A Beekeeper's Diary

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Wednesday 10 March 2004
I'm retired now, and days or weeks may pass between beekeeping articles  I recommend visiting pages from previous years.

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When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he's going to have a go at it anyway.
Clyde B. Aster

We were up early, packed, and off to the airport.  We flew out of YYC at 10:15 and arrived at YYJ around 10:45.  We got our van at Budget, and drove straight to Victoria.  Apple and cherry trees were in full bloom and the flower beds were colourful, in contrast to Alberta, where everything was just beginning to melt, and apple blossom is still 2 months away.

Mom had a nice room, at the Embassy Inn, next to the legislature.  She had been in Victoria a week already, and had been to Ron's in Vancouver for the previous weekend.  We all caught up on news and waited there until our suite was ready.

 After our suite was ready, we moved in, then drove around a bit to orient ourselves and went for walks along Dallas Road, one of my favourite spots.  We had supper in the hotel, and Joan came over to join us, then we all called it a (long) day.

Today : Sunny. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High 4. UV index 3 or moderate.  / Tonight : Clear. Low minus 2.  / Thursday : Sunny. Wind becoming west 30 km/h in the afternoon. High 12.  / Normals for the period : Low minus 9. High plus 3.

If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.
Bill Lyon

Thursday 11 March 2004
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We slept in a bit, had breakfast in our rooms, and then made plans for the day.  We called Vince and Gillian and agreed to meet at the Butchart Gardens at 11. 

 

 We were about ten minutes late, but so were they.  The weather was perfect and we all had a good time.  While there, we noticed the bees were at work in the heather and other flowers.  Although Spring is still a week away, in the Gardens, it was like summer.

We left in late afternoon, went back to our suites and relaxed for the evening. 

If little else, the brain is an educational toy.
Tom Robbins

Friday 12 March 2004
I'm retired now, and days or weeks may pass between beekeeping articles  I recommend visiting pages from previous years.

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Today Mom and Ellen went to the museum in the morning, while Jean and I walked along the sea, pushing Mckenzie in the stroller, then did some exploring out by Oak Bay.  In the afternoon, we went to Gillian and Vince's for a snack in the afternoon, then we were off to the airport.  When we filled the van prior to returning it, it had used 48 litres, $41 for the 200 km we drove!  I mentioned it and was refunded 1/3 of that cost.  I guess it was not full when we picked it up.

We flew WestJet back to Calgary, where we encountered snow and high winds on the way home.  We landed at 8:30 and drove home.  As I mentioned before, apple blossom is still a good 2 months away here.

Chris was waiting and we visited a bit before bed.

Friday : Rain or light snow. Windy. Low 2. High 7.  / Tonight : Snow ending this evening then cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Amount 2 to 5 cm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 increasing to 50 gusting to 70 this evening. Occasional blowing snow. Low minus 6. / Normals for the period : Low minus 9. High plus 3.
Saturday 13 March 2004
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It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
Neil Gaiman, Sandman

Jean and Chris left around noon.  Before he left, Chris mentioned that, when the opened his car door last night, the wind had blown it back and it was now out of alignment.  We straightened it out as good as new, but it just goes to show how strong the winds were last night.

Matt reports all was well while we were gone.  I checked with Jim, and it seems we lost one of our cattle.  It just died and looks quite normal.  I guess that, in this way, cattle are not a lot different from bees.   Apparently, when you have a lot of animals (or hives), some just die for no apparent reason.  Of course, there is a cause , but things like this just sometimes happen.  Assuming we don't see any more of this, we'll just chalk it up to luck.  Jim will do a post-mortem, but we don't expect we'll see much.  He also reports some joint stiffness in a few animals and attributes it to a virus.


Okay, this just came in.  I haven't had time to fully address it, but pass it on for what it is worth.  Hopefully, I'll get around to it soon.

