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These hives are split and ready for the next three weeks

Tuesday July 10th 2012
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I slept in until eight and had a leisurely breakfast.  I had intended to get out early to work the bees, but was at the yard a bit after nine. 

I worked without a veil and also without a hat, as I had forgotten to bring a hat and was finding the veil too hot.  I did wear my light, loose-fitting bee suit, mostly for sun protection, but even that was uncomfortably hot.  When I look back, I remember the days when spent all day in the sun working bees, wearing only cut-offs and sandals.  I have a bit of sun damage on my skin as a result, but not much.   Having a creek or irrigation ditch to cool off in helped a lot.  We also carried buckets of clean water which we would occasionally pour over our heads, suit and all when we wore suits.

I usually wore a suit when I worked with others since most of our staff  preferred suits and gloves and were not too aware if they provoked the bees.

I worked until 12:28 and decided that the heat was getting to me and went for lunch.  There were only a few hives left to do, but enough is enough, and I just left everything where it had fallen for the time being. (right)

By now, I have 24 "hives" down there at the south yard.  I have been splitting and find that one of the previous splits has already swarmed and several more were looking as if they might go today. Bonus!  I harvested queen cells and shared them around the splits.  As for the swarmy hives, I weakened them down and/or moved them to reduce the chances of them issuing a swarm.  It is surprising how they have built up since June 10th.  I guess these were the hives which had queens when I split them.

I measured the output of my hose: 4 gallons (Imperial) per minute.  That suggests that, given there are 6.25 gallons/ft3, that 700 ft3 would take about 700 x 6.25/4 = 18 hours to fill the pool.

I finished off the south yard (left) and there are now 27 hives there.  We'll see how they do. 

After that, Mackenzie, Ellen and I started setting up the swimming pool.  It is a big job, first opening all the boxes, then starting the assembly.  Deciding on a location is a chore, too, since we don't want it where the bees will find it handier than the pond, but we want it in the sun, and any grass we kill has to be unimportant.  We made a good start.

Give no decision till both sides thou'st heard.

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Wednesday July 11th 2012
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Yesterday, we noticed that our fridge is not staying as cold as it should be.  We had noticed previously that it was running more than it should, but until the room temperature got into the eighties, the fridge was able to keep things in the proper temperature range.  Now it won't.  I will have to find a replacement today or tomorrow.

Jean and family are coming for lunch and to pick up Mckenzie.

I have a lasagna in the oven.  I have been trying to get 1" plugs for the boxes and am having some problems getting the right ones.  The 1" ones I bought measure 7/8" across the face and I imagine are 1" at the base of the taper.  I need a size larger for the EPS boxes.  These fit, but can fall out.  The bees sometimes push them out, too.

We had lunch, then set up the new swimming pool.  The job took a hour or so in the hot sun.  We then began filling it.  The Orams left around 4.

When they left, I drove to town to get another fridge.  I checked two stores and found one I like, so I loaded the new unit into the back of the van and drove home.  Two hours later, it was in place, loaded up with food and down to a safe temperature.  I'll look into recharging the old one since it is only eight years old, but will have to take it to the repair depot.  A house call out here is worth more than the fridge.

The pool was full by 6 PM since I had run two hoses to double the fill rate.

The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people.
Claiborne Pell

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Thursday July 12th 2012
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> ...have you tried "Caps and Plugs R Us"? They are in Ontario, and
> have every cap that you could imagine. I have lots of caps for a one
> inch hole and could send you lots if you want. Let me know
> Ps, my cap is #249, and says Niagara Erie PA,
> Pss, my one inch holes are in 3/4" wood, maybe that makes a
> difference on friction

I have not done a lot of looking. I got these plugs from the honey Co-op and they have been OK, but my holes vary a bit in size since drilling EPS is different from drilling wood.

If I drill too quickly, the EPS crumbs accumulate around the bit and go around with it causing the hole to be oversize. Also, if the drill is not held perfectly straight, holes can be a bit oversize.

The plugs I got are 7/8" at the tip and probably 1" at the base since they taper. I figure if I have a selection, I can use the bigger plugs when I have problems, or maybe a larger plug will fit all holes.

