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Sunday, February 1st, 2009
Sunny with cloudy periods High 1C  Low -10C
Normals: Max: -3C Min: -15C
Sunrise 0812  Sunset 1721

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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Somehow I haven't been keeping up with these pages.  What have I been doing?  Well, think about pollen supplementation, computer troubleshooting, and more.  The long and the short of it?  I've been occupied.  I've spent quite a bit of time on BeeSource.  http://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=1431110

Monday, February 2nd, 2009
Sunny with cloudy periods High 2C  Low -8C
Normals: Max: -4C Min: -14C
Sunrise 0810  Sunset 1723

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Sunny with cloudy periods High 2C  Low -8C
Normals: Max: -3C Min: -14C
Sunrise 0810  Sunset 1723

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225507

If you are in an area with rain and melting snow running down the hives, water wicks into the cracks under lids and between supers by capillary action and runs down the inside walls even if the lids do not leak, as most plank lids do.

If you have black plastic frame feeders against a hive wall, you will see this. (Although with some of the newer feeders you might not since the mfrs figured this out and put little spacer ribs on them to keep them from touching the wall).

Anyhow, this water does not seem to bother strong hives in summer, but in less than ideal conditions the moisture kills hives. Telescoping lids are like eaves on a house and drop the water out from the walls and reduce, but do not eliminate this wicking since leaning hives or wind will still result in water running down the outside of the hive and wicking in.

Knowing this, one of the reasons for even minimal wrapping becomes clear.

Many beekeepers take the outer lids off when wrapping, since wrapping a around a telescoping lid is not easy or neat. I solved the problem another way, and that is shown on my website. It is the third topic down at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/menus/topics.htm

Telescoping lids also allow using a sheet of plastic on top of hives when feeding patties, since the rims fold the oversized plastic square down, providing a reasonable seal against drafts. Some also use sacks or canvas.

 

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225607

The simple facts are that a certain percentage of hives always die over winter. If you have one hive, that could be the one, so it might not be anything you could have prevented. That is one of the reasons most recommend having at least two. It improves your odds and gives something to compare to.

At any rate, unless you post pictures, and even if you do, there is going to be a lot of guessing, but no sure answer because we are not there to see, feel, and smell.

If you know of any beekeepers around where you live, give them a call and see if they are interested in doing a post mortem. If there is a local bee club, that is a good place to start. Otherwise look in a store and see who is putting local honey on the shelves.

 

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225370

Re: Number 45.

I have done pretty well all the same experiments, and run some of these configurations on a lot of hives for a year or more.

A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. -- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Imrie shims, special rims, auger holes, inner cover slits, staggering one super or all of them. I've also run two-queen hives, which by nature require upper entrances. Moreover, we have had many special boxes that provided upper entrances in almost any imaginable place on the hive, the result of knots, rots, dropping, woodpeckers, or bad construction.

As for conclusions? Well we were a commercial outfit with bees scattered over 100 miles and hired help, and in a country where it gets cold at night and sometimes for a week in summer, so don't take my word as gospel. It is what we learned for our situation.

We decided that upper entrances above the excluder neither helped nor hindered measurably for honey production, but added management problems. We also discovered that on cold nights drafts could cause the bees to leave the supers. Bees do not store well (for us at least) in areas of the hive they do not occupy 24/7, and also soon take honey out of cooler regions to brood chambers if they do and there is room below. We decided that the advantages and disadvantages of upper entrances cancelled out for us. That was particularly noticable in the case of weaker hives. So we quit using them.

However, we do maintain a 1" auger hole in every brood box, just below the handhole. That is very useful when splitting, since the box can sit on any flat surface and still have flight. We often just use a sheet of plastic on top of the parent hive as a cheap, easy to transport, temporary floor.

Moreover, if all hive boxes are not the same colour, holes seem to be attractive to bees and drifting is less than with bottom entrances. Also, if the hives are uneven in a yard, weak hives tend to lose bees to stronger hives, since the stronger hives have entrance activity. With auger holes it is easier for weak hives to have bees at the entrance since the entrance is closer to the brood.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
Sunny with cloudy periods High 2C  Low -8C
Normals: Max: -3C Min: -14C
Sunrise 0810  Sunset 1723

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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The days are much longer now and the colour of the slanting light is much warmer.  The sun is higher in the sky at mid-day.  Snow is melting quickly.

