September 10th to 20th, 2003
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Selected Beekeeping Topics |
I spent the day at my desk, doing various jobs and finally installing the windows XP Home, that I bought a year or more ago, over the Windows ME on my old PII 266, then went to the mill for supper.
When we returned, I stayed up far too late, updating and adjusting the installation, cleaning up, etc. Readers may recall that I was afraid to do this and kept the ME O/S with the malfunctioning GUI on the machine, and the machine just sat there. I wanted to be sure to keep all the files on it and just networked it to the new machine. As it turned out, my fears were in vain. The install went perfectly, and the old system actually seems to match the AMD 1800+ eMachines unit I bought to replace it -- with XP preinstalled -- performance wise! We'll see after I finish all the tweaks, and use it for a while.
Things are picking up. Beekeepers seem to have some money, now. During the day, I got a call from B.C. and sold 1000 excluders, plus my sugar feeder tank to the caller. I had other nibbles previously, but no firm order. Now things are flying out the door. I've had at least five calls for the Fager, but it is long gone.
Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind becoming west 20 km/h this morning. High 19. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : A few clouds. Wind west 20 km/h. Low 8./ Normals for the period : Low 4. High 18.
|Here's an email I got today (edited), and my reply...
Today : A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this afternoon. High 18. UV index 3 or low. / Tonight : Cloudy. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 this evening. Low 3. / Normals for the period : Low 4. High 18.
I get email from AOL members expecting replies. When I reply, they don't get my reply, replies are returned to me by AOL's postmaster. AOL blocks over 30% of all incoming email. If you use AOL for email, in case no one has told you, you lose a lot of incoming email.
I spent the day working on various things, including getting the two computers to network
I've heard from several places now that CFIA plans to publish intent to permit US queens bees into Canada. I don't know the details of the protocol, assuming there will be one. I sure hope it is not clunky, complex and expensive. We don't need a cumbersome import process. We need easy access to US stock, delivered in small shipments -- or large, as needed, direct to the buyer.
Today : Showers. Wind northwest 20 km/h increasing to 40 gusting 60. High 12. UV index 3 or low. / Tonight : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers. Wind northwest 30 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 6. / Normals for the period : Low 4. High 17.
We went sailing at Gull Lake for the day. Chris took his boat, and Purves-Smiths took theirs. There wasn't much wind, but it was the most relaxing day I've spent in some time.
We met some interesting young men from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They were on a world tour and say they are members of a carpenters guild.
Today : 30 percent chance of showers early this morning then becoming sunny. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : A few clouds. Low 7 . / Normals for the period : Low 4. High 17.
Looks to me as if they are throwing Alberta a few crumbs now, just before the upcoming BCHPA meeting, before the ABA meeting, and before the CHC meeting. There is nothing concrete, and will not be for a while now, so I think the ABA members should reject this cynical attempt to buy them off, and pursue total border opening and also still consider withdrawing support from the CHC until we see the actual results of this gambit. Personally, after what I have seen and heard, I think it is a cynical ruse to undermine the support for total border opening. It may work, since a lot of people will be sucked in by promises, whether they actually come to pass or not. We'll see, but I think that the Peace guys need to stick to their guns and hammer CHC until they see a white flag.
Speaking of the ABA convention, I see the office staff still have not put up a proper tentative schedule or the cost of registration, banquet, etc., and the convention is now less than two months away. This year the convention is at the West Edmonton Mall, and there is a chance of getting a big turnout. I wonder how people from a distance and others who are undecided are expected to make up their minds and plan.
I've been after the ABA to do a better job of publicizing and promoting the convention ever since I was first a director, way back in the last century. Sometimes they do a bit of promotion, but it mostly seems that our light is being hidden under a bushel. Anyhow, folks, even if the program and cost is a secret, generally, if you are not an Albertan, if you arrive by noon the first day and leave mid-day on the last day, you won't miss anything. Besides, the best plan is to come in early -- the night before at the latest -- and plan to stay a day or two after to take in the Mall, and maybe visit some new beekeeper acquaintances.
