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Bees are still working flowers in the third week of September

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Tuesday September 20th 2011
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Did we have a frost in Alberta?  It doesn't look like it, and the weather is opening up for a continued flow anywhere where there has not been a frost pocket and wherever there is sufficient ground moisture.

It looks as if I had better reschedule my flight.  This trip to Sudbury has slowed down my planned activity at Pine Hill.  I have had to stay longer than I first planned and am running out of time for closing up and bringing my boat north.  Moreover, there is an increasing likelihood of disruption due to a strike exactly when I am scheduled to fly home.  See  Air Canada talks break down without an agreement, says CUPE.

I called Air Canada and they switched my reservation to the same flights, but two weeks later, October 7th, with no fuss, no up-charge, and no hassle. Amazing!  Wouldn't it be nice if it was always this easy?  This change allows lots of time for the strike to be over, and lots of time for me to get things done here.  I also rescheduled my eye appointment -- again.

Shortly after I changed my flights, I see this:  Air Canada, flight attendants reach deal.  If I had waited, the change would have cost me money.

It rained off and on all day. 

Mom is looking much better and I think I can head back south soon.  The wildcard now is the weather (right).  Pine Hill is a wonderful place to be in warm weather, but a bit depressing in cool, rainy weather and the next little while promises to be rainy, and cool on Saturday.  I want to be here in Sudbury for the ham radio flea market anyhow.   The Swalwell weather forecast looks beautiful in comparison.

After lunch, I went looking at tablets again and decided to get Mom an iPad.

I decided that even though there are many things I don't like about Apple, the iPad is reliable and has some essential apps that may or may not yet be available on Android.  Moreover, the availability of any specific app can vary from Android tab to Android tab and from one O/S version to another.   Whatever I chose, it has to be something she can run without getting too frustrated or needing me to be around.  The iPad has one big drawback: the need in to be connected to iTunes periodically.  Apple assume that owners have a  desktop or notebook and Mom does not, but I figure I'll be around often enough with mine.

The rest of the day was spent setting up the iPad and playing with it.  I watched some TV shows and the rest of Midnight Run on the iPad.   It runs Netflix better than my notebook or netbook. 

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Wednesday September 21st 2011
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This morning we tried listening to Audible on the iPad.  That turned out to be less intuitive than on the Tab.  I don't know if this idea -- getting Mom to use an iPad -- is going to work out.  We'll see once she gets back to normal.  She's recovering, but still a bit weak.

*   *    *   *   *   *

I'm thinking of going to Port Carling soon, but also realising that if I want to be here Saturday, that I'd be driving back again pretty much right away.  Also, the forecast for Muskoka does not look all that great, with rain in the forecast until the weekend.

Today I have to set up some pictures for Linda, and work on deciding what I am going to use on the transom and where to get it.  Plywood is the easiest to work with, but I have to get the right sort.  There does not appear to be any available here in Sudbury.

*   *    *   *   *   *

I called Evans and they can get me a sheet for a little over $200.  That seems a little steep, d I'm not too sure about the type of wood they can get, so I checked further on the 'net.  I can get the same sheet delivered to Muskoka for less, and from a marine supply store.  I think that is what I'll do.  I can get some 5200 sent up at the same time and some stainless steel screws, too.  The 5200 is on sale.

*   *    *   *   *   *

Streaming Netflix on my PCs has been a problem, no matter whether I am in the US or in Canada, and I finally phoned  to troubleshoot.  I called around 11 and didn't get to bed until 1:30.  In the meantime, I downloaded a fresh copy of Silverlight and played around.  I don't think I managed to make much difference.  It seems that the app for the PC, or the server assigned to PC streams does not recover from network congestion and errors very well and aborts the stream.  Closing the browser and restarting the video invariably works -- for a while.  Streaming on the same network and around the same time, works fine on the iPad, even if the stream slows and the picture gets grainy and halts for a few moment, it always recovers.  On a PC, it does not.

