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Boxes on end waiting for the bees to clear.  They usually leave within an hour or two. Read more...

Tuesday September 10th 2013
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My day is planned.  I must repair the kitchen drain and work on the furnace grate.  Shopping is also in order. If I get around to the bees, that will be gravy.

The sinks drained nicely overnight and this morning both sinks were empty.  That is ideal as the pipes downstairs are empty when I open them up, meaning less water to deal with and less chance of dirty water spraying around the basement room and on my person.

From habit, I filled a drinking water jug from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter on the sink back and was surprised to see an inch or two of water come up in the sinks.  Then I realised that the RO filter uses five gallons of tap water to make one gallon to drink and its waste water outlet is connected to the drain below the sinks.  Drawing a gallon from the tap stimulated the system to dump five more gallons into the clogged drain.

The RO filter removes most of the solids from our water.  It comes out of the tap at 120 parts of minerals and the RO filter drops that to 12 to 16, making better drinking water and better coffee.

Here is something quite amazing.  A year or two ago, I bought a small pressure washer from Wal-Mart.  The other day, I was pulling on the water supply hose and water began to spurt out.   Yesterday, I took it apart to see what was wrong.  The intake fitting had cracked and was irreparable, so I wrote Wal-Mart on their website to find where to buy the part. 

Just now, my phone rang and pleasant woman from Wal-Mart said to take it back to the store and they would replace it.  I said, that it was more than a year old and that I had taken it apart.  No matter, she said.  It is an import and no parts are available, so they will give me a whole new one!  She is phoning the manager to inform him.

*   *   *   *   *

The clogged drain problem was solved quite quickly.  I just removed the rubber sleeve at a junction and used the snake.  The problem was grease accumulation at a low spot. The drain runs at the proper slope most of the way, but has one spot where the slope is zero.  There is a rubber sleeve junction there for a good reason.

I thought seriously of cutting all of that section out, including a nearby toilet drain that acts up periodically, and replacing the cast iron and galvanized pipe with plastic.  The job is straightforward, but requires cutting out the steel and cast with a Sawzall, measuring, and building then hanging the new portion.  I'd have to put up tarps to catch the water and cuttings.  I'd rather do this job sometime when the kitchen drain is not plugged and when I have nothing else pressing to do.  I'll assemble all the necessary components in advance and take my time.

*   *   *   *   *

It's noon now and I am deciding whether to go out to the bees or work on the furnace.  Looking at the weather, I see that the furnace job is not pressing and the conditions are ideal for working bees. I'll be going out for supper tonight, so will be quitting work around four-thirty.

I went out and vacuumed the pool, then started on the bees.  Some have another super of honey, others look small enough that I will combine them with other hives.  I found two that look queenless, so they are good prospects.

Maddy called and said they will be here at four.  We are all going for supper at Meijers, so I had a swim and changed to be ready.  The water is 18 degrees, but pleasant after the hot bee work.  I'm glad I have not drained the pool.

I think, tomorrow, bees will be Job One.

They showed up 45 minutes late and Fen, Maddy and I drove in Fen's 1985 Mercedes to the honey house for a tour, then drove to Meijers' house for supper.  Bert, Loralee, Andy and Bert followed in Bert's SUV.

The food was great and we had a good time.  After supper, we went out to look at the cherry groves and then headed home, arriving around 10.

The paradoxes of today are the prejudices of tomorrow,
since the most benighted and the most deplorable prejudices
have had their moment of novelty when fashion lent them its fragile grace.
 Marcel Proust

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Wednesday September 11th 2013
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Bees are on the agenda today.  My goal is to get the hives into a good configuration for winter and ready to feed before I go away next week.

The hives are currently in singles and I have to add another brood chamber to each.  In some cases, the box will go on top and in some cases, underneath.  I'll decide that on the basis of how strong the hive is and the weight already in the brood chamber, along with the condition and weight of the box I add.   I'll do a  few hives each day.

The job has several phases. 

  • I first have to go through the brood boxes in storage that I plan to add and make sure the combs are suitable and in the proper position,  I don't want any bare foundation or partly drawn combs in the boxes, or drone comb in the centre  Some combs with drone cells or fat combs with lots of feed can go to the outside. I don't want to make up too many in advance as I will be combining quite a  few hives and the will make a double out of two singles.

