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Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire.
I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner,
and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl.
Let him come out as I do, and bark.
--- Samuel Johnson ---

Holditchs' Summer Place on Gloucester Pool

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Thursday 10 July 2003
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Today : Sunny with afternoon cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High 23. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight : 30 percent chance of evening showers or thunderstorms otherwise clear. Low 10.
Normals for the period : Low 10. High 23.

Friday 11 July 2003
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In spite of the fact that our accountant recommended that we stop selling things for the rest of this year, I sold my entire extracting line today: four Kelley extractors, and the Dakota Gunness, plus extensions, and the Fager wax press.  I just cannot see the sense in letting good equipment sit around, doing nothing, when people can use it.  I'll figure out the tax problem later.

For that matter, we will sell -- or even rent -- supers, too, if people need them, and I'm sure they do.  With high prices for honey seeming certain to continue, beekeepers need lots of supers, 6 or seven standard boxes (including broods) per hive to get maximum production.  When honey prices are up, it pays to have enough supers.  Being short even one super per hive could cost three times the price of the super itself in lost honey

The price of a drawn super comes back three times over in just one month!  Where else can a beekeeper find an investment like that?  I realize many are short of cash, and afraid to invest until they see the hives plugged up, but I'd hate to have supers sitting in my shed while others are losing income due to a shortage of supers.  We'll trade for honey, or discuss terms, if necessary.  All our supers were used last year, and they can sit for a year or two, if necessary, without much deterioration, but -- once again -- I believe that things are meant to be used, not stored, and we want to clean up our yard, so we plan to move out what we can.

EnlargeEllen & I had planned to take our motorhome for a six week run to the East Coast, but we've decide that, with the yard cleanup and other pressures, and the fact that I am not convinced that the MH is ready to go, we will break the summer up into several trips.  I'll take 10 days and fly to the family cottage in Muskoka, leaving Ellen to hold the fort -- and finish her mural on the community hall -- and later we'll both fly east to Rhode Island to see Jon and Sarah and their two kids.  We'll then drive up to Nova Scotia and PEI, and spend time with friends there.  I had been very much looking forward to attending the EAS meeting in Maine, and even scheduled our trip around it, but have changed my mind. 

Over the years, I've attended many different beekeeping events across the continent and always found myself welcome.  I had thus assumed the EAS meeting to be organized as an open public event, but I have now come to conclude that if I were to attend the EAS meeting, it would be almost like crashing a family party. 

This realization dawned on me slowly.  I was invited to speak at EAS last year, but had been unable to accept due to the fact that the EAS event is scheduled smack in the middle of our extraction season.  Being retired now, and being  -- theoretically at least -- free,  I had therefore planned to attend this year.  I'd put off pre-registration to the very last minute, assuming that it would be a breeze by internet, but found myself confused by the lack of info on the web registration pages when I finally tackled the job a few hours before the deadline.  I'd then enquired on BEE-L, hoping to get some quick assistance before the deadline, but had drawn defensive comments from EAS people that puzzled me until I got this email from a highly placed EAS official, a query that clarified everything perfectly.

> Since you aren't a member, and haven't been, what expectations could
> you have....you don't get the NL, don't attend meetings and don't
> have a history with the group...

The penny dropped!   Living in the West as long as I have -- and having fled Eastern society in my youth after discovering the egalitarian Western existence -- I had failed to note the 'Eastern' and 'Society' part of the EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) name.   I had actually somehow thought that EAS was the name of a meeting, not an actual society.  I now stand corrected.   Ooops!

If I did attend, I'd be tolerated -- and even feel welcomed, if I were to pay up, act grateful, and not ask questions -- but treated quite coldly if I were to reveal any expectations, or even to know in advance exactly what I was paying for or how things work.   Although many EAS members apparently share the view that the event is for all, and welcome and encourage non-member and foreign participation, (some of that group also wrote me offering assistance) the core EAS group apparently think of it as a society event, in the somewhat exclusive Eastern sense of the term.  Thus, it makes sense that the details of the program are a closely held secret, participants are expected to sign up blindly, and, although interlopers are tolerated, they are expected to know their place.  If you know me, you know that is not my style, so I'd best stay away.  Pity.

