<< Previous Page           June 2012            Next Page >>

 

 

Side-by-Side Splits

 

Friday June 1st 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I now have ten days to get the bees ready for three weeks on their own, the books to the accountant and finish anything else that needs doing before I head east.

The days are warm and the nights are getting warmer, too.  Nighttime temperatures are important and are a critical factor in success with splits.  The risk of frost here 12 months of the year are a good reason to make the splits a bit bigger than the minimum viable size. 

I went out after lunch and made another five splits, leaving them in singles.  I saw queens this time without looking.  The bees are spread out on the comb and that makes spotting queens much easier.  I see good-looking queen cells in the queenless splits, and that is reassuring.

Fen came over for supper.

College isn't the place to go for ideas.
Helen Keller

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Saturday June 2nd 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I mentioned a few days ago that I bought an AR.Drone.  I played with it a bit again today and managed to get it to follow instructions better than last time, but it is not easy to maneuver.  I suppose that once I master it, I'll find it simple, but so far it is not intuitive.

I started sorting equipment in the quonset, planning to box up the foundation I have at hand in preparation for putting it on hives, but a huge storm cloud came in from the west and I sought shelter in the house.

Later I went back out and set up 24 EPS boxes filled foundation frames in readiness for putting them onto singles and tidied the quonset a bit.

Bachelor's degrees make pretty good placemats if you get 'em laminated.
Jeph Jacques

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Sunday June 3rd 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I'm getting the knack of running the drone and don't hit trees or find it going the opposite direction to what intend quite as often.  I fly near the pond and don't want it to land there.  I suspect that would be catastrophic.  There are lots of trees, in the yard, too.  Breezes move the drone around and if it touches a tree, it drops straight down.

I worked on the bees again and now have 70 hives.  Not all of them will be good, since they are raising their own queens.  The first batch seem to be working out OK, though.

I'm still plagued with fat and heavy combs, so I am using a lot of foundation.  I have not been checking for mites, but should put some screened bottoms under splits just to check a few hives.  There is not much I can do right now to treat for mites, but since I am not producing honey, I could use Apivar in a worst case.  Some beekeepers report success with multiple applications of oxalic drizzle, but with most of the mites being in brood, managing to kill more than a small percentage of the varroa is difficult during the late spring and summer.

Interestingly, MAQS claims to kill the mites in brood, including males, resulting in greater kill and infertile females.  The question is whether this can be done without damaging the bees and brood excessively. 

Experiments with formic acid applications in spring have produced variable results.  In some cases, little apparent harm to brood has been reported,. In other cases, the populations and crop has been reduced significantly.  So far, MAQS has received reports which vary from delight to disappointment.

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.
Thomas H. Huxley

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Monday June 4th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Excellent bee weather is predicted for the next few days  Tomorrow's high is 32 C, and the coolest night is 5.  This allows the bees to expand the brood area to the max and cover it.  Once it develops, it provides some metabolic heat of its own, but in the egg and small larva stages, brood needs warmth from the adult bees.  Once it is sealed, it still needs a warm environment, but is less vulnerable.

Oene is off to Europe today, so we hope to see him and Joe for coffee on their way to YYC.  I plan also to make a hike down the estate to get in a one-mile stroll, then split some more and tidy up.  We are up to 13.5 already at 7:30 AM and the sun is shining.

I also plan to fly the drone again.  I think I spent an hour, total, playing with it yesterday.  It flies 12 minutes on a charge then takes 90 minutes to charge.  I keep wondering about the trout.  I dumped 25 trout into the pond a week or so ago and have seen no sign of them since.  I keep looking for dead fish floating and fish jumping, but see nothing.  I tried throwing some fish food, but there was no response.  I guess they are alright.  There is plenty of natural food for them in the pond.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Zip and I did the stroll and I see there is no dew, so maybe I should cut grass for an hour or two.  It is getting long again.

Before we went, I flew the drone again and it got out over the pond, so, rather than fooling around, I decided to let it land on the other side.  It was hard to control and hit the upper branches of a small tree.  When that happens, it shuts off and falls.  We picked it up on the walk and it seems uninjured.  Good thing.  These gadgets are not cheap.  At right is a still from a video it shot as it flew over the pond.