  • Then I have to pull the super and evaluate each colony. 

    • If the hive is queenless or weak, I mark it and move on unless I have seen a hive that is a good candidate for combining with it in which case I double them up.  Queenless with a weak hive that has a good queen, etc.

    • The good hives that are very strong will get a box on top.  How heavy that box is will depend on how heavy the existing box is.

    • Weaker hives will get the new box underneath.

Then I have to decide whether to leave a super on until the day before I leave, or strip them all off now. When all the supers are off, I'll open up feed drums so the hives can fill up while I am away.

*   *   *   *   *

I went out around noon and had a swim, then worked through a stack of brood boxes, getting ready to place them on the hives.

It is better to have sorted the combs and verified the boxes are ready to place, before opening hives.  Once the hive is open, it is best if the box can just be placed on with no further fuss.

I've decided to pull the honey supers and just place the brood boxes on top.  That way I can get around the whole outfit and start feeding.  I'm getting tired of the bees.

I don't need the honey and I am told that I have produced 4,000 lbs so far. That seems hard to believe.  At any rate, I need to get done with the bees and on to other things.  Winter is coming.

They begin the evening news with "Good Evening," then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

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Thursday September 12th 2013
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I see the weather guessers have moved the rainy day from next Tuesday to next Monday.  That affects my plans, as I leave Tuesday and that gives one less day for outdoor work.

Today I have a telephone meeting at 0830, an eye appointment at 1000, and a theatre production to attend at 1930.

*   *   *   *   *

The phone call was brief, the eye appointment uneventful, and at 1530, I left for Calgary, stopping in Airdrie to shop along the way.

I arrived in downtown Calgary at 1900 and found the parkades at the theatre already full, so parked in the parkade under the Calgary Tower.

This is the 45th anniversary of the Tower.  The year we were married and bought the Old Schoolhouse, there was no tower and the place where it would be, in front of the CP Calgary train station, was marked by a large tethered hot air balloon announcing the future Husky Tower, which would be the tallest building in Calgary. 

For years it was the tallest, and we went up to the revolving restaurant a few times to have an unobstructed view of the surrounding country out to Black Diamond and Crossfield.  Now the Tower is dwarfed and hidden among giant office buildings.  I doubt anyone can see much except buildings from the Tower.

I found the  Epcor Theatre.  I had not been there for years, but nothing has changed.  My seat was, indeed, three rows from the stage and dead-centre, an ideal seat.

The play began and the performance was excellent.  The writing was solid, and the acting convincing, but the ending was weak and disappointing.  Endings are always the toughest part of any story. Writers develop the characters and plot lovingly, then realize that they have to end somewhere.  Where and how is often difficult.

No matter; nothing is perfect and my expectations were probably too high from the reviews on CBC.  I enjoyed the night out and will do it again.  I used to go to the theatre more often, but Ellen had lost interest in evenings out in the last decade or so.  There is good theatre closer by, in Rosebud and Red Deer, but the last play I attended in Rosebud was very disappointing.  Once bitten, twice shy.

Cost?  $35 for the ticket, $6 for parking, and a 224 km trip.  At 30 per km, that is $67.20.  The play lasted 1-1/2 hours and I drove for 2-1/2 hours coming and going.  So, in total, the cost was over $100.   I'm not convinced of the economics.  Combining the drive with a shopping trip spreads the cost and the drive time over several activities.

They begin the evening news with "Good Evening," then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

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Friday September 13th 2013
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Another hot day coming...

I'm headed outside now, at 0855 to get a start.  The day promises to be hot. It is 18 degrees already.

I am ambitious today.  I transferred a swarm from the equipment stack to EPS boxes.  It needed three boxes. Then I worked over Quonset West again and eliminated two more hives and left all but one in three boxes.  There are 7 hives there now.

Moving on, I did Row A in the Quonset section, winding up with ten hives there, some in two and some in three boxes. Then I went in for a swim as the day was getting hot.

In all at 1451 hrs, I have 18 done of the 70 stands I began with.  I suspect that I will have 55 at most when finished.  I'll go out and do a few more and tidy up now that the heat of the day has passed.