Hi allen

I am a member of the Beemaid Honey, in Manitoba.  I got the news of our final payment drop, and was not happy about it, so I wrote a letter to Gordon Marks, to let him know how I felt about their decision.  I feel that they forecasted the price of $2/lbs to encourage member delivery, and now I think they should honour it.

I realize how production coops work, but how much honey do you think BeeMaid would of gotten if they forecasted $1.75 in the fall?  Not as much as they have now!

I feel fall market conditions were better than $2/lbs in the fall.  My neighbour sold all his honey privately for $2.25, two or three semi loads.  I had a hard enough making my case supporting the coop at $2.00/lb.  Was the market there for long?  I don't know...

Anyway Gordon Marks, responded right back to me, on the phone.  And he argued his case and I have to say I was impressed.  Not only did he take an hour out of his day to respond to my concerns, he made his case real well, but it did not change my mind on the issue.  He invited me to meet with him later in the month, and I hope to take advantage of the situation and get a better handle on how BeeMaid buys its honey from the membership.

I'm not going to drop BeeMaid honey, for I feel it provides me with the needed stability for my business, I new to the beekeeping community.  Anyway, the reason I wrote you was because of a response Gordon gave me.  I asked him near the end of the phone call how the rest of the membership felt about the dropping final payment.  He said, and I believed him, that I was the only member who challenged him on the issue.  He even said that he was at a meeting in Saskatchewan in front of 100 members and made his case of dropping the final payment, with not even a single clerical question on the issue.

He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.
James Thurber

What is going on here!!  Am I the only one who has trouble accepting the reduction, or is there something that I am overlooking because I am a new member.  Do the members of Beemaid just take bad new without question?  I think we have to hold management closer to accountability so they think twice before making drastic decisions.

Anyway thanks for your time

I've promised to get down to this, but, frankly, this whole matter is not simple.  I also wonder why I should waste my time on it, particularly since members seem perfectly happy to get low returns year after year.  Besides, I am no longer a member -- they (you, actually, assuming you are a member) threw me out --  so this is not really my concern, other than to the extent that AHPC has confiscated some of my funds held in trust, against my express written instructions, and also are withholding the final payment for honey delivered in the past. 

I suppose that if I were still a member, things might be different, but I'm not.


You are still involved in the membership, right? --  with the last of your honey?   Did you make objection to the price reduction?

Nope.  AHPC threw me out.  AHPC may have different rules from those in Manitoba, I do not know.  It's a long story.  

In short, to remain an AHPC member, one must ship a minimum of 5,000 pounds each crop year or automatically lose membership, regardless of amounts shipped in the past, or amount of quota held by the member, or the circumstances.  

Management and board after board slavishly enforce this mindless and indefensible (possibly illegal) policy, even though they seem able to change or ignore other longstanding policies when it suits them, on a whim, without consulting the general membership.


Perhaps I am imagining things, but I seem to recall that, a few years ago, we passed a motion to the effect that AHPC must notify lapsing members by registered mail at least a month before ejecting them, in order to give them opportunity to make up the shortage.  

That was after AHPC stripped Eric Abell -- a former AHPC chairman who had served the Co-op for several terms (for free) -- of his membership for accidentally undershipping by a few pounds due to overestimating the amount of honey in his wax that was at AHPC for rendering.  Before that, many members have lost membership, and simply walked away.  There is a long list of disaffected former members out there, badmouthing the Co-op.  

(This policy and its application are a major cause of the Co-ops' bad name on the beekeeper grapevine, as are BeeMaid's use of their access to 'free' honey to undermine the markets).


It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
Jerry Seinfeld

This expression of concern by the members, and the requirement of written notice well before cancelling membership, has been ignored.  Moreover, the board, in its wisdom -- immediately after the 2002 annual general meeting and without consulting the members -- decided to suddenly truncate the shipping period, moving the closing date forward several months from the traditional May date.

A number of us consider this to be an act in contempt of the expressed will of the membership and of questionable legitimacy.  More on this later...