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Thursday September 22nd 2011
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Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and I just can't get it right.  Last year, I was in Alberta and the weather was cool and wet while Ontario was warm and sunny  This year I am in Ontario, and the weather is cool and wet, and , of course, Alberta is warm and sunny.  Southern California, another favourite haunt is almost always warm and sunny.

I ran over to Linda's at 10 and spent an hour.  The I drove over to Bill's and we loaded his 25 Evenrude and took it to Harri.  After a visit, we went back to Bill's, had a coffee, then I went shopping for groceries nearby and returned to 1207.

In the evening, I watched some more Monk, then The Family Man and had to renew my data plan again for the third time this month.  I use pay-as-you-go and it has the advantage that there is a fixed cost per GB, not like the flex plans which really cost after 5GB. 

I'm  really burning up the data lately.  I've used over 10 GB on the Tab, shared with my notebooks, and almost 2 GB on the phone.  I accidentally tethered to the phone for 3/4 of an hour watching the movie tonight and I'm lucky the battery ran down and kicked me off just short of the point where the data price escalates.  It goes to $50/GB after I've used the 2GB allowance.  On the Tab, the price is $7/GB.  That is still expensive, but bearable.  $50/GB is not.

I had thought I was connected through the Tab, for which the data cost is much less and which does not suddenly get expensive, but I had forgotten that I had hooked up the phone to check my Tab usage when the Tab data flow had gotten flakey.  That can happen from time to time.  In addition to sometimes slowing, cellular data flow tends to be discontinuous and I have found that after being connected for a day, the connection can go dead.  When that happens, I turn cellular data off, then on again, and I'm usually good for another 24 hours.

*   *    *   *   *   *

On the 19th, the hive scale read 13 lbs.  Today, it reads 11-1/2, so the hives are losing a little weight.  I imagine they are losing more than it appears, since they are now augmenting their stores by robbing the stacks.  No word of frost, though.  Ellen writes:

> The bees were robbing in the blue stacks in the south pasture at around 9:30 A.M. There was fighting at the flight holes and tracking too. It was real robbing not just window shopping.

> Really warm today. I worked on the inside of the outhouse/garden shed. I was planning on painting it but it looked like rain at any moment all day. It didn't rain.

Fall 2009 hive gain and loss chartSometimes bees will rob in the morning and forage in the fields in the afternoon.  Just the same, I think the season is about done.

At left  is the chart from 2009 again (click to enlarge).  Although sometimes our season is over by the 20th of August, 2009 was another year like this with a long season and significant September flow.  In 2009, the flow was leveling off around this date and although there were a few spikes, possibly due to robbing, the curve was rolling over and heading down by the end of September, which is now only a week away.

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Friday September 23rd 2011
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First Day of Fall 2011

We have another dull day here in Sudbury and I've spent the morning at the keyboard.  Later, I'm going for a hike and a preview of the ham flea market in Garson.

Mom is much better and I'm thinking I'll go south in the next few days.  I came up for a day or two, I thought, but I've been here a week.

After supper, Bill & I drove out to the flea market site in Garson and set up his table.  We met up with Leo along the way.  The rain continues.

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Saturday September 24th 2011
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Three More months until Christmas Eve

Another rainy day here in Sudbury and another bright sunny day at home.  I drove to Garson again this morning, to the Hamfest and wound up buying a fancy Dremel tool and a 2 metre transceiver.

After lunch, Bill and I started working on installing the transceiver, but did not finish.  I returned to 1207 for supper and fell asleep for an hour afterwards. Then, I was up until midnight, as is my habit.

From home:

> The flowers have dried up so there were no bees in the alfalfa.
> They are still robbing but not aggressively.

The scale gained 8-1/2 lbs in the past two days, from somewhere.

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Sunday September 25th 2011
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Three More months until Christmas

Today should be lovely in Muskoka, but I am still in Sudbury, and intending to install my ham radio in the van before heading south.  Why did I buy the radio?  Why do I need it?  I don't really.  The only hamming I do is here in Sudbury.  Maybe with a 35-watt mobile I'll do more.  We'll see.