I pressure-washed Chris' boat today, and Dennis set up Dave's Dakota Gunness to check it out and lube it.  Ruth  and some friends from England had supper with us, then  El & I went down with them to her place to pull fence posts.  She'd sold her mobile home and wanted to take the fence with her.   Bill and  Fen came by in the evening also, to bring over Chris' boom.

Today : Sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h near noon. High 28. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Clear. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 14. / Normals for the period : Low 10. High 23.

Saturday 12 July 2003
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Jean and Chris are coming down today with the intent of doing some sailing.  I also have to get ready to go East, but I've spent an hour or two on this diary. 

I don't know if I will keep it up daily over the summer.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't.  I will be seeing beekeepers and discussing beekeeping issues over the summer and I do have in mind to write some articles about the co-ops and also about how the protectionist embargo maintained by the Eastern and small-time beekeepers who dominate the CHC has cost the Alberta rural economy at least $25,000,000 per year in direct revenue in recent years, and how the Alberta government is wasting effort trying to convince Alberta beekeepers to diversify into honey packing  and making honey products -- a marginal and small-time opportunity -- when most of the potential bee pasture in Alberta goes to waste from lack of bees.

Eastern Protectionism Costs the Alberta Rural Economy $25,000,000 Annually

The government of Alberta spends millions of dollars annually in attempts to discover and develop viable methods of increasing agricultural income. The irony is that, while they are looking at ideas -- mostly questionable, risky and marginal – on how to add value to existing products of agriculture, and to entice investment from abroad in industries that pollute and degrade the rural environment, major potential production increases in honey production escape their attention. Potential growth in Alberta honey production is principally prevented by only one thing, and that is a federal regulation barring importation of replacement stock from Alberta's traditional and natural supplier, the mainland USA.

In comparison to most other agricultural activities, honey production is a low-investment, low-cost, high-return, renewable resource activity, and one with a uniquely benign environmental impact. Beekeeping provides significant employment for youth and unskilled workers in rural areas, and is a potential source of income to communities throughout most of the crop-growing districts of Canada. Moreover, beekeepers operate in co-operation with, and not in competition to, the other farming activities taking place in a district, and can make a major contribution to the economy of any rural community, but protectionist measures are preventing growth.

Although beekeeping is appreciated and supported by governments and analyzed by statisticians, the immense potential that is going to waste annually in Western Canada, and probably much of the East as well, has been overlooked. A great deal of the potential bee pasture in Alberta goes totally unutilized or underutilized, due to lack of bees and due to the complexity and riskiness of currently available management methods. This due principally to the difficulty, the risks, and the complexity of maintaining large scale operations when bee supplies are uncertain, as they have been since the traditional supply of quality bulk bees and queen bees was cut off by the closure of the mainland US border to importation of bees in the mid-nineteen eighties. Up until that point, beekeeping was an expanding and thriving industry in Alberta.

Economists speak of using 'comparative advantage' to benefit two trade partners and lower total production costs for both, and for consumers. The traditional relationship between California and Alberta is a good example. Beekeeping is ideally suited to a north/south co-operation for most efficient use of resources in each region. Southern regions winter bees very well, and can produce bees surplus to their own needs cheaply and reliably early in the season, in plenty of time to send starter hives or packages north to build up the populations necessary to make large honey crops. Northern regions have very productive bee pasture and long days in summer, but winter survival of bees in the north is unpredictable and costly. Thus, beekeepers in Alberta and across the Canadian prairies had a close and longstanding, mutually beneficial, relationship with California beekeepers, until border closure. For some, that relationship continued even after the closure; unofficial importations continued, although greatly reduced, with large numbers of queens finding their way north, with no apparent ill-effect on bee health in Canada.

After border closure, many formerly successful beekeepers who were unwilling or unable to source bees via this underground railway, or settle for inferior (but legal) stock from Australia and New Zealand, have gone broke and quit. Moreover, growth has been constrained, and barriers to entry or survival have become insurmountable for many who previously could manage a simple, seasonal beekeeping operation. Now New Zealand and Australia are no longer free of pests.

When we evaluate where we are today, we always look back to the mid-nineteen eighties when the very largest Alberta bee operations had two or, maybe three thousand hives, maximum. In the meantime, as in other agricultural businesses, things have changed immensely in the honey industry, and now -- among the survivors -- bee operations with four to ten thousand hives are not uncommon. Some have over ten thousand. At the same time, though, the number of beekeepers has plummeted, since the business has become much more difficult.