I picked up the honey at the Quonset and tidied, then did the North Yard. After combining a drone layer with the colony that had a queen in the super, I ended up with 11 hives.  That brings the finished total to 29.  I'm guessing that I am now half done.

I may add another brood box under the doubles if I have the time and ambition as it is a chance to draw them out better in the next ten days, especially if the weather holds and if I feed now.

BY four-thirty, I had managed to get a lot done and knocked off for the day.  At that point, I had run out of ambition and just read, made soup and tidied, watched some video and went to bed early.

I'm behind on my correspondence, but tired of writing at present.

There is no more miserable human being than one
in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
William James

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Saturday September 14th 2013
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Jean is coming over today and we'll start thinking about what to do with all the various things Ellen left behind, from clothes to art.  So far I have not done much in that regard except clean house and reorganize some furniture.

I realize that I am half way through the bees and would like to see if I can finish that job and start feeding before I leave for the east.

Most hives are heavy and I am wondering about the wisdom of feeding heavily too early as I don't wish to plug them or reduce brood rearing.  These splits will need all the bees they can raise before winter.  I think I need to get them into doubles with some room to lay soon so that I don't miss the last round of brood that is still possible.

I can see, by what I observe in the hives I am checking, that I should have done that a week ago.  This is Sept 14th, so any eggs laid in the next week, which should continue warm, will be hatched by mid-October.

I wrote this for the Calgary Beekeepers in response to a post asking about fall hive prices in Calgary.

The information is local.  Where cheaper packages are available and winters are shorter, hives will be worth less.

---

As at any time of year, price in fall depends on a number of factors, such as colony strength, health, mite loads, value of equipment, plus value of the feed in the hive, and with consideration of risk of colony death over winter and expected feed consumption.

Price also depends on supply and demand. At this time of year, demand can be quite low, as people have been conditioned to expect to buy bees in spring, before the honey flow. As a result, not a lot of hives are advertised in fall, and not many people are buying. Sometimes bargains can be found by those willing to take a chance and who are able to assess hives on offer.

Beekeepers who intend to remain in beekeeping are not going to discount hives and will price according to the above considerations, but those needing to get out may sometimes sell cheap and even give hives away.

People's circumstances can change unexpectedly, and people lose interest and there are are always a few hives available. It is important to know why the hives are on offer. A beekeeper who has lost interest or had a change of luck may not have kept the hives up, but that is not necessarily true. If the hives have been treated, extracted and fed, sometimes they can be an excellent value, as the seller may be motivated to be rid of them.

Beekeepers who raise hives for sale such as myself will sell a hive any time of year, and offer only hives that are expected to perform well, but may not be advertising. In my case, I sold all the hives I intended to sell during early summer, but again have hives available for sale now. I simply have not gotten around to resuming advertising.

Sometimes fall hives can be a real bargain, and sometimes they can be a risky or hopeless case. The buyer needs to appraise the hives carefully or buy from a seller with a good reputation since by this time of year there is little one can do to remedy queen problems, disease, and other concerns.

Especially if the hive is verging on starvation, it will die even if fed up to weight, as will a hive loaded with mites even if treated now. It is too late to remedy such serious deficiencies. If a hive is merely a bit light, we still have time to get it up to weight as hives will take feed well into October. If it has a light mite load, it can be treated, but if the mites are above 10 per 300 by alcohol wash, survival is questionable.

Although singles can winter, I have had poor luck and the rule is that a double brood chamber hive is the minimum size for probable success around here.

Populations matter. The cluster should be the size of a basketball at this time of year.

As for equipment, newer is not necessarily a good thing. The best wintering combs are a few years old and dark in colour. If the colony is housed in a hive with a lot of newly drawn and partially drawn foundation, likelihood of winter success is low. If it survives, it will likely be at reduced strength.

Much of the value in fall hives is the expectation that, in spring, a good surviving hive will be strong early on and can be split two or three ways and still produce better than packages. Of course, the risk is that the bees may die in winter. If they die early in winter, the feed is still there and the loss is less, but if they die at the end of winter, and from starvation, both the bees and much of the feed will be lost.