Anyhow, I ordered 500 of a different design from the Manitoba Co-op yesterday since they have a different supplier and their plugs are a true 1". We'll see how they work out.

Thanks for the offer. I may take you up on it is these do not work out.

Today will be busy.  I have eye surgery in Calgary at 1:30 and fly out to Sudbury tomorrow morning at 6 AM.  In the meantime, I have loose ends to tie up.  I also notice three hives in the north hanging out and I'm guessing they will have to be split.

I went out and counted hives. I now have 97 (54 + 4 + 27 + 12) and the north yard needs to be split again.  I think I can get started before I have to go to Calgary.  I mowed the yard to get it ready for the job.

I split the first four in a matter of minutes.  The splits look marginal in size for this late in the season.  They need 9 weeks to get up to strength, three weeks for the new queens and two brood cycles to build populations.  Of course half already have queens and should be fine.

Why make splits which may need to be combined for wintering?  Doing so generates additional queens so that when combining down the inevitable 20% that are duds, I will have a good queenright, but small colony to combine it with.

The time came to go to Calgary, so I drove to the Rockyview and had the SLT done.  The procedure is quick and almost painless.  I had forgotten how may laser pricks he makes in each eye.  It comes to about 100.  After, I was surprised to find my eyes blurry and light-sensitive for a while.  I had forgotten that since the last time, six years ago.  Anyhow, I was able to drive and went straight home.

I got there around five and proceeded to finish the splitting.  I was done around seven and then decided to put the rest of the boxes onto hives which looked promising.  I saved back about ten for when I return.

The bees are looking very strong for splits and I'm a little apprehensive about leaving them for twelve days, but that is the plan.  I'm sure they will be OK.  I just like to fuss.

When I was done, I took a dip in the pool.  I have not yet installed the filter, but it is full and the water has warmed since yesterday.  The dip was refreshing and cooling down before bed helps with getting to sleep, even if it is hot in the house.

There are lots of things I could do, but at this point, I will just throw a few things into a bag, sleep maybe five hours and plan to be up at three to drive to Airdrie where my cab should be waiting for me to get me to YYC by five.  By three in the afternoon tomorrow, I should be swimming in Ramsey Lake.

I have no patties on these hives this summer.  I fed a patty a week per hive until the second split, but now the brood is in the bottom with foundation up top and I have been too busy to keep feeding it, even if they would take it..

I'll resume patty feeding in August.  We also have a new formula to test.

My current hive count is 109.   When I return to Alberta I'll immediately super any needing it.  The way it looks now, there will be 20 or so.  I really can't begin to guess, as I have already supered quite a few just to give them room.

After three weeks has passed from today, on about the second of August, assuming I have time with the 7 to 11 visitors we will have, I'll work through them to equalize and combine as required, with the goal of having them all similar in strength and queenright going into August.  If I have 80 at that point, I'll consider myself lucky.

Education begins a gentleman, conversation completes him.
Dr. Thomas Fuller

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Friday July 13th 2012
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I'm up and awake just before three AM and getting ready to drive to Airdrie.  I always get up an hour before driving so I am sure to be awake for the drive.  I think I got about four hours of sleep, but it was restless with the heat and wanting to wake up on time.  I think I'll sleep on the plane.

I arrived ten minutes early in Airdrie and the cab arrived several minutes late, but we were at the airport in plenty of time.  The flights were uneventful.  I slept an hour and a half on the first flight and then watched Footloose.  It was a fun bit of fluff.

One the second flight, I fell asleep for a half-hour as well, then watched the terrain unfold below as we flew north at low altitude in the Dash 7. 

The shuttle picked me up at 2:30 and I was at 1207 shortly after.  I didn't hit the Lake for a swim right away as I had thought.  The shuttle was air-conditioned, so I was not particularly warm, and Mom felt like visiting.  Although the outdoor temperature was over 30, the breeze off the Lake was cool, so we sat around and chatted.