We watched "It Happened One Night " last evening. It's an old movie, but pretty good.  The plot is the standard chick flick story, with a less stupid guy.

Thursday, February 5th, 2009
A mix of sun and cloud High 10C  Low -5C
Normals: Max: -3C Min: -14C
Sunrise 0805  Sunset 1729

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224773

I remember, back in the seventies, in Edmonton, Bill Wilson explaining regression to the mean, using the example strains of bees bred for AFB resistance as an example. We were all puzzled. It ran counter to what seems intuitive, but trees cannot gow to the sky.

Regression is a problem, particularly in closed populations, and all populations are closed to some extent. Some more than others. That many are breeding, independently, from survivors (I know, it is an expression. You cannot breed from non-survivers ) is encouraging.

We don't know what it is that makes evolution jump the tracks and go off in a new direction every so often. We only know that it happens. In this case, we have to make sure we are there to catch the ball, that the new successes propagate.

(I also remember, years later, in Saskatoon in February, crossing a cold windy street as Bill explained that we were going to have coumophos as an additional bulwark against varroa when the future looked very bleak. I had no clue what coumophos was at the time. He said it would help us hang on until better ways were found. I don't think either of us had any idea what an addiction it would become).

Thought you'd like to know I saw an active hive today. Bees flying around and everything! They were flying around bumping into the rig and anything red like pipes and hoses. Anyway I'm not a beekeeper or anything I just work outside but I've never seen bees and snow at the same time. Thought you'd like to know. Spotted Feb 4th. If you'd like an exact location I can get it for you. Seen north of three hills alberta.

Friday, February 6th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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I spent some time in continued discussion of survivor stock on Beesource: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224773

Saturday February 7th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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Ellen & I worked on a presentation for stained glass windows in a Drumheller church.

Sunday February 8th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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Ellen & I went to visit our daughter, Jean and her husband.  My niece was out from Ontario. We stayed the night.

Monday February 9th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." -- Thomas Jefferson

We took our time getting home, doing some shopping along the way.  Ellen dropped off a proposal for a major piece of art for a Red Deer civic project.  I bought a pair of Birkenstocks.  They are expensive, but the last pair lasted me two years in constant use.

I drove Ellen home, and turned right around and headed back to Edmonton for the IPM meeting.  There were only a few new arrivals, and we wound up at Tony Romas at the Mall.

Tuesday February 10th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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Wednesday February 11th, 2009
Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
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The IPM meeting has grown over the years to be a major event, with attendance from across the country.  We had 120+ people this year and need a bigger room soon.

This meeting is a chance to catch up on the latest and to network with friends.  Medhat always brings in provocative speakers.  This year, we had Mark Goodwin from new Zealand and Randy Oliver from California.  The contrast between the two was useful, and each gave us lots to think about.

"Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use." Herodotus

The weather in Edmonton was milder than many years and there was less snow.

One of Randy's presentations showed a chart that reminded me of a similar chart I made years ago.  I had thought that I had posted it here, but I cannot find it on the site, so here it is again and some useful links for those who might want to do one for their locality.

Download the above image as PDF

Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 - Trochu

Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000

Treatments using formic or thymol are very temperature dependant.  There is no sure way to know what the weather will be, but by using a chart like the above, the optimal timing becomes obvious.

Randy placed boxes representing the treatment limits of time and temperature between the extreme lines to locate the dates where the treatments have the highest probability of success.  His page is at http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39
 

Thursday, February 12th, 2009
Chance of flurries High -4C  Low -19C
Normals: Max: -2C Min: -13C
Sunrise 0753  Sunset 1742

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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"I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one." -- Thomas Jefferson

I had intended to do something physical today, but got trapped by the keyboard again, catching up after the days away.

My Beesource posts: http://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=1434127

In the evening, we watched Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos).  It is in Spanish with English subtitles.  I'd give it 4 to 5 stars.  Of course, I am the sort that considered Total Recall and Back To The Future to be great movies. As you may have noticed, we use Zip.ca and are quite happy with the service.
 

Friday, February 13th, 2009
Chance of flurries High -7C  Low -17C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -13C
Sunrise 0751  Sunset 1743

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=393713&posted=1#post393713

All good suggestions. Personally, I never did nail bottoms on. I bought hives that had them nailed on and soon took them off.