Once in Muskoka, the plan is to measure up the boat and drive to Toronto to get supplies.  Thus far, I have been disassembling Cloud 9, but now I am getting to the point where I have   a plan and can begin the repair. 

Why am I working on this boat?  Another good question.  It's a project, I guess.  It won't be worth a whole lot when finished, but it is a good-looking and good-performing boat, and has been with the family for 38 years...  I suppose if I had known how big a job it was going in, I would not have started.

It's foggy this morning, but should clear off soon.

*   *    *   *   *   *

I was packed by noon, and the fog was gone and  the day had turned hot.  I drove to Princess Auto to buy some metal for a mount for the radio, then to Bill's to install the radio.  We got it mounted alright, and the job took until four, but we discovered that the display has quit working again, so I can't see what channel I'm on or what option I have selected.  Nevertheless, I was able to work a number of stations on the trip south.  Before I left, I drove to Future Shop and returned the iPad since Mom is not going too use it.

Returns are much simpler at Future Shop than when they first opened, years ago. At that time, they had a policy that the salesman would come over and browbeat the customer to keep the item and they would try every ruse to reject the return.  Now, returning at Future Shop is as simple and casual as returns at Wal-Mart, and that is a good thing.  I won't buy anything at a  store that does not have a good return policy.  I also have to save a lot of money buying second-hand compared to the new price to justify being stuck with the item and no one to go back to.

The ham radio is a good example.  It was secondhand and it has failed.  Fortunately, I bought it from a company and they will stand behind it.  The rep has promised to fix the display.

I arrived at Pine Hill at about seven and the weather is beautiful.  The River is calm and quiet.  I went to bed early - ten o'clock.

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Monday September 26th 2011
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Alberta continues sunny and warm, but frost is predicted for Wednesday.  The flow is over for this year anyhow.

I slept nine hours and awoke to a perfect Muskoka day.  The Muskoka forecast promises rain later, then cooler, wetter weather further out in the week, but for now, it couldn't be nicer.  The breeze is from the east, so I'm guessing that the forecast is correct.

We seem to be having  very different  fall weather compared to Alberta and that is unusual.  The weather here is typically the same as Alberta, delayed a few days. This fall, the weather here has been ten degrees cooler and much wetter than the weather at home.

I have ten days to work on the boat and to close the cottage before I fly back home.  I'm not sure why I'm going home, actually.  I was here until the 19th of October last year and the weather was good.  I have to work on my bees, I suppose.

I've made my daily omelet, had my two morning cups of coffee,  and I'm ready to take advantage of the good conditions.  I'll get started on Cloud 9, and maybe go for a sail.  A thunderstorm is expected later today and it is not good to be out on the water with an aluminum stick poking straight into the sky when lightning is around, so earlier might be better.

I don't have much to do before I go to Toronto for parts.  I have to measure and take a hull colour sample and that is about it, but there are lots of other things to do, like putting the accessories back on the engine now that I have sufficient space to install it fully assembled.  We had to remove the exhaust, etc. to pull it before I enlarged the space, but it is much easier to work on it outside the small engine compartment.

I plan to time the Toronto trip for one of the wet, cool days later this week, so I'll perhaps also pull up more of the sole to examine the rest of the hull before I go.  Any defects in the rest of the hull are not a huge concern, compared to the transom.  The transom takes a lot of torque and has to be solid, and is also very visible, but any minor problems below and forward can be epoxied. 

Moss is starting to grow on the pavementI went out and tuned on the radio, just to see who was on and what repeaters I can hit from here, and guess what?  The display works.  That happens sometimes.  I can't count on it though, since this happened once before.

I also noticed the driveway is covered with leaves, so blew it off, and the veranda, too.