So, the point of all this is that only strong, healthy colonies on well-drawn combs, with a good queen and a decent amount of honey and pollen properly located are worth considering for fall purchase.

For such colonies, odds of winter loss can be expected to be less than 20% and the value can be calculated on that basis.

In the case of lesser colonies, my advice is to walk away unless you can get a good deal, based on the equipment and the feed, with little value placed on the bees and considering that the bees my eat the feed, mess the hive, then die. Moreover, if they are mite infested, they may affect any other hives you have.

Don't take the seller's word for it. Do an alcohol wash or don't buy.

With honey running over $2 in bulk and sugar prices being high and the price of spring replacement packages at $150 or so, the value of good hives has gone up since spring. Not everyone realizes that.

We can compute a value for good hives and say what they should be worth, but the price is always decided between buyer and seller.

Below is an example of a double brood chamber hive in average equipment with mature combs and a basketball-sized or larger cluster -- and 100 lbs of feed.

This is an ideal case of a hive ready for winter that will not need to be looked at until April.

Two boxes with frames, floors and lid at retail: $15 X 2 + $2 X 10 X 2 + $20 + $10 = $100
Feed at $2/lb: $200
Bees at 2 x package price: $300
Less expected feed consumption by spring: (60lbs X $2) =-$120
Less expected risk of colony death: -$60
Total Value : $320  $395
(I made an addition error here. See correction in tomorrow's post)

The above hive with 100 lbs of feed will weigh 160 lbs, made up (roughly) as follows.
Box weight c/w frames (2 X 20), plus weight of bees (10), plus floor an lid weight (10), plus feed (100):
That adds up to roughly 160 lbs.

A minimum weight for good probability of wintering success, measured October 1st is 125 lbs.
That hive would compute out to have a value of $70 less than $320, or $250 as the feed value is $70 less (160 lbs - 125 lbs) X $2

Honey prices are higher this fall and show no sign of weakening, and as we can see that the value of the feed honey in the hives adds to cost. Moreover well-fed hives are much more likely to survive and be strong in spring.

Beware of hives over 160 lbs, though as they may be queenless or have plugged up early, cutting off the queen, and have poor populations.

So, that is what hives are worth IMO. What you can buy and sell them for, though is between buyer and seller.

Please check my math, but that is what I get, and how I value what I have for sale.

Allen

(One thing I did not mention in the above note is that some pretty crappy doubles were going in auction this spring for $500!)

Today was a tough day in some ways.  Jean I started going through Ellen's things, deciding what to keep and what to throw out and where to put things.  We got a lot done by the time she left at 1630. Tomorrow it will be one month since Ellen died.

I figured I was done for the day, but decided to go out for a few minutes and wound up doing another 12 hives.  They are looking good and I only combined two down into one. I pulled a lot more honey today.

So far I have finished the 11 in the North Yard.  Quonset West has 7 hives.  Quonset Row A has 10, Row B has 9, Row C has 4 done and 1 to be done. Row D has 7 to do and there are 17 to do in the South Yard.

I've now done 41 with 25 to go.

I worked until the sun went below the horizon (right).  I knew better, but did one hive too many and the last one gave me three good stings in the face.

Today was one of those days when I wonder why I have so many bees.  The fall wind was blowing warm and steady and I was thinking of the Septembers when I chased the wind from lake to dam with fellow wind seekers driving alone in my 26-foot Winnebago with 6 sailboards and my quiver of sails on the roof.  In those days, I made my own mead by the drum and threw big beach parties with free mead and free hamburgers for anyone around.

I had bees then, lots of them, but also had good hired help and a partner to keep them on track.  Today I have far fewer hives, but no staff.   I kept some bees back when we retired to give me something to do while living here, but lost interest and got down to 3 hives.  Then I split them up and here I am.

I'll have 60 into winter.  I can't know the survival yet, but figure I may lose 1/3rd as some are not strong.  If I have 40 in spring, that will be work.  I think I need to discard and 'go out'. 

I was looking at all the stuff I have and shake my head. Most of this I have because it was what Ellen wanted or a consequence of what Ellen wanted -- sorta.   Everything I own owns me.

Yet, I like it here.  It is home.

