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Monday June 10th 2013
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It is sunny, but cool and breezy.  I hope to get out to the bees in the afternoon, but this morning I have bookwork to do.

I worked on the books all morning, then went out and did some mowing and split some more hives.

At this point, I am finding this difficult.  The hives are still heavy with feed and the combs are fat and sticky.  One strong hive was completely queenless and showed no signs of having swarmed, so I guess she just died.

My heart is just not into beekeeping this year. I have too many other interests and the hives are plugged with honey.  I'm going to have to extract.  There is no way around it.  If I want colonies strong enough to winter well, I have to let them get strong enough to make honey. 

Having my friends extract for me is fine and I appreciate it, but my combs are tender and need hand uncapping and extracting for best results, plus I need to do a few frames now and then.  I think I'll buy a 72 frame Kelly again and hand-scratch.  It won't be much work with the right tools.

For now, I think I'll just bust each hive into two or three and see what I have.   Working through them is just too arduous and I am running out of time.  One thing I have learned is that I don't want to promise to sell anything except what I have right in front of me.  Trying to make up orders is a frustrating hassle and a compromise.

I'm not going to buy queens.  That was not working out.  I'll let them raise some, maybe raise some cells and also look for swarm cells to share.

A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

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Tuesday June 11th 2013
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More books today and more bees -- and more grass to cut.

Two packages of Chinese 12V LED lights came today and they look good.  I'll send them west to have the crew try them out. The ones at left came from here. The ones at right come from here or maybe here.  I bought from both as they were so cheap and I want to compare.  I hope I can figure out which is which.

I wrapped them, up again and was going to just send them west, but maybe tonight, I'll test them out with a car battery.  I'll measure the current draw and estimate light output.

*   *   *   *   *

As hard as it may be to believe, I did not lift one hive lid today.  I must have beekeeper's block.  I went out and did some tidying, and moved some pallets into place, but did not open hives.

I do have  a plan however.  I'll just split everything and sell the good hives with queens.  I'm scheduled to go east on the 19th, but don't feel like going.  My mind is on the West Coast and here at home.

*   *   *   *   *

Oh, yes, and I am soaking beans right now.  I decided to soak a cup of each of the 10 varieties I bought the other day, in three batches divided up by the cooking time.  Four are 60-90 minutes, Three are 45-60 minutes and two are 30-45 minutes.  I figure to cook them all and freeze what I can't use right now.

What surprise!  I had heard they swell when soaked and that the water gets dirty, but had not imagined the extent.  I've poured off water three times now.  I plan to soak them at least 12 hours and maybe more.  One web blogger said she went to soaking 36 hours and has never looked back.   We'll see.  One thing for sure, I won't have to soak beans again for a long time even if I eat beans every day. 

Are beans good for me?  I don't know what to believe.  Every specialty farmer or food manufacturer knows that making that claim sells product.  The claims don't have to be true, just plausible.  From what I read, beans are healthy and probably better than too much meat and animal fat, but I guess I'll find out.  So far, so good.

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -that is all that agnosticism means.
Warren Zevon

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Wednesday June 12th 2013
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Same as yesterday.  More books today and more bees -- and more grass to cut.

*   *   *   *   *

Cooking the beans is interesting.  I'm finding they vary widely in quality.  Some are firm and others split and fall apart.  There may be varying qualities in the packages and maybe I need to soak and cook them separately to find which ones are not as good.

Obviously, this is not as simple as opening a can.  I made my customary bean salad, but with all ten varieties.   So far, it does not quite measure up to the ones I have made with canned beans.  I'm still learning.  Also, it needs a day to sit before it is at its best.

*   *   *   *   *

I worked on the books, had a long afternoon nap and went out late in the afternoon to work bees.

I can see now what my problem is -- too much honey.  Many hives are honeybound in spite of being in three boxes.  Losing all the hives over fall and winter a previous year left me with my brood boxes full.

I split some more, but need to either sell the hives or put supers on them.  I have no empty brood comb and very little foundation.  I'm going away in a week, so have to do something.

I've been in touch with a few of the people who have been wanting to buy bees, but have to organize my list and get the job done.

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
George Bernard Shaw

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Thursday June 13th 2013
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Same as yesterday and the day before.  More books today and more bees -- and more grass to cut.  The GST is done, but the year end reconciliations continue...

I slept about four or five hours last night.  I did not get fully to sleep until three and and was awoken by a stable fly landing on me repeatedly at six AM.  I bought some fly ribbons at Wal-Mart recently and plan to put them to use.  They look awful, but they work, and the more flies that accumulate on them, the better they work as flies attract flies.

