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Saturday June 1st 2013
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This is Cruise Weekend in Three Hills, so Jean and family are planning to come down. 

At one time this event was simply Cruise Night.  On the first Saturday evening in June each year old cars would come from all over and drive up and down Main Street while everyone stood around and watched and looked at vintage cars parked on the street until everyone had enough and went home.  Now Cruise Night has morphed into a far more organized series of events spread out over several venues and several days, and interests me far less.

Jean and family dropped into Three Hills and left after 15 minutes.  Apparently, there was no cruising, just a lot of cars parked along the Main Street.  They continued on down to Swalwell and Chris set up their tent trailer while Jean and Ellen planted bedding out plants.  Megan and Elijah mowed grass.

Orams stayed for an early supper of leftovers and headed home.

There is only one nature.  The division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole.
Bill Wulf

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Sunday June 2nd 2013
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Ellen and I decided to skip Cruise Weekend entirely, seeing as it is spread out over time and space and we mostly enjoyed it when it was a few evening hours of cars circling the blocks and then time to go home.

June is here and I have to get to work on the bees.  I've left them alone and given them time to build up.  Now it is time to work them and prepare hives for sale. This year they are about a month behind schedule, but catching up.

Other years, I has already made one split by now.  Normally May 10-15 is the first splitting window.

Dandelions, caraganas and apple trees are in full bloom, so there is lots of pollen coming in.  We are getting a lot of rain, too.  That may be good for the plants, but makes working the bees a little harder to schedule.

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered;
an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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Monday June 3rd 2013
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The rain continues.  Nonetheless, Zippy and I went for the one-mile walk.  I have been finding that I am losing strength and figure I need to get more exercise.

I also managed to get some bookwork done today, but have been extremely tired.  Ellen has, too, and we both have been taking long naps in the middle of the day.  I think we have some sort of virus. 

Later in the day, the sun came out and we had some stable flies in the house.  Generally, I figure that the weather is not good for bees unless I see houseflies, so as annoying as they are, I am happy to see them.

I also have been working on a manual for Cassiopeia.  The QR code is at right.  It is a work in progress and I am learning as I write.

Ellen and Megan set out more flowers from trays and I burned up some branches that had accumulated in our fire pit.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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Tuesday June 4th 2013
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This morning is sunny.  We have to drive to Drum again today, but for a short chemo treatment.

That "short" treatment stretched out to 3 hours.  I went to the bottle depot, but there was a lineup that just did not move

Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

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Wednesday June 5th 2013
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Tonight, I pick up Jon and the kids at YYC around 9 PM.

I did some odd jobs during the day and left for the airport around six, expecting to be picking the family up at nine.  I returned some items in Airdrie, then received a call from Jon.  Their Westjet flight from LAX was delayed.  As it turned out, they did not actually leave LA until nine and arrived at YYC at midnight.  This is the second time in a row that Jon has had his WJ flight from CA delayed and he is fed up with them.

I entertained myself by shopping until the stores closed, watching Engrenages AKA "Spirals' on my phone and napping.

We arrived in Swalwell at 0125, had a snack, then went to bed sometime after 2.

The nice thing about egotists is that they don't talk about other people.
Lucille S. Harper

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Thursday June 6th 2013
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I slept until nine and am still tired.  There is something about being up past 2 AM that makes me really weary the next day.  That is one reason I avoid the red-eye.  Flying the red-eye leaves me weary and disoriented the next day.

The day passed quickly.  I put a turkey into the electric oven at noon and we ate at 5:30.  We ate early so that we could go on a trail ride at the TL Bar ranch in the evening.

Jon, Kalle, Mckenzie, Katrina and I all went.  Jean and Nathan stayed home with Ellen.

Ellen had been tired and slept all day, but came alive in the evening.  It is difficult to predict how each chemo session will affect her.

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book I'll waste no time reading it.
Moses Hadas

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Friday June 7th 2013
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I'm tired again today and have no energy or enthusiasm for getting to work on the bees.  They are coming along well and I should be equalizing them, but have not.  I have lots of requests again for bees that I put off until now and have to decide which requests I can fill.

The day was overcast with lots of rain, but it cleared off after  supper.  I went out and mowed the North Yard to warm up the mower so I can change the oil.

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Oscar Wilde

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Saturday June 8th 2013
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I slept well, awoke to a dog barking and found it was already 7:30.  Jean and the kids were coming in for breakfast.  They slept out in their tent trailer in the apple orchard.  Jon and his kids slept downstairs.

We had a pancakes for breakfast -- at least they did.  I don't eat high-glycemic foods like that if I can help it.  Lately, I'm just eating a little trail mix or bean salad and find that suits me as well as my three-egg omelet does.

At left is an image of the trail mixes and seeds I am buying at Wal-Mart.  They are reasonably priced and good quality.  I mix them together to make a mix I like.  At right is $30 worth of dried beans, weighing about ten kilos and providing enough healthy food for a long time.  I got a bit carried away in the store and bought a kilo of each of the ten kinds on the shelf.

It's 11 AM and I'm off to look at the bees and do some work on them.

Later, I'll drive Jon and the kids to the airport.  They lift off at 7:20 PM.

I worked on the North Yard and managed to split all except 2 hives, leaving them for tomorrow.  I simply split the triples into doubles, trying to get about the same amount of brood and bees into each without regard to the queens.  In the process, I used all the boxes and it worked out perfectly.

I made some floors last winter and am back to using individual floors again.  I find the four-way pallets too clumsy and limited for how I am operating these days.

I plan to go through them in more detail in three days, when there should be cells and locating queens should be easier as the queenright ones will have eggs, and the others just larvae.  I'll sell the queenright ones.

I have been hoping to find a hive about to swarm, but so far nothing.  If I do, I'll have some cells to introduce into the queenless hives.

Some beekeepers worry that by using swarm cells, they are propagating and selecting for the swarming trait, and, over many generations that could happen, but at this point, in my apiary, any hives preparing to swarm will be the best hives at overwintering and building up.  These are desirable qualities.

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.
Gail Godwin

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Sunday June 9th 2013
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I awoke at five today, had a coffee, chased off the deer and and went back to bed and slept until nine.  I have a slight headache, but otherwise am energetic and plan to get back at the bees shortly.  The day is warm and last night was the first night that I have left the windows open this spring. 

This sort of weather is good for the bees.  The caraganas and fruit trees continue to bloom and there are still some dandelions.  I'm still not seeing many stable flies or houseflies, though, and the presence of flies is, to me, a major indicator of a period of ideal bee weather.  I'm able to leave the door open without screens, so we are not yet into good honeyflow weather yet.

The weather today is quite changeable, with periods of rain on and off.  In the afternoon, during a warmer spell, I went out and finished the North Yard.  There are now 14 stands there.  I arranged them into a row.

Many beekeepers object to rows due to drifting between hives, but to me that is desirable and allows me to interchange hives to equalize them.  In that regard, painting the hives has been a mistake since now I have two colours of boxes and some hives are distinct.  Moreover reversing them changes the appearance for returning bees.

I had intended to paint all the new boxes, but will probably not.  It is too much work.  Paint does preserve the surface, though and reduce the chalking that dirties bee suits.  I suppose should have chosen white paint; then the new unpainted ones would not look much different.

The grass in the quonset yard is getting high, so I cut it.  In the process, I discovered the mower has plugged with old grass and had to scrape the bottom.  It cuts much better now.

A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde

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