It would be great to get all the US people back up here again. We used to have a huge turnout from California, but the border closure has killed that. Maybe the prospect of future opening will get them back up here.
I got to thinking that it is time to write to BEE-L again about the Canada/US border closure, so I looked up historical articles on the topic. The list below make fascinating reading. I used 'border closure' as my keys at the BEE-L archive search site. The first article only has one slight reference to the Canada/US border closure, the rest are more directly on topic.
- Item #1517 (1 Sep 1993 19:43) - NZ Buzzwords - September issue
- Item #2690 (21 Jun 1994 10:38) - Re: Canada/US border closure
- Item #2705 (22 Jun 1994 12:03) - Re: Canadian Border Question (fwd)
- Item #2712 (23 Jun 1994 13:18) - Re: Canadian Border Question (fwd)
- Item #3739 (31 Jan 1995 14:38) - no subject (file transmission)
- Item #3826 (26 Feb 1995 05:37) - Give me a break!
- Item #3851 (1 Mar 1995 13:24) - Re: Your help needed to protect Hawai'i's honey bees
- Item #6466 (17 Nov 1995 12:46) - opinions wanted....
- Item #7267 (14 Feb 1996 14:21) - Extension Beekeeping Course
- Item #7505 (29 Feb 1996 11:18) - Beekeeping beyond 2000 Course
- Item #9213 (8 Jun 1996 07:47) - Re: America's honeybees
- Item #10251 (20 Aug 1996 03:50) - Canadian Border Opened to US Bees?
- Item #10255 (20 Aug 1996 14:39) - Canadian Border Opened to US Bees?
- Item #11222 (10 Oct 1996 16:43) - Re: Thinking Out Loud -- Long Range Trends & Plans
- Item #11438 (25 Oct 1996 05:34) - Re: Thinking Out Loud -- Long Range Trends & Plans
- Item #24468 (15 Sep 1998 08:55) - Re: Movement of bees in Canada
- Item #29795 (16 Nov 1999 01:48) - Tracheal and Varroa "free zones" left in the world?
- Item #31285 (11 Apr 2000 07:37) - Re: (florida inspections)
- Item #31294 (11 Apr 2000 20:23) - Re: (florida inspections)
- Item #35346 (5 May 2001 20:17) - Beekeeping Ethics?
As you can see, I've always been very moderate, until present, and now I am coming down hard in favour of free access to US bees. In its time, the embargo served its purpose by giving us time to adjust to mites, but now it has outlived its usefulness. It is being used almost solely to illegitimately to hamper trade. What do you think?
Ellen and Ruth went to Calgary to see a show of Inuit Art at the Glenbow. El spent some time in Davis Inlet a few years back (see her website). I stayed home and played with my computers. The conversion of the PII went well, and it is pretty well set up and updated. I am surprised how well it functions, and although it only gets a '148' on PCpitstop (This 1800+ gets '850') the older unit seems just about as fast as this newer machine, for most tasks.
I also sold two of the syrup tanks. The first was easy, since it was empty, but the second still had some very thick syrup and crusted sugar in it. Since the starter motor on the Beemer is being repaired, the buyer and I gave up until we get a forklift -- the Swinger is still at Meijers' -- and can lift the tank. We'll save the syrup, wash the tank for the buyer, and deliver it.
Ellen & Ruth went straight to the mill from Calgary, and I met them there for supper. We were all celebrating Fen's 54th birthday. Fen's sister and husband, along with two visitors from China; son Noah and wife, Susan; Ellen, Ruth and I were there as well as Maddy and Lorilee, and Dusty who is staying in their bunkhouse.
Here are results of re-powering our bee blower. Thanks for the good advice. I am pleased with the results.
