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 June 2019

 

 

 

 

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A misty June morning

 

 Are you are looking for bee information?

I'm losing interest in bees lately and bee-related posts are infrequent these days but at one time I was very involved in beekeeping. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Your best bets for finding ideas are:

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Note: I have been doing a bit of bee writing lately and there is some mention here and on recent previous pages, but it is mixed in with my daily life.

 

 

Thursday June 20th 2019

Today Cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 15. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. Rain beginning near midnight. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 9.

I slept until 0845.  The day is dull and breezy again.  It rained overnight, so mowing is not in the cards, at least this morning.  I'll have to be satisfied with tidying indoors.  There is lots to keep me busy.

I checked the Eastern North Pacific 5-Day tropical Weather Outlook and sure enough, hurricane season is beginning.

I'm off to a slow start. I am distracted by the Calgary group again.

How to recognize a hive is strong and will continue through the honey flow with good production and when to leave it alone.

I'm interested in knowing a bit more about a conversation involving the distinction of a productive hive that might swarm vs one that might be doing well but preparing for superceding the queen. The last round of responses focused on splitting and then subsequently possibly recombining. This seems like a lot of heavy work

I was think more along the lines of what to do with a queen that is being superceded. If she is a couple years old and running out of juice then purchasing and introducing a replacement at the right time to maintain population and ultimately honey production would be in order? Also thinking ahead to overwintering that hive has a new young queen and better chance of winter survival? - Steven and Simone


Speaking for myself, if I find a hive that is superseding at this time of year, I let it do so. It is not always easy to tell when a hive is superseding and when it is planning to swarm, but cell placement and hive strength do give us clues.

If the hive is building swarm cells, you have little choice but to split it. Just destroying the cells isn't a good solution.

If it is superseding, then this is a perfect time of year for that to happen, with plenty of nectar and pollen around, and good mating weather.

Many of my splits have already raised some beautiful queens this month. Generally I've found that hive strength doesn't dwindle much during the queen-rearing process if the hive was strong to begin with. And the beauty of having multiple hives is that you can always give a frame of brood from another strong hive.

Trying to interfere with supersedure once they have capped queen cells is not always advisable either, imo. Generally you have to find the queen cells, destroy them, and wait a day or so before even putting a new caged queen in place.
- John


I think John said it about as well as it can be said.

As for handling strong hives, there is always the risk of swarming, but the secret is to super early and put on more boxes than you think you'll need (assuming drawn comb) until after the peak swarming season, which normally ends with the major flow.

Once the flow begins, it is generally safe to crowd the bees a bit and as the season ends, the number of supers can be reduced to what the bees can fill. Otherwise you'll have a lot of partially filled combs.

Keep in mind that the bees use the apparently empty excess drawn comb to store nectar temporarily until they condense it down. You may not witness this because it is transitory and will be late in the day and overnight.

With foundation, the supering should be more conservative to ensure the foundation is drawn. Whereas a strong colony may need five or six boxes (total) of drawn comb to stay home, that same colony may need only three or four boxes total -- assuming the two broods are mostly drawn and the supers are new foundation.

The reason for the difference is that there is far more empty space between foundation frames than drawn frames and also that on foundation, bees need to cluster to make and draw wax. Keep in mind though that a box of foundation can become a box of drawn comb in a week during the flow and more space will be needed then.

Another important consideration is to not add boxes above capped honey in the brood chamber. If the brood chamber honey band above the brood is capped when you are beginning to super, reverse before adding boxes. This is especially important if you use and excluder above a second brood. If you run a single brood chamber, this is not a problem, but singles are not recommended for beginners as they are harder to manage. - Allen


Allen thank you for the comment.

A little more on this please ďAnother important consideration is to not add boxes above capped honey in the brood chamber.Ē

Iím assuming because the bees will assume they are honey bound and wonít look higher for more room, thus increasing congestion?

If Iím reading correctly this is where the honey band is capped in the upper brood box only, and assumes that the the same conditions donít exist in the lower box too.

If this is the case, should the lower box brood spread just be increased?

- Neil


> A little more on this please ďAnother important consideration is to not add boxes above capped honey in the brood chamber.Ē
> Iím assuming because the bees will assume they are honey bound and wonít look higher for more room, thus increasing congestion?

The honey band is more of a problem when adding an excluder than going without, but excluders make things much simpler and bees accept them and work through them as if they were not there once they get used to them.

> If Iím reading correctly this is where the honey band is capped in the upper brood box only, and assumes that the the same conditions donít exist in the lower box too.

That is not possible if the hive is strong enough to super. At that point, the brood ball will extend well into the lower box. If not, then wait a week and look again.

When reversed, that brood will be next to the excluder and the honey band will be in the middle of the new brood area. The bees will then be forced to remove that honey to fill that area with brood.

You can see that reversing greatly spreads the brood out, forces the bees to work to re-form the sphere, and should not be done too early in the year, on a cold day, or to weak colonies. It stresses the colony, but that stress can be good if done with good judgment.

We are assuming the season is warm, the colony is expanding rapidly, and that they need more room.

-Allen


> I have a question of clarification on the honey band: Why move it
down via reversal? I deliberately use a honey band above brood chamber
as an excluder, with the expectation that the band will be easier for
the bees to cross than a metal excluder.

> Is this an inferior approach? Does it have implications that I've
missed? - Dan

Not at all. You know what you are doing and how to deal with any issues
that arise. You also know how to time the process.

I am writing with the beginner in mind. I cannot see into their hives
and give individual advice, so I try to keep it simple, more or less
foolproof, and general. Experienced beekeepers like yourself will have
your own ideas and methods.