I see the markets are down again today.  Not a lot so far, but a bit.  It's Monday morning, so I guess people worried all weekend and put in sell orders for the opening.  I may be 'way wrong, but this looks to me like an overreaction to a lot of noise on the news channels.  First, they exaggerated the 'recovery' and now they exaggerate European mess.

These episodes are just human nature.   People raise and raise their expectations and convince themselves they are entitled.  The simple fact is that, in truth, nobody is entitled to anything except by agreement with others, and the extent of their capabilities.  When entitlements and commitments grow to exceed the ability or willingness of the society to fulfill them, a crisis has to occur before people become disillusioned enough to become reasonable, so we have a crisis. 

Anyone who really cares to know has known for years now that a Greek default has been baked in the cake for a very long time, but people have been putting off recognizing the inevitable and hoping against hope that luck would save them and/or they could pawn off the losses on someone else before the chickens came home to roost.  The Germans have been exploiting the system to their advantage, and the Greeks to theirs.  Now they both have to get over their separate illusions and deal with reality.   They will.

Sovereign defaults are a regular occurrence in history and the world has always kept turning.  We have n't had many in recent years, so we are due for a slew of them.  When there is a lull, bankers get overconfident and have to have their fingers burned every so often.  I'm not expecting a huge washout, but I've been wrong before.  Time will tell.

Sobering up is painful for many with high expectations, but necessary.  The period following excesses can actually be a pretty good time for those who can adjust their expectations or who never raised them.  Although employment may be scarcer, lower commodity prices favour consumers and make things affordable again.  I'm amused by people who say the gasoline price is now low.  A year ago we were paying under a buck. 

Data is courtesy gasbuddy.com.  Gasbuddy is one of my favourite sites and also one of my favourite apps on my Android devices.

After lunch I went for a sail on Rosseau and found that, being dressed for the shade, not full sun, I was too hot.  The wind was variable and a bit gusty.  The excursion was OK, but not great.  

I think I may be getting bored with small boats on small lakes.  My friend, Frank, is getting ready to go south to the Caribbean via the canals, New York, and the Atlantic Ocean via Bermuda in his 45-foot Jeanneau. (shown here, moored in Sint Maarten in May 2009)  He has a full crew AFAIK, but the trip is one I love. Hmmm.

Afterwards, I had a swim and retrieved a pair of reading glasses I had dropped previously.  This was also an opportunity to examine the bottom of the hull since Cloud 9  is suspended over the water in the slip and it was easy to inspect.  As expected, it looks sound.

It's nice to be here at the cottage with nothing pressing. 

Our daughter, Jean has reserved a week at the Surf Motel in Victoria for late March 2012 and I'm in the process of doing the same, but might reserve for a month.  My Mom wants to go for two weeks.  This a family custom that fell by the wayside for two years but it looks as if we are going back.

Cloud 9 beckoned, and I got to work.  I have to decide exactly how much to cut out.  I have all the tools I need now and chiseled out some of the remaining rot. 

There could be a problem patching the transom because I am finding that the plywood available to me is 18 mm or 0.708661 inches and the existing plywood is 0.75 inches or 19 mm.  That means a 1 mm gap may result if there is an overlap.  How big is a mm?  It is 0.03937 inch.  That's 40/1000, a typical spark plug gap, or the thickness of a US dime.  I think that I can bridge that with glue.

The sun had set by the time I quit for the day and I stumbled up the path in the dark. Tomorrow is new moon and it is dark down here in the forest.  The evening is so warm that I peeled down to my bathing suit to work.  Today has been warmer than many summer days.  I hope this continues, but I doubt it will.

The hive scale shows a one-pound gain over the past two days.  Ellen says: 

> Any weight gain is either pollen or robbing. I see them gathering pollen on the sunflowers and the echinops and other flowers in the garden.

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Tuesday September 27th 2011
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It seems that Alberta may dodge the frost that was predicted, but that does not matter much to beekeepers since the flow has ended.  You never know, though, since I have seen a flow in October once in my forty years of beekeeping. 