Bob had to weld on two little supports, shown. Otherwise the new 4HP Honda engine bolts right up on old Dadant blowers. The new engines are much quieter, and twice? as fuel efficient as the B&S or Tecumseh originals. This is the cheaper Honda. The more expensive (red) one has problems fitting the blower. On the red Honda 4HP, the muffler is in the way.
A bit more info if you like. http://www.tulsaenginewarehouse.com/catalog/honda/gc/ is where I got my GC160QHA (5HP). I got very good service from these folks, actually talked to real people when I called their 800 number. The QHA1 is remote throttle and the others (P series) are tapered drive shafts. They list the GC130 (4 HP) but it is an order item for them. They sent me a GC160 for the GC130 price of $214US as I had already placed order with payment online and then called about availability. I guess there still are some bargains out there.
I bought my 4HP at Princess Auto. It has no remote throttle, however, and that would be a nice touch, if mounted on the end of the hose. Sometimes these engines are on sale for $219 CAD.
Please read back up the page. I've made some additions.
I see my page fixes worked. Within moments, here is some more input from the contact page -- now working again after a month of problems.
| From the US Mid-west...
Same old, same old... (hehehe. I'm retired!)
| From a customer who bought some hives (no supers) last December.
install Windows XP in 5 hours or less
Joe Meijer returned our Swinger and stayed for supper. They will finish extracting at the end of this week, they think.
We have snow on the ground. It's just a light dusting, but it is a harbinger of what is to come. The temperature is around freezing..
Dennis spent the day cleaning out a tank, and checked the home hives to see if the bees had left the top boxes. He got five that were totally abandoned.
I cleaned up some papers.
|From Kristy at
Stawns Honey in Vernon, where massive forest fires have been making big
news during the summer. I'd written asking if they had been affected.
From news reports it seemed almost impossible that they would have escaped
Today : Snow at times heavy. Amount 15 to 20 cm. Wind northeast 20 km/h. Temperature steady near minus 1. / Tonight : Cloudy. 70 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Temperature steady near minus 1. / Normals for the period : Low 3. High 17.
Okay! Gertie sent me the agenda and pricing for the Alberta Beekeepers Association convention at the Fantasyland Hotel right in the West Edmonton Mall. Here is the agenda, and here is the registration form (PDF version).
The convention price is a bit higher than it has been some years, but there
is a lot more included. Looks as if some meals come in the deal, and
there is plenty of free parking. And, besides, what the heck, it's
Canadian dollars ($0.72 US). Be sure to get a room reserved now, and be
sure to look into their "theme rooms"
Beekeepers Association 2003 convention will be held at the
Hotel at the
West Edmonton Mall on November 3, 4, & 5, 2003.
The West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in the world, and justifiably world famous.
Oh, and by the way, the Alberta Beekeepers Association convention program isn't too bad either!
This upcoming convention is an excellent opportunity for a family vacation combined with some business. Anyone and everyone is welcome. I recommend arriving Friday night and spending the weekend at the Mall. Beekeepers typically arrive at least a day early, and I expect there will be a reception on the Sunday before the meeting. Don't be disappointed. Make your reservations now.
Edmonton is a city of almost 1,000,000 people, and easily accessible from Canadian and US cities via Edmonton International Airport.
More Edmonton Links:
Tonight : Snow. Accumulations near 10 cm. Wind north 20 km/h. Low minus 2. / Wednesday : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 20 km/h. High 6. / Normals for the period : Low 3. High 17.
