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A second brood box and Global Patties added in preparation for fall
Of course that new "Click here to skip down to today's entry" link won't do anything much today, but I'm leaving it there as it is new. That together with a "Back to the top" link at the bottom should be helpful as the page gets longer.
When Jon was here, he used one of my monitors -- the one from the now defunct old Acer Aspire 5630 laptop -- and when he returned it, he left an HDMI cable attached. It has been sitting around doing nothing since its host quit.
Today the penny dropped. My Samsung laptop (main computer these days) has an HDMI port as well as a VGA port, so I plugged it in. I now have two huge monitors running on my laptop. The laptop display is black. Oddly, however, the image on the HDMI port is slightly larger than the screen. I looked at all the settings and cannot seem to change that. It is not an issue except that title bars are off-screen. I can still reach up and grab them even if they are out of sight, though. I'll play with this later.
I'm now finally uninstalling all the Samsung "helper" apps that came with the machine. They tamper with and interfere with Win 7 functions.
I decided again today that I am tired of worrying about the bees. I did a few outdoor chores, got distracted and came in.
While outside, I did measure up the EPS boxes since I will need to build a few pallets for them, being an odd size compared to wood. I discovered that there is a tiny difference in outside measurements between the BeeMax box dimensions and the Meijer boxes, not that it matters. It is not noticeable on the hives and pallets need to be made a touch large to allow for dirt and misalignment.
I then wasted some time on BEE-L.
Then I got started on the living room. We set up a lot of spaces for Ellen when she was sick, and it is time to rearrange things again.
I began going through all the stuff I've accumulated to keep me from getting bored. I have a lot of magazines to give away. Ham radio, sailing, Bees. Plus I have a ton of books I don't need, both El's and my own. Some of hers are expensive art books. Jean was a librarian, so maybe she will have some ideas.
I got some work accomplished, then got distracted by my non-functioning second laptop. It booted SpinRite and it ran, but reported a BIOS problem and quit. I had hoped Spinrite might help if there was a hard disk problem. I have seen it work miracles in the past.
I then booted Live Ubuntu from a USB key. That took hours and reported an error. I dismissed the error then had to deal with a bug in the O/S that would not let me mount another key. Fortunately it was known issue with a simple solution.
I then installed wine, and ran the BIOS flash I had downloaded onto the second key. The EXE ran, but reported a ROM file size error, so I am thinking the BIOS is toast and maybe the chip, too.
I could try discharging the CMOS chip, I suppose, but this is more like tinkering than doing anything productive. Even if I resurrect that machine, it is slow and that Win 8 install over Win 7 never worked right. I have a full backup and image, albeit in the new Win 8 format and can also access the drive to recover files, but I am not sure any are worth saving.
The greatest discovery of my
generation is that a
Current Diary Page
Today | End |
Selected Beekeeping Topics |
Today promises to be hot, and as it is a holiday, I feel I should get out and socialize. We are talking about going tubing in Red Deer.
Surprise! I booted the old laptop and left it on overnight. This morning, I see a spinning circle and...
That is something that is impressive about Windows, compared to other O/Ss. More than once, I have had problems and just left the machine on for a day or so and found it fixed itself. On the other hand, I have had many irreparable Linux installations.
Here is a post to BEE-L today:
I photographed the current Alberta Apivar label this morning. I had searched the Internet for 10 minutes and did not find it any of the places that I expected. Neither the CAPA, PMRA or Canadian Honey Council sites seemed to have it anymore.
It is decided. I am going tubing on the Red Deer River with Jean and Chris and the kids.
* * * * *
We decided on tubing in downtown Red Deer as it is closer to Oram's home and I needed to do some shopping anyhow. I loaded up two tubes and drove north. I intended to get there around 3, but it was almost four by the time I got there. The arrangements were complicated by the fact that Oram's neighbours decided to go, too. However everyone was in a holiday mood and there was no panic about time.