Later, we had supper and I had a swim.  The Lake is a pleasant temperature now and not as bracing as it was two weeks ago.  I had forgotten about my eye surgery yesterday and felt a little sting when I opened my eyes under water, but don't seen to have done any harm.  I was sure to put in the drops after the swim, however.

I was home 12 days between visits here and am now scheduled to be here and in Muskoka for 12 days, then I head back home for a month, by the looks of things.

This 12 days away will give my bees some relief from my meddling.  If I were home, I'd be worrying them the whole time.  If I had about 400 hives, they would keep me busy enough, but the 22, now 109 leave me with time to spare and I tend to get back to them too soon.  A three-week cycle for what I am doing is about right.

Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education,
without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.
James A. Garfield

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Saturday July 14th 2012
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The hot weather continues both here in Sudbury and, to a lesser extent, in Swalwell.  Swalwell is promised several cooler days and some rain -- a centimetre or two -- which will be welcomed by everyone except those with hay on the ground as several centimtres should be enough to soak in and do some good.  The heat has been drying things up to the point where the lawn has stopped growing.  The nights continue warm and that is good for the developing colonies.

I've been considering how I like letting the bees raise queens in these walk-away splits compared to trying to inflict mated purchased queens on split colonies, and I have concluded, once again, that letting them make their own seems superior in many regards.  I have thought this for many years and often used walk-aways or a variation in commercial beekeeping.

  • The cost and hassle is much less

  • The success rate seems roughly comparable to introducing mated queens.

  • Splits can be made in any convenient number whenever the time is right without waiting for queens to arrive or having to hold queens if the weather or other factors are not in alignment

  • Splitting is very simple.  The only frame inspection necessary is to make sure the quantity of brood, bees and feed are somewhat equal in both halves

  • The broodless period is good for reducing varroa pressure

  • The pent-up brood rearing capability in nurse-aged bees from being broodless results in a really fast buildup when the new queen begins laying such that this split often overtakes the sister split that had the the original queen al along

There are some downsides, through. 

  • It takes three weeks to be sure of having a laying queen whereas a mated queen can often be introduced in a matter of days.  Days and weeks can make a big difference in spring

  • Some colonies do not make cells, or if they do, inspecting too early can damage the cells since they are often on the bottom of frames and/or attached to other frames and get pulled apart when frames are moved.  A percentage always fails to make a queen.  That can vary from 0% to 50% depending on various factors including luck and the skill of the beekeeper

  • I have noted several aggressive colonies which jump onto my wrists when working them and several with a lot of chalkbrood mummies on the doorstep.  Using this walk-away method, I am propagating them along with the colonies which do not show these traits.  If I used mated queens, I would not be.  If I used cells, the genetic contribution from such colonies would be less, also, in that only their drones would be involved in producing the next generation.

Some of the issues can be overcome by raising cells separately using grafting or a procedure like the Hopkins Case method, and introducing cells to the waiting splits whenever the cells are ready, even if the splits were made a week or weeks earlier.

  • Introduced cells can compliment and provide backup for the natural emergency cells in each colony.

  • If the introduced cells are more mature, they are likely to emerge first and become the colony queen at an earlier date than if the colony's own cells were successful

  • In the case of ripe cells this can reduce the wait time by 10 days and make the timing very close to that of introducing mated queens

I had intended to raise some cells this last trip home, but it seems I never get around to doing it.  It would probably pay off well.  I just have to do it a few times to get used to having it in my routine.

To make cells, I have to

  • Identify a good queen mother

  • Arrange for her to provide a frame of eggs ready to hatch

  • Score that frame

  • Suspend it over a queenless hive with enough young bees to do a good job on the cells.

  • Harvest the cells

  • Introduce them to colonies already split previously

The cells could be distributed either as open cells about to be capped or, later, as mature cells, ready to emerge.

Of course, I could just bite the bullet and graft.  In many ways that may be simpler since I can grab any frames with young larvae from several suitable queens and graft.  That way I have several mothers, not just one and do not have to have one queen fill an entire frame with eggs.  The cells are also separate and on a stick for easy handling.