I think of sailing the world.  I could.  I always said I might, but I am turning 68.  Is that too old?  I don't feel old.  I met a man who is 81 the other day at the Bluewater meeting.  He sailed the oceans alone -- single-handed -- after he turned 70 and did it right.  So far, I've sailed a few thousand miles several times in the Atlantic and a bit in the Pacific as well as the Caribbean, but there is a big world out there.

Do I want to?  I don't know. I have a pal who talked about it, and he is well qualified, but he is in a rut, teaching sailing and trekking down to the Caribbean and back every year.  I have a boat that would do it, although I'm thinking that, although she is rated for off-shore, that I might be better off with a smaller, but heavier boat.  Cassiopeia has a fin keel and a full keel is better for strange waters as the tapered full keel rides up on a shoal and distributes the impact, rather than having the forward edge of the keel hit square-on, with direct force that can damage the hull.

For now, I have to get things in order for winter.

Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance.
Plato

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Sunday September 15th 2013
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It is now one month since Ellen died.  Somehow, it feels longer.  A lot has happened since.

Today started cool and breezy, but is expected to warm up to 27 degrees, so I should get out early. 

I have to pick up the honey I pulled last evening.  It was late when I finished and I left it tipped.  Bees tend to fly home just at dusk, but I wonder if I was sufficiently late that some remained overnight. 

The remnant should be leaving first thing in the morning and by now, at 0851, the boxes should be empty.  I left the supers on top of the hives, and also the honey-covered excluders since there is something prowling the yards at night and eating honey left near the ground.

I'd like to get the hives finished today, but I have 25 to do and only a few second brood chambers worked through and ready.  I am expecting that the remaining hives may not need as many as they are not as good as the ones I have done and I may be doubling up quite a few.

> I was going over your math. There is a mistake.

Thanks for checking.

> You values hives at $600. 100 for the equipment , 200 for the
> feed/honey, 300 for the bees, although I would say you would
> need to subtract the value of a queen seeing as how you would
> only have 1 queen in the spring and not 2.

The calculation is rough, I might get three splits, and often do.

> The feed consumption was a loss of $120 and $60 for the
> anticipated 10% loss. That might be a bit low in Alta.

The loss was calculated on losing 20% of the colonies ($300 ea.), not the equipment, which should survive.

> Anyways $600 minus $180 is $420 not $320.

Ooops.

> $420 minus $25 for a queen equals $395. You're richer than you
> think.

Thanks for that.

I have been checking my blood sugar readings several times a day lately, not that I am diabetic, but rather that I do not want to become diabetic.  A recent HBA1C was 5.9 at last reading, so I am watching what I eat.  I would prefer to see HBA1C down around 5.0 or less. (I also read my blood pressure routinely).

Lately, I am trying to understand what raises blood glucose levels and what does not, and the effect of diet over time, but find that it is hard to see patterns.

I have observed some interesting things I don't understand.  For one thing, each time I get a new batch of the strips, the median readings change and the highs and lows move up or down.  For example, the series of readings on the left are from one can of strips and the one at right is from a new can.

An average taken over sufficient time should correspond somewhat to an HBA1C taken by a lab, which is the cumulative result of blood glucose levels over six months or so on a person's haemoglobin. 

The average from the left series is 7.0 and the average from the right series is 5.7.  The former (7.0) is high, the latter (5.7) is much more acceptable, especially as they include numbers from after meals (postprandial).  Since these two series were taken at different times, it is possible that both averages are indeed accurate for the time they were measured, but somehow, I very much doubt it. 

Since my recent lab HBA1C was 5.9, and the previous one, 5.5, I tend to believe the latest can of strips (right series above).  The previous readings had me worried that somehow my metabolism had changed recently.  Such inconsistency tends to undermine my confidence in this testing for anything except comparisons, and makes me wonder, even for that.

My blood pressure always is up around 140/85 in the doctor's office, but the average at home is about 120/78.  That is acceptable.  In recent years the acceptable blood pressures have been lowered, then lowered again.  At one time 120/80 was considered 'normal', and expected to rise by as much as 10/10 for each 10 years in age over 20.  These days, age is  no excuse.

