Page November 20th to 30th, 2004
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The last time somebody said, 'I find
I can write much better with a word processor.',
I replied, 'They used to say the same thing about drugs.'
-- Roy Blount Jr. --
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I got to puttering and
set up a page with
pictures of the trip Joe and I
made to to Lusbys' in 2002. That was three years ago, now.
Lusbys have continued on with their 4.9 work, and attracted quite a
bit of interest. I'm not sure that I accept all the theory, or
think that their methods would work for a commercial beekeeper in
Alberta, but their bees looked good to us, and their emphasis on
operating without chemical treatments is turning out to be quite
At noon, El and I drove to YYC and
by 11 PM, we were at BOS, where Jon and Katrina picked us up and whisked us back
to providence. We're here for 10 days, for Thanksgiving and a visit.
Today : Cloudy. 30
percent chance of flurries early this morning then clearing. High 3. /
Tonight : A few clouds. Low minus 7. /
Normals for the period : Low minus 10. High plus 1.
I got a call today from a commercial beekeeper in
Florida, asking about Oxamite strips. He was saying the mites are eating
them alive, and that some beekeepers are using 20x the recommended dose of
fluvalinate, twice what I had reported previously! The effects on queens
and drones is pretty sad. He also says he just got 57c for his honey, a
mix of cabbage and some other sources. I have been getting lots of
questions about oxalic, so am going to see if I can add bit more here to what is
Selected Topics. Here are a few recent links.
BeeSource Diseases and Pests Forum
I expect to be catching things up in the next few
days. I have some emails to answer, and I think I'll do that here.
Sunday : Sunny with cloudy periods. High 7.
We slept in an visited in the morning.
Later, we went to Sarah's gym and then had a later lunch nearby. Jon & I
tried to figure out the problem with one of the treadmills, but ended up loading
it into the pickup truck.
Monday : Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 4. High minus 2.
Jon and I got to talking about computers.
He has a machine running FreeBSD and I haven't used any *nixes for quite a
while. I had played with several Linux distros, but never had much luck
with the install. I am not looking for an OS that is hard to install.
Anyhow, I had looked at
some time back, but the download was huge for my phone connection and I didn't
follow up. Anyhow, we decided to download Knoppix over his high speed
connection, and within an hour, we had burned a boot CD. I put it in to
the drive and rebooted, and pesto!, I was running Linux with a KDE desktop and
full suite of software! I also could switch to several other desktops,
including Ice and Debian with a few clicks.
Knoppix runs entirely off the CD and does not
touch the hard drive on the computer unless asked to. I'm using the NTFS
file system, so decided not to try writing, but Knoppix read all the files just
fine and I could read my files from Knoppix . Knoppix also detected all my
settings and peripherals without a hitch, although I did decide to specify the
native resolution of my display during subsequent boots, since I wanted to use
the whole screen.
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html : KNOPPIX is a
bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic
hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound
cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can
be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or
adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product
demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk.
Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of
executable software installed on it.
I found Knoppix to be faster than Windows and
very complete. The tabbed Internet browsing was excellent and Konquerer is
much nicer than MSIE, but at times, I did miss
Maxthon, my favourite
browse and being able to use my bookmarks.
Tuesday : Sunny. Low minus 12. High minus 3.
Wednesday : A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 8. High plus 1.
Thanksgiving Day. We went over to Margot's
for an afternoon meal and ate well. Billy and Bill were there, and
Catherine came over with her kids for desert.
sent me a picture from Thailand. If you haven't been to
his beekeeping site,
it is one of the best on the web
Jon and I took the treadmill to a shop for repair.
we drove up to Round Lake and moved some hives with Aaron and Betsy. He
has an S!0 Chevy truck, and I was driving my son's Dodge Ram. He carried
the hives, and we took the bricks and stands. Pictures are below.
On the left is a jar of comb Aaron drew, along with 13 others,
over a crowded single brood above a plywood cover with 14 holes drilled in it.
