A Beekeeper's Diary

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Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament,
and for anything I know it may be glandular.
 But it is not something that can be demanded from life,
 and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and
see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
-- Robertson Davies --

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Tuesday 10 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. -- Henry David Thoreau

We were up at 4 and I drove Ellen & Shirley to the airport.  Grant came along as well.  I was home a few hours later and the Easterners woke up and had breakfast.  They then got ready to carry on along their trip, starting with a visit to Jean and Chris, but I noticed their tailpipe was loose, so they wound up going to Three Hills to the tire shop for a repair.  I had to go there too, since in the morning, I had discovered an flat on our van and had had to take Elliotts' car instead.  Although I had blown it up at the time, and it held air, I had not been sure how bad the leak was, and had decided to take no chances.  As it turned out, there were two nails in the tire, so I was wise not trying to make the airport trip with it.

Tuesday : Sunny. Low 9. High 21.


Wednesday 11 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

A day at the desk, with a tri to town to see the banker about getting my web access working better.

Wednesday : Sunny. Low 10. High 24. \


Thursday 12 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. -- Abraham Lincoln

A day of desk work and study.

Today : Sunny. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this morning. High 27. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Clear. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 9. / Monday : Sunny. Low 11. High 28.


Friday 13 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. -- George Dennison Prentice

Allen's Link of the Day:

I'm giving these links again, since a new report is out.  I've also added them to selected topics

These days I use this laptop for everything.  I do have a desktop computer, but have not turned it on for months.  The Toshiba A20 meets all my needs.  When a laptop is in use daily, the LCD screen eventually attracts dust and fingerprints, and needs to be cleaned, but the surface is not as forgiving as the glass face of a traditional monitor.  On my last machine, I used water most of the time, and Windex® and dampened paper towel occasionally for fingerprints, however, it does not do a perfect job without scrubbing.  I also noticed a few scratches and began wondering, so I did some searching. Apparently the flat panels need special treatment, or can suffer permanent damage.  Here are some references: Dell, Apple, Apple, Opinions, Klear Screen, Clean the Screen

Today : Sunny. Wind southeast 20 km/h. High 30. UV index 8 or very high.  / Tonight : Clear. Low 12. / Normals for the period : Low 9. High 23.


Saturday 14 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens. -- Benjamin Disraeli

Allen's Link of the Day:

Maxthon tabbed browser.  Maxthon is the new name for MYIE2, my favourite browser.  Maxthon is a vast improvement over Microsoft internet Explorer, and Maxthon is free.

First thing, I drove to town to get a new tap for the kitchen sink and installed it.  Then Jean & Chris came to visit on their way to a high school reunion.  I did a few more chores, including defrosting the freezer.

Orams came back after an hour or two.  I'd invited Flo and Maurice over for burgers, so we had a barbeque and sat on the deck.

Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with the risk of a thunderstorm. High 27. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers this evening with the risk of a thunderstorm. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 13. / Normals for the period : Low 9. High 23.


Sunday 15 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb - that's where the fruit is.

Jean, Chris,  Mackenzie & I went to the Tyrell today, and met up with Chris S there.  We spent most of the day at the museum, then returned to Swalwell before supper.  I'm getting to like the van better, but it needs alignment; it pulls to the right.

Matt came over and pulled the honey on our hives.  He used used abandonment to remove the bees.  Since there is a good flow on, the bees were out of the boxes within a few hours.  He got 45 boxes off the 32 hives we have left.  Not a great crop, so far, but we did split some of them this spring, using the walk-away technique, since I had no queens handy, so those hives will be slow.  Most of them are also hives that Leroy thought too weak to take this spring when he bought our overwintered hives.  Matt says the splits have caught up with the others now, so if the season continues, we may see another pull or two.

I've noticed that a skunk has been bothering the hives outside my door.  I can tell by the packed grass in front of the hives and the scratches on the doorsteps. The bees have been hanging out at night lately, due to the flow and hot weather, and are the clusters are easy picking for a hungry skunk if it is willing to put up with serious stinging.  Some skunks are up to the punishment, but, in my experience, most of them don't care for bees.  I'll lift the pallet up onto another pallet or two to put the entrance higher off the ground.  I've heard that skunks don't like to stand up to eat bees, since it exposes their underside to the bees.  We'll see.

Calgary Weather: Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with the risk of a thunderstorm. High 23. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening. Low 13. / Normals for the period : Low 9. High 23.


Monday 16 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...' -- Isaac Asimov

We moved this pallet (left) about 15 feet last night.  Today, the bees are flying, and although a few are circling around the old location, they all return to the hives.  We plan to move them close enough, in several stages, to the swarm hive seen in the background, and then to use that hive to replace a hive which had turned drone-layer, and was removed from the pallet and shaken out yesterday.

I weighed the 46 supers that Matt pulled yesterday, and got 3,000 lbs total, including boxes and pallets.  I also counted the hives and got 32, including several that look weak.  Taking off 60 lbs each for pallets and 20 lbs per super, I get an estimate of 1860 lbs of honey and wax, or 58 lbs per hive.  Most people would not count the weak splits, and would come up with 72 lbs per hive.

Calgary Weather: Today : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm. High 19. UV index 3 or moderate. / Tonight : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening with the risk of a thunderstorm. Low 13. / Normals for the period : Low 8. High 23.


Tuesday 17 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. -- Oscar Wilde

I drove to Sherwood Park for a meeting at Lakeland College.  The college is the contractor for developing the new beekeeping Green Certificate programme for Alberta Agriculture, and I am the one who will be doing the project for them.  Lakeland's Sherwood Park campus is a three hour drive from Swalwell, so the trip took pretty much the whole working day.  I returned straight home, although Jean and Chris had invited me to come by along the way for supper, since I had a lot to do before catching my flight tomorrow.  Ellen is still in China, and I am off to Ontario to spend some time with my brother and family while they are at Port Carling.

Calgary Weather: Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms late this afternoon. Wind becoming north 20 km/h this morning. High 24. UV index 7 or high. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms this evening. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 7. / Normals for the period : Low 8. High 22.


Wednesday 18 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is.   -- Chuck Reid

I was up early and at the accountant's office by 8, having already accomplished 3 hours of preparation.  We had the CAIS forms to fill in, and after almost 2 hours, I realized that I could probably finish the job better at home, since the physical records there and we were trying to do the job using the financial records.  It seems that no matter how good a person's records are, some government wants something you did not record.

I got back home and packed, then drove to the airport.  By eleven PM, I was again at Pine Hill, where I was greeted by Mom, and Jessie.

Calgary Weather: Wednesday : Sunny with cloudy periods. High 21.


Thursday 19 August 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.  -- Doug Larson

I spent the day at the cottage with Mom.  In the afternoon, we took the Winonah II cruise up Lake Rosseau.  In the evening Joan, Graham, & I went to see Second City in Port Carling.  The performance was tasteless and medicocre at best, and had nothing to do with the provocative title, 'Being Liberal means never having to Say You are Sorry'.  I'm sorry, though.  I'm sorry I went.

Calgary Weather: Thursday : Sunny. Low 11. High 23.

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   "If I make a living off it, that's great -- but I come from a culture where you're valued
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