Half or more of the cells will be wasted as they are added to colonies which still have the original queen from before the split, but it is much easier to raise extra cells than to go through splits looking for queens.  Moreover, the inserted cell could result in supersedure in some colonies where the original queen is getting past her prime, which is a good thing. 

Supersedure is a non-disruptive process.  While the original queen continues to lay, a new queen develops, mates and begins laying, often alongside the old queen.  After a while, the old one disappears. 

Occasionally, in swarming season and especially if the conditions are already right for swarming, a swarm will issue with the new queen, but if the hive is well managed and things go right, this is infrequent. 

Oftentimes, too, a hive will begin swarm preparation, then if the swarming conditions change due to population loss, beekeeper manipulations, or weather change, they'll just tear down the cells, or supersede.

I have had no time at all for BEE-L lately, but I see it is running along just fine without me. 

This important news just came in from Medhat Nasr:

The Pest Management regulatory Agency (PMRA) granted Apivar strips conditional full registration for use by Canadian Beekeepers to control Varroa mites.

Apivar (active ingredient: Amitraz) has been very instrumental in saving Alberta beekeepers from serious winter losses.  Although varroa will eventually show resistance to the active ingredient, so far Alberta has been fine. 

The threats to continued efficacy come from those who may secretly be applying uncontrolled doses of Amitraz with Taktic® (active ingredient: Amitraz) or the accidental importation of resistant varroa with queens.  Taktic® has been used in ever increasing doses in home remedies over many years as resistance has increased in some US regions, including areas where we source queens.  I have heard that the product is hard to get these days. 

Rotating and supplementing Apivar with other products which are legal and encouraged in Canada such as oxalic acid and formic acid are expected to delay Amitraz resistance here. 

Additionally, Province-wide mite surveys conducted annually by Medhat and his crew with the support and encouragement of the beekeepers are hoped to catch any future failures of the product early on so that alternate treatments can be used to contain and hopefully eliminate the problem once it shows up.

So, we have a three-pronged attack on the mite: 

  1. An effective miticide,

  2. Alternate measures, and

  3. An effective surveillance programme.

The availability Apivar of does not impact me much directly, since I do not use Amitraz, but it makes life much easier for large commercial beekeepers who can still treat reliably with just one visit instead of many.

I did use Apivar once, though, to try to save my collapsing hives in fall two years ago, with no success.  I had been sucked in by the talk of how selected bees can now resist varroa.  Apparently, some bees can -- in some places, for some beekeepers -- but in my case, even though I bought resistant stock, split drastically, and treated once a year with oxalic drizzle, all things that are supposed to keep varroa levels below the dangerous levels, I lost all my bees that winter.

For mite control I prefer to use oxalic acid.  I used it for several years with success as a drizzle, but after my bad experience, I started using evaporation, as described here in last fall's pages.   I did five treatments, beginning in early October when the varroa levels began to rise. 

So far my OA evaporation seems to have worked well, but I have yet to do mite surveys on my yards this summer beyond watching for varroa in drone brood which is opened when moving frames and cutting burr comb.  So far I saw only one mite, but I was not seeing them in brood at this time last year, either.

Having switched from using mated queens and then cells last year to using mated queens early this spring, then walk-away splits thereafter may improve varroa control, but, of course, a few colonies will have had laying queens all season and they, by rights, should prove to have more mites than the splits that got new queens after broodless periods (some twice).

When I say broodless, I am not being entirely accurate.  If it takes 24 days for a drone to develop and we count the egg stage, and if it takes a queen 23 days to start laying, from the day the egg is laid. If a new queen is started from a 1 day old larva (4-day old egg) immediately after the splitting, then the shortest time after dequeening that eggs will appear again is 19 days.  We know that it usually takes a few days for cells to be started, though.  The earliest that an egg  from the new queen will hatch is 22 days from the splitting date (19+3). 

Since drones take 24 days for development from the date the egg is laid, then technically it is possible that there is no true broodless period if drone eggs were present when  the hive was split as the last drones will be hatching on day 24, just as the first new eggs are laid.

Nonetheless, the earliest that a larva from the new emergency queen will reach the stage where it is about to be capped is day 28 (19+9), so there are several days when the varroa have no place to hide!