As for metal excluders being an impediment, they are not when properly
applied as described and are a real boon to beekeepers who may not
always be around to time operations.

Bees that have learned excluders run through them as if they were not
there. It is easy to observe with a simple test. Just pull occupied
honey boxes and the excluder, shake the bees off the excluder and place
it back on the hive. Then watch. The bees will boil right up through it
as they are expecting the familiar boxes you just removed to still be
there.

When bees that only know about the two boxes they are in and expect a
lid above them are given a cold, new excluder and new unfamiliar-smelling
boxes above, they may not move up immediately.

Unless the new equipment is adjacent to brood, it may be ignored for a
while and during that time, they may become congested below. Reversing
forces the bees to explore and rearrange the stores and having brood
near the excluder makes it part of the hive core and they accept it and
learn it immediately.

 

An important point: In beekeeping, especially in the north here where the seasons are very distinct and change rapidly, timing is everything.

Each major management activity has to take place at the proper time in the season.

Much of the time, we can ignore our hives for weeks or months, but when you need to be there, you need to be there, and on time.

At times, a week or even one day makes a huge difference. Put off supering one week too long, and your bees will be hanging in your neighbour's shrubbery. Once it is over the fence it belongs to anyone.

Not only that, the only evidence of the super of honey you would have gotten is the burr comb gluing everything in the brood chambers together. and fat combs you have trouble pulling out.

Put off extracting too long and your hive will get honeybound. The frames will bee too fat, the queen may be shut down and there will be burr comb throughout the hive. (At least all your foundation will be drawn).

To add to your misery, your honey may granulate in the comb and not extract. Every year we have messages asking what to do with granulated supers.

Don't wait for your honey to all be capped. In this country honey is usually dry enough when the frames are full as long as it has not been a rainy week or it is not late in the day of a big flow when there will be unripened nectar in the combs.

So, be aware of what the next step is and be prepared. Don't realize you need more supers and/or an extractor at the last minute. Make arrangements now.

Bees wait for no one.

 

This came by private email, but I imagine this is a common question. My response is below the quote.

> As a complete 'newbee' this year I have all new equipment - one EPS hive. I started with only 4 drawn comb with my package and I have very good/full bees in my bottom box and the second brood box is filling in quite nicely (I very full brood one both sides of one frame and one frame with lots of open brood on one side). I did move one brood frame up into the second box as they did not seem too interested in the second box until I did this - guessing because it was all new undrawn comb? I have read that you should never add a queen excluder and a new super box with undrawn comb as the bees will not accept it. How would you suggest 'encouraging' the bees to move into the super with the excluder since the comb is not drawn and they will need to do that? My supers are medium so I cannot cheat with the brood frame again.

It sounds as if you only have four or five frames of brood and you can expect to see eight or nine with significant patches of brood soon. I'm guessing a super is not needed yet, but maybe in a week or two.

With foundation, there is more room in a box than with drawn comb, so until the foundation is drawn the bees will be much less crowded in fewer boxes.

In your case, until the broods are 3/4 drawn and being filled, there is likely no need to add supers until you see the frames are mostly drawn and filled -- or you find the bees are so crowded that when you open the lid, there are lots of bees on even the outer frames. The other exception would be if you cannot visit the hives often enough to keep track. In that case, super early and with a box more than if you are nearby.

Then, when it is time to super, you could use an excluder, but if it is new and the equipment being added is new, then the bees may not enter the super right away.

The surest way to avoid issues is to add one new super without an excluder .

Then, after they have drawn a frame or two in the new super (they will), remove the super and shake the bees off into the hive, add the excluder and put the super back on. If the queen was up top, she will be below and the bees will work as if the excluder was not there.

From then on, add a new super when the present one is 3/4 to 7/8 done or a strong flow is expected and you have to be away a few days..

Mid-afternoon, the wind had died and the day looked dry, so I went out and re-cut some of the lawn and some additional areas. I came in around six-twenty when a cold front came through and it began to look like rain.

Looking around, I realise I have let things slide.  My shed roof has lost its roll roofing and the chipboard is deteriorating.  I have to decide to fix it, meaning a day's work and several hundred dollars, let it fall down, with no immediate cost, or tear it down, again requiring at least a day's work and no real expense, but I'd have to relocate the good stuff and dispose of the junk that has accumulated there over the years.

My trucks and forklift and the old motorhome no longer run.  I have hope for the trucks, but not the ambition to tackle the repairs.

I came across an amazing source of free films, lectures and more, Open Culture

Are paper bags more eco-friendly than plastic bags?  Apparently not and they break, usually do no t have carry handles, and are useless in the rain. Just another case of tyranny by a minority.  The eco-nazis are more intent on virtue signaling, forcing pointless and wasteful issues,  and getting approval from one another than facts and being constructive

That is not to say there are not ecological issues and that some pressure on companies and individuals is a bad thing, but rather that many who claim to be out to "Help The Environment" or "Save the Planet" have no clue as to context or relative importance of various issues or the damage they do to the environment (You cannot hurt the Planet) by their antics. The plastic bag ban is one example.

Now, if someone wants to deal with the excess plastic packaging of items in stores and foods, I am all ears.  That is an issue.  However it is not a big an issue as it may appear. It is mostly a disposal issue.  The production is quite efficient, but disposal has not yet been figured out.  Recycling plastics sounds like a great idea until you try it.  Sorting, collecting, contamination, transport and reprocessing are all costly problems.  The Europeans have figured out that burning them in an efficient manner that only render water and CO2 (sorry) as products is the simplest answer. We try to recycle, but much of it is buried, storing the problem for the future.