I used staples for a while, but all that hammering and prying got to be a nuisance. I soon learned to use the rough lathe that is sold as survey stales, lattice, etc. (3/8" x 1.5" x 3' approx) and comes in bundles, and drywall screws driven by a reversable battery drill to hold hives together when necessary. (The stack of supers making the 'hive' holding up my country mailbox is a good example, although the lathe is inside for appearance since it has no frames). A few lathes screwed on the outside of a hive can do a quick and decent job of holding on floors and inner covers. The screws only make tiny holes.

Nutrition is also being carefully looked at by scientists. Theres more evidence that feeding pollen patties is extremely beneficial, especially to colonies going to almonds. And high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) feeding could be more problematic than previously thought. Of particular concern is the quantity of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) found in some of the food being used. Although generally produced by heat reacting on fructose, there is evidence that the HMF content may rise to unacceptable levels simply when water is added to HFCS. More at http://home.ezezine.com/1636_2/1636_2-2009.02.13.13.26.archive.html

 
The ingredients for a simple nice dry mead.People ask about mead making.  I have reduced the process over the years to this.

In a canning kettle or large soup pot add a litre or two of clean water to approximately 12 lbs of the best honey you can find.

Temp
 (F):

Heating
time (minutes)

128
470
130
170
135
60
140
42
145
7.5
150
2.8
155
1.0
160
.4

Heat on a stove, stirring often until it is pasteurised (See chart at left from Beesource). The idea is to have the water in contact with the hot bottom part of the pot, not just thick honey, which would burn.  I do not boil, but just pasteurise.

Add this hot honey syrup to clean, sterile water (tap water is OK) already filling a clean five gallon pail halfway up, stir and bring the level to 2" below the rim with more water. Stir.

Add about 50 ml of dibasic ammonium phosphate (yeast nutrient) and some yeast energiser if it is handy.  Stir.

Sprinkle the yeast (Lalvin 1118 or another attenuating high-alcohol yeast) on the surface.  Place the lid on loosely.  (Air is good at this point).

Watch it ferment for a few days.  When the action and foam lessens, top the water up to 3/4" down from the rim.

When it is not bubbling much (one week?), then siphon into a carboy and put on an airlock if you have one or loosely cover the hole.  You can use another pail and seal it except for a small escape hole, but glass is better at this stage.

When bubbles no longer rise through the airlock, add the kieselsol and stir.  Wait an hour and add the chitosan and stir again.  I buy the one-batch kieselsol/chitosan packages at the store when I buy the yeast.  You need to buy yeast at a wine-making supplier, and the type is important.

If your honey was clean, the solids should settle and the carboy will be clear within a week at most.  Siphon into gallon jugs or whatever.  I have used plastic, but now use only glass, since the plastic can be affected by the various aromatic components of mead over time.

I use screw caps and leave them a little loose.  If you stopper tightly and have not added chemicals (metabisuphate or sorbate), and I do not use them, there is always the risk of 'glass grenades' if fermentation restarts and gas builds up in the bottles.  That is not likely with the dry mead made following the instructions above, but if there is much sugar left, it is possible.  You're on your own if you do cork or stopper tightly.

I always make the mead dry.  It is easy to add a little honey or fruit at drinking time for those who like it sweet.

See also http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/2000/diary031500.htm#mead

and  http://www.beesource.com/bee-l/bulletinboard/meadintro.htm

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Chance of flurries High -7C  Low -17C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -13C
Sunrise 0751  Sunset 1743

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." -- Thomas Jefferson

We watched Forbidden Planet last night.  I'd seen it before, but could not remember the ending.  Monsters from the id.  Add that to the concepts in Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) and the world gets to be surreal.

Sunday, February 15th, 2009
Chance of flurries High -8C  Low -22C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -12C
Sunrise 0747  Sunset 1747

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=394303#post394303

Thanks for the comments. I really am not entirely up to speed on the Mountain Camp Method as such, but have done a little research in case I am missing something. I'm assuming that http://www.indianahoney.com/drysugar.html sums the idea up well. If I am missing something that makes this particular variation magic, I apologise.

My friend Dave Green http://pollinator.com/ was a big fan of dry feeding using newspaper, and I saw it in practice when I visited him in South Carolina after the Virginia Beach ABF meeting, and, of course, I have tried variations on it myself at times.