Compared to the mid-eighties, our roads are now much better; trucks are much better, and carry larger loads; extracting equipment and buildings are better; management and education levels are better; financing is better, yet our industry has not grown in the way other intensive agriculture industries have since that time. We have stagnated in spite of all these advances in infrastructure and technology. Few new bee operations have started in recent years. Entire regions of prime bee pasture are unoccupied, and older beekeepers are retiring without successors. This state of affairs is obviously the product of the ongoing embargo against US mainland bee supplies. If a reliable and competitive supply of bees were now available, and had been for the last five years, I'm betting that Alberta would have 350,000 hives, not the 240,000 that I understand we have now. Profit levels would also be higher, and risk much lower. We'd have more young operators, and our industry would be in much better health.

Unfortunately, bee industry organizations in Canada are largely dominated by small operators with a vested interest in preventing expansion of the industry and the competition that might ensue from that expansion, and by salaried civil servants who think in terms of risk, rather than in terms of opportunity. Such voices have dominated discussion, and influenced governments. The focus of discussion has been on what is good for a relatively unproductive group of self-serving industry participants, and not on what is good for communities, non-beekeepers, would-be beekeepers, and the country as a whole. Governments have been seduced -- by flawed logic-- into letting a small special interest groups like the The Canadian Honey Council (CHC) and Canadian Association of Apiculturalists (CAPA) dominate the entire country and the future of our industry, even against the protests of those who are willing and able to develop our industry, but are prevented by protectionist regulations. Governments have been seduced by talk of self-sufficiency (possible only over limited periods of time and in limited areas of the country) and scared by mention of diseases and pests -- even by talk of diseases and pests that are manageable, and of diseases and pests which are already well distributed in Canada -- and they are also scared, if all else fails, by that ultimate bogeyman, the Killer Bee, which has been proven to be a non-event in most of the USA.

Although Canadian authorities maintain that one import policy must apply to all of Canada, and regard the country as one homogeneous entity, a quick look at the distribution of beekeeping in Canada, and the characteristics of each diverse region, shows this is approach is arbitrary and logically unsupportable. The principal beekeeping areas in Canada are located in a number of distinct regions, geographically isolated from one another, and located in a narrow band, several hundred miles wide, stretching roughly 3,000 miles along the US border. There are several exceptions: The Peace region is a northern farming district in Alberta and B.C. that is isolated from the south, east, and west by forest; PEI, Newfoundland and Vancouver Island are isolated by water. These regions are very different from one another, particularly in climate, length of season, and appropriate management methods. The southernmost areas are so far south that their climate can be compared to some areas in Northern California, and the northernmost regions can be compared to Hudson’s Bay or to Finland.

A recent risk assessment by CFIA has examined the potential effects associated with an open border, and, although there are some potential downsides, in Alberta, the largest and most successful operators, and the young blood in our industry can see that the benefits from accepting US bees -- under protocols or not -- far outweigh the costs. Those who are on top of matters can see that the risks of more open trade with the US mainland are manageable, and that there is -- and has been -- a tremendous opportunity for expansion that is being throttled needlessly by the embargo. Albertans are not to only ones suffering, either; many Canadian beekeepers who have waited a generation for an opportunity such as the one currently presented by high honey prices, have been frustrated in their ability to cash in, due to unexpected winter losses and the very restricted supplies of (inferior) replacement stock available from the approved sources.

Although the bees from Australia and New Zealand have served to fill some of the needs of beekeepers in Canada since border closure, those sources have always been expensive, unreliable, and have never been able to meet demand. In recent years, Australia and New Zealand have been found to have some the very pests Canada fears from the USA, yet, mysteriously, their bees continue to be approved for Canadian imports while US mainland bees continue to be rejected, in spite of proposed import protocols far stricter and more costly than those imposed on Australia and New Zealand. Bee health is claimed to be the issue, but if bee health is truly the issue, serious susceptibility to chalkbrood is typical of Australian package bees, and levels of up to 30% are not unusual when these bees are installed in Canada, yet this serious deficiency has never been addressed. No matter how they are coddled, and no matter how expert the beekeeper purchasing them, Australian 2-lb packages cannot be expected to make pollination strength in Alberta by July. In contrast, historically, California 2-lb packages always made production strength in time and were the mainstay of Alberta beekeeping.