Hi Allen,
Just wanted to thank you for your information about building a hive lift although mine does not look the same it has some ideas of yours, Not self leveling , but I only plan less than 100 hives and enjoy the learning curve.

I'm down to the last week before I fly east and have loose ends to tie up.

 

Allen,

I am still reading your diary and I see you appear to be having less fun with bees than you used to. It is none of my business, and you can tell me to butt out if you want to, but a couple of thoughts come to mind.

Not at all.  I appreciate any comments.

First, I wonder if you simply have too many colonies? Whilst 100 may seem like nothing to you, and was probably nothing to your body when you were younger, it is a lot of work for most people who keep bees as a hobby/sideline.

That is very true.  I know that, but have trouble balancing the numbers.  My intent was to sell down to 15 or 20 this spring, but the bees did not develop as planned.

Second, your career as a beekeeper had developed you into a beekeeper who kept large colonies which can not help but want to make honey. Maybe there is another way, and I offer a suggestion. Have you considered keeping the colonies smaller, and then selling them in the spring as singles ready to expand into honey producing units for other beekeepers.

That is precisely what I had in mind, and some years it would have worked, but since I don't extract and live in a honey region, my hives are honeybound.

I have been having some success these last couple of years splitting colonies into 5 frame nucs in June, allowing them the benefit of the brood break, and then giving them a second story of 5 frames to expand on to. At US thanksgiving time I squeeze the colonies together and put some insulation on top. (See http://preview.tinyurl.com/mtjvzzn)

Again, after that total loss, my colonies are honeybound.  Moreover, the new foundation I put in is either filled with honey or not yet drawn.

I know you are much further north than I, but I figured if you are fed-up perhaps a new approach may get you thinking. I appreciate the insights you share in your diary, and (selfishly) would like you to continue with bees.

I shall, but am going to have to get things under control.  I either have to get an extractor or borrow supers from people with the extracting setup and give them back full of honey later.  Honey is my main problem as I see it.

Maybe we should take this to Honey Bee World Forum.  I'll post there.

I am now starting to sell hives.  A customer who gave me a deposit is coming Saturday and another who has been waiting wrote yesterday.  I quoted rough prices and haven't heard back.  A third customer called today and is coming for two singles.  He's local so I'll probably just throw the hives on my truck and drop them at his place.  I have yet to notify everyone on my list, but will be done selling what I need to by next Tuesday.

The mail came and I found that the two remaining packages of LED lights have arrived from China.  I'll have to test them.  I ordered them May 23rd.

*   *   *   *   *

At the moment, I am sitting, waiting for a customer who is 15 minutes late and whose phone goes to voicemail.  I don't dare start another hive because the minute I do, he'll show up. 

He asked for two good singles, and I quoted $250 each, so I phoned my friends and asked how much brood should be in a $250 hive.  They said four, so I put in five and lots of feed, made sure I saw the queens, then set them on an excluder on the parent hives to wait for the buyer.  Apparently, they say, that honey is up to $2.15 now.

At three I came in and sat at the computer and waited.  Forty minutes later he called wondering where I was.  I said, "At home, waiting for you."  He said he was in Carbon, waiting for me. 

When we made the deal, I had enquired where he was going to put them and had offered to take them over, but had assumed he would come to my place, look at them, and pay for them, then we would drive over.  He had assumed I would just go over there.  I called him several times, but it turned out that the phone number I had was his office number.

I drove them over and set them up and returned home.  I hope he does well.  Hives of bees are always variable and there is always risk.  Sometimes things work out 100% and sometimes considerably less.  I hate it when a customer has bad luck, but queens can be killed in transit and other things can happen.

We had a thunderstorm around suppertime.  After supper, I tested the LEDs. 

They all seem pretty good, and as good as the one I paid $26 plus tax for in B.C.  These Chinese LEDs averaged $1.56 delivered.  For all I know, they are the same.  I also mentioned them in the forum.

5 to 10 LED bulbs can run on the current one halogen ceiling light draws and make much less heat.  The light output of the LED I bought in B.C. was comparable to a 10 Watt halogen. These are bright, but I have nothing here to compare to.

I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known.
Walt Disney

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Friday June 14th 2013
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Last night I wrote to people who are on the waiting list for bees and have my work cut out for me.  I still have hives to sell, however.  If I have some left over, I may have to just super them up until I get back.