I understand that some use it as a way of dealing with moisture, and I can see that it is mostly of use in what I consider to be the south. In the north, leaving a lot of empty space above the combs can be problematic for one thing.

For another, feeding anything besides stored food in combs after the bees settle down results in sub-optimal performance later unless they are starving in which case being alive, even if weak and with run-down fat bodies, is better than dead. That caveat includes candy boards, etc.

I know people will argue, but usually people who have never tried giving the right bees the right amount of space and ventilation and making sure there is sufficient food, early in the fall so the bees settle down rather than flying in search of food on every day when it is even marginal. or people who like to tinker constantly with their bees and test the bees endurance, rather than do the right thing early in fall and go away.

I have have seen many things, and nothing compares to that ideal -- the right strain of bees, the right size of hive, the right ventilation, adequate stores, and, where indicated, some wrapping.

I see some friends who really should know better miss the target over and over and they constantly have winter loss and poor spring performance along with nosema, etc.

Bees that are just subsisting result in beekeepers who are just subsisting and that results in bees that are just subsisting that result in beekeepers who are just ...

It is a loop and the way to break out is to make sure the bees never come close to starvation. Malnutrition has similar effects to starvation. Bees need high quality food, and more than enough on hand to keep them settled down and quiet. In this day of monoculture pollen from agricultural crops is often inadequate in composition. HFCS is suspect. Dry sugar is an uncertain supply. It can be tough.

Sorry if I am getting OT. I'm trying to keep from spending too much time here, and this point cannot be emphasized enough. I really worry about relying on dry sugar feeding becoming a habit for unsuspecting beekeepers who get to thinking that the results are normal.

As an emergency measure, I am all for it.

By the way, I am not addressing anyone in particular here. I've sorta forgotten what got me going, so please, nobody take this personally. It is just a rant.

Monday, February 16th, 2009
Chance of flurries High -3C  Low -19C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -12C
Sunrise 0745  Sunset 1749

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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> I was thinking of using a well known pollen supplement  as a cell rearing
> stimulant seeing as it had "all the 10 major type proteins necessary for
> complete bee nutrition" I am not quite as eager to do so now.

Supplements are not recommended for use in queen rearing,, at least
according to Steve Tabor.  Pure pollen is what is recommended, although some
tell me they use supplements with apparent good results.

A caveat, though: I have purchased cells from queen producers with good
reputations and found the cells came *nowhere* near our own standards for
feed in the cell and size, so when it comes to queens be careful what you
believe and who you trust.  I'd trust Steve Tabor's advice on that point
until I had a chance to do a limited test.

I don't know of any supplement that does not offer "all the 10 major type
proteins necessary for complete bee nutrition".  Unfortunately that is not
all there is to it.  The picture is much more complex, and the history of
the bees being fed as well as any other food sources contributing while
feeding confound the issue.

> I think many of these protein supplements do what they are supposed to in
> stimulating brood production and are great products,

Personally, I think the emphasis on brood production causes people to miss
the point entirely.  Brood production is a desirable end in itself, but is a
*symptom* of bee health and the nutritional picture.  To me the goal of
feeding is to enhance bee health *overall*.  Enhancing bee health on a
continuous basis results in a better chance of achieving all the other goals
we seek, and that should be the goal of supplemental feeding.

> but your comment about 2 brood cycles being the max you can raise on
> pollen supplement alone makes it clear that we haven't arrived.

This has always been a problem with supplementation.  Whenever it has seemed
that that limit has been exceeded, it has been found that the bees were
somehow enhancing the feed, either from their own bodies, from stores, or
from the environment.

allen

Beautiful, but cold.  The days are definitely getting longer.  We have light in the morning and at suppertime, now.

I posted to BEE-L today.  Things have been civilized there lately and I thought I'd take a chance.  The topic is one dear to my heart: feeding.

Along that vein, I wrote the Global Patties Instruction sheet some time ago and it needed updating. Here is the latest.

Seems some people took the mention that the patties could be stored at room temp for months and even years literally and thought that they should use year-old patties.  They were surprised when the patties dried a bit.  Who knows what 'room temperature' means to some people.  Anyhow the long and short of it is that patties should not be stored.  They should be fed.

The idea of feeding even one patty seemed revolutionary a few years back, now many are feeding ten pounds per hive!

All the evidence that I see keeps showing that feeding protein heavily in spring results in healthier bees and much reduced winter loss the following winter.  This applies everywhere, not just Alberta.