Today is garbage day, and the trucks come early here in Muskoka Lakes, so I am up and out at the break of dawn.  We don't put out the garbage the night before due to wildlife.  There has been a bear around here and the raccoons make a mess, too, given the opportunity.

Although the temperatures are predicted to be mild for the next several days, we are expecting an inch of rain today. (Right)

*   *    *   *   *   *

The day proved to be warm, with a mix of sun, cloud and rain and changeable winds.  I spent some time contemplating the Cloud 9 project and how best to proceed in order to get the best result with the optimal use of material and effort.   I found that I was tired, though, and put off the actual cutting for later. At one point, I prepared to cast off for a sail, but then saw a rain squall on the way and decided against.  After supper, I slept an hour, then did some research, watched some Monk,  and went to bed early.

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Wednesday September 28th 2011
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A killer frost is in the cards for tomorrow in Swalwell.  I doubt it will affect the bees much since the flow is over, but it is time to cover the tomatoes and accept that the season has ended.

Here in Muskoka, we are expecting another warm day with showers in the morning, but then it cools down and by Saturday, the predicted high is only 6 degrees.

I now have a week to finish up what I plan to do on Cloud 9 for this fall, load up Carpe Diem for the trip north, and close Pine Hill for the season.  I plan to return to Sudbury on the 5th and fly home on the 7th.

*   *    *   *   *   *

Around eleven, I drove to Craighurst to have my 2 metre ham radio repaired, then drove north again to Port Severn where I had lunch with John H at The Dam Restaurant.  After lunch, we drove to Gord's marina and went by boat across to John and Jill's cottage.  I spent the afternoon there, had supper, and stayed overnight.  I had intended just to drop in and only be away for the day, but there was no rush to get back.

John has had a 34 foot Searay express cruiser for about seven years, and I have mentioned it here previously, having spent time on "Sea Dog" in the past.  I have crashed on it on occasion when it was conveniently moored near Highway 400 at Port Severn and we have taken several trips on it as well.  We brought it down from Lake Simcoe together when he took it there for some fabric work.  One time we ran over to Midland with Ellen and Jill on board, and another time John and I took a three-day trip up to Parry Sound and back.  As I recall, with dual 454s, it got about a mile per gallon, whether at 6 knots or 30.  It was fully equipped, with radar as well as chart  plotters.  At any rate, this year, he put it up for sale and it sold yesterday. 

Boats cost a lot of money to own, plus some time for maintenance, winterizing, etc..  I have a friend who has a 26-foot boat on the west coast.  He had it hauled two years ago for a survey and painting, etc.  He pays at least $3K a year for the dock rent, plus more insurance, and more again to have a nearby boater keep an eye on it.  He has not set foot on the boat since he had it hauled, and does not know when he will.  I doubt he could sell it for more than a few thousand dollars, if that.

Owning is pointless unless one has the time to spend on it.  For those who only use a boat a week or two a year, chartering is much cheaper and charters can be found in many interesting locations, whereas a boat that one  owns is located in one region, and moving any distance to explore new areas takes a lot of time and money.

A one-week charter in the shoulder season can cost 1/4 to 1/3 the annual maintenance cost of owning, and that is not considering the cost of capital tied up in owning.

*   *    *   *   *   *

image 0Right about now, I notice there are lots of boats for sale on the west coast, and some decent-looking sloops for virtually nothing.  The 41-foot 1982 sloop at right is offered at under $30K on Craigslist, and I just quickly grabbed the nearest example.  Moreover, that is the asking price.  The selling prices are typically about 2/3 of asking.

What happens is that older boats maintain their value in good times when demand is high, but when money gets scarce, newer boats drop in price and, if anything sells, buyers opt for the newer ones.  The older boats, even well-maintained and well-equipped boats, just sit, unwanted.  If the sellers get any interest, they waste time with tire-kickers who don't buy.  Brokers are not interested in listing them unless they are Bristol. 