|044683||03/06/16||06:49||69||Re: Varroa Control|
|044692||03/06/17||08:32||48||Re: Eastern Apicultural Society Deadline|
|044697||03/06/17||16:41||34||Re: honey processing area question|
|044711||03/06/18||18:33||38||Re: dance language vs. odour|
|044745||03/06/22||22:25||25||Re: raising queens|
|044752||03/06/23||06:56||36||Re: Unsuccessful queen rearing|
|044753||03/06/23||07:32||70||Re: Eastern Apicultural Society Deadline|
|044766||03/06/23||16:04||51||Re: viral research (was Varroa Thresholds)|
|044783||03/06/24||12:21||24||Free Swarm Near Boston|
|044801||03/06/26||05:34||54||Re: [BEE-L] FW: HEALTH HAZARD ALERT (chloramphenic ol) / AVERTISSEMENT DE DANGER POUR LA SANTÉ (chloramphénicol)|
|044813||03/06/27||09:09||39||Mid US Hotline|
|044847||03/07/01||00:17||43||Re: What do with contaminated honey|
|044851||03/07/01||08:12||92||Re: Eastern Apicultural Society Deadline|
|044856||03/07/01||13:08||32||Re: Mid US Hotline|
|044910||03/07/07||19:27||71||Re: Eastern Apicultural Society Deadline|
|044914||03/07/08||18:26||122||how to make the bees use an upper entrance|
|044940||03/07/10||21:48||25||Re: Hive Body Jig|
|044948||03/07/11||13:01||65||Re: Hive Body Jig|
|045299||03/08/12||10:30||41||Re: Poor Spring Foraging|
|045313||03/08/13||09:57||31||Re: Poor Spring Foraging|
|045379||03/08/21||08:08||27||Re: BEE-L Wax foundation|
|045515||03/08/31||11:50||58||Re: Bee Stings LD50|
|045531||03/09/01||05:58||34||Re: Paradigm Shift|
|045532||03/08/31||21:02||42||The Last Refuge|
|045533||03/08/31||21:06||28||Re: Identify Berries?|
|045535||03/09/01||06:11||48||Re: Bee Stings LD50|
|045550||03/09/01||13:01||36||Re: Bee Stings LD50|
|045564||03/09/01||17:03||29||Re: Bee Stings LD50|
|045593||03/09/03||08:25||55||Re: Identify Berries?|
|045619||03/09/05||14:55||59||Re: overwintering nucs|
|045637||03/09/06||13:30||43||Re: overwintering nucs|
|045644||03/09/07||11:21||60||Custom Mite Management Services|
|045652||03/09/07||15:49||47||Re: [Bee-L] suicide bee|
|045663||03/09/08||11:49||70||Re: Apilife Var|
|045668||03/09/08||16:53||27||Re: Mid US Hotline|
|045701||03/09/10||15:14||42||Re: Accidental DL Experiment?|
|045761||03/09/14||09:16||21||Write a Page in an Encyclopedia|
|045829||03/09/17||23:13||28||The ABA site is still not coming up|
I spent some time on my Bee Sting page, What Everyone Needs to Know About Bee Stings and fixed a few glitches.
In the afternoon, I drove to Red Deer and did some shopping.
|Of interest to stock market traders|
Today : Early morning fog patches then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 11. / Tonight : A few clouds. Wind southwest 20 km/h this evening. Low 3. / Normals for the period : Low 3. High 16.
Re-opening the Canada/US Border to Bee Imports.
I've been speaking to various people in the bee industry lately, and there seems to be a consensus forming for re-opening the Canada/US border to bee imports.
Whether to open it 100%, with free traffic in bees both ways, something that would vastly aid Prairie beekeepers, or restrict the opening to just queen bees under protocol -- or something in between -- yet remains to be seen. What is becoming clear is that the embargo has served its purpose and slowed the spread of tracheal and varroa mites, but that the mites are so widespread in Canada now that the cost of the closure much exceeds any benefits to the industry, on the Prairies, at least. Moreover, maintaining the closure at this point is a violation of several of our international trade agreements, and it is only a matter of time until it is challenged in courts. Those challenges could be costly and embarrassing. No one wants that, so the time has come for dealing.
The BCHPA meeting, coming up in, Kelowna will definitely be the first in a series of venues for the border debate this year, and I encourage everyone with an interest in the matter -- Canadian or American -- to attend. I don't know if this question s on the program, but it will come up, I am sure. I hope that parts of the meeting where this matter is discussed will be well and firmly moderated, and that everyone has read Roberts Rules of Order (More links 1 2 ) so that everyone will be permitted to speak, and so that a few individuals or viewpoints will not dominate the agenda.