Anyhow, back to my tale of woe.:

  1. I sold bees to a number of people this past year, and also ran some bees myself.  One of my customers promised to pay for some favours I did by filling four of my drums with honey -- before filling any of their own -- and to deliver them immediately at extraction time.  I won't go into details here, but they turned out to be the only deadbeats I was involved with, and we are presently about to sue them for the amount owing, anyhow, that honey did not get delivered.

  2. We have sold our extractors and no longer have facilities for extracting.  Meijers kindly offered to extract for us.  When they were done, our honey went into their stack, and we were waiting for them to get it out of storage, along with theirs, whenever their buyer asked for his delivery.  We kept hoping we'd be able to get it out of storage without causing a disruption, but that did not happen before the deadline for the Co-op, and so our honey was sitting in the back of a warehouse 60 miles from our place on the due date.  Moreover, Meijers were away, traveling at year end.  Besides, the weather throughout the latter part of January was extremely cold for starting machines and for driving to Spruce Grove, just to deliver a few drums of honey.

At any rate, I did not get that done by the deadline and wrote a note asking if -- seeing as I had said that it was coming and it was a small amount -- it would be okay to bring it when I can.

They replied, "No", and expelled me.  There you have it. 

There is much more to write, but I am out of time and don't know when I'll get a chance to continue...

 

Okay.  Okay.

In response to overwhelming demand, I'll take a minute and explain what  I figured would solve everyone's problems, and suggested to Don Cozine.  I figured that this approach could double the Co-ops' volume, increase returns, and make everyone happy.

As I mentioned previously, my suggestion was rejected without no further comment except, "That would be good for the producers, but not good for us" from the previous BeeMaid CEO, Don Cozine.  (I can't find the emails right now -- it'd take me longer than to write this -- or I'd quote them).

Up to that point, I had great hopes for Don, but, after reading that response, I could see that Don had gone over to 'the dark side' of our Co-op culture.  He was unable to resist the pressure and I could see that the Co-ops would increasingly struggle in current and future markets.   I realized that the Co-ops could even very possibly go down, and go down hard, one of these days, taking all of their members assets, including savings, with them.  

I began also to see, in light of other revelations, that the Co-ops are dominated by people who live in the past, and don't begin to perceive the immanent risks (or opportunities) that have come in the past decade, under globalization and international trade.  Our Co-op has obviously been dwindling away over recent years, but it is now becoming clear that it may well not survive the first decade of this new millennium.  Globalization has outclassed the management and the outdated policies that run the Co-op.  The Co-ops, and especially BeeMaid, are still running under an old paradigm.  They operate on rhetoric and punitive policies, rather than on an open, enlightened approach and rewards.  It seems that they are planning for the past, not the future.

I suggested that the Co-ops need to consider the following:

  • Some beekeepers need to know what they will get for their honey, particularly if they are just starting out, have short crops, or are retiring and cannot take a chance on missing a good market.
  • There are many honey markets that beekeepers can sell into, and BeeMaid is well positioned to deal with them.
  • BeeMaid needs to know what it pays for honey in order to be able to price properly and also to compete fairly and not destroy the market for other competitors who support the price of honey by buying from Canadian beekeepers.
  • AHPC has a HACCP approved warehouse, a good lab and staff.
  • The Co-ops should be running BeeMaid, and not the other way around.  After all, the members are the owners.
  • Running a honey packing plant is only one way of marketing honey, and one that is increasingly vulnerable in today's' global market.
  • There are numerous ways of adding value to an agricultural product.  None of them require ownership of a plant.
  • Owning and managing plants to pack honey are a distraction from other modes of marketing and are expensive in other ways, especially when these functions can be contracted.
  • In recent years BeeMaid has become a liability, rather than an asset -- BeeMaid  is destroying value (selling honey below its market value on average) rather than adding value -- and that very organization which is a liability, is in charge of running the Co-ops!  Think about this.  It is central to the problem.  Again, packers dominating producers!