I presume he covered the jars with a super and lid to keep them in the dark.
After the jars were full of comb, he took off the jars, waited until the bees
left, then filled the empty area with honey. He gave us one, and the honey
tastes as good as it looks.
We stayed the night and watched, "Elf" on the DVD player.
We stayed until noon., then drove back to Rhode
Island. The traffic got pretty heavy on the Massachusetts Turnpike, so we
drove the back roads and, in spite of heavy rain, got back in good time.
Jon took Katrina to school, and we stayed home.
I enjoyed the high speed Internet and Ellen read. In the afternoon, we
went shopping at Seekonk.
Sarah brought home a Christmas tree and they set
it up, but did not decorate it. That will happen tomorrow.
Saw your diary entry on Cor Dewit.
When do you do OA treatments? Do you treat with OA just prior to
wrapping? My bees here are hunkered down for winter with snow on the
ground. These were all new packages this past spring and I didnít do
any monitoring. Bees here in Anchorage in the past have generally
made it through the first winter with no treatment. Itís the
following summer when I begin readily seeing mites and shrivelled
wings. To be honest I donít feel comfortable pestering the bees this
late in the season. Do you think a spring treatment might be ok?
Pretty much a repeat of yesterday
> I used to keep hives and am considering going to a larger
> operation in the Camrose area.
The Camrose area has several large commercial
beekeepers at present, so I'm not sure how much room there is around there.
Nonetheless, moist of Alberta is very much understocked with bees, so I
imagine there must be some room. In my opinion, Alberta could carry
twice as many hives and still not be crowded. In the seventies, the
industry was expanding at a good rate, but border closure put and end to
that. Recently, pollination has financed expansion again, but not for
> I have one question for you that may
> or may not determine on how far I go but it would help. You mentioned
> that the future of honey seems to show that the price will drop.
> Do you think it will go below the $1.00 lbs and if so is it still
> viable in the commercial end of it?
Word is that Billy Bee has been offering 95c in the
past week. In the past, though, BB has always been known for low ball.
They phone around to see who is in need of cash and try to pick up bargains.
I really do not know what the price is or where it will all end up. It
seems that the South Americans are anxious to unload their honey, so I guess
we'll know more in January. Many beekeepers traditionally start
selling. then, for tax reasons.
As for viability of honey production at prices under a
dollar, that all depends on management. The cost of the capital items,
plus the cost of labour and other expenses, weighed against the amount
produced per hive and the price determines whether there will be profit.
I know some beekeepers who can make money at 65c, but they won't make money
every year at that price.
> I have just thought of some other questions. Roughly how
> would you need to make it a viable commercial operation and at what
> cost would that take.
That is a very difficult question to answer, since that
comes down to the area and the crops, the operating style and the ingenuity
and capabilities of the operator. Those who have maintenance skills
and who are able to improvise typically do well in times when prices are
Buying in at current equipment prices,
with low returns on the horizon could be a bad decision.
For those buying in, the cost of beehives and bees will
likely go down as some give up, but that decline in price typically takes a
> If you have any hives left I would be interested in
> You mentioned brood and that is fine as I would need the starter
> chambers anyhow. Also is there another alternative to getting
> package bees. Other than from Bee maid in Spruce Grove.
That is probably the best supplier, but F.W. Jones,
Norm Bartel and others handle New Zealand packages.
> Will we be able to purchase any packages from the U.S.
now that that
> border has opened to bees?
Not at present. Beekeepers in several other
provinces continue to lobby to maintain the border closure to package bees
from the USA, even though it has nothing whatsoever to do with them, and
even though their bee industries are small and not particularly significant
to Canadian production, and although they are free to keep their own
provincial borders closed to whatever they care to.
> I know some of the problems that you have mentioned and
> concerned about having more problems here in Canada.
Our biggest problem is that our regulators seem to be
more concerned about minor diseases and hypothetical pests than they are
about the health of our industry.
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