The initial plan was to go 8 km, but on looking things over and driving the route on shore, we decided to cut it down to about 3, as we had small kids along and we were unsure how long the trip would take. No sense ruining it for them; five minutes too much is as bad a two hours too much when they start to melt down, and running into sundown would be really bad.
I rode on a tube, the others had kayaks and inflatable boats. The trip took a little over an hour and was perfect. We hauled out at Lion's park at 0800 and found the gate locked. The crack between the fence and gate was too small to reach through, but realizing Mckenzie has long, skinny arms, I asked her to reach through the gate and turn the inside knob. It worked and we were in! That is good, as our vehicles were parked right there and there was a long and high chain-link fence between the vehicles and the river. I don't know how else we could have gotten in except wait for someone to come along or climb the fence.
From there, we went to Lacombe for supper. As we were finishing supper, Nathan (2-1/4) looked at me, went to the fridge and got a beer and placed it on the table beside me. We were amused and impressed. I had not wanted a beer, but drank it to be polite.
I left shortly after and regretted the beer all the way home. Although two or three beers make me lively, one beer makes me drowsy. I also slept poorly and blame it on that beer. It was one of those microbrewery beers everyone pays double for and loves, but which often don't agree with me.
Whenever two people meet, there
are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself,
each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
Current Diary Page
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Selected Beekeeping Topics |
At 0545, it is pitch dark. Sunrise is 0649 today and sunset at 2016. The days are getting shorter quickly. Day length changes most rapidly at the spring and fall equinox. The fall equinox is now mere weeks away. Not long ago, the sun was up at 0400. Before too long, sunrise will move to 0840 and sunset to 1649.
The defunct Win 8 machine mentioned previously continues to work away with only occasional messages saying it is booting, repairing and rebooting. So far, no desktop.
I don't think I can delay working on my bees any longer.
* * * * *
Well, it is 1400 hrs and I managed to put off bee work so far. I got a call from the charter company that took a few hours of research. I have a Bluewater meeting tonight in Calgary at 1900, so I don't have much time. The weather is overcast, warm and windy at 26 degrees and 10 MPH. I suppose I should do something.
* * * * *
I did. I went out an started combining hives and pulling the honey boxes. In some case, I put another on, in other cases not. The robbing seems to have diminished, so I don't know what is happening, as the day is warm. Is there a flow? I was not observant enough to tell. If there is, it is not obvious, but the field of alfalfa 1/8 mile east is in full bloom.
It did not seem like much was going on in the past week or two, so I neglected pulling the Quonset yard.
The boxes left and right are totally plugged and came of one hive. The brood chambers below, though, still have some open cells -- fortunately, and the queens are still laying, although more slowly than I would like. Close examination (click on the thumbnails) shows a tiny bit if uncapped comb, but not much. These boxes are IMO too full. Boxes this full mean lost production as the bees have no empty cells to dry new nectar in.
Here are two more similarly plugged, heavy boxes off another nearby hive and it looks to me as if the rest of the yard may be the same. I'll have to get out tomorrow and get more done. I ran out of time at 1630 as I wanted to be in Calgary at 1900 and needed to stop along the way.
* * * * *
Jean noticed a little spot of something red and oily on the pavement where my truck was parked at her place last night. When I unloaded the tubes today, I could see tiny tell-tale oil spots on the tailgate. When I crawled under (nice thing about a big 4X4) I could see some oil spatter coming back from the tranny. Nothing serious and with no obvious source, but enough to see. It seemed to run back from where the tranny joins the engine, so I suspect a front transmission seal is seeping, so I want to get some transmission stop-leak in as soon as possible.
I have written here before that whenever I buy a 10-year old vehicle, that I always add some seal conditioner to the engine and transmission and if an older tranny begins to act up, I add some seal conditioner. It usually works in a matter of minutes. I had neglected to do so with this 1999 truck. The cheapest is this stuff from Canadian Tire for $5.99 and AFAIK, it is as good as any.