In Canada we are held back not only by lack of bulk and queen bees in season, but also hampered by limited access to improved strains of bees currently under development in the USA. Mite and disease-tolerant bees are being developed and tested in the US in response to today’s challenges, yet Canada can access only limited supplies of these genetics -- only semen and embryos are permitted -- and even those limited supplies are subject to import fees, and hogged by insiders. Moreover, after these special bees are propagated, the offspring are not available to Canadian producers in any quantity, nor in any practical and timely manner, since queen production and package bee production in Canada is limited to very small, long-season areas near the US border. Ironically those areas are the parts of Canada which are most infested with the very pests the embargo is supposed to be keeping out of Canada!

Some claim that mites have devastated the US industry and that we, as Canadians, are fortunate to be protected from these scourges by our import prohibitions, however the same import prohibition also ‘protects’ us from the many economic advantages that free trade with our traditional partners in the Western USA (California is closer to me by truck than Ontario) offered us in the past. Although the US industry has suffered declines in hive numbers in the last decade, any honest assessment will show that the problem has been a high US dollar and low, low honey prices along with urbanization of agricultural areas. (We were spared the pain they suffered by our cheap dollar in recent years, which boosted our return compared to theirs, by 35% or more). Although there are areas of the US that have problems maintaining their bee populations, it is clear that in the package producing areas, bees are in abundance and healthy and with the improved price for honey, the industry there is flourishing. The dreaded pests have not laid them low, and bee health is simply not a problem.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and their minions, claim that the regions of this country which have voted democratically -- after much informed discussion and consultation -- to demand access to importation of mainland US bees, cannot have access to US mainland supplies because the decision must be made by all of Canada, and that, if the border is opened to bee importation in one region, the entire border must be opened, all across Canada. This is obviously disingenuous, if not an outright lie, since the border was originally closed in two stages, over two years. The original closure was for two years, and out of fear of tracheal mites, which -- as it turned out -- were already in Canada.

At that time, Alberta went along with a temporary precautionary closure on a closely split vote, expecting the measure to be short-lived. Since then, various excuses have been found for continuing the prohibition, and enforcing it on Alberta, and some of those who have most benefited from this breach of free trade frankly admit they will never agree to opening the Canada/US mainland border, even regionally, no matter what the disease and pest situation on either side may be, and no matter what measures are taken to prevent or control transmission of pests.

Misinformation and fear mongering are characteristic of the arguments to maintain a closed border. One common claim is that, if Alberta gets access to US bees, Saskatchewan or other provinces will then not be able to refuse to import bees. How can this be? I know for a fact that I not permitted to sell bees, or equipment, into Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Ontario -- or possibly other provinces as well. I know this because I have to turn down customers from these regions, and the Provincial Apiculturalists from several of these provinces have informed me of that fact, personally. How, then, can anyone claim that a US supplier can do what I cannot? Moreover, an 18-year-old can bring liquor into Alberta across the US/Canada border, but not into Saskatchewan -- AFAIK -- so there is already a mechanism in place to apply different rules for different provinces. What is going on here?

Another bogus argument, a favourite for stirring up emotions, is that, if the Canada/US mainland border is opened to queens and/or packages, nothing can then be done to prevent predatory and faceless US migratory beekeepers from running up into Canada with semi load after semi load of bees in hives, and laying claim to prime bee pasture during the honey flow, then escaping back south across the border with all our honey as soon as the weather gets cool, while Canadian beekeepers stand there watching helplessly. Horsefeathers!

Although it is possible that someday, after discussion and study, Alberta beekeepers might wish to partner with US operators, the likelihood of US parties running up and back in a season without Canadian control, Canadian partners and Canadian employees is unimaginable to anyone who has examined the issue. The Alberta Beekeepers Association -- with the aid of federal and provincial governments -- investigated this claim several years ago, and the conclusion was that Canadian federal and provincial labour, licensing and tax rules, along with local ordinances, would prevent any predatory excursions, even if the longstanding and separate prohibition against bringing bees on comb north across the border somehow fell, along with the more recent prohibition against all bee traffic. The ABA board took that information to CHC, and were shouted down. No one would listen.