After the walk, I cut grass for an hour.

This afternoon, Ellen hired some more kids to help garden.  We now have as many as four wanting to work and may have too much help now.  It's hard to tell who wants to work and who just wants a job.  We're offering an hour after school and need maybe one or two.  These kids are scheduled up with activities, though, so we'll see how many we actually have here any given day.

Joe came by after dropping off Oene at the airport.  We called up Nick at Pierco to find out the dimensions of the load of frames. We had called the Co-op, but they stop answering the phone at 5 and it was 5 on the dot.  I see Nick at various meetings and we always have a chat.  He was glad to hear from us.  We got the details and also the shipping date.  Seems the frames are coming after I leave and only days before Joe is off for a trip.  Beaver Plastics is working on more EPS boxes, but they are running late, too. I may have to come home early to do the supering if I hear that the hives are crowded.

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently.
Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.
Paul Graham

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Tuesday June 5th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Yesterday, I decided to buy a new vacuum cleaner.  I have always like the canister unit at the cottage, an old one with a bag and decent dirt capacity. We have two uprights, but they are heavy and awkward around furniture. We have Shark, but it has no beater.  When we went into Sears the other day, they had canister units for half price. so, after thinking for a day or two, I phoned and bought one and have to pick it up today.

Otherwise, I am uninspired.  I have to finish my work on the bees and the bathroom floor requires a bit more work.  The books have to go to the accountant, too.

We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
Lynn Hall

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Wednesday June 6th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Today promises to be rainy.  We've had 23.4 mm or almost an inch over the past two days according to the weather station in the back yard, but just 16 mm or 0.65 inch according to the conventional rain gauge in the front yard.

Tonight I speak at the Calgary Beekeepers meeting.  I'll be giving the talk I gave at Iowa back in 2005, then later in New York and British Columbia entitled "Thoughts for the Hobbyist". 

That was the title Iowa gave me to work with back in 2005.  I thought it was a bit of an odd topic, but it has turned out to be quite popular.  I've tuned up and adjusted the talk a bit over the interval since in 2005, the Internet was a novelty for many, but now everyone has a computer or two and many have smartphone.  Facebook and Twitter are commonplace. I am continuing to try to find parts for a King Canada bandsaw.  So far, Bill and I must have spent 4 or 5 hours on the web and the phone.  I have called King at least 7 times and they are either on lunch or do not get back to me.

The new vacuum cleaner works really well. 

I drove to Calgary to attend the Calgary Beekeepers meeting.  I was scheduled as speaker, but a last minute problem resulted in the projector being unavailable.  As a result, I was unable to give the slide show planned, but we had an ad hoc discussion which was lots of fun.

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.
Harrison Ford

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Thursday June 7th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

We have meetings in Calgary today, and my intention was to get some things done before we leave at 10:30, but I received this link and spent an hour or more listening.  This federal government committee meeting with beekeepers starts off a bit dull, but is a real gripper further in when the beekeepers tell their stories.  Definitely recommended.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I should have mentioned last night that I finally reached King Canada in Quebec and that the bandsaw Bill has is indeed an orphan.  They cannot help me, so I fell back on eBay.  I have never ordered on eBay before so it took me a while.  All told, the tires cost $42, delivered.

After I completed the order, I realized that they were going to ship to my home address and I received an email confirming that.  Ooops!  Somewhere long the way, when paying by PayPal, they had shown a shipping address, and I had not noticed, assuming they were verifying my billing address.  I am used to Amazon and other sites where PayPal payment is normally distinct and shipping details come earlier or later in the checkout process, but of course eBay owns PayPal, so they integrated shipping instructions with payment.  Ouch!

I was in a panic since I do not need the tires here.  I need them in Ontario.  I phoned eBay and they were very helpful.  They arranged for me to get the phone number of the seller and I called.  He was also amazingly helpful and told me he would cancel and refund the shipment, which was already in progress, and that I would have to cancel the order on eBay, then re-order.

I was about to go out the door to Calgary, but took a few moments to do all that and got confirmation that the tires will be shipped to the right place -- Bill's in Sudbury.  The seller warned though that even if the tires leave the plant today, they could take any amount of time from one week to three, due to our friends at Canadian Customs and Border Services.