Engine and transmission rubber seals get hard over time and the conditioner softens them. When they get hard, fluid gets by seals, showing up as external leaks or if internal to the shifter body, bad shifts.
I stopped in Airdrie and added a bottle of conditioner and I'll see if that fixes the problem. If the seals are damaged, it will not.
I attended the Bluewater meeting and drove home, arriving just after 2300.
I contend that we are both
atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
Current Diary Page
Today | End |
Selected Beekeeping Topics |
I slept in until 0830 today. The sun is shining, and after spending an hour at the keyboard, I am headed out to pick up the honey boxes and do some yard work.
I got out and picked up the 14 boxes I pulled yesterday and began some tidying around the bee yard. I'm noticing that the bees are not robbing much, I assume there is a flow on.
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By noon, the day was hot enough that I decided to stay indoors through the midday hours and continued with tidying and rearranging the living room. It is 40 by 45 feet and has lots of sitting and plant areas and windows to clean, so the job is non-trivial.
By suppertime, I had accomplished a lot and was ready for a swim. The water was perfect and I had a nice dip.
Sanity is a madness put to good
Another beautiful morning. I slept well last night and awoke at 0630 full of ideas.
I have been house cleaning and reorganizing. I'm enjoying it as I can set things up the way I like them. In the past, I'd get things arranged so they work well, then go away for a while and come back to find things all moved around and some of my favourite items demoted to a distant storage. No risk of that now. So, this morning I continued the job and also watered the plants.
Watering the plants takes almost an hour, by the time a few that need babying or moving are attended to and the outdoor planters and tomatoes get their ration.
That reminds me, I forgot one out by the pool. I went out and watered it and then saw I needed to vacuum the pool and add chlorine. There went another half-hour.
It is now and I am going to see the bees now.
I know I am breaking my rule about working in the hottest part of the day, and it is now 29 degrees, but I'll just do another ten hives and some washes. That is an easy goal.
If I get too ambitious, I get reluctant to start. If it gets to hot, there is always the pool. A dip in 20 degree water cools me enough that I don't feel the heat for a half-hour after.
I got out and discovered that I made the same mistake most beekeepers make. I asked my friends if there is honey coming in instead of looking into my own hives. The first hive had two jam-packed supers of honey and so did the second. I was in the middle of the second when my phone rang.
It was Mom. She had just chased 24 Canada Geese off her lawn and back into the Lake. I said I'd call back and finished the hive and the second alcohol shake of the day, went back to the house for a drink and called her back. It is hot out there. The best bee yards in this country are hot places. In warmer country, people look for cool spots, but not here.
So far I have done four shakes and got 3, 1, 1, & 1. Should I bother with more? I don't think I have a varroa problem.
Wow! I looked back and the last washes were on the 29th of August and here it is Sept 5. Time flies.
At left is a close-up of a mite in the wash jar. At right is the jar after shaking and settling.
Now for a dip in the pool and more fun with bees. They are nice today and I am working without a veil and only enough smoke to herd them down so they don't get crushed.
* * * *
Well the best laid plans... I thought about Mom's call and decided that I should book some flights. I had looked earlier and found some good deals. I've learned that if I see a deal I like, take it. Even if I change it later, that is cheaper than buying after the price goes up, so I bought fares to Sudbury and to Victoria. So much for the bees. They're next now.
* * * *
I went out and pulled at least a box off every hive, getting another 32 mediums of honey, most weighing well over 60lbs. I had taken a brood chamber with the queen and brood off each of these hives and left them to raise a queen, in some cases twice, and yet they are booming.
Then I had a swim. I still have an hour before I have to leave for The Mill and another 20 hives to look at in the South Yard. They were so pathetic I have not looked at them for almost a month.
I went down and pulled the honey, getting only 13 boxes off the 17 stands. I counted the other yards and have 70 hives, with an expectation of losing 10% or 20 % by the time I have them ready for winter.
