hives, and two weeks until we put on pollen patties.
I set up a yahoogroups list for the people who attended the research meeting in Calgary. So far no replies.
The cutting out of old combs continues. In the afternoon, I ran over to Meijers and picked up a loader/forklift they are selling to try it out.
Allen's Link of the Day: Queen Excluder or Honey Excluder?
Today..Morning fog patches otherwise a mix of sun and cloud.
Wind light increasing to southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High zero.
It's another cold morning: minus fifteen. The forecast is for warming though and we are going to do some outside jobs when it warms up. Dennis has about finished breaking the concrete in the furnace room, and Paulo is getting good at breaking out combs. We'll get Dennis on that too, soon.
I went to Three Hills in the afternoon to get new tires and a wheel alignment .
Allen's Link of the Day: Online Dictionaries
Today..A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southwest 30
gusting to 50 km/h this afternoon. High plus 3.
Allen's Link of the Day: Canadian Honey Council
I'm off to Sunshine Village
I left at 8:45 and had to stop in Canmore to see Mike to pick up my park pass, which was left behind when my car broke down in early Feb. Mike was busy with an ice climbing festival at the ice wall. I arrived at Sunshine at noon and got an afternoon ticket.
It was clody and windy most of the afternoon, but there was lots of power snow. I had a great time and left around 3:30. So... I drove for six hours to spend three hours snowboarding. Sounds dumb, but then there is no way to describe the experience. Besides the drive is a beautiful one, across the foothills and up the Bow River Valley and into the Rocky Mountains. The sun shone everywhere except on the hill.
Today..Mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming west 20 km/h. High