Since it can cost around $6 to $10,00 a year to maintain, insure and tie up a 35-foot boat and the older 35-foot boats are only worth somewhere in the region of $30 to $60,000 at the best of times, after a year or two on the market sellers get desperate and offer their boats for any price that will find a buyer, just to get out from under the unavoidable annual expense.

My little 23.5 can be trailered, and that is an advantage, but trailerable boats are typically quite small and cramped for space and, even if they can be trailered, there is a cost in additional vehicle fuel and wear and tear.  While a 23.5 can be pulled by a minivan, a boat the next size larger requires a truck, and going larger requires heavy-duty equipment, so there may be an additional investment in vehicles, and even the need to own a vehicle for just that purpose.

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Thursday September 29th 2011
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I awoke this morning at my friends' cottage on an island on Gloucester Pool, had breakfast, then we all went across to the mainland where we parted company.  I was headed for Toronto and they were on their way to Ottawa.  Since I found myself an hour south of Pine Hill, and therefore an hour closer to Toronto, I decided to run into the Big Smoke for boat supplies today, and get it over with.

I arrived at Noah's just after lunch and spent an hour or two deciding what to get, then loaded up a sheet and a half of marine mahogany plywood plus paints and varnish and glues, etc. and returned to Pine Hill.  As I drove, I realized I had forgotten to get stainless steel screws.

I picked up some groceries along the way and cooked some wings for supper.  Afterwards, I spent several hours at the boat getting ready for the next step.

From the forecast, it appears that the weather-guessers have called off the frost for Swalwell, but the cool weather is still on track for here in Port Carling tomorrow.  I hope it is not too cool to be comfortable working on the boat. 

I spoke to Joe tonight, since I had another enquiry about getting some of the Meijer EPS boxes.  Apparently, the boxes will be for sale soon, but the price is to be decided in coming days.  Meijers ordered 2,000 for themselves, as a first order, but I don't think they got them all yet.  The mold makes one at a time and it takes five minutes.  The factory is busy with other jobs, too.Joe Standing on the new EPS bee box

The boxes are fine just the way they are now, and I am very pleased with mine -- even after I ran over it and had to glue and screw it back together, it was better than the BeeMax for strength and appearance (see Sat May 28, 2011 -- -- but, there may yet be some small refinements on the design.

Personally, I find they perfect just as they are.  they are plenty tough and not subject to hive tool damage when being pried apart, but I think that the Meijers, since they hire help and their boxes are in commercial usage may want to reinforce the corners where the hive tool is inserted.  I don't think that is not necessary at all.  I figure employees can learn to pry properly, although I have seen experienced beekeepers pry on their boxes in ways that make me shudder.

On the other hand, I did notice that the length of the space where the top bars sit is very slightly longer than normal.  That extra little bit would accommodate some of the frames we encounter with slightly longer top bars and ones with propolis on the ends, but could allow short ones to slide endwise a bit.  I'd consider fixing that if the mold is being re-worked, but I sure would not bother otherwise.  The boxes are great just as they are. 

BTW, you would not see Joe standing on a BeeMax box.  If he could even get up on it without it collapsing, he would have to be very careful and it would break and/or fold if he shifted his weight.   They are very fragile and a brand-new empty BeeMax box will often break if dropped from a height of only four feet.   Examples are shown in my diary. 

These Meijer boxes are tough.  After I took this photo, Joe moved his feet almost tight together, and the box did not break.  It survived the test and is now in service.  Actually it is the one I later ran over and glued back together.

Joe tells me, also that they had frost on the windshield out at their place north of Delia this morning, and had another frost earlier.  I have not heard mention of frost from Ellen, so maybe the Delia frost was local.

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Friday September 30th 2011
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I heard rain on and off during the night and is raining this morning.  From the forecast, I had expected this morning to be cold, but the thermometer shows 15 degrees at dawn, not the predicted 6 degrees.  The Muskoka forecast at right.  It does not look great.