It is odd that people are conditioned to want to buy bees in April and May and wind up with a lot of work, and risk of loss rather than buy established hives later. 

People don't seem to realise that hives can be bought at any time up until harvest and even with a crop of honey on them.  After harvest, they can be bought at any time that they are reachable.  (We found snow defeated our plans last winter).

The cost is the same, generally, but the certainty of getting a crop increases as the season goes on.  New beekeepers typically lose up to half their purchases before summer and often mismanage the hives.  Buying a hive right before the honeyflow is a much safer bet.

In Alberta, that means early July.  Hives can also be bought mid-summer after the first honey pull and still make 100+ pounds in August and September.

Nothing is simpler than buying a hive ready to super or with a super on it.  Granted, such hives can be heavier to truck home  and flying bees need to be restrained, but these things are not real problems.

For some reason, those who teach courses always talk about nucs and packages and neglect explaining that these are the hard and expensive ways to get started compared to just buying an established hive.

They also recommend new equipment and foundation.  In fact, bees do not like new equipment and prefer used. 

As for fear of disease, disease is everywhere and manageable but people scare newbies with the possibility and exaggerate the implications.  Granted, out of control AFB is serious, but a little education is all it takes to recognize and deal with it in the early stages.  The other bee diseases are usually a minor nuisance.

Buying new won't guarantee freedom from disease, but it will guarantee smaller crops and higher risk of hive loss.  We have ways of dealing with bee diseases and they are the same whether the equipment is new or used.

Hive loss is hive loss whether from the challenge of inhabiting new, sterile boxes and frames or from a bee disease.  As far as I can see, people are overly influenced by the advertising and promotions by bee equipment manufacturers to do things the hard way.

Go figure.

At my current prices, the cost and risk is less than for packages or nucs when all is considered and all that is required is to super them or add another brood box.

Singles:

  • Bees: a package is about $150.  These are better than a package

    • Add 10% typical loss for packages: $15

  • Equipment: Brood chamber with 10 frames: $35

  • Honey: 40 pounds at $2.15: $86

  • Total value $286 -- My Price: $250

and the work is all done except supering and extracting.

Doubles:

  • Bees: roughly equal to 4-lb package: $275

    • Add 10% typical loss for packages: $30

  • Equipment: 2 Broods worth $70

  • Honey: up to 60 lbs @ $2.15: $129

  • Total value up to $504  -- My Price: $350!

(I really should be charging more)

 ...and the work is all done except supering and extracting.

Obviously the double is a better value at $350 and will produce more honey if properly managed, but may be too much for many.

I'm not including floors and lids in these valuations since I don't always supply them.  I did build some new floors and lids for the EPS hives  last winter, but have not been including them.  I have lots of old standard size lids and floors, though, that I can give away with hives.

I struggle with pricing.  I would like to be sure to give good value, and at the same time not cheat myself, but the doubles look like a steal at $350, especially with current honey prices.

*   *   *   *   *

I woke up feeling lousy and decided that I should either go back to bed or go for a walk.  Zippy and I did the one-mile walk and I feel better.

*   *   *   *   *

It's 10:15 and I am finished my email and phone calls and am headed out to make up 6 singles for a customer coming at noon.  I'll have to hustle.

I have more orders to prepare for tomorrow later today.  Things are starting to move.

*   *   *   *   *

I went out and made up the singles.  They are booming, as the hives I split are huge.  It took me until 1:15 to do the 6 -- that is almost a half-hour per split -- and in one I have yet to find the queen.   In another, I simply shook all the bees into the split, sitting on an excluder over the rest of the hive and smoked them down.  Now I am waiting for the customer, then, when loading we'll take another look for the queen.

Finding queens is a pain, and the slowest part of making splits.  There are tricks, though, like

  • Putting excluders between all the boxes four days ahead of splitting.  Then the queen can be narrowed down to one box by spotting where the eggs are.  That saves searching through the other box(es)

  • Another trick is to go early in the day when the queen is more likely to be in the centre of the top box

  • Placing some empty brood combs in the top box a day or two ahead will often encourage her to be there when  you split.

  • Separating the boxes and setting them aside, then moving the frames one by one into an empty box placed on the stand can ensure that the queen passes through your gaze.

*   *   *   *   *

We loaded the hives, but had to search for a queen.  This was my fourth time through three boxes full of heavy and sticky brood combs and she evaded me again, so I went to another hive and found the queen on the second frame I pulled.  We dropped her into the split.  Given the flow conditions, there is no problem switching two laying queens between hives with no special measures.  We watched for a few minutes, though,

I have several more splits to make for customers coming tomorrow.  Keeping track of orders is getting confusing.

