The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives
everything except genius.
Looking under a double hive to see how it is coming along
This morning, Ellen hangs her show in Drumheller.
I'm about finished working on this computer, but have started to notice fan noise. I had always noticed that the fan ran intermittently, but am now finding that the sound is becoming distracting. Perhaps there is a way to shut it up without burning things up. So far, I have not found a way to do so. Now I'm thinking that I need to find a way to transfer all the changes I've made on this machine to an other without going through all the downloads, etc. Somehow, I doubt that will be easy.
One thing I've discovered since I started using the LCD screen is how much my other monitor flickers. I had grown used to it, but when I go back to it now, after using the laptop, I see the difference. At first, I found the display on this machine to be a bit jagged. Now this looks normal to me and I find the display on the desktops to be very fuzzy.
Anyhow, it's a nice, sunny morning, and I'm going out to work on the bees.
I maybe should mention that I am seeing more small bees in the hives again this year. I recall that when we first started feeding supplement, that Jon, my son, said that he did notice much difference at this time of year, other than that the bees looked bigger and that he did not see the dwarfs we usually se in the spring. This year, I did not give supplement, and again I see smaller bees. I can't help but think that the supplement makes a difference that adds up over time.
I also took a drive by the foam hives and there is a shot on the right. We did lose one, and that is consistent with the other hives, on a percentage basis. I'll have a better report on the survivors, soon.
I cooked a roast in the afternoon, and we took it, and the rest of supper to Meijers. Jake and his wife were there too, and we all had a great time. Oene and I drove out to look at their Russian and Buckfast bees bees in their yard, and managed to get well stung, just before supper. Oene and Ellen went exploring in the basement of the old house on their property and found some bottles, and some pickles, too. More later, about the bees.
I guess I should say that, at this point, I am liking this computer better, since I discovered the reason for the noisy fan was that I had it on a picnic table and the noise carried through the slats. Sitting on a tablecloth, it is much quieter. Out of curiosity, I did a Brute Benchmark test on the new machine, and also on my desktop. The laptop blew away the desktop machine in every regard, except video, which was much weaker. The poorer video should not matter to me, since I do not play games, unless the slower performance affects playback of videos. So far, I have not noticed any problems.
At this point, I am thinking that I'll get rid of the desktop unit and use this one for everything. I like the display better, since there is no flicker, and, for that matter, I can add a second monitor if I wish. It is reasonably quiet and very portable, so I can move around the house with it, and also go outdoors.
Today : Sunny. High 22. UV index 6 or high. / Tonight : A few clouds. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 9. / Normals for the period : Low 1. High 14.
Last night, Oene and I went out to look at their Russian and Buckfast bees. The ones we observed were from stock obtained from Ontario, and that is a story. I guess they ordered queens of both types from two of Ontario's most respected breeders. Of course, the queens were only available in June and July -- rather late for any commercial purpose, but okay for a development project. Apparently one supplier delivered with no problems, (F. Petit), but the other insisted on payment up front, then never did deliver all the bees that were ordered and already paid for. Moreover, there was no apology, and no refund, until my friends followed up and insisted on a refund. Even then, there was no apology.
Anyhow, the Russians (second picture) had small clusters and were not friendly. We left them quickly, picking bees from our hair, and tried the Buckfasts. Those were much stronger (third picture) and just as hostile. We left them and went to supper. They were all taking syrup from the drums, and we attributed their temper to the robbing.
Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind west 20
km/h increasing to 40 gusting to 60 near noon. High 22. UV index 6 or high. /
Tonight : Clear. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 this evening.
Low 7. /
Normals for the period : Low 1. High 15.
The weather is nice again these days, and we are seeing dandelions at last. Ellen is out gardening when she is not painting, and I decided to do some clean-up this afternoon as well, and to check the package bees. We had a pile of pallets and brush outside the house that we intended to use for a bonfire, but had not gotten around to burning, and I decided to burn them before they kill too much of the lawn. Our lawn is a country lawn, and not too carefully cultivated, but I figured it would be nice to get rid of the junk.
After that, I looked through the package bees. I hadn't been in too big a hurry to do so, since I had glanced in here and there, and seen that they were doing well, but I figured it is now time to check them all. It has been three weeks. Brood should be hatching any day, now.
I worked through the first 16 and found all were doing fine and was starting to think that I was wasting my time, but the 17th and 18th were in need of work. They had been shaken from the same four-pound package, and there had been something wrong with it, I guess, because both halves were queeenless. A quick glance told me that they were both beyond requeening -- even if I had queens, which I do not. One had laying workers or a dud queen, I gathered because there were a few eggs in drone cells. I saw no eggs in the other, not that I spent long looking. I just took the lids off and lifted the adjacent two good colonies on top of each and left them.
Today : A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon with the risk of a thunderstorm. High 17. UV index 6 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers this evening with the risk of a thunderstorm. Low 5. / Normals for the period : Low 1. High 15.