A treatment during that short interval should have high efficacy, I would think.

Inserting ripe cells at the time of splitting or shortly thereafter would eliminate the broodless period.  An earlier queen emergence and mating would move up the resumption of brood rearing by up by up to 12 days, but reduce the varroa control benefits of splitting.

(Table courtesy Wikipedia).

I spent the day resting and swimming and doing odd jobs.  In the evening, I gassed up the van and did a little shopping.  I had intended to see Harri early tomorrow to weld the guides again, but I got an email that he is going back to the hospital, so that does not look too likely.

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
Carol Burnett

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Sunday July 15th 2012
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I slept until 8, then took the trailer guides off the trailer and took them to Harri.  I had intended to borrow his breaker bar, but forgot.  Today is hot and muggy, but not as bad as the past few days for heat although there is no wind.

Now I have to decide what to do next.  Once I get the trailer up to standard, I have a choice: launch here and stay a day or two more, or head for Pine Hill.  I have ten days left until I fly home and in that time, I'm hoping to get a good deal done on Cloud 9 and also decide how to deal with the fireplace and chimney.

I am finding life very peaceful without moderation notices from the LISTSERV, and I also set my mailer to bypass the mailbox for BEE-L posts, so my incoming traffic has dropped right off.  I do read BEE-L daily, however, and am finding the current discussion dull, until this amusing piece:

>I breed my own resistant stock, but in my area, nucs established with resistant queens from anywhere in the states rarely make it a year without treatment.

I find that so hard to believe. I suppose in commercial operations things are different, but from where I keep bees, I see no need for treatments, mites are no problem. Beekeepers in nearby areas are reporting no problems for several years.

I suppose I am a bit disgusted about the tendency to promote stop gap controls over breeding. It seems, and I hate to say it on this list, shows a lack of trust in the breeding abilities of USA breeders. Thats my opinion, hurt as it may...

Joe Waggle

Joe W. is a funny guy.  He has done some historical research and posts some really interesting material.  By doing so, he builds up credibility over a period of time, then blows it all away with a post like the above.  He lives in a corner of Pennsylvania, runs a small, idiosyncratic operation and thinks that his experience can be extrapolated to the whole of North America?

It just goes to show how a person can be very right about some things, but totally wrong about others and not even know it -- and why we should not listen to a movie actor proselytizing about Global Warming or baby seals or anything not directly related to their acting career.

This post also demonstrates a major fallacy committed repeatedly by many beekeepers, both in bee practice and in bee politics. It is common for beekeepers to assume that just because one person can do something in a specific area at a specific time, that everyone, everywhere should be able to do so -- or want to do so.

Quite often the loudest voices are people who are doing things the hardest way on a small-scale and feel a need to evangelize.  Often these types put a great deal of their effort into lobbying and evangelizing and therefore have undue influence on others while those who have found better and easier ways are quietly going about their business.

We had and maybe still have this problem in Canada, where the CHC has been dominated by a noisy and idealistic minority and been a nuisance to the majority of practical beekeepers.  CHC has been under new management for a while, so maybe that has changed.  Time will tell.

Joe has seen ample evidence on BEE-L that resistance to varroa that is demonstrated in one region may not work in another, and ignored it. 

For that matter I think I demonstrated quite convincingly that 'resistant' bees alone are not always enough two winters ago, when I lost 100% of my 75 hives of 'resistant' bees when varroa levels got too high and a virus went through the yard. 

At the time, I was influenced by those who claimed that bees could tolerate varroa and figured I'd take some losses, but not 100%.

Periodically, we hear from some beekeeper or another that he or she has the answer and is the proof.  That can continue for quite a while if the luck holds, but eventually, pride taketh a fall and we don't hear much any more.  In the meantime many are taken in.

Basically, if you want to have bees and minimal losses, you have to be aware of the mite and disease levels and treat when necessary -- or be very lucky.

Probability explains why in a large enough population, a few ordinary individuals will have amazing and continuing success.  While it may seem like talent, it may simply be a matter of luck.  It is possible to throw heads 10 times in a row, but I would not bet on it happening often.