I hear an owl as I am writing this just before dusk.

I watched a bit of Offspring and then spent over an hour on Rocket Spanish.

It's midnight and I am off to bed.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
Carl Sagan

Quote of the Day
Teenagers these days are out of control.
They eat like pigs, they are disrespectful of adults,
they interrupt and contradict their parents,
and they terrorize their teachers.
Aristotle

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Friday June 21st 2019
Summer Solstice

Today Periods of rain. Risk of a thunderstorm this afternoon. Local amount 10 mm. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 16. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Periods of rain ending near midnight then cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 11.

I woke up at 0550 and I was wide awake, so I got up. I feel great.  I started the coffee, trimmed my hair and beard and showered. The morning is misty and the day promises to be overcast. My weight is up a bit, but my BG seems to be normalizing.

I have denigrated weather forecasters in the past and still find Environment Canada a bit deficient, but have to say that The Weather underground has proven to be excellent lately, as has Windy.com, so I may have to revise my opinion.

If I am to believe the Wunderground.com forecast for today (right), this morning will be overcast, but rain will begin at noon, peak around three and taper off at nine tonight. I should really watch and see how good the predictions are and how far out in time they can predict accurately.

If weather forecasters are able to predict the weather accurately ten days out, maybe I should revise my opinion of climate forecasters, although there is a huge difference between predicting local conditions over a few days with a lot of historical ten-day data and trying to predict long-term global conditions using limited and questionable long-term data and the involvement of many, many widely distributed influences. Some of those influences are unknown and others poorly understood -- plus there are random factors like earthquakes, shifting ocean currents, meteorites, solar flares, cloud formation and volcanoes that are almost certain to intervene.

The most recent time I posted a chart like the above was Monday and comparing, I would say they came pretty close then to what they predict for today.  Hmmm.

I was sleepy and had a nap, then began tidying.

I cleaned out the upright freezer since I don't need it anymore and posted it on Facebook.

Now, I'm off to C's again to solder another bad connection.

Well I walked there and back three times now, each time for something else I forgot. Also had to strip down to summer clothes as I was dressed for the cool and her house must be 80.  Normally heat does not bother me, but I am under the weather today.  Allergies, I can tell.  The effect after cutting the grass was delayed, I guess.

      

I'm going to have to run to Costco for hamburger for tomorrow night.  I called Three Hills IGA since they used to have the best hamburger anywhere and I wondered what happened. They are under new management and the meat department says they now get hamburger it in a tube from a supplier.  I gather she knows it is not as good as it used to be. Oh, well. 

I changed my mind and went to Three Hills for supplies.  We'll see if my burgers are good or not tomorrow. On my return I stopped at C's place and reassembled the fridge, but the power went off halfway through.  I was able to finish though, so we'll see if the fix worked when the power comes on.

Well, it did not.  When I went to bed at midnight, I checked my email and apparently the ice maker and auger are still not working.

I got home around nine, put things away, did some research, watched Netflix for a while, then went to bed.

Quote of the Day
An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof
Marcello Truzzi

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Saturday June 22nd 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 21. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight Partly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Becoming clear overnight. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 10.

I woke up at 0300 , was groggy, so got up for an hour. Then I went back to bed but could not sleep, so I took two Benadryl and after a while, two more and melatonin.  That worked and next I knew it was nine.  I got up for a minute, then slept until ten

Now I am up for the day and perusing the weather.  Wunderground and Environment Canada seem to mostly agree about the hourly for today. Seems it will be breezy -- 20 KPH gusting 40 -- all day, but the wind should die around suppertime.  It is expected to be from the northwest at any rate so the bonfire pit is sheltered and the bonfire should be fine.  20 KPH is only 12 knots anyhow, barely enough to blow my hat off.

I'm realizing that I am booked to go to La Paz Thursday and that is coming up fast.  My new keel is still at the foundry in Mexico state and will not be in La Paz until the 30th at the earliest and then another week will be needed before the boat can be launched.  So, I am thinking I'll put off my visit another week.  I looked on Airbnb last night and  see my favourite apartment is free for the coming weeks. I'll write Miguel for guidance.

Stampede begins on the evening of the fourth of July, so I may have a chance to go yet.

My plans for the day are to prepare the fire pit and fuel, tidy the house a bit, and generally get ready for company tonight.  I expect ten people plus or minus.  So far, the day is overcast.

Miguel says delaying my flight is the best plan, seeing as it is 42įC in la Paz and there is nothing happening until the keel arrives. I have now to decide when to go, or even top leave the boat in Miguel's hands until fall.  The days will only get hotter and hurricane season is getting underway. The heat is not oppressive if I am out on the water, but in town, it can be overbearing.

It is hard to imagine 42įC from here, where I have the furnace running daily and the outdoors is cool in the mornings and often during the days. 

Here it is often cool, sometimes overcast for days, and rains often in June.

In La Paz (right), it is not 42 every day, but daily highs are typically around 34 and the lowest daily temperature is typically 20 to 25. Skies are seldom overcast and rain is infrequent, but, of course, there can be hurricanes.

In spite of sleeping in today, I am tired and although I have lots to do, I am uninspired.  Now, at 1 PM, the sun is coming out and that may help, but first, I'll have a nap. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

I slept an hour and am up and at it. The sun was out, but has gone in again. The breeze is light and the temperature is up to seventeen. I have work to do.