When I got home from Calgary, I saw that Chris in B.C. had read this diary and called to help me out with several suggestions, which are much appreciated.  (Thanks, Chris). That was before I wrote here that King Canada was unable to help me.

In looking all around the 'net for 6" x 3/8" tires, I had discovered I could buy the newer King Canada bandsaw in that size range for $150, including tires and blade.  I mentioned that when I spoke to the guys at King Canada and they told me the old bandsaw that Bill has is probably better built than the new ones.

I only need the tires, so that is what I bought, but I did consider buying a whole saw, though.  Actually, I only need the bandsaw to make a few cuts when assembling the boat transom next week or the week after -- or whenever I have the tires and the ambition and the time to finish the job.  

I gave the job a lot of thought over winter and decided a bandsaw is the way to go.  I want to use white oak backing/gluing strips along the joint between the transom and the hull for strength.  I have to cut multiple angles and I am really good at cut-and-fit with a bandsaw.  I'll use a try-square, to transfer the angles but I can build almost anything if I have a bandsaw to cut and nibble with.  Other saws are not as handy for such jobs where I have to fit to varying angles.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Ellen and I drove to Calgary this morning and stopped on the way to pick up more Global Patties.   I have now fed 12 boxes of 40 patties to the original 22 hives (which are now 70) and plan to keep feeding to see how much they will take.  So far each hive has been eating a patty a week and the total now is about 22 patties per original hive.  At that rate, 100 hives would easily eat a pallet of Global 15% patties.  

I don't know how well the other feed brands are consumed.  For fairness, I should try some other brands of feed some time, but Global are the handiest to get here and I have a close relationship with Mike and Liz and they are supplying these to me to see just exactly how many I can feed.  It seems no one else has tried this.  Mike will make up patties with any other product requested, but there is little demand for the other, pricier products and so they would have to be special order.  If I put Mike to that much bother, I'd have to be disciplined in my experimental design and execution and I am not sure I am up to that.

People always tell me they feed a patty or two in the spring.  To me that is like buying one bale of hay for a horse and thinking it will last a year.  Where we are pollen is sometimes scarce and there are days on end when the bees are shut in by rain or wind it only makes sense to have feed near the brood at all times.

From Airdrie, we went to appointments at the Tom Baker and Ellen had yet another scan.  The doctors looked over the results of all the various tests and the news is good.  Apparently, everything is as good or better than the earlier scans, so it seems the radiation and chemo is working, and the progress of the disease is stalled or retreating.  She is noticeably stronger every day, so we were not surprised, but happy to have the progress confirmed by the doctors.

We drove to Pete and Edie's for supper, then came home.

Dressing up is inevitably a substitute for good ideas.
It is no coincidence that technically inept business types are known as "suits."
Paul Graham

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Friday June 8th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I head East early Monday and I had better get down to work.  I have lots to do before I go. 

How long will I be gone?  I have yet to decide.   I had thought three weeks, but am now thinking two.  We'll see.  Ellen is OK on her own now, but the grass and the bees may need attention before three weeks pass.  We used to hire a lawn-mowing outfit to mow, but were finding that increasingly expensive and bought a mower a few years back.  I could call them again, but when I cut, I get the job I want and also I am cleaning up areas and mowing further in as I do so.  We have a lot of cleanup to do.

Before I go, I have to put the finishing touches on the bathroom floor, finish splitting, and adjusting room for the bees, cut grass and get the books to the accountant. Plus Jean and her gang will be here Sunday.

I've just about got the Samsung back to where it was before the hard disk decided not to spin up one day.  It has taken many, many hours to reinstall software and tweak.  This time, I am making backups, but that takes time, too.  That hard disk lasted just over six months from brand new.  That's ugly!

Here is something useful from my notes.  It's probably from BEE-L.

> Dr. Marion Ellis, U of Nebraska, has the best powdered sugar method that I've read about.   