* * * *
I drove to The Mill and had supper, arriving home around ten.
When hungry, eat your rice; when
tired, close your eyes.
The forecast is for a change today. Rain and weather in the low twenties are expected. I'm glad I pulled the honey. I still need to make sure the North Yard has not filled its supers again, but that is less likely now that they all have second brood chambers. Quonset West has also been readied for wintering in that way, but I only began doing that in the Quonset yard when I realised that pulling the honey to prevent further plugging was a higher priority.
Moisture is not likely to be a problem and I am guessing this honey will be somewhere around 15.5%, judging by recent weather and the fact it is fully capped.
Be that as it may, this honey is going to my friends' large honey extraction plant and will be extracted with thousands of other boxes and the resulting honey will mix in a tank. Even if it were higher moisture, the other honey would average with it.
In a wet year, high moisture can be a problem, even in a big outfit, but usually the buyers will take 'wet' honey at a discount as they can use it to blend the drier honey down to 18.6%. The discount should reflect only lower sugars content, but some buyers are predatory and try to buy cheap if the seller is not savvy. 'Wet' honey needs to be handled with added care as to storage time and temperature, and blended before it begins to 'turn'.
I have work to do to get the hives ready for winter, but this year I am not worried about mites. I'll be combining weaker hives and moving hives and sorting combs and boxes in the yard, but my big worry - varroa - seems to be okay for now. I wonder if I should use some formic for tracheal?
My main concern right now is hive populations. The boxes shown at left are as full as they can be and I saw more excluders like the one at below right than I like to see. That is not how I like to see the excluders. I always try to pull honey when the boxes are about 75% full.
The amount of comb on that excluder tells me that the hive was badly plugged for some time. Plugged hives have reduced brood and reduced brood means fewer bees are raised. Fewer bees going into winter means a smaller cluster and a smaller cluster means less heat generated and less comb covered. All these things add up to more stress and poorer wintering success.
* * * *
I awoke groggy this morning, had breakfast and went back to bed. I awoke again at 0830 and am still sluggish and my back is a little sore. I don't think it is from the lifting yesterday. It seems that this just happens sometimes. Maybe it is the change of weather?
I'll get out shortly to pick up the boxes, but right now, the deck is wet and the sky overcast. No rush.
* * * *
I picked them up and now have over 60 full boxes waiting for pickup. My friends are coming for supper tomorrow, so hopefully they will be gone soon. In the meantime, I have to protect them from robbing. They are on pallets with 2-3/4" skids and I doubt my pallet jack will fit under, so that rules out basement storage.
* * * *
I think I have mentioned that I plan to be on my boat at Sidney and area from the 7th of the 17th of October. Maybe I didn't. Anyhow, that is the plan.
At present, I have nobody scheduled to be on board much of the time and the boat accommodates up to 8 people (4 couples). In fact, I'm most comfortable with four people or less. Frankly, I am also quite happy sailing by myself.
My cousin will likely join me for some of the time, but the rest of the time is open. I am open to requests from friends, acquaintances, or readers for that matter, to come aboard for a day or longer, but I make no promises that I will accept any offer. I'll be docking at various easily accessible ports on Vancouver and other nearby Islands to walk around or to pick up and drop people off. I usually don't sail for more than few hours a day and spend the rest of the time anchored or docked at some interesting spot.
itinerary is somewhat indefinite at this point, but I expect to
board on the morning of the 7th, and
I have some paperwork and housework to do this afternoon and may get out and do a few more hives as well.
I did not go out again, but hung around the house, cleaning. doing wash, writing, planning, etc.
It seems our son, Jon may join me for part of my Thanksgiving cruise, so I have two prospects so far.
The least of things with a
meaning is worth more in life than
Today is predicted to be cooler and rainy. I have ten days to get things done here before going to see Mom. That gives me a deadline of sorts.
This morning, while looking into reserving marina space next month at Ganges, I noticed that I was intending to attend a talk at Ganges that is actually tomorrow, not a month from now. Too bad.