I went out and did two more. On the second, I did not find the queen.  It is too late in the day and the queen could be anywhere in the three boxes stuffed with bees. 

The best time to find queens is in the morning after a cool night, when queens are more likely to be up top in the middle. 

I have some hives I busted up a few days ago and I'll use them tomorrow morning for the splits I need.

By 9:30 I was ready for bed.

I did not feel like watching anything on Netflix.  I have been watching Engrenages, presented with English subtitles as Spirals on Netflix, to kill an hour before going to bed, but am tiring of it, and nothing else appeals right now.  

This is my annual cycle when in the North.  In winter, I watch some video.  In summer much less, if any.  One strong influence is the daylight hours.  I find daylight and warm outdoor temperatures stimulating and darkness somewhat depressing.

Our trees have grown up in the 45 years we have been here and I notice that the shade in the morning has resulted in less inclination to get outside early in the day.

I went to bed and fell asleep right away.

 Do you run from the bear because you’re afraid,
or are you afraid because you run?
William James

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Saturday June 15th 2013
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I woke up a little before four, sweating.  The house is around 68, so I don't know why.  The same happened yesterday.  I have been feeling lousy lately, and tired and don't know if it is allergies or some virus.  I was congested and took some loratadine (Claratin) for a few days a week or so back and two generic Benadryl twice to sleep, but have not seen the need for the past few days.

I have been noticing that I have been grumpy, worried, tired and uninspired for the past week or more, with sleeplessness and sleep disturbances a few nights.  

I first noticed the grumpiness about ten days ago on Tuesday.  It was so remarkable that I mentioned it to Ellen and she agreed.  Others have been mentioning experiencing something similar and there have been murmurs of a "grumpy flu".  The concurrence with spring makes me wonder if it is "Frühjahrsmüdigkeit".

At any rate, it was 3:30 and dawn was breaking.  I got up, measured my blood glucose out of curiosity and found it was 5.4.  I drank some water and went back to bed.  I may have dozed, then woke up a few minutes later and realised I was not tired and got up.  I'm actually quite inspired.

I've been stewing about small things for the past week, probably due to the grumpy flu or allergies, but now find myself back to 'normal'.

I went out to see if the queen had come up and she had not so I found another.  The wind was cold and bothersome, blowing my veil over my face and around my head. 

*   *   *   *   *

The customers came and went and I took a break.  Then I began on the next order.  The customer arrived before I finished and we took care of his requirements.  He reports that the directions given by Mapquest, which has been a link on my home page for a decade or more takes people to Wimborne, not Swalwell.  I'm fixing that right now.  Nobody uses Mapquest anymore.

Jean and Nathan came for lunch.

In the afternoon, I did some more bee work and sold some hive parts.  Then the Meijers came by for supper.  We had a good visit.

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
Honore de Balzac

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Sunday June 16th 2013
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This morning I woke up at 6:30, ready to go. 

I checked my blood sugar and it was 5.8 which is unusually good -- for me.  I was careful what I ate yesterday and last night and have been more active than for a while.  The difference is noticeable.  I've also dropped about 8 pounds in the past while -- mostly water, I assume.

It seems that blood glucose is affected not just by what was eaten in the last few hours, but also over time.  Food normally remains in the digestive system for more than a day and continues to have an effect due to continued absorption and also due to the effect on gut bacteria.

Changes in the gut flora and fauna take time to evolve and a change of diet may have effects that do not show up immediately.  Some things ingested like a narrow spectrum antibiotic will have immediate shock effects on the flora and fauna and then lingering after effects as the system adjusts to having some of the microorganisms suddenly killed and other left untouched.

A change in diet on the other hand will have slower impact as the various inhabitants of the system either benefit or decline as a result of the change.

This morning,  I am spending an hour or two at the desk, writing and dealing with requests.  It seems that I will likely sell all the hives I want to. The most difficult part of this seems to be organizing and responding to the requests.  I have no good system and find separating and scheduling to be challenging.

Then I have to get moving.  I have orders to fill today.

My honey problem has been solved.  My friends decided to just drop some drawn supers on my hives for me and take away any honey that results, leaving me to play with my bees and boxes without worrying about honey clogging everything up.  It is a win/win solution.

*   *   *   *   *

I went out and found a single for a customer who showed up right on time.  The single was a good one and had a frame or more of brood than advertised and the queen was on the second frame I inspected.