Lighting the fire                       Later in the evening                        This morning

I was ready for company by five.  Wendy brought pie and Ken homemade wine. We sat in the back yard at the picnic tables and I barbequed.  Somehow I had prepared the exact right amount of meat and when everyone had had their fill, there was one hot dog and one hamburger left over.

I started the bonfire at seven.  It was hard to light after the days of rain, but we got it going and burned up the pallet and branches that I had accumulated.  The grass around the fire pit did not even burn.

I had cut down and trimmed some trees previously and took the opportunity to drag them onto the fire while everyone sat around and chatted.  C walked over after we lit the fire, having just returned from a trip to Calgary to get a new fridge with her daughter and son-in-law.

By nine, most were ready to go. I cleaned up in the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, then Bert and I sat around outside and watched the fire and birds until after ten.

The ducks were not accustomed to so much human activity and stayed at the far end of the pond.  The redwings, swallows and small birds seemed unaffected.  I did not see any sign of the pigeons that nest in the eaves above the picnic tables. I assume they were hiding out. I noticed that for some reason, there were no mosquitoes and I see almost no moths this year. This seems highly unusual.

My cactus is blooming again.  It has not bloomed since it fell over a year or two ago. This cactus was just a tiny button back in 1971 when Jonathan was born. It has grown over the years and at one point, fell over and broke almost completely off, but I stood it up and tied it to a stake.  I guess it has mended back together.

Bert left. I put out the fire, then went to bed around ten-thirty.

Quote of the Day
Every person must choose how much truth he can stand.
Irvin D. Yalom

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Sunday June 23rd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High 19. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers early this evening and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this evening. Low 10.

I woke up at 0300 , was groggy and, again took two Benadryl and melatonin and went back to sleep.  I slept until nine, got up for a minute, then slept until almost ten.

My last hour of sleep was full of detailed, colorful dreams. 

I was in a tin boat with an outboard somewhere up on Lake Joe or maybe Rosseau.  My instructor examiner, John, and my granddaughter, Katrina, were on board and some indistinct someone else. 

I knew the route, but was dozing and when I woke, they were lost and we were in shallow water.  I had trouble finding my bearings as things look very different from different viewpoints and we were off route.  We had a chart. However, the boat suddenly seemed smaller and filled with water to the gunwales, but did not sink and we didn't get wet (This is a dream, after all).

We motored forward and opened a drain plug and the boat dried out but there was a second drain hole and it leaked until I fiddled with the rubber plug. That plug was below a channel that led up to the mast for the stern light.

Since we were lost, we motored over to a very obvious golf course for directions and spoke with a girl who seemed to be in charge.

I asked where the waterside store that sells ice cream is and she pointed it out, then said they (the golf course) have a large shipment of fresh shrimp arriving shortly and we should come back in the afternoon.

As we walked back to our boat, Katrina asked me why I had not said no instead of maybe. I said I was being polite.

I woke up a while later and lay there, then got up. This looks like another dull day.

I drank the remaining cold coffee in the coffee maker and made a proper onion, mushroom, broccoli and cheddar cheese omelet for breakfast. I'm relaxed today and plan to just veg out.

I started to listen to Cross Canada Checkup and found I simply could not listen for more than ten minutes.

It was disgusting and it is clear that the fix is in. Everyone has had a good slurp of the Kool Aid. The participants happily piled on to attacking our way of life with no thought of the consequences. Not a sober thought in the whole bunch, at least while I lasted.  I thought of phoning in but figured, this is like pissing into the wind.

When people are rewarded socially with approval for adopting a certain perspective, and attacked for questioning it, many if not most happily find all sorts of stories that fit into that narrative to get more approval and avoid the flak.

We've seen that many many times before whether it comes to prairie kids marching happily off to WWI, not even really understanding the politics in Europe at the time and that the  results of the war one way or the other would have very little effect on their homes and families.  (WWII was different and it was a battle for civilization) or when even closet gays were seen to make pronouncements against their own inclinations.  We're seeing it now in the assault on the Canadian way of life and the foundations of our society's wealth.

These mindless compulsive followers will change on a whim and be off to attack something else someday soon, but I worry about the damage they do in the meantime.

There may, indeed be some concern about carbon dioxide and its effects on the oceans and maybe the climate, but I am not seeing the kind of intelligent discussion that would convince me.  Au contraire, the kind of bandwagoning I see actually convinces me otherwise..

I am indeed taking the day off.  I did however drag some more of the brush I cut last year to the fire pit.

I also found another interesting set of Spanish lessons. The options out there are myriad and confusing.  Possibly picking one and sticking to it would be best. I have been using Pimsleur, but these lessons demonstrate both Castilian  Spanish and New World Spanish and that way my pronunciation is torn between the two.

This latest one is intriguing and easy for covering the basics.

I struck Offspring from my Instant Queue on Netflix tonight.  It was getting dreary. The novelty has worn off and it was going nowhere. I went back to Lethal Weapon and watched some of that.

Fun on Facebook.  Rick posted this the other day and I replied, getting predictable irrelevant response.

Allen Dick It is still true. Forcing paper bags on us is just a bully tactic by the usual 'activists'. Plastic bans are simply virtue signaling based on prejudice, not science. Ask Google. "are paper bags more ecological than plastic bags" - Google Search

Pamela Russell People really have to stop relying on google and youtube for "factual" information and taking everything they see or watch online as gospel. There are some very wild conspiracy theories out there that some people are actually believing. Google has made it possible for the average person to think that they're experts that can now question professionals -- especially doctors. :)
 
Allen Dick Pamela Russell what does that have to do with plastic and paper bags?