One week from today, I fly out of Sudbury, so the countdown begins.  I have to close up the cottage, load the sailboat, take it to Sudbury and tarp it, and get ready to go home.  I should make the drive north on the 5th, which just happens to be my birthday, so I have four days to get ready for the trip north.  I had better get moving.

Closing the cottage takes about a day.  I have to bring in the furniture, put away the bedding, and more.  The full list is here.  Loading the boat takes a half-day.  That leaves a day or two for other things.

Now that I have supplies, I'm intending to get to work in earnest today.  I think I have a course of action planned and it is now just a matter of executing the plan.  My main concern is cutting accurately so that the fit is tight.  With the odd shape and the transom angle, this will take some careful work.


One thing I have not mentioned much here, if at all, is the fact that Meijers sponsored Randy Oliver to do a test of several GRAS (Generally Accepted As Safe) food preservatives that are used in foods to delay or prevent fungus and bacterial development (spoilage) as agents to prevent or slow nosema.   They spent several thousand dollars in hopes of identifying a cheap, safe anti-nosema agent.  It was a long shot but if successful, the payoff for the industry would be immense.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent annually on Fumagillin, and it is a prohibited drug in many jurisdictions.

Sorbates are already known to prevent spoilage of thin syrups fed to bees.   Gilles Fert recommends them in his book and the toxicity is not a problem if the amounts are measured carefully.  Randy confirmed the published figures regarding toxicity before beginning.

He tested sorbates, propionates and benzoate.  Metabisulfites were not tested.  Although the job should have been simple, and we expected that it would take a few months,  the entire project took ages and seemed to take a very low priority.  At any rate, the final result showed no effect, but IMO, there were some problems with the experiment.  The tests were done with caged bees and there seemed to be some confounding factors to do with preparation of the inoculants, time of year, and other things which caused mortality, and although there were controls, the test did not run the compounds against Fumagillin, and that is an obvious oversight.

As a result, we have an indication that the products are ineffective, but not proof.  We are thinking of further tests, but the problem is that with a long timeframe such as we experienced, a lot of time is wasted trying to remember where we were and getting back up to speed.  That results in misunderstandings and oversights, such as forgetting to include a Fumagillin sample.  The actual test took several months at most, but the project was strung out over a year.

Randy will be writing the tests up for ABJ, I think, since any experiment, whether or not it proves what was hoped, is useful for understanding the process and eliminating chemical candidates.  In this case, I'm not sure we proved anything, but we will be discussing this further at some point and maybe re-run the tests with some improvements, but if we do, the project has to run with a much higher priority.

Actually, this was a road test for the idea of hiring an independent researcher to do experiments in co-operation with beekeepers.  I have raised funds for specific projects in  the past and if a proposal is credible, people chase me to contribute. 

I know from experience that beekeepers will willingly and promptly cough up tens of thousands of dollars for research if they think the research is directed towards a problem that costs them real money.  I know that I could raise $100,000 in a heartbeat if any researcher came up with a convincing project to find a better solution than Fumagillin for nosema.  Our experience in this test shows, though, that even with full funding supplied, getting the full attention of a researcher is difficult.

As for the 'research funds' administered by bee organizations like the Alberta Beekeepers, IMO, they are a waste of money more often than not, since the decisions are political and money is pissed away just because it is there.  IMO, it is a far more effective use of beekeepers' money to design a project and then raise the funds.


After lunch, I started work on Cloud 9 and cut out the part of the transom I plan to replace.  I had been reluctant to cut right over to both sides, but was convinced to do so after speaking to an expert at Noah's.

Now that I have done it, I'm not too sure this was the wisest approach.  It turned out that the parts I had considered leaving, the side ribs, were sound, but I discovered the plywood on the lower sides which were attached to them is not as sound as the bottom wood and would have been better left alone.   The plywood has delaminated a bit, but the veneers are sound, so I'm thinking that I'll have to inject some epoxy in that area and fill the screw holes so I'll have enough sound material to hold screws. 

I'm sure it will all work out.  My main concern now is to make good templates (patterns) and cut accurately.

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