What many fail to remember is that before border closure, a number of Americans ran operation in Alberta and Northern B.C. and Saskatchewan. These individuals were welcome and integral parts of our associations, and they contributed far more than they ever took, in terms of knowledge, innovation, and training of new Canadian beekeepers and community participation. There was a constant seasonal exchange of people between the Western Canadian provinces and the US, particularly California, and families intermarried across the border. The embargo has been very disruptive and unjust to these people, some of whom lost their businesses, and many hard feelings remain. Unjustified extension of the embargo to suit narrow interests in distant regions rubs salt into those wounds.

Canada produces far more honey than it consumes, thus honey is an important export commodity. In the past, Alberta produced a third of the entire Canadian crop and Alberta honey has always been in demand internationally due to its superior colour and flavour. In the past decade, while Alberta has been crippled by the embargo, our percentage of. Canadian production has fallen. I suppose this, in itself, can be taken as a strong indicator of injury, and failure of the current regime to address and meet Alberta’s unique needs.

Although there is no lack of pasture, capital, or experienced and capable beekeepers in Alberta, the lack of reliable bee stock, available in a timely manner, is holding us back. We’re told that Western US beekeepers can and will provide what we need to regain our production and to expand. All that is holding us back is one import prohibition.

Anyhow, that's enough on this for now, but I think that the Alberta government, when they wake up and realise that limited concerns about bee health are overriding serious concerns about industry health, will make sure that this thinly-disguised protectionist embargo is overturned, and possibly even press to eliminate all barriers to bee traffic between Canada and the USA. Extreme shortages this spring, coupled with recent seizures at the US border, and prosecutions of queen smugglers by federal agencies with encouragement by a few self-serving bee industry busy-bodies, has changed the nature of this matter to a struggle for justice, freedom, and self-determination

Alberta has co-operated and compromised with defensive, small-thinking interests, and gone along with this nonsense and self-deprivation, long enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy. It is time unshackle this industry and let it fulfill its potential.

Printer friendly version of this article

That's all for now. 

Stay tuned to this spot for more, when I get over my inhibitions, stop holding it back, and tell you what I really think...

Today : Sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 29. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Clear. Wind southwest 20 km/h. Low 14. / Normals for the period : Low 10. High 23.

Sunday 13 July 2003
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Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind becoming west 20 km/h this afternoon. High 25. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Clear. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 11. / Normals for the period : Low 10. High 23.

Monday 14 July 2003
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Monday : Sunny. Wind becoming west 30 km/h in the afternoon. High 23.

Chris and I left for the airport at 7AM, and by 5PM, I was in a rental car -- a Kia -- Headed for Port Carling.  I arrived in time for supper with Mom, and my niece, Lindsay, who has been working in the Port this summer and is living here at Pine Hill.

Tuesday 15 July 2003
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A day at the cottage.  Ron & Joan dropped by.  Heavy rain began in the afternoon and continued...

Hello Allen,

I read your manifesto regarding the stupidity of maintaining a closed border with pleasure. I'm glad to hear your view seems to have changed as I did hear you question a California Package beekeeper at the ABA convention last fall. It appeared as though you did not believe his bees to be available in sufficient quantities, nor did you want any to come across to Alberta. Any how, I want to thank you for articulating a very strong economic viewpoint as well as undermining the current paranoid myths surrounding US bees.

For several years now I've been wanting to expand and should be keeping 500 plus colonies, I'm struggling to keep 400 good producers, and like you said, I can't cash in at this point in time when honey prices are remarkable. With the open border I would try to forge a relationship with a reputable beekeeper down south to exchange bees in the fall and spring, He/She could take my bees south for the winter and return them in the spring along with his bees in late June just as the honey flow begins, that would be production. I would be the most profitable agricultural business in my area of cattle and grain, especially now due to sagging grain prices and the disaster in the beef industry.

Thanks again

I can see both sides of this issue, and, at the meeting mentioned above, I was questioning some rather emotional and extreme statements being made.  As it happens, though, the speaker, Kevin,  was prescient; varroa were subsequently found on New Zealand imports, in unacceptable numbers.

The 'manifesto' was simply an exercise in playing the devil's advocate.  My true position is actually somewhere on the middle of the debate.  I think there is a place for some control on distribution of infected stock into uninfected areas, but I think these decisions need to be made on a local, and not national level.