I have not been to Wednesday Night Racing at the Glenmore club lately as Zeke is in France.  I see a good shot of the San Juan 21 fleet on Facebook and reproduce it here as it shows the downwind run with spinnakers flying.

When I went out at 1100 to start, I discovered that, as feared, the bees had not completely abandoned yet.  I decided to give them a bit longer and go to work on the remaining hives, pulling honey and adding brood boxes. 

As it is still cool and early (for bees), I decided that a veil would be a good idea and reached behind the seat and pulled out my veil, only to discover that it had soaked up some automatic transmission fluid that has spilled.

I decided to take the veil into the house and try to wash the oil and red colour out before it set.  I figured, too, that it would get onto my suit and possibly annoy the bees. I have found that I can wash the Sherriff veils in the normal washing machine as long as I use lots of water and do not put anything else in.  I generally use the delicates cycle.

The veil came out only slightly pink and oily-smelling and I went back out.  By noon, the bees were mostly out of the boxes.  I worked another 5 hives before I ran out of prepared brood chambers and returned to make up some more.  I have 3 hives left to do at the Quonset before I deal with the South Yard.

I can see that I should have done this job a week or ten days ago.  The supers are often plugged, and the brood chambers are also plugged in some cases.  Restricting the queen means less brood and that means smaller populations.  Larger populations winter better her in the north and can be split earlier in spring.

I notice the presence of a skunk.  Evidence can be seen at right.  Those deposits are almost 100% made up of bee carcasses.

My afternoon was spent in the Quonset yard,  Although there is a strong wind, that yard is sheltered and hot.  I finished there and carried on to the South Yard.

At the South Yard, I was exposed to the full power of the wind.  I expected to find lots of duds and and did not expect to need many boxes. Surprise!  All the hives have queens and brood, but some are small: 6 frames or so.  Maybe I should double them all up, but I am tempted to let then try to winter as they are.

I pulled all the honey and counted ten hives that will need seconds.  By then I was tired and returned to the house for supper.

After supper and a nap, I went back out and picked up all the honey (left), made up five more brood chambers, and drove down to the South Yard and put them on.  I just put them on top of the singles.  I would have preferred to lift a frame of brood up, but I'm out of time.  I have five more boxes to make up and put on and I am done.

I stopped in the Quonset yard and saw bees hanging out of the hives that had new boxes added (lower left).  They are not used to the combs and are stimulated by being worked and by the job of cleaning up the box they were given.  Stimulation causes heat and heat causes the cluster to expand.  Ergo: bees hanging out. 

That concerns me with the skunk around, so I opened the hive tops to let heat out.  Even if it rains (it won't), there will be no harm and the added ventilation will shrink the cluster.  I'll close the lids in the morning.

This is one more reason I like triples over doubles.  The extra box below raises the cluster and provides expansion room.

In making up the brood chambers I discovered another reason why I don't like new comb for wintering.  It seems that often one side is not fully drawn.  IMO, bees need good full-depth cells for best wintering.  I'm really starting to reconsider using ten-frames per brood box.  I'm seeing too many warped combs and bald spots.  With nine-frames per box and slightly wider spacing, that is never a problem and the bees do just as well as far I could ever tell.

Yard Count
North Yard 11
Quonset West  7
Quonset Row A 10
Row B 9
Row C 5
Row D 7
South Yard 16
Total 65

If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed,
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
Mark Twain

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Monday September 16th 2013
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Today, I have a lot of small jobs to do in order to get ready for the trip to Sudbury.

There is a discussion of wet honey in the forum.  Pasteurisation (pasteurization?) is one option. See the time/temperature table at right.

I began the day by watering plants and moving the tomatoes and outdoor planters indoors.  The weather looks good for the coming week, but they need watering daily outdoors and even if someone is here, I don't plan to have anyone water my plants as usually such "help" kills my plants.

There is no sign of frost in the forecast, but it often comes at this time of year with only a few hours warning.