> His method is to fill that jar with 300 bees, screw on the canning ring with the 8-mesh screen for a lid, add about a tablespoon of powdered sugar.  Roll the jar to coat the bees.  So far, not much different.
>  
> He sets the inverted jar on a piece of white paper, then it he lets it sit.  It is the aggravation of the powdered sugar that agitates the bees.  It's the heat they generate that loosens the mites.  Now we're talking about a whole different technique.  He lifts the jar, shakes out the excess powdered sugar and sifts through the powdered sugar to count the mites.
>  
> The key is the heat generated by the agitated bees that loosens the mites and gives a more accurate picture of the mite infestation. 

Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.
Laurence J. Peter

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

Saturday June 9th 2012
Click to visit June pages from previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

I always go to bed full of ideas about what I'll do the next morning, then when I wake up, I wind up spending a few hours doing very little.  I read, I write, and before I know it, it is 9 AM.

I got a call this morning for a couple of bee hives,.  Thank goodness.  I think I am overrun by bees.  I quoted a double at $300 again.  Nobody questions the price.  I think that either I have hit on the exact right price or my price is too cheap.

I may be at the going price, but I am selling a lot more honey in the hives than most, I would guess since my hives are heavy.  Honey is worth at least $1.50/lb and maybe $2.00.  I'd like to ask $350 and be sure of a profit, but it I just got used to $300 and automatically say, "300".  Oh, well, I guess it does not hurt to be a nice guy and a bit generous.

When  we sold out, we sold doubles at $250 and that was a high price at the time.  Honey and new equipment prices were not much different from now, but I guess inflation and prosperity has raised everyone's price expectations.

Cam has been playing with ammonium nitrate and his latest comments are in the forum.  I'm not sure I'm a believer, since I have run virgins into hives without any assistance, but I am following his trials with interest.  I was thinking of using my bag of ammonium nitrate to fertilize trees, but will put that off a little longer.

In the afternoon, we found a neighbour girl to mow grass, so that is five hours of work I don't have to worry about, and I don't have to rush homer from Ontario  to cut grass, so I went out and got to work on the bees. 

Basically I have been splitting anything that gets up to two boxes of bees or 8 frames with brood in half and adding a box.  Last time, I just split in half and left them in singles, so today I am checking them and adding another box.  Our foundation and new boxes are coming after I leave, so I'll arrange to get them when I get back and expect to do another round of splitting, add a box of foundation, then I'll be done until fall, other than checking queens and combining down the inevitable failures.  At this point, I am trying to keep the hives weak enough that they will be happy in two boxes for another two or three weeks until I get back.

I promised two double hives for pickup tonight so I have to find two that I feel are suitable or make them up.  So far, I have nothing that is just right.  Some have too much foundation, some too many older combs and/or honey, some are too small, some have new queens just starting... I want to sell hives that can be taken home and supered without any work by the new owner.  There are three down the road that I have not split lately, so I am hoping they will be perfect.

I am finding that the PF100s are working about as well as the Permadent, now that I have had a chance to look at lots of frames.  I may even get to like them.

I got tired around suppertime and quit for the day.  The wind was picking up and making the work difficult and storm clouds were approaching, so I called the customer and we agreed to put the pickup off until tomorrow.

After supper, I realized the dog is right out of food and that I would have to drive to some town or other and also that the lawn mower would need gas soon as well. It was either Three Hills, a fifteen minute drive or Drum at 30 or Airdrie at 45.  Since I have some returns to do that can't wait until I return, I chose Airdrie.  I was home again just before midnight.

Home | Current Diary Page | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com | Top | End
 Diary Archives - 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999
My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me

 

<< Previous Page           June 2012            Next Page >>

 

Local radar and satellite weather charts

Three Hills Area Weather Forecast
Intellicast | Yahoo | Weather Channel
Webcams  | Banff  | Banff | Sunshine Village | Calgary
Satellite Pictures 1
Canadian temperatures are in degrees Celsius

allen's Computer Security Page
A collection of helpful ideas and links
Free Online Virus Scans
 Panda | Trend Micro
Free Online Security Check

Convert Currency | Convert Measurements
Convert Celsius to Fahrenheit >
Chart
  Calculator

   "If I make a living off it, that's great -- but I come from a culture where you're valued
not so much by what you acquire but by what you give away,"
-- Larry Wall (the inventor of Perl)
Please report any problems or errors to Allen Dick
allen dick 1999-2014. Permission granted to copy in context for non-commercial purposes, and with full attribution.

Home