The reasons are many, but, to speculate why resistance demonstrated in one locale works but fails in another region, the most obvious explanation is that all the various known and hereditary bee resistance mechanisms are weak.  Selection can create a bee that has a combination of resistance characteristics that is adapted to the varroa, flows, plants and weather of one region, and can tolerate varroa under those specific conditions, but when moved to a different mix of circumstances, is unable to keep varroa below the threshold. 

Commercial beekeepers and those who trade in bee stock cannot restrict themselves to one specific locale, or even identify for sure the local factors that enable the resistance -- or guarantee that the next season will not change them.

Moreover, even VHS and Russian bees often need some help with varroa problems when surrounded by other bee populations.  We know, also, that prolific commercial strains are more susceptible to varroa due to their high level of brood rearing, a trait that makes them more productive compared to more conservative strains and a reason that many commercial beekeepers favour them -- even if they require more help with varroa.

Below certain concentrations in a hive, and in the absence high levels of viruses and other pathogens, varroa seems relatively harmless.  As long as the varroa to bee ratio does not get above a threshold, the bees do fine.

The problem is that if the varroa concentration does get above a threshold, in one hive or many, the bees lose control and cannot bring the level back down without assistance. 

When that happens in one hive or many, the varroa population avalanches and spreads through the apiary and locality as bees drift and/or abandon their hives, loading down even hives that could have dealt with their own mites, but not the additional load.

A pupa is only slightly damaged when parasitized by only one varroa, but more seriously damaged as the number of varroa in a cell increase. With low varroa populations, the odds of a specific cell containing more than one varroa are small, but the odds increase exponentially and as the mites per bee ratio increase passes 6%, the possibility becomes a probability and colony damage becomes more certain.  These threshold numbers vary with season and locality, but 6% seems to be a watershed.

30,000 bees @ 6% mites = 1,800 mites
~67% of the 1,800 mites are in brood = 1,200 in brood
1,000 eggs/day x 12 days sealed = 12,000 worker cells sealed
That comes to one mite per every 10 sealed worker brood cells.

Simultaneously, high varroa numbers increasingly weaken developing pupae and spread viruses and pathogens throughout the bee populations via the wounds they inflict on pupae and adults.  These burdens lower the danger threshold mentioned earlier to half or less of the original pre-breakout level.  That is what we have seen here in Alberta.  Due to the spread of pathogens by varroa to date our current treatment thresholds are far lower than they originally were and many good beekeepers are treating if they see many hives at even 1%.

Anyhow, Joe W. is looking at filtered data and generalizing.  As for his opinion hurting, it is more likely to amuse.

*   *   *   *   *

Today it is hot and muggy, with thunderstorms.  I'm hanging around, doing very little, waiting for Harri to finish the trailer parts so I can put the trailer back on the road.  I think I've decided to go to Pine Hill tomorrow morning.

*   *   *   *   *

I got the parts back from Harri and started putting them back on, but the mosquitoes drove me indoors.  I've been working on an outside faucet for Mom, too while I was waiting and that has taken some time.  Looking at the weather, I'm thinking now that I'll launch Carpe Diem on Ramsey tomorrow morning and work on the empty trailer (since I have a power bar I borrowed for the day) finish the faucet installation, do some sailing, have supper with Wickendens and drive south on Tuesday.  I have a modification in mind for the bunks on the trailer to ensure better centering, too.

I swam four times today, to beat the heat.  Mom does not have air-conditioning, but a dip in the Lake is a good way to beat the heat.

Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.
Christina Baldwin

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Monday July 16th 2012
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I no longer see any promise of anything more than showers in Swalwell.  Things are getting dry there and an inch of rain would be very welcome. 

It continues hot and muggy here in Sudbury.  I have a few chores to do today and plan to launch my boat again.

*   *   *   *   *

The  morning was calm with no signs of wind, so I began on the trailer without launching the  boat.  Good thing, too, since I sheared off both the U-bolts I was hoping to save.  That meant a drive around town, but I did find new U-bolts for as decent price and also picked up the rest of the parts for the faucet project.