This is turning out to be an unusually social day.  John H called and we talked for a half-hour.  Then I talked to cousin Jack.  Ruth is coming to get Zippy.  Joe is coming to get the honey, and Fen is coming after supper to get some clothes Jean left here for Stella. Maddy is coming, too, to see if any of Ellen's clothes fit her

The plants (small sampling in pictures right and left) took quite a bit of time as I gave them some extra care.  Just the normal chores, laundry, tidying dishes, wiping took time, too.   Plus I spent my customary early-morning hour at the computer while I woke up.  I am also now checked in for my flights, and have my boarding passes

I still have five brood boxes to make up and put onto hives and should do that soon.  The wind is up, though and maybe if I wait, it will go down.

The pool needs covering, I need to pack, and I need to vacuum since moving plants around drops leaves and twigs on the rugs.

I did all that and had a swim before Fen and Maddy appeared, around 1930.  We had a good visit and then Ruth and Dave came by.  By then, it was dark, but Ruth wanted to pick crab apples, so I lent them a flashlight.

Eventually, everyone left for home, leaving just me and Amos.

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man,
which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
G. Gordon Liddy

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Tuesday September 17th 2013
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I'm in the air today.  I was up at 0300 and at YYC by 0545.  Flight AC174 took off at 0700.  A little over four hours later I changed planes in YYZ and Mom met me at YSB ay 1506.  We drove to 1207 and I had a nap.  This trip makes for a long day.

My van started up without problems and I took out the garbage  Now I need to plan my time for the next week.

While working on the brood chambers yesterday, I was stung by a small wasp on the wrist.  Although I was stung multiple time by bees, I have no lasting effects, but the area of the wasp sting is hot and itchy, and slightly swollen.

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man
standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle
Winston Churchill

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Wednesday September 18th 2013
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I slept in until 0930 and have the day ahead.  My cousin is driving up from Thornbury this afternoon and will stay overnight.  We'll be going out for supper.  It is now about noon, so I have a few hours to do something outdoors.

I'm thinking of working on the boat with intent to launch.  Today is clear and sunny, but tomorrow looks rainy and the next two days look worse, so I wonder about the wisdom of launching her. now.  I have to anchor as I have no dock here and getting to and from shore means swimming unless I get a kayak.  My inflatable toy boat did not work out very well.

Jack arrived around four and Mom came back from bridge shortly after.  We went to Mr. Prime Rib for supper, then returned to 1207 and visited until 10.

Sweet is the remembrance of troubles when you are in safety.
 Euripides

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Thursday September 19th 2013
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Wow!  The temperatures at home are cooler than predicted.  It is plus one at 0804 local, and I see that the forecast lows are lower than previously expected, falling as far as zero degrees.

Jack left after breakfast and so did Mom.  I went back to bed.  Mom went for her hair appointment and did some chores and I drove over to the Red Rooster to meet her for lunch.  She was 45 minutes late and, of course had forgotten her cell phone.  She arrived just as I was about to get into my van to go home.

> But weren't many of the "CCD Samples"...

Is everyone working with the same definition of CCD?

It has been pointed out more than once that 'non-CCD' colonies in at least some cases were never confirmed not to be in the process of collapsing shortly after the researcher passed by, and it seems clear that the term 'CCD' was used as a convenient catch-all for more than few different phenomena.

With some exceptions, the whole discussion of CCD reminds me more of a theological debate than science. Both theology and science involve some speculation, but theology is built on unprovable and often improbable assumptions, and science is supposedly built on hard facts and probable or provable, replicable observations or extrapolation.

At any rate CCD -- and anything that could be tagged as CCD -- may have been hard on bees and beekeepers, but it was the best thing to come along in quite a while for anyone wanting to do some research on anything even remotely to do with bees. And, by some stroke of luck, 'CCD' happened along just at the very time when funding for bee research was being cut to the bone.

While 'CCD' breathed new life into the legitimate labs, 'CCD' even paid off for more than a few with little knowledge of bees or the scientific method, and, of course the media.

As the dust settles, it seems pretty clear that CCD was/is a chimera and I am surprised that the term is still used with a straight face -- but we all continue to use it.

I'm still waiting for the Rolling Stone article.

Bring on the next catchy acronym.

I slept in the afternoon and did a  few odds and ends of jobs, then more of the same in the evening.  Bill called about 9.  They are home from babysitting the grandkids.

I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.
Andy Warhol

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