Long time readers will recall references to my toolbox hive. It was a swarm that I picked up, toolbox and all and kept, untreated and unmanaged for several years. Here are some links to past references: March 2001 Sept 2002 March 2003 April 2003 June 2003 July 2003 Sept 2003
We were away for much of the summer last year, and when we returned, the hive was dead. I gave it a cursory glance, but did not do a post mortem. Today, I was cleaning up the yard and I took a good look. What I found was, at first, mystifying. The hive was robbed out last year, and the comb has the look of AFB. There are dead pupae and a dark stain on the comb, but no smell, and no scale, and there were no bees in the box, either. The hive shows obvious PMS. After several years of no treatment, the varroa took it down. I had seen one varroa on a bee shortly after I first brought them home, but never saw any more, in spite of looking, however, I never did open the box to inspect for varroa in the brood, since comb hung from the lid.
Today : A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming west 20 km/h near noon. High 20. UV index 6 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain showers changing to flurries overnight. Wind west 20 km/h becoming north 20 overnight. Low minus 2. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 15.
This morning, an NFU press release landed in my inbox. It appears to be another contribution to the FUD campaign being pursued by a small, but determined rearguard group of beekeepers who have no scruples about 1.) stimulating public fear about our industry and 2.) promulgating the false impression that our industry is thriving behind the trade ban.
Checking the NFU's other pronouncements, basically, their position is that smaller is better, and old ideas are better than new ideas, protectionism and small markets are better than trade and large markets. Besides, what does the NFU know about bees and beekeeping? Not much, I gather, many of the statements made in their release are lies. See here
At any rate, there was an interview on CBC at noon With Jean Luc Paradis, asking him about the release, and, I think that he did a very nice and balanced job. It's nice to see that the professional beekeepers of the west are taking the high road, being professional and level in their comments, and not getting down and mud-wrestling with these guys -- or even giving credence to the lies in a forum where the time is limited. Nonetheless, for those who cannot tell truth from fiction, I'll leap into the breech.
Today : Periods of snow. Wind north 30 km/h becoming east 20 near noon. High 1. / Tonight : Snow. Amount 5 cm. Low minus 4. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 15.
The snow is melting. I've been spending too much time indoors. There is a foot of fresh snow in the mountains, but it is Spring here on the prairie. I've got to get outside. I spent five days breaking in this computer, and now it is ready to go: fully equipped with all my toys. My desktop machine is now a relic.
I got a call this afternoon that surprised me. A very good, very well known and respected beekeeper says he is fed up with trying to get help, and will sell 1,000 hives. He doesn't want his name published, but I said I'd pass the word on. Contact me if you are interested. I'll get you in touch.
I also agreed with another outfit to go and try to figure out what is wrong with their bees. They are doing OK, but have some mysterious symptoms.
Today : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries early this morning then clearing. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this morning. High 13. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low zero. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 15.
This morning, I shoveled the ashes, loaded the drum loader into the trunk of my old red car, and by 3, I was on the road to Vancouver. I made good time, and, as I write this, I am in a Super 8 Motel in Sicamous. As it happens, I am right next door to the place we rented a houseboat last Fall. This was where I ended up as it was getting dark.
Today : A mix of sun and cloud. High 16. UV index 8 or very high. / Tonight : Clearing. Low 5. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 15.
For those who expressed interest in the hives for sale that I mentioned the other day, my wife phoned to say that the beekeeper in question had called and has changed his mind. Apparently, he has decided that he needs those hives and has managed to find the help he needs. For anyone who really wants some bees, I'd probably sell 25 or so.
Ellen also said that my mother called to say she has gone to the cottage, since my brother Ron is down that way. He has business in Ontario and is in Central Ontario a lot. The thing is that I am on my way -- among other things -- to see him in Vancouver. Of course, I have other matters to attend to in B.C., but one of my main goals was to see him about some business. I guess I should have phoned. Oh, well, I'm sure we'll meet up.
Today, I see another Ron, Ron Lin who bought my forklift and trailer. He was the lucky winner. It is amazing how long a list of willing buyers I has who were prepared to pay cash for that Swinger. I think that there were at least five definite, and I had quit writing down names. Goes to show that if anyone could make a diesel Swinger for $22,500 (CAD), the world would beat a path to his door. Meijers bought a machine that they hope will be comparable in the US, but we are all waiting to see. So far, nobody is convinced. See Thursday 8 April 2004, but it is a nice machine. We'll see.
I got to Ron's around 3 and we worked until 8:30, moving drums around, putting on the arms and bucket, and reviewing various things about it. We then had supper up town and I drove to my brother's for the night.
Today : A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with the risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming west 20 km/h this afternoon. High 18. UV index 6 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain showers this evening. Periods of snow beginning overnight. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming northeast 20 near midnight. Low minus 2. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.
In the morning, I turned on my laptop and it immediately found their network, and moments later, I was signed on and connected at high speed. The high speed is fantastic, and lets this machine operate right up to its potential.
The picture at left was in my inbox this AM. Chris reports snow in Ponoka. Conversations with Ellen, later, confirmed snow continuing through the day in Swalwell, as well.
Today : Periods of snow. Amount 2 to 5 cm. Wind north 30 km/h. High 1. UV index 3 or moderate. / Tonight : Periods of snow ending overnight then cloudy. Amount 2 cm. Low minus 3. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.