Pamela Russell Allen Dick -- hello? It's in response to your reference to ask Google about plastic and paper bags. And, your implying that forcing paper bags on us is just a bully tactic by the usual 'activists'. There is no conspiracy theory regarding the environment. :)

Pamela Russell I haven't heard anything about anyone forcing paper bags on us. I've heard about reusable fabric bags -- not paper or plastic.

Allen Dick You have not been to BC lately? Decide on the spur of the moment to drop in for a few groceries and your choice is paper, buy another damn "reusable" bag (worse environmental profile than either plastic or paper) to join the pile at home -- or carry the goods in your hands and pockets. Take the paper bag (no handles) and walk out in the rain. Ooops! Pick your things up off the ground and carry them bag-less. That is hard to do on a bike.

Allen Dick As for Google, Google offers thousands of hits with that search and you can choose which one you want to believe or none of them. Depends whether you are a believer or a cynic.

Allen Dick And I don't know if you've ever been down wind or downstream from a paper mill?

Allen Dick Or seen all the clear-cuts.

This truly has been a nothing day. That is not a bad thing, but at this point, nothing is pulling on me, and I did mostly nothing.

Quote of the Day
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
Aristotle

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Monday June 24th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness near noon. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 20. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this evening and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing near midnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 9.

Much as I have over the past few days, I woke up at 0300, was groggy, got up for a while, went back to bed, woke at four, got up and had breakfast, went back to bed at six and slept until ten-thirty.

I have yet to cancel my June 27th flight to SJD.  I am waiting for clarity on what to do next.

The day is bright, sunny, warm, and breezy.  I am lazy and so far, at one, I have done the dishes and written a reply to a request from a sailor I know.

Hi Allen, I was hoping you could provide some feedback to a small cruise Iím planning.

Iím taking my wife and the youngest child (9) out on my 28-foot sailboat from Sidney July 15-20. Weíre not looking for any super long days, but would rather find places where we can possibly swim in warm-ish waters and do some hiking. Hereís my first idea for an itinerary:

1. Sidney to Montague Harbour
2. Montague to De Courcy (Pirateís Cove)
3. De Courcy to Ganges
4. Ganges to Bedwell Harbour
5. Bedwell Harbour to Sidney Spit
6. Sidney Spit to Sidney

Thereís really not any really long legs in there, but I donít want to spend all day getting somewhere and not get a good spot to anchor or preferably a mooring ball, plus I want Tara and Justin to enjoy themselves so that means time spent at the destination as well. I want to see Pirateís cove because I hear thereís swimming there.


Allen Dick:  Interesting question.

First, on a sailboat, winds and tides are going to be a big factor in whether you sail or motor and where you can get in and out. So check the tides first.

For your purposes, the tides at Sidney will be close enough to give a feeling for the other locations and you are not planning to go through passes. I see the tides will be fairly large

Having destinations in mind is good, but it is said that with inexperienced people on board "Gentlemen don't sail upwind" and motoring into chop is not much better as far as keeping the crew happy. Your weather may be good, but a rainy day destination is good to have in your plan, too.  As for filing a sail plan (recommended), you can do that with a trusted friend, and phone in daily or email changes.  You'll almost never be out cell coverage.

When I go to Ganges I go to the commercial dock -- Fishermans Wharf. Phone in, and if they are doubtful and say fisherman are coming and going, just say you are happy anywhere on the dock and are leaving in the morning. The ramp is not locked and is right at the park -- and the showers are good.

Come to think of it, the Saturday market will be happening right there in the park on the 15th. 

I actually made a special trip to Pirates Cove last time out as I had never been there and when I got there, I chickened out because I was solo and had no bow watch. What I saw on the plotter was not what I was seeing around me so I went back to Clam Bay. BTW, we were swimming in Clam Bay last August, evening and morning. Carry a thermometer and check here and there.

I was swimming off Cassiopeia in the little bay on the way into Ladysmith two weeks ago. Water was fine. That bay is long and shallow and it was sunny. I imagine parts of Cow Bay and Birdseye Cove might be swimmable on sunny days, too, as well, since they are shallow.

The trek up to Ladysmith and Pirates Cove and back can seem long, though, if the conditions are not the best.

I don't know how your batteries are, but you may need to plug in at some point. Thetis is a good place for a mid-week stop to charge.

Todd Inlet is another possibility for swimming and if Butchart Gardens appeals, there are free mooring balls in Butchart Cove, but you have to stern tie and dinghy over to the back entrance dock to enter the gardens. Mooring balls are first come first serve. If they are full, Todd inlet is a short dinghy run away as is Brentwood Bay with all its attractions. 

At Bedwell, Harbour we anchored north of the docks at Poet's Cove last summer and dinghied in. (Tying up at Poet's Cove was $1.60/ft.) We used the swimming pool without anyone caring and there was no charge.

The Sidney Spit is a good stop, but can be tricky getting in and out at low low tides and is exposed in some conditions. Roberts Bay is a nearby alternate, but watch the depths and tides. Portland island is a really nice stop fairly near Sidney, as is Russell island.

In short, your choices are good, but I would scope out the options and then go with the wind and weather and give the crew some choices. If it their decision, there is less likelihood of mutiny.

The Salish Sea Pilots are very good guides for anchorages and other details -- and cheap.  They can go on your phones and tablets. Highly recommended.

For hiking, Russell Island has a short hike to the old homestead.