The faucet job was done by 2 and the trailer spring replacement was finished around 3:45.  At 5:30, I had supper with Bill and Faye, then Bill and I dropped over to see Harri and return his breaker bar.  On the way home, I stopped at Canadian Tire and got an air conditioner for Mom.

Looking at the calendar, I have more than a week before I fly home.  I'm still thinking of driving south tomorrow.  We'll see.

The more things change, the more they remain... insane.
Michael Fry and T. Lewis

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Tuesday July 17th 2012
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It's 10:30 PM and I'm at Pine Hill.  I left 1207 at about 8:30 and just arrived here in time to go to bed.  The day was spent packing, installing the air conditioner and getting an adequate cord for it.  The instructions say DO NOT use an extension, and I know why.  Most people would use some cheap lamp cord extension and wreck the compressor due to low voltage at start-up or burn their house down.  I spent $35 on a 3/12 proper cord to span the 25 feet to the plug.  There won't be any problems.  I had to visit three stores before I found a 25-foot 3/12 extension, though.  People just don't ever buy them.

When I changed the spring on the trailer, I had noticed that one spring had a broken leaf.  After changing them both, I noticed I had a bit more clearance to the axle on both sides, so I figured that the results were worth the time and expense.  In driving down, though, I noticed the trailer handled differently.  With more spring, the trailer tends to steer the vehicle more than it did.  I did not test the stability with any drastic moves,  and it handled well enough, but I was surprised at the difference.  I may experiment with how I distribute the weight on the return trip.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find
the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Nelson Mandela

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Wednesday July 18th 2012
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I awoke and found it was already after 10.  That has to be a record!

I had breakfast and then heard a vehicle door slam.  One of the fireplace guys and his wife had come by to take another look, so we spent an hour talking fireplaces.

Then I turned the boat and van around from where I had left them last night, jack-knifed in the cramped turnaround.  Next, I'm off to town to launch the boat, but I thought I'd update here first.  I'm getting compulsive about making daily entries.  I don't know how interesting they are for readers, but I write mainly for myself and having daily entries makes it easy to look back.

When a police detective asks a suspect, " Where were you at twelve-fifteen on the 4th of June?" and the guy does not say, "How would I know?", I'd arrest him immediately.  Obviously that was a memorable date and time.  I can't even remember what I did yesterday, or at exactly what time.  I also can't tell you the time and date of my last eye appointment.

The launch went smoothly, but I notice the ramp suffered damage over winter and retrieval may be a little more difficult.  The water is also low.  Motoring back to Pine Hill; was routine and I tied up in my usual spot.  It was now 4 in the afternoon and I walked into Port to recover my van and trailer.  I picked up some groceries and a bottle of wine on the way back and called it a day.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale

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Thursday July 19th 2012
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I slept in again today, but only until 9 this time because I have an appointment with a tree specialist.  Our pines are now at least 110 years old and there is getting to be a lot of dead wood up top.  These huge trees surround the cottage and will someday fall somewhere, so we are thinking it is time to trim some and possibly fell several others. especially the ones which are on rock and poorly anchored in the thin soil.

Jim showed up right on time and we looked over the trees.  He seemed only concerned about two of them, plus the overhanging deadwood.  I hired him to cut the deadwood off five of the trees and we'll decide on whether to fell the two which seem poorly rooted.

Apparently there is a new malicious exploit discovered and experts recommend that Microsoft Win 7 and Vista users disable any desktop gadgets.  The easy fix is here.

After lunch, I made some guides for the boat trailer to ensure the centreboard stays on centre while loading.  I had noticed the boat tends to be an inch or two to one side or the other and that can affect the weight distribution on the axle.  After that, I finally got started on Cloud 9. 

I have been reluctant to start on this job until I am able to devote my full attention to the job since I have to consider quite a few factors and also remember a lot of details.  I have had to organize a lot of details and material to get to this point.  Distractions could result in errors, oversights and waste of supplies.

The evening was mild and the bugs few.  I was able to work until 7:45 and could have worked longer, but decided to quit for the day.

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change.
Ramsay Clark

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