 

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Sunny with cloudy periods High -1C  Low -17C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -12C
Sunrise 0743  Sunset 1751

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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Fom http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=395032#post395032

http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/conten...ct/206/23/4217
http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/206/23/4181
http://www.pnas.org/content/100/12/7343.full.pdf  Must read!!

Fascinating stuff. Brood nest temperatures can have huge impacts on memory and learning. The results for brood reared at cooler temps in that last study are reminiscent of some of the CCD symptoms. Perhaps as field and cluster heater bees are lost the developing larvae become less able to learn and remember thus compounding the situation.

Our sauna quit working the other day.  I finally phoned them up and guess what?  They said they'd send me a new control box.  Nobody asked the serial number or anything..

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Clearing High -1C  Low -14C
Normals: Max: -1C Min: -12C
Sunrise 0741  Sunset 1753

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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I decided it is time, and wrapped the last three of my ten hives.  It got up to thawing, so this is a perfect opportunity. 

All are doing well so far.  Some are bigger, some are smaller, and all but one are clustered and quiet.  Several are still away down in the second of three boxes.

I also put on some reducers.  I may have trapped a mouse or two inside, but I doubt it.   The fox hangs around there and I am sure she has gotten most of them.  In the summer the skunks were mousing there, too.

I'm going to have to do something about the skunk though, since there were obvious signs that the skunk was eating bees from all hives all summer and into the fall.  Often skunks will ignore the bees and just go for the mice, but some skunks get a taste for bees and they can eat a lot of bees.  Maybe I'll raise the hives up a bit more, or maybe put more boxes on sooner.  Chicken wire in front works, too.  Some use carpet border strips, tack side up.  I'm hoping the old skunk dies over winter and the replacement does not know the delights of bee eating.

The picture (right) is of the top bars of a styro hive, three boxes high with no upper entrances.  It had a pillow or two on top and a lid.  I see some ice, but the bees are down below and they sound and smell OK.  I don't worry about a little ice, since it is around the edges and actually provides some water when they need it to liquefy the honey.  Nonetheless, I pulled the pillow back a crack and put a few more pillows on.  I'll have to drill some auger holes into these styro boxes sometime, I think.  Maybe not.

I notice that I can feel considerable heat radiating from the black wraps in the sun, and not the styro (white) hives.  I also notice that some hives are shaded a bit in the afternoon by a honeysuckle bush.  Even without leaves, it cuts the warmth detectibly.

The picture also reveals how I keep bees.  I don't scrape much, and I leave the propolis unless the burr comb and propolis get problematic.  Needless to say, I am not a huge fan of regular inspections.  I can see what I need to see from the top with a little smoke.  Why look for trouble?  IMO, many of the current bee disasters come from over manipulation and under feeding.  I was not always like this.  When I started, I had the best-scraped hives in Alberta, and went through them regularly, removing wax and propolis.  I was also a bee inspector and went through may, many hives and supers.  I also had the worst wintering success.  I eventually learned...

In regard inspections, I have to say that I am concerned.  It seems Alberta is moving in the direction of increased inspections.  I suppose some inspection is useful, but IMO, education is far more cost-effective and useful.  This is the problem with forced collection of fees from beekeepers.  A pool of money collects and it must be spent.

Because it is a common pool, and nobody owns it, it gets wasted.  If you were to ask individuals if they want that service, they say, "No!" especially if they have to pay, but because it is not their money now, they say, "Whatever".   We desperately need research into optimal feeding and access to disease and pest adapted stock, and we are not going to get it.  Instead the money will go down the sinkhole and an empire will be rebuilt.

When I started the truck and drove around the quonset, I spooked the fox which had been sunning by the pond.  I had no idea how fast a fox can run.  Now I do.  Pretty darned fast!

The mead is coming along well.  I started two batches a few days ago and they are now half finished according to the hydrometer.  It seems to take about three weeks from start to finish, although longer is better.

I watched The Dark Knight, or tried to.  Ellen & I both sat down to watch it, but she soon left.  I turned it off before the end.  I gave it one star, then reconsidered and gave it a zero.  What a disgusting movie.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
Periods of snow High 0C  Low -18C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -12C
Sunrise 0739  Sunset 1754

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

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I worked on some websites.  I am running a RC1 version of SMF on one site and the upgrade had choked.  The site worked, but Admin was crippled.  Got some support and all is well.  Also the http://SoutherrnAlbertaBeekeepers.com site needed upgrading.  I ran the upgrade and it choked.  I called in the gods and had the site nuked and rolled back.  All is well.