Blackberry Point on Valdez was a big hit for a young son of a cousin on a kayak trip. Apparently 'Fast Eddy', a friendly local lives on a float house on the beach there and the hike up the 'mountain' is a good one.

Princess Cove on Wallace Island is always popular, has a good hike and may be swimmable. I swam there in August. Fills up early, but if you go in far enough there may be a stern tie left and if not anchoring out is possible.

The hike at Bedwell is a good one. Dinghy to the beach and hike in. The dinghy ride over to Port Browning through the Pender Canal is fun if the chop is not too bad.

The hike at Princess Bay on Portland is a good one, too.

That is it.  Next, C and I are going for a walk.

We walked the mile around town, then looked at her new fridge and I returned home.

She had made a great deal on a side-by-side fridge, tracking one down at a clearance outlet , finding a scratch and dent model, then talking the price down to a quarter of list.

At home, I went outside and got to work on various projects.  I started with putting the dual wheels onto the tractor.  That took an hour and a half.  The first took most of the time.  The second, fifteen minutes.  Then I tried scraping the gravel off the pavement at the end of the drive, but that was a waste of time. I'm going to have to use a broom and shovel and maybe the wheelbarrow.  I am increasingly thinking this tractor was a mistake.

I also decided to look at the crossbow sailboat.  It has been sitting here for six or seven years  in the weeds, doing nothing.  Years back, I had worked on the trailer and then hit a snag. I was not happy with the spring hangers and put the boat and trailer outside until now.  I think I'll pain the trailer with rust paint, move the spring hanger and then do the few small things that need doing to get the boat back in the water.

t six, I went in, had supper and sat down.  That is always a mistake. As long as I am moving, I have energy, but when I sit down, I grow roots.

I had a nap, then watched Netflix until bedtime.

Quote of the Day
The oldest, shortest words - 'yes' and 'no' - are those which require the most thought.
Pythagoras

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Tuesday June 25th 2019
Six months until Christmas Day

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 21. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this evening then partly cloudy. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 8.

That was a another night of interrupted sleep with hours of dozing, then deep sleep ending in dreams and finally getting up at ten.

Around three, I had heard a bang and got up to see what had happened.  I could not see the cause.  Maybe a plant fell over? I should lock my doors at night, right?

I dreamed I was a at bee convention at a hotel and sharing a room with various indistinct people.  Somehow a motorhome and my young family figured in.  We were checking out of the hotel and my car, a vintage burgundy metallic 1966 Ford, was parked across the street in a lot and to get there I had to walk though an oil change garage.

During the convention, I had gone somewhere in the car and returned but when we checked out and I went to the car it was gone.  Where it had been parked were several similar vehicles with an ethnic  wedding party milling around.

I remembered I had not renewed the parking pass and decided my car had been towed.  I walked back to the hotel desk to see if that was the case, thinking, "Oh boy.  This could cost $900", but somehow that hardly bothered me.

 About then, a train whistle blew and I woke up.  I was getting tired of that dream, anyhow.

The day is overcast again.  I can't believe the summer weather here after spending time on the  BC west coast and time in The Baja. I know I lived here for five decades and worked and played outdoors all months of the year, considering it normal, but somehow, now the weather here seems cold and dark.

The fact that the trees have overgrown the place is a factor and I have been cutting branches and small trees that have grown up when my attention was elsewhere.

My tablet arrived just now and it looks even better than expected.  For one thing, it includes everything I might need, including the adaptors to fit nano SIMs and a pen. Even a hand-free earbud/mic  This thing is actually a dual SIM phone!

Next, I'll fire it up and see if it is fast or a dud.

When taking pictures of brood, try to have the light over your shoulder so the sun shines directly into the cells.

Also don't hold the phone or camera too close or the depth of field will be too shallow and the auto focus will be on the surface and not include the bottom of the cells.

The picture in question had a great shot of the bees, but the depth of the cells were out of focus.

Hold the phone a little farther out and then crop the picture for presentation if necessary. Of course, make sure the setting is for the highest resolution, (not set lower to save space).

Flash may or may not work if it is offset from the lens by much but flash pictures typically have greater depth of field.

 

Nichol: Thereís numerous people I know whoíve reported Chalkbrood this year. Given the conditions Iím betting itís a pain for quite a few people?

Nichol is right. I recall the days back in the 70's when we imported the disease from Down Under.

I was an inspector, paid to drive around our beautiful Province to peek into hives and document the spread of CB. Nice job.

Fortunately most of us seldom or never see more than a cell or two of CB these days because responsible breeders eliminate susceptible strains from their gene pool, temporarily at least. Many of these susceptibilities keep coming back and have to keep being kicked out.

CB was top of my selection list back in my day as an indication of disease-susceptible strains. Some disease tendencies are hard to test for, but CB is right there and hard to miss.  It is on the floor and out front. Duh.

Much like tracheal and AFB resistance, testing and selection must be an ongoing process and never end for good queen breeders, and any who let their guard down will have customers see these scourges appearing again. FAIL.

As Nichol says, re-queening will not guarantee a cure because the not all strains of bees on the market are rigourously selected to be immune on an ongoing basis.

I am pretty certain that Albert's Saskatraz are quite resistant, seeing as he is pretty draconian in his selection criteria.

Whatever you do, don't destroy your equipment or even attempt to treat for CB. CB is s spring disease and is related to cool conditions and even lousy bees will recover in hot weather, but of course their development will be slower.

No treatment works except time and/or replacing the stock of bees. Also, be careful taking advice from any British site. Their world is different from ours.

I discovered what went bang in the night.  A vent in my east bathroom fell out of the ceiling.