(I've run out of time -- had a visitor that took up a couple of hours -- so I'll cut to the chase and leave a lot out.  Consider it a test of your creativity and business acumen, folks).

Therefore it seems to me that AHPC and the Manitoba Co-ops should

  • Get a Mission statement.  Should include: work with producers and industry, high quality product, orderly market and firm prices, superior return.  Dunno, I'm out of time.  How about you write it and send me a copy?
  • Take control of BeeMaid and bring it to heel. Currently, the tail (BeeMaid) is wagging the dogs (the Co-ops)
  • Shift BeeMaid away from being primarily a packer and remake it into a real marketing organization, or start a parallel, and competing marketing arm.
  • Make BeeMaid's packing operation budget for, bid for, and pay for honey like any other packer.
  • Expect BeeMaid to return a profit above what it pays (more later) and make BeeMaid management pay a direct function of BeeMaid's performance.
Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.
Ed Gardner

Here are some more clues:

  • Take in as much honey as producers will offer.  (More on pricing later...)
  • Eliminate the BeeMaid drums and get a supply of uniform, high quality, lightweight expendable export drums.  The current drum system wastes time, distracts from other, profitable activities, and limits options for members and for the Co-ops themselves.
  • Classify operators according to premises and COFFS type procedures followed.
  • Grade, test, sort and inventory the product on arrival or by samples submitted.
  • Offer inspection and extension services to producers to help them improve product.
  • Offer bulk honey at auction and/or using a sales force using all possible channels, and dealing with all possible customers, including competitors.  Hire some current competitors or their staff -- ones who have proven capable, if possible.
  • Charge producers the cost of tests and certification, plus monthly storage costs.  Some honey could be stored on producer premises but be sampled and tested by Co-op staff.
  • Handle billing, shipping, manage risk, insurance, and receivables centrally.
  • Sell on basis of the test results, producer ratings, plus colour, flavour, etc.  Earn a reputation for fairness and impartiality and the benchmark for Canadian quality.

Pricing: 

  • Some producers want to get the average market return.
  • Others want to be able to sell to the highest bidder.
  • Many want to use a mixture of the two methods.
This is why the current Co-op system fails again and again.  The current system does not meet the needs of all producers all the time, and also does not suit the needs of the packing organisation. 

The current system has everyone pulling in opposite directions. 

What is needed is a system that allows everyone the freedom to pursue their needs and makes the Co-ops the best vehicle to achieve those ends.

Therefore, give the people what they want:

  • an option to either take an average price, or
  • the option to place their honey on bids or
  • any combination of the two.

Here's how I envision it:

What experience and history teach is this--that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.
Georg Hegel
  • A beekeeper takes delivery of new or like-new lightweight drums of a standard colour and weight, and pays for them, or charges them.  He/she then owns them.
  • The Co-op would administer a COFFS or COFFS-like program to ensure premium price and quality from members.
  • After filling, the beekeeper (who is registered with the Co-op under some arrangement) can deliver wherever he/she wishes, or depending on contracts, incentives, etc. decided to ship or list the specific product with the Co-ops.
  • The beekeeper declares amount, weights, quality, etc. on a manifest and commits to sell under contract, specifying either average price, or specifying certain amounts or lots are available at specific prices and for specific times.
  • The Co-op organizes and publishes the result (or not), then matches with buyers if any, until the amount available at that time is all committed.  Sellers and buyers are matched by price and quality.
  • Quality is inspected and certified by the Co-op.  Deliveries, shipping, billing, finance, etc. are all handled by the Co-op, thus protecting individuals.
  • BeeMaid continues to pack and sell, as always, but purchases by the same bid system according to the immediate needs and prospective market.  BeeMaid profit or loss or is determined by the operating statements, as in any business.  Profits are returned to be shared among members on a poundage basis, just as the bee supply profits currently are.
  • The Co-op handles Advance Payments for Crops, as always.
  • Beekeepers can take their honey out of the Co-op at any time and sell it direct, but would be billed the service charge for the testing, certification, etc., and by assuming liability for the advance.