I had to wear sweats under my suit and a toque as the wind is still strong and cool. Today is overcast and the bees are happy to stay in the hives, so transferring them to wood boxes and loading them is easy and no veil is required if a little smoke is used judiciously.

*   *   *   *   *

I went out and found three doubles and went through them.  I'm getting into the swing of things now and am gaining perspective.  Whereas, for simply, managing my own hives, many cosmetic things don't matter, for sale, being fussy, I am thinking I should be thinking more about matching frames and boxes.  As it stands, I have several brands and colours of EPS box on the same hive and a mix of frames.  Surprisingly, no one is asking about cell size.  I have wood frames with 5.35, Pierco with 5.25 and Mann Lake PF100s with 5.0 in the same hives and the bees don't seem to care.  Although the first two are drawn faster and better, all are accepted well once drawn.

I'm now waiting for my 1 PM appointment.  It is now 1:08.

She showed up and took the three doubles and three supers of foundation and I am resting up. 

I am realizing now that making up hives as I sell them is not the way to do this.  I should make them up a few days ahead and let them sit a few days so that I am not rushing and so they glue themselves up a bit.   Anyhow, this is working and I am getting rid of my excess.  At this point, I have totally lost track of what I have left.  I should add it up.

I got to wondering how many hives survived winter and looked back in the diary.  I'm impressed with how much material I had to go through before I found what I was looking for.  I notice it is only one month since Ellen and I celebrated our 45th on Cassiopeia.

44 hives survived until April 24th, with 31 strong and 12 weak.

Here is the current tally of f hives sold

  • Singles: 2 + 6 + 2 + 1 = 11

  • Doubles: 1 + 3 = 4

Total: 15 sold.

That is coming along nicely.  It feels as if I've been on it forever, but it is just three days of selling so far.  As I say, in the future, I'll prepare them ahead.

I received calls from both Jean and Jonathan today wishing me a Happy Fathers Day. Jean bought me a Calgary Zoo membership as a present.  I'll enjoy that.

After supper, I went out and started evaluating the hives since my friends have promised to bring me some drawn honey supers and excluders to catch any surplus honey that accumulates in my hives while I am away and later.  I am trying to raise bees and the honey gets in the way.  I should ask if they have any extra queen cells.

When raising cells for splits, smart beekeepers necessarily raise more than they need. They can discard any surplus, but if they have too few, that means that the scheduled number of celled splits cannot be made. 

The number of successful, mature cells that actually turn out from each graft can vary widely so people start about twice what they expect to need. 

Most commercial beekeepers are reluctant to let the bees raise their own for a number of reasons, including the extra two weeks it can take.

I checked The North Yard and the Quonset West group. 

 

North

QW

Total

  Strong doubles with queen

4

1

5

  Strong doubles raising queen

5

2

7

  Weaker doubles with queen

1

3

4

  Weaker doubles raising queen

3

4

7

 

13

10

23

For these, it appears I won't need too many supers to get me through to the time I come back.

You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty.
Sacha Guitry

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Monday June 17th 2013
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This morning is sunny and warm with no wind, and is predicted to be hot.  I'm down to the last two days before I go East.  I have some bee work to do and I drive Ellen to her chemo tomorrow, so I have to hustle.

I have been checking my blood glucose fairly often lately to see if I can see patterns.  This morning it is 5.1, which is excellent.  I checked it again a half-hour later as I don't trust the meter and it was 5.7. so Have to assume that the truth is somewhere in the middle. 

I've found both of my glucose testers to be inaccurate lately, since often three readings taken within minutes can vary by a whole number.  I gave up for a while and decided to just proceed and average the results.  There is a tendency to consider the strips expensive as they can cost $1 each in some stores, but then, again, what is life and health worth?  While thinking the strips too costly, people may at the same time think nothing of paying $8 for a beer.  What is one's life and health worth?

Most days in winter and spring, the reading has been 6.1 or 6.2 which is getting borderline, so I'm happy to see it backing off.  When I stepped on the scale this AM, I also saw my weight has dropped ten pounds over the past weeks.

Obviously this work is good for me.  My changes in diet may be having an effect as well, but it is hard to tell.  On thing I did conclude a few years back is that being at home over winter is hard on me.  I don't get outside much in winter or exercise as much as in summer.  If I go south to Florida or California -- or Mexico, I am much more active.