No need to go to Ganges now, so, my plan is to board on the 7th and get to Thetis by the 11th, stay three nights, and be back to Sidney by the 17th. Seven of the ten days are totally unscheduled. That is still along ways off and between now and then, I have a trip east and lots of other things to do.
We had more rain last night and the bees got to robbing this morning to the point where I had to go out and add more tarps to the honey stack.
* * * *
The housework has kept me busy. I washed the kitchen and bathroom floors and fixtures, rearranged some furniture and vacuumed the hall and front stairs. Seems like I just did that the other day, but it has probably been a month or more since I did an in-depth cleaning.
The guys came and we had supper, then unloaded some syrup and loaded the honey. I'm glad to see it go.
The more sensitive you are, the
more likely you are to be brutalized, develop scabs and never
evolve. Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always
feel too much.
Today is predicted to be cool and rainy again. I have no plans other than to go to The Mill for supper.
There is a useful post about drying honey in the forum today.
Abuse, if you slight it, will
gradually die away;
The cool spell is over and hot days with warm nights are in the forecast for the next seven days. That can change, but for now, it looks promising.
This is an ideal time to get the second brood chamber under the hives since the bees need warm weather to access all the corners of the boxes and arrange things to their liking. Once the weather cools and the days shorten, they tend to cluster more. Brood rearing tapers off and the field bees die off, so populations. decline a bit, too.
I have to decide whether to leave supers on or take them off and begin feeding. There is still a possibility of gain. Here are the scale hive records from 2009.
Each year is different, and we could be looking at loss, not gain this year. In 2009, the hives gained 35 lbs from today through the 28th. That honey can either augment the winter stores, or go into supers. Since I am trying to raise bees, not make honey, my best strategy might be to remove supers now and concentrate on preparing for winter.
I leave for Sudbury a week from tomorrow and have some things to do before then, so I should push away from this desk and get moving.
After hearing a glowing review on CBC this morning, I bought a ticket to KIM'S CONVENIENCE. I checked the options and tickets run from $35 to $100. The $100 tickets were in the first balcony. One $35 ticket was in the third row centre. Guess which one I bought.
I like front row centre tickets for any performance, and surprisingly, they are often available, and cheaply. The one time I regretted being in the front row centre was at Sea World when the walrus spat fishy water onto the front row. Otherwise, I like to see the action as if I am in it. I even sit up front in movies. As for the balconies, It all depends on the theatre.
I've been putting off working on the furnace, but decided that today I will get started. Of course, to start any job, I have to put away the various tools that accumulate from previous jobs and clean up.
I got a good start on that, then had a nap. I have not been napping in the afternoons, but then have been getting weary around four or five and doing nothing of any consequence from then on. I only napped for twenty minutes. That is the recommended nap, but I usually nap and hour.
It is lovely outside and I should get out there for a little while, too. The forklift shifter needs adjusting. Maybe I'll do that.
I did that little job, which turned out to be almost nothing, in a few minutes.
My kitchen sinks plugged today. That happens every few months. I am going to cut out the offending section and replace it tomorrow -- after the water bleeds down overnight so I don't have a gusher in the basement when I open the pipe.
After planning that job, I began work on the furnace. The ring teeth wear, so I will build them up and grind them square tomorrow as well. I'll have the coal furnace back to working. It will be all I need until December at least and then have to figure out what to use for backup when I go away in winter.
No bee work today.
I was asked about honey removal and decided to make up an archive page with some of my 1996 articles on using the abandonment or tipping method for removing bees from honey supers at harvest time.
I tried watching TV in the evening and found it hard to watch. I sat through a bit of "Cracked" and then started on the news. I can't believe how bogus the news is and what a lapdog the CBC is. Do those 'reporters' believe the stuff they say? How can they? I turned it off.
Well-timed silence hath more
eloquence than speech.
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"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)
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