Why this will work:

  • Beekeepers have the advantage of marketing under the name and financial clout of a large organisation and a respected name, with many price and timing options, from taking a pool price to selling at market price.
  • Buyers are assured of quality and fair dealing and backup in case of problems, and a one-stop reliable source of supply.  (Amount of that supply will be dependant on offering price).
  • BeeMaid (the packing arm) will know its cost of goods and compete fairly in the market.  Probably the cost would be lower than the current estimates.
  • Beekeepers will be able to set their own price, and take a chance on not selling if they set it too high.  They could also offer some "at the market", and take whatever is offered, or choose to have the Co-op pool it and take the average of a pool price.  (Note that many --even most -- beekeepers are happy to take a chance and offer their honey at lower prices than the Co-ops ultimately earn, but complain nonetheless.  This would fix that problem).

Anyhow, that is my contribution.

If this system had been in place last year -- as I suggested when I saw the situation shaping up -- one man and a phone would never have been able to beat the Co-ops at what should be their game.  As I see it, under this system, once the details are worked out, virtually all the honey in western Canada would voluntarily move under the auspices of the co-ops, due to the advantages offered, and the producers, buyers, BeeMaid -- and its competitors -- would all be happy.


It is time for the Co-ops to take charge and re-invent themselves, before they fade into oblivion, destroying more and more of the members' money and wasting opportunity in the process.

 


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Today : Clearing this morning. Wind northwest 30 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High 3. UV index 3 or moderate. /Tonight : Clear. Low minus 8.' Normals for the period : Low minus 10. High 2.

Sunday 14 March 2004
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Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be.
Jim Horning

We awoke early and drove to Airdrie.  Mike was waiting, and we drove to YYC, where he dropped us off and we caught our flight to ORD.  From ORD, we flew to BOS.  The flights were uneventful.

Jon and Billy picked us up and we were in Riverside an hour later.  Supper was at 6:30.  

We were on the west coast a few days ago, and now we are on the east for a while.

Sunday : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind becoming west 30 km/h in the afternoon. High 8.

Monday 15 March 2004
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From Doug McRory's mailing list...

From: glen ackroyd 
To: doug mcrory etc. 

Please redistribute, since CHC has been notified that CFIA have not received a single example of mislabelled Honey product.

CFIA need our feedback and example of misrepresented or mislabelled honey or honey products. Please search out your local grocery stores or any place honey is distributed and gather samples and forward them to the CFIA at the address specified below ASAP.

Glen Ackroyd 
Ontario Representative to the Canadian Honey Council

----- Original Message ----- 

From: glen ackroyd 
To: doug mcrory etc. 
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 9:55 PM 
Subject: Urgent re: Inappropriate Honey Labelling

Please pass this to everyone who may assist in this urgent matter!!

As Beekeepers' you must get upset by food manufactures using (abusing) the good name "HONEY" to sell their products when in fact there is little to no honey actually in it!  I know I do.

There is presently an investigation going on by CFIA and we have less than 1 week to collect samples and present them to the investigating parties in Ottawa.  Please send even if you think they may be late!

Please search your local grocery shelves for samples that you consider inappropriate.  Please purchase a sample and send either the product or at least the label or copy of the label and a short note describing where you purchased this product and why you feel it is inappropriately labelled.

Samples and letters should be sent to:

Carla Berry 
CFIA - Canadian Food Inspection 
Room 2059 159 Cleopatra Drive, Ottawa, On K1A-0Y9

Thank you in advance, Glen Ackroyd
Canadian Honey Council representative from Ontario
Virginia Steckle Business Administrator Bayfield, ON N0M 1G0 519-565-2622 Fax: 519-565-5452
Email:
http://www.ontariobee.com

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?
George Price

HEALTH HAZARD ALERT

NO NAME BRAND HONEY MAY CONTAIN NITROFURANS

OTTAWA, March 13, 2004 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume No Name brand Honey because this product may contain nitrofurans.