Too often, at bee meetings, the chairperson does not know or follow the rules, and allows one person or group to dominate. Too often, beekeepers don't know the rules, and are shouted down or overruled in debates. When that happens, everyone goes away feeling ripped off. Knowing and following the rules can make an emotional meeting bearable, and result in a more rational, more just, conclusion.
From what I have seen of the BCHPA, the members are very fair minded people, and open to hearing and considering contrasting points of view. BC beekeepers and regulators have been very co-operative and very fair with Alberta beekeepers, sometimes at some cost to their own interests, and I expect that all aspects of this important matter will get careful consideration when it comes up.
After that, the ABA meeting, then the CHC and MBA meetings, and SBA meeting will follow, and hopefully all sides will be heard, and, hopefully, a solution that satisfies each region will emerge. Personally, I think that we should get CFIA right out of this, and turn the matter over to the provinces and municipalities. Local governments are very capable of discerning the unique local conditions and politics, and imposing a local solution that satisfies the majority of their constituents without trampling on the minorities.
You may notice that I am not including Eastern meetings in this list of gatherings where border discussion will take place. I am sure that the question will come up at each provincial meeting across Canada, but, frankly, in my opinion, East is East, and west is West. Toronto is 350 miles farther away from where I live than Mexico is. It is 1956 road miles to Toronto via the shortest route -- which happens to be thru the USA -- compared to only 1609 miles to Mexicali.
Swalwell to Mexicali,
Mexico -- 1609 miles
Swalwell to Toronto
(Via the USA) -- 1956 miles
Swalwell to Redding,
California -- 1140 miles
Note how isolated, and how far south Eastern Canada is, compared to Western Canada, and to Northern California. How can Eastern Canadians have any idea what the problems are in the Northwest?
I mention Mexico only to illustrate how comparatively distant and isolated Eastern Canada is from where we live, when compared to a third country that is separated from us by the entire United States -- and to illustrate how comparatively close California is to us.
Package bees from Down Under must be trucked some considerable distance to an airport in Australia or New Zealand.
Package bees from Down Under must often wait around at an airport before being shipped,
Package bees from Down Under are produced at the tail end of their season.
These Southern Hemisphere suppliers cannot supply late packages, when a long winter or bad spring unexpectedly increases demand
These Southern Hemisphere suppliers have often been unable to meet demand AT ANY PRICE
These Southern Hemisphere suppliers have, more than once, cut off scheduled shipments of confirmed orders, leaving beekeepers with empty hives.
There is always the risk that airlines may suddenly announce a refusal to haul bees at all.
Package bees from Down Under often undergo treatment with CO2 (dry ice) in transit for cooling.
Package bees from Down Under often must also travel an additional 650 miles (12+ hours) or more, by road, from Vancouver airport to reach the final destination
Australia has Small Hive Beetle and does not test exhaustively for varroa (I'm told that periodic sugar shakes are used)
New Zealand has varroa and, on at least one occasion, has shipped heavily infested bees to Canada.
Package bees from Down Under are often inferior on arrival
A researcher counted as much as 30% chalkbrood in the sealed brood area of Australian packages hived at my place a while back.
Then consider this:
Redding, CA, is only 1140 miles from here -- 22 hrs by road -- and is even closer to beekeepers in B.C. and in Southern Alberta.
Good, healthy bees can be had from California.
We know that we can manage mites. We did not know that when the border was closed as a precaution.
In the past, California bees were shaken, loaded, delivered inexpensively to the beekeeper, and installed into hives within a span of 36 or 48 hours.
Prairie beekeepers often drove down to get their own bees.
The bee health risks that caused the border to be closed are now very similar between Western Canada and California.