Granted, I do ski and snowboard and kiteski, but it is a two or three-hour drive to the mountains and the wind does not blow reliably.  Plus, temperatures as low as minus forty discourage being outdoors.  Add to that the long, dark nights and I am not as active.  These days, I work comfortably outside until 9 PM.  In winter it is dark at 6 and the sun is low in the sky, even at midday.

I have a list of people who still want bees and need to contact them today.  Looking at the weather forecast, transport may be problematic.  Over the past few days, people have been able to drive up, load up, and drive home without problem, even at midday as the weather was cool and overcast and the bees are all at home and stay in nicely on the forklift and the truck under a tarp.  Today and tomorrow may not offer that opportunity and hives may have to be loaded at dusk.

We had company for supper.  My friends brought over some supers to put on the hives.  42 supers and 20 excluders.

No customers today.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

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Tuesday June 18th 2013
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This morning, Ellen and I are off to Drum, then I have last-minute things to do before going East.

As it turned out, Ellen was not well enough to go and at the time we should have been in Drum, the hospital phoned to postpone the appointment.  We would have driven for 40 minutes for nothing and have turn around and drive home.

I notice our daughter is gaining some popularity for her writing and her book (right).  Here is an interview on a blog. 

I'm wrestling with whether to go to Ontario or not.  I'm scheduled to fly at 7 tomorrow, but have had a feeling that I should cancel.  I had almost decided to cancel, then decided to go.

Then an email came in wanting all my remaining hives for sale.  I guess my mind is made up for me.  The hives have been a real burden on my mind since they were so slow building up and I have been selling them off over the past few days in small lots.  This prospective sale provides me with the opportunity to sell all except what I want to keep.  Now, that is a question.  How many do I wish to keep?  I spent several hours figuring out what I have sold and come up with 15 hives sold.  Quite a few have been ordered

Although the forecast called for 29 degrees and sunny, we had powerful thunderstorms all morning and into the afternoon.  I went out and started checking hives and putting on honey supers.

By 7:20, I had half the supers on, checked half the hives and made up two singles. I was progressing nicely, but then hit a batch of hives with no queens that I had already worked and not marked well. 

A customer is scheduled for 8 PM to pick up one double and another customer to get 8 singles about the same time. I can see that getting everything will be close, so I put the singles customer off until tomorrow and postponed my flight until Saturday. 

Now I feel better.  The pressure is off.

I have decided that I will have to stop selling doubles since I don't have enough drawn comb to keep it up for long.  I suppose I could include two frames of foundation in each single as well, but at present, I am giving away honey frames on the outside positions.

With doubles, I am losing ten brood frames, bees and a lot of additional honey for just $100 more.

If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.
Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975)

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Wednesday June 19th 2013
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Right now, I should be on a jet, headed for Ontario.  I'm not.  I've been upset lately and when I look into myself, I realise that I really don't want to go at all, but I rescheduled to Saturday morning.  I have a van and a boat in Mom's driveway and a boat apart in Muskoka. 

I think I'll just write off the Muskoka project and let the others deal with it how they wish, but the things in Sudbury can't stay there forever.  I had planned to quit Muskoka and explore the North Channel, but I have my doubts about Carpe Diem as a Great Lakes boat as she is light, tender, and has a retractable centerboard rather than a keel.

I was considering buying a keel boat at Sprague just before Ellen became ill, but decided against it.  Now that I am exploring the Northwest, the Great Lakes has lost a lot of its appeal.

If I buy another boat, maybe it should be in the warmer climes. Here is one I have been aboard and would love to own.  Aside from the purchase price, there is the cost of getting there and the cost of annual upkeep, especially in a hurricane zone.  Dream on...

Today, I have still eight singles to prepare for pickup and the rest of the hives to grade.  I have a bit of time to do some last-minute things before I go, including sit here and type.

Ellen is better again today, a bit anyhow. 

It is just as well that I did not go.  I had a headache this morning was weak for a while.  I got better after a nap and in the afternoon I went out and worked on the hives some more.  I was able to make up one more strong single, but got distracted by some hives I had worked and marked previously, but somehow marked with bricks with some code I forgot.  I managed to make about five splits and shared some queen cells I found, but still need one more single, and to make four doubles I have marked into singles.

Another reason I am glad I stayed home is that while I was working, I heard flapping and see that my quonset covering is peeling back.  I'm hoping it lasts until tomorrow when I will be ready to repair it.

I was progressing nicely, but again ran into a group of hives need in special attention.  The the rain began in earnest and I found I was weary.  I postponed the pickup until tomorrow and called it a day.

...for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so
Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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