The affected No Name brand Honey is sold in 375 g (UPC 0 60383 72375 0) and 1 kg (UPC 0 60383 72379 8) sizes bearing lot numbers 220EQ and 248EQ.

The importer, Westfair Foods, Calgary, Alberta, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. This product has been distributed in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Nitrofurans are a group of chemicals which are banned for use in Canada in food producing animals. Consumption of foods contaminated with nitrofurans may pose a human health risk related to the inherent toxicity of the drug and the potential to cause allergies. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Loblaws Customer Services at 1-888-495-5111;

CFIA at 1-800-442-2342. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time - Monday to Friday.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at www.inspection.gcca.

Media enquiries:

Loblaws
1 888 495-5111
Davendra Sharma
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Office of Food Safety and Recall
(613) 755-2890
Linda Leblanc (French)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Office of Food Safety and Recall
(613) 755-3324

Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind becoming west 30 km/h this afternoon. High 8. UV index 3 or moderate. Tonight : A few clouds. Wind west 30 km/h. Low minus 1.  Normals for the period : Low minus 10. High 2.

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
E. W. Dijkstra

Tuesday 16 March 2004
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Today, I am missing a meeting of the Southern Alberta Beekeepers Association at Terry's place.  Sorry to miss it, but my daughter-in-law is, at this moment undergoing surgery on her hand, and my wife and I are riding herd on the grandkids.

I imagine that the nutrition research is a major topic to be covered.  I'm counting on Medhat and the beekeepers to come up with a good, simple experiment that examines the current patties and suggest improvements.  Adony sent me some material and I'll post it here soon.

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 23:28:36 -0600
Subject: Another beekeeper in Manitoba

Hi Allen

I知 very surprised to read on your diary the letter coming from a guy in Manitoba.

I知 also a Co-op member in Manitoba and I also feel very angry with BeeMaid and our honey price payment drop.  It would be good to let this gentleman know that he痴 not alone. I知 very happy to see that there is at least one person who came to the same conclusion that I did.

It is now apparent that I also wrote the same type of letter last week to the Manitoba Coop President (Phil Veldhuis) hoping to get a justification for the big difference between the previewed price and the final price (this difference being a great disadvantage to the producers) .  I知 still waiting for the answer.  I知 really disappointed by Bee-Maid attitude.

I知 one of the twenty-four members who produce over 100,000 pounds of honey and I would like to see others writing a letter to the Co-op, asking for explanations.

I知 a beekeeper and a business man, I知 not a non-profit-organisation.  I have to take economic decisions if I want to keep my business running.   The Bee-Maid board have to understand that we need to make a budget every year to plan our business activities, and the deadline for this is December 31st.  By moving down the honey price 13% in such a manner, they have jeopardized my future in the honey business.

In August 2002 (when all honey was already barrelled !!), when the price was going crazy, I was most surprised to receive a letter from Bee-Maid announcing an incredible price of a minimum of 2 dollars per pound.  The price was going crazy and the beekeepers too because at this time they were being solicited by open market buyers.

This was very attractive.  It is my opinion that the Co-op. produced the 2 dollars price to stop a haemorrhage of members.  It was an emergency.   The only way to keep members was to commit on a price and that痴 exactly what they did.  They promised 2 dollars and we got 2.07 dollars a pound, and I知 very grateful to them.  Bee-Maid behaved exactly the way we needed.

The above mentioned pricing policy is not a stable long term strategy.  The Co-op. needs to be more attractive to its members.

The way they did, last month with our price break-down is not a good manner in which to keep members.  There is a great possibility that I will ship in the open market, next year 

I understand the sense of isolation of the other Co-op member who communicated with you.  I feel exactly the same way.  We live very far from each other, resulting in a lack of communication between individual members.   Manitoba Co-op. is a 砺ery heavy machine and with only two meetings a year, there is no way in such a limited time to get the real point of view of the members.