Mindless attachment to a one-size-fits-all approach at all costs is ridiculous, especially for a nation like Canada with a principal beekeeping region that is 3,000 miles broad (including several long areas that are unsuited to bees), and measures only a few hundred miles from North to South in most places.  There are, a few other beekeeping regions, particularly islands, and isolated Northern districts in Ontario and the prairies, otherwise, the country is unsuited to intensive beekeeping to any great extent.  In effect, we are made up of a number of distinct and isolated beekeeping regions with very different needs.

The emphasis on risk and not opportunity, and the blind insistence on a national policy, have been increasingly costly to our industry, especially as U.S. and Canadian management has largely adjusted to the pests.  Although health of bees is an important consideration, it is largely important for economic reasons.  When bee health takes precedence over all other economic considerations, the tail begins to wag the dog, especially if the health risks are readily manageable.

Blanket border closure served many of us in the past, when we were faced with unknown and unmanageable pests, but it is now a costly relic.  It is time to forget the past and get on with the future.

Today .. Sunny. High 26. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight .. A few clouds. Low 10. / Normals for the period .. Low 10. High 23.       

Wednesday 16 July 2003
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Another lazy day at the cottage.  The weather is dull and cool; that's fine with me; it's perfect for tuning up this computer and resting up.

Mom and I went grocery shopping this morning, and this afternoon my brother and I plan to check the septic tank.  After that, we're all headed to Bracebridge for supper.

I've been reflecting a bit more about the border issue and the thing that strikes me about the division of opinion, the more I think about it, is this:  Generally those who feel most open, and least threatened by actual or or proposed bee importation are the most successful and informed beekeepers and younger beekeepers.  The people who tend to be most opposed to bee importations tend to be regulators and other government people, side-liners, and hobbyists, and semi-successful -- basically subsistence beekeepers.  I realize this is a generalization with many exceptions, but think about it...  I'm often surprised to find that large, successful beekeepers, including many who are self-sufficient and do not need to import, have a generous and laissez-faire attitude on the subject.  Even though they do not need imports personally, they can see the benefits of importation and have respect for others. 

Today .. Sunny with cloudy periods. 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this morning. High 25. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight .. Clear. Wind southeast 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 12./ Normals for the period .. Low 10. High 23.

Thursday 17 July 2003
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I awoke with a bit of a sore throat and a touch of cold, but felt up to going places.  We'd arranged to go to Holditchs', so Ron, Joan and I drove down to Nicholsons' and John picked us up at the marina.  They toured us through the area, from the marine railway on the east, to the Post Severn Locks on the west. 

Today .. Sunny. High 27. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight .. Clear. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 9. / Normals for the period .. Low 10. High 23.

Friday 18 July 2003
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The cold hit me hard today, and, other than a run over to Ron's to help with the septic tank, I stayed here at Pine Hill and rested up.

On the way to Ron's, I happened to spot a 'Honey for Sale' sign, and stopped to chat.  I met Graham Jeffries, a beekeeper with 115 hives in these parts and had a good visit.

Today .. Sunny. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High 29. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight .. A few clouds. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 13. / Normals for the period .. Low 10. High 24.

Saturday 19 July 2003
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Sick again.  I stayed in bed until noon. I then slept again in the afternoon, but in the evening, I felt better.  I was up until after midnight.  I re-wrote the article I did earlier about the impact of border closure on Alberta beekeeping and the rural economy.  It is now available in an easier-to-read version

I had sent a preliminary, rough version of the above article to the CHC for comment when I first began writing it, but so far the silence has been deafening.  I like to think that we debate issues, not personalities, in this industry and are above petty politics, but I often see signs that this may not be the case.  I'd like to open an honest debate, and see all sides represented, heard, considered and accommodated. I know that where there is a will, there is a way.

I hear that things are drying up in Alberta and that the weather is very hot at home.  I also heard that one of our buyers finally came for the last of his supers.  Hmmm.

Ellen reports that Dennis has a job with a nearby neighbour for August.  That works well for us, since we want to be away and we need someone there to watch the place, work the remaining bees and water our trees.  We also need him in the fall.  There are months of cleanup left to do.

Saturday .. Sunny. Becoming cloudy late in the day with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind becoming east 20 km/h late in the day. High 25.

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