 

This was another lazy day with little accomplished, but I did write an article for my Cassiopeia site.

I watched more Lethal Weapon before bed.

Quote of the Day
There are things which seem incredible to most men who have not studied Mathematics.
Archimedes

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Wednesday June 26th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. High 24. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this evening with risk of a thunderstorm. Low 10.

I slept in again  today.

After lunch, I changed tomorrow's flight to July 7th, so I am here -- or somewhere -- until then.  I had a lovely chat with the woman on the Westjet Gold line. She had been married in San Jose del Cabos and is planning to go to La Paz sometime, so I gave her some tips.

My brother phoned.  He is graveling the driveway at Mom's and tried to move my van, but the alarm went off and he did not know how to stop it.

Otherwise the day went by with nothing remarkable happening.  I did some laundry and the dishes and the usual.  I played with the new tablet a bit. I have yet to put the SIMs into it to try that out.  It seemed pretty fast at first, but now, with 99 apps installed, it seems a a bit slower.

Here is an exchange with a friend that may be interesting to some. As is fairly obvious to anyone reading these pages, I am a doubter.  I think in shades of gray and of color in tones. As for binary thinking, if this chunk of text looks too long, you can skip to the joke now.

> My wife and I are finding ourselves in similar situations given that
> we do not tow the mainstream lines, do not watch TV, are not on
> Facebook, hardly listen to radio news, do not read newspapers, and
> have flip phones.... She reads a lot of books and things on the
> internet that many would say are "off base", and yet she has been
> right on so many things that were considered "off base" at the time
> and now proven to be true- in politics, medicine, nutrition.

I tend to spend time on those things partly due to living alone. Having a critical mind, and perspective, though, I am increasingly alarmed by the deliberate filtering and framing of the 'news' flow.

I suppose it has always been like this and maybe even more than today, but when we are young we see only the present. Only over time and when we see all the 'constants' of our younger days change do we realise that societies are very malleable and are constantly being massaged into new shapes.

Attitudes and laws on abortions, homosexuality, drinking, drugs, contraception, interracial marriage, inter-denominational marriage, and even marriage itself have shifted drastically.

It is amazing what people can believe, and passionately, with flimsy or weak evidence. I have never understood clothing or architectural fashion and to my mind, fashion in ideas is very similarly bizarre. Nowadays, young girls walk around casually in what closely resembles what was underwear when I was a kid.

While such fads are mostly harmless, at one point within living memory perfectly ordinary German people decided over a short span of years that sending their peaceful neighbours to gas ovens was a great idea, so it pays to be alert. McCarthyism is in human nature and can take on many forms, and just about any behaviour or affiliation can be the target.

> Sometimes she is a bit too off for my scientific ways, but I listen
> and incorporate stuff, knowing her good track record. I do not
> understand how people have become so close minded.

I think people have always tended to closed-mindedness. When we were taught to have an open mind, that meant open to the current memes, not the unthinkable. It is only once the crowd moves on and we find ourselves sitting there and marveling on their direction that it becomes obvious that we are only supposed to be open to acceptable ideas.

When we share prejudices, they do not seem like prejudices. Our predilection to open-mindedness, free thinking and individuality appear as irrational prejudices to those who herd-think.

> I agree with you on the way certain political and cultural mores
> have become sanctioned, and those of us who view them with a bit
> of skepticism are shunned. It has happened to both me and my wife with
> our families who are left-leaning. We have grown apolitical and
> dubious of the merits of ALL parties, and see the main forces playing
> out behind the scenes as economic. So when we question their
> obsessions with Trump, climate change, gender issues, etc. they ask
> us to back off. It is like bringing in a dimension that their
> socially engineered minds are not capable of dealing with.

Agreed. Thinking about things deeply is hard work and beyond many who actually cope very well in the middle of the herd. Moreover, having and expressing ideas that don't match the surroundings is considered bad manners.

> Interesting times.

And bound to get more interesting.

The fallacies and uncertainties seem quite obvious to us, actually, but the herd has a way of stampeding down box canyons, or over a cliff.  Heading off the stampede is possible, but often as not such efforts result in being run over.

Regarding some omitted bee discussion in the letter:

People are terrible at understanding proportion and interpreting risk or magnitude. Hormesis is counter-intuitive for many binary thinkers.

Speaking of binary here is a geek joke:
Programmers say there are 10 types of people.
Those who understand binary and those who do not.

Hormesis could conceivably apply where pathogens are found in a hive. Speculating wildly, they could be museum pieces kept available for training, analogous to how we still have some smallpox samples kept in labs.

We have also discovered that some of the 'junk' in DNA, if I recall correctly, turns out to be pieces of various viruses and may have purposes that have eluded us.
 

I spent several hours trying to decide where to stay in La Paz on arrival, assuming my boat will not be ready, but it may be. At any rate, the Airbnb apartment I had before and was considering again had a glitch on the booking page.  The rate was $28/night, but changed to 41/night when I gave dates.  That is plus a cleaning fee that is greater than the nightly charge and taxes and the Airbnb surcharge. I gave up and watched more Lethal Weapon.

I have come to realise Lethal Weapon is about a guy who has been unable to get over the death of his wife and am beginning to wonder if I am similar in that way.  In August it is six years since Ellen died and I still see her in dreams and am still living in the home we shared for 45 years.

I went to bed around midnight and decided to let the Spanish lessons run continuously, rather than on a fifteen-minute timer. After a while I realised I was awakening periodically and turned them off.