In my opinion for the Co-op, to bring back its lost members, it needs as a minimum to put in place a fixed honey price policy.

Name withheld by request


When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
Anatole France
Here's a question from another writer...

The thought struck me from last fall when I told you of all the  BEE MAID HONEY that was sitting in the corner of the warehouse at Sioux Honey.

Ever wonder what that was all about? 

Yup. Sure have,  No answers, though.  I have some Canadian friends in  Sioux and they always have gotten more than those of us in the Canadian Co-ops.  Sioux threw out everyone on staff a few years back and started over.  IMO. that is the only way to change a bad corporate culture.  

Unfortunately, here in Canada, the bad culture starts with the membership.  The major criterion for being elected to the AHPC board is to be able to claim to always ship 100% to the Co-op.  IMO, that one criterion is negatively correlated to business management and marketing knowledge, the qualities required in a board.  The very people who are rejected by that criterion are those who have real world experience in honey markets.


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Tuesday : A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h. High 9.  Friday : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries.    Low minus 8. High 3.

Fathers send their sons to college either because they went to college or because they didn't.
L. L. Henderson

Wednesday 17 March 2004
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Today is our daughter, Jean's birthday and she is 28.

Margot and Billy came over for breakfast.  Jon was well enough to go back to work.  Ellen has a sore throat, and I have been a little stuffed up.  The kids are okay.  Sarah's hand is coming along fine. 

We have snow, here in Rhode Island, about six inches and the weather is similar to home.  I spent the day at the computer, enjoying having a high speed connection and playing with Windows XP professional.

Sarah and Katrina and I were outside playing in the snow in late afternoon, when Sarah's dad, Bill came by with some snacks and near-beer.  Never have seen the point of that stuff, but drank a couple of cans.  All the calories with no kick.

Medhat called to say I was missed at the meeting.  He says they are planning to run a limited test this year on the patties, using package bees.  That makes sense to me, since it is already too late for many wintered hives, since a lot of the potential study the participants are out putting on patties right now.  There is lots of time to do some summer tests and also some fall applications.  Next year, the group will have a better idea how to take a look at spring feeding.

He also says that the money -- over $200,000 over three years, if I understood correctly -- came through for oxalic and formic work, so he will be pretty busy.  He will also be getting an assistant since the Alberta government has set aside some budget for the position. 


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Today : 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning then sunny with cloudy periods. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 5. UV index 3 or moderate./ Tonight : Cloudy periods. Low minus 3./ Normals for the period : Low minus 9. High 3.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 Isaac Asimov

Thursday 18 March 2004
I'm retired now, and days or weeks may pass between beekeeping articles  I recommend visiting pages from previous years.

One Year ago | Two years ago | Three Years ago | Four Years ago | Forum | Sale | Home | Write me

Today : Clearing. Wind southeast 30 km/h becoming southwest 40 gusting to 60 this afternoon. High 12. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : Clear. Wind southwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 this evening. Low minus 1. / Normals for the period : Low minus 9. High 3.


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There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.
Albert Guinon

Friday 19 March 2004
I'm retired now, and days or weeks may pass between beekeeping articles  I recommend visiting pages from previous years.

One Year ago | Two years ago | Three Years ago | Four Years ago | Forum | Sale | Home | Write me

Things are pretty quiet.  Ellen and Sarah are minding the kids, Jon works at home, downstairs, on Fridays.  I'm enjoying the high-speed internet connection and Win XP Pro computer upstairs.

We took Katrina for a walk and I got some groceries, and that's about it.  We're all a bit under the weather with a cold.


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Nitrofurans in Honey - Frequently Asked Questions

Random.org offers true random numbers


Today : Sunny. Wind becoming west 30 km/h this morning. High 6. UV index 3 or moderate. /Tonight : Clear. Wind west 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 5./Normals for the period : Low minus 9. High 3.

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