Ellen & I worked cleaning up the gym.  We have a gym downstairs and I am thinking I'll put up my pool. 

Of course we had to listen to Harper entertain Obama in Ottawa.  What will I think when I read this a few years hence?

Beesource rolls on.  There is a time-waster if I ever saw one.  I spend at least an hour a day there now.

We watched Walk the Line tonight.  I've been a Johnny Cash fan since 1956 when I first heard I Walk the Line while riding in Uncle Bud's new Ford with its amazing bass and rear speakers.  It took me a while longer to develop a taste for Elvis.  Jerry Lee Lewis was OK, but he fell out of sight.

The movie?  It was OK, but the music was not Cash himself singing, or real June Carter, but was covers, I assume by the actors.  The writers took liberties with the timeline and left out some significant events, which is insulting in a way.

June Carter?  Well it took me much longer to get to enjoy the Carters.  Oddly, as teens, we listened to WKBW, Buffalo, which was right next to WWVA, The Grand Ol' Opry from Wheeling West Virginia, on the radio dial.  From Northern Ontario, WWVA was a nuisance because its signal was stronger some days.  We hopped up and fine tuned our radios to listen o the US stations, and I frequented the local radio shop.  John, of John's Radio was always tuned to CHNO, and Cash was a regular on that station, as was Hank Williams.

Oddly, in recent years, I prefer Bluegrass to repeats of the music we loved then'.  I never did acquire a liking for 'gospel'.

Friday, February 20th, 2009
Chance of flurries High 2C  Low -16C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0739  Sunset 1754

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

We did more cleanup today in the gym and I started the forklift to move some junk around.  I discovered that the propane (it is propane powered) leaks down while sitting.  I'll have to remember to turn it off when it is out of use, or maybe the valve just stuck this once.

I see there is a new version of the OpenOffice.org office suite and also VirtualBox.

I watched another episode of Quantum Leap on DVD.

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
 
Sunny  High -4C  Low -14C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0735  Sunset 1758

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

I cleared the ice this morning and Jean & family came in time for lunch.  We played a little hockey after.  They stayed for supper and headed back to Lacombe.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=396868#post396868

   

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
 
Sunny with cloudy periods  High 1C  Low -9C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0733  Sunset 1800

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

It's foggy this morning.  Looks like fox mating season.


Almond bloom


Monday, February 23rd, 2009
 
Periods of snow  High -6C  Low -11C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0731  Sunset 1803

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

Another day of slaving over a hot computer and gym cleaning

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
 
Periods of snow  High -8C  Low -18C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0729  Sunset 1803

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

I drove to Calgary in the afternoon to attend the monthly social of the Calgary Chapter of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons  They turned out to be a congenial group.  Here is another

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
 
Periods of snow  High -13C  Low -22C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0727  Sunset 1805

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

Looks like cold weather right into March.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
 
Chance of flurries  High -15C  Low -25C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0725  Sunset 1807

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

lbla1 Here is a link to making a "Varroa Blaster"

 

At the IPM meeting in February, Randy (his website) was discussing sugar dusting and how it can be quite effective when used correctly.  There is a discussion at BeeSource today on the matter.
 

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
 
Chance of flurries  High -15C  Low -20C
Normals: Max: 0C Min: -11C
Sunrise 0720  Sunset 1810

Februarys past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Honey Bee World ForumHoneyBeeWorld List | Diary Home

In recent years, I've been increasingly concerned that the emphasis at our meetings is on emergency treatment of varroa, tracheal, AFB, etc., and not so much on prevention.   Of course, reasonable hygiene in handling diseased equipment and sterilization of equipment are common sense, and chemical treatments can rescue hives that are breaking down, but the real, long-term solution is genetics, and we are not getting much promotion of that aspect of control.  We have breeders in Canada and the US now who have bees that can resist the scourges, yet we hear little about them.

BC Bee Breeders' Association Queen Testing Project Assessing Sustainable Honey Bee Stock in British Columbia 2006 to 2008

We had a great party with all the usual suspects.  It was wing night.

 

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