What are we doing? It makes no sense at all to buy bees from NZ or Australia in preference to bees from California, given the current circumstances. Western Canada -- even after a decade and a half of wintering research, practice, and bee breeding -- depends very heavily on imported package bees and imported queens. Shortages, due to border closure to US bees, have severely impacted profitability.
Western beekeepers and Western Canadian governments must make their own decisions. Decisions affecting only Northwestern beekeepers should not be made or controlled by the minority Canadian beekeepers who live south of the 49th and are much farther from us than our natural suppliers in California.
In this matter, in Canada, the West is isolated from the East -- by the Great Lakes, and by many miles of forest -- and that the two regions might as well be different countries. Virtually all of the beekeeping in Eastern Canada is also south of the 49th parallel, while all of the beekeeping in the West is north of the 49th, so Easterners are simply are not northern enough to understand our problems out here.
They have their problems, and we have ours. Hopefully, they will have the good grace to mind their own business.
Friday April 15, 2011 05:05 PM
Speaking of the MBA, apparently their previous election was struck down due to irregularities. I visited their site, but could not find the results of their summer elections in any obvious announcement, so I downloaded their newsletter (which is excellent), and that seems to indicate a meeting to be held November 24th.
Dennis and I pulled Elliott's yard this afternoon. Rain began when we were half done, and settled in for the rest of the day, so we quit when done. There was not much honey on the 14 hives. We got 8 boxes, of which some were only partially filled. I had split heavily last Spring to avoid extracting, and it worked.
Ellen sold some wraps today to a gentleman who came down from Falher. He will be picking them up on his way home tomorrow or the next day.
I have been puzzled recently, why AHPC has not replied to my objections to some arbitrary charges they put on my account, and to my objections to arbitrary decisions made by the AHPC board which, in my opinion, have oppressed some of the membership. These concerns were expressed back in June and July and I had not heard back.
In particular, the board made some decisions immediately after the AGM that could have been -- and should have been -- presented to the membership, but were not. Instead, at the AGM, the membership was presented with the usual snow job, that appears to me to be designed to obscure bad decisions made previously.
Amazingly, board presentations over the past year have emphasized the poundage of honey sold, and avoid discussion of the vastly increased size of our sales in dollars, and the resulting growth in the size of the business. The presentations also obscure the fact that AHPC used the availability of honey trusted to them by members to undercut competitors to the point where the return to members is compromised. More on this later...
Apparently they had written me a letter July 9th. When told that a letter had been sent July 9th, I checked my fax records carefully. My fax prints out a sheet of every message going in or out, and I have always considered that a waste of paper, but kept the records anyhow. Now I am glad I did. I guess they wrote a letter, but did not actually send it. When I informed them, they sent me a copy today by fax, and when I read it, I could see that my concerns have not been addressed, and that my instructions have been misunderstood.
At any rate, it looks as if I am going to have to take on the co-op management, and perhaps even organize some action in response to recent mismanagement. We'll see. If readers of this page have a gripe with BeeMaid management, please Write me. In this day of the Internet, it is much easier to get stakeholders together to confront management gone awry.
In my opinion, there is no reason that BeeMaid should lag the competition in payments to beekeepers almost every year. A well-run co-op should be able to pay market price, PLUS a profit to the members, instead of paying amounts that barely compete and in a less than timely manner.
To make the payments look competitive, management finds it necessary to even include the maximum colour and moisture bonuses (which not everyone gets) and also include the deductions which are held back by the co-op for their own use.
Words of the Day:
Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind west 20 km/h. High 16. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. Wind northwest 20 km/h. Low 3. / Normals for the period : Low 3. High 16.
"If I make a
living off it, that's great -- but I come from a culture where you're valued
not so much by what you acquire but by what you give away,"
-- Larry Wall (the inventor of Perl)
|Please report any problems or errors to Allen Dick
© allen dick 1999-2014. Permission granted to copy in context for non-commercial purposes, and with full attribution.