Quote of the Day
Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.
Isaac Newton

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Thursday June 27th 2019

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Showers with thunderstorms beginning late this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 21. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Showers with thunderstorms ending near midnight then clearing. Fog patches developing overnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light near midnight. Low 10.

My phone chimed several times, starting at 0800.  Goggle was worried I might miss my flight at 0950.  I changed that flight to the 7th of July yesterday, but somehow the omniscient Google had not received word and began nagging.

The day is overcast -- again.  I had forgotten how cool and dark June can be here in Central Alberta. Thunderstorms are again in the forecast.  Except for my change of plans, I would be in the bright sunny heat of Baja Sur this afternoon, not looking forward to another dull day here.

I have promised my bees a visit today and maybe a drench of oxalic syrup.

I continue to try to update the Acer to 1903 with no luck.  I even set up a USB drive with the iso and tried updating in safe mode as recommended on some sites.  Windows said no way. Can't upgrade in safe mode. Then when I booted out of safe mode, I got the message on the right. Impossible.

Here are several sober second thought articles re: the 'climate emergency':

Apocalyptic rhetoric about extreme weather keeps ramping up. But experts say thereís no emergency

How cognitive biases contribute to the intellectual entrenchment at the root of junk science

Four graphs that bring a little evidence to discussions about forest fires, temperatures and floods

Before anyone points out that these are cherry-picked examples, mostly about Canada, and that I am showing confirmation bias, let me admit all those points and add that the Chicken Littles cherry-pick and exaggerate their examples and projections, too.  It is hard not to.

Regardless,  I try to balance the various claims and find suppressed evidence far more interesting than the propaganda we are being fed by the MSM.

I see cohesion in the G20 is breaking up and am thinking that in some ways that may turn out to be a good thing.  Next, The United nations and Davos.

It rained on and off all day and little was accomplished.

Quote of the Day
The content of your character is your choice.
Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.
Heraclitus

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Friday June 28th 2019

Today Sunny. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind becoming southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High 24. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight Clear. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light late this evening. Low 8.

I'm up at 0730 and the day is bright, but breezy. I'm hoping to be more productive today.

I began by taking a closer look at the tablet I bought, continuing the examination I began yesterday.  The device was advertised as having a 2.0 GHz processor, but the instruction sheet that came with it says 1.5GHz.

I downloaded the Geekbench benchmark app and ran it on both the tablet and my Pixel XL. I'll run it on the Samsung Tablet E as well once it finishes updating.

I had some bills to pay in Mexico and that took a while, then Mom phoned to say the tablet I ordered for her arrived. I had specified it as a gift and she was thrilled at how Amazon had presented it.  Good to know.

I've been intending to do some transplanting in the house and today I noticed that one monstera had actually broken off, so I got to work and divided it into three. One piece I discovered was actually growing upside down having rooted that way and continued growing. These jungle vines are quite amazing.  Individually, they do not look like much now that I have cut them up, but in time, they will adjust and straighten out.

After that, I went out and cut branches and trees for a while.  The place has grown in to the point where the house has become dark and dingy.  I see homes set in trees facing north and wonder how anyone can live there. I'm dragging the branches to the fire pit and will have to have another bonfire before long.

By six I was tired and sat down to watch some video. 

Quote of the Day
Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.
Aeschylus

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Saturday June 29th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 early this afternoon. High 23. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clearing. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 9.

I woke up at 0820.  The day is sunny.  The house is cool at 67, but the day promises to be warm. 

My email this morning brings news of a cousin who has a rapidly progressing cancer. Things do not look good.  I saw him in March at Mom's 100th and he looked fine at the time.

I was tired this AM and went back to bed for an hour.  Then C and I walked around town just before noon. 

I'm looking at the weather forecast for the remaining days before I go south. (above)

I'm also looking at Stampede weather (right) and hoping for good weather for the three days I'll be able to go before I leave on Sunday.

From here, The Sneak Preview Thursday night, Parade Day Friday and the Saturday look overcast with some rain and thunderstorms. Maybe that will change.

I am totally uninspired today. I have very little energy or ambition and I have a headache.

I took an aspirin and soon I was downstairs shoveling ashes, then vacuuming in the shop.  Next, I came upstairs and plan to run the vacuum through the house.  I use the shop vac for the first pass, then finish with the canister machine. I have yet to visit the bees or to paint the boat trailer and both are on the list.

It does not take much debris on the floor to make me feel uncomfortable and the plants drop leaves constantly.  If I don't vacuum regularly, I find the place gets depressing.

It's a little brighter in here with some of the trees gone, but I have more cutting to do before I'll be happy with the results.  It seems odd that at one time we struggled to get trees to grow and now they are popping up all over -- and if ignored for a few years, become monsters.

I decided to have steak and baked potato for supper.  I has some nice steaks in the freezer, so I thawed one and grilled it on the BBQ.  It was okay, but I think I've passed the point where I think steak is all that attractive.  The potato was good, though.

After, I decided to meditate a bit but found I fell asleep. That has happened lately.  I think I've e lost the knack. I then watched more Lethal Weapon and vacuumed some more. This is the start of a long weekend, but it hardly feels weekendy.

The weather turned cooler out around seven, so my thoughts of going out to paint the trailer are on the back burner.

I watched Lethal Weapon for a while, then more Offspring, then went to bed around midnight.  I soon realised I was congested, most likely from vacuuming downstairs and up.  The Shop Vac does not have a HEPA filter obviously and I guess I doed myself with fine dust.

I got up, flushed my sinuses and took an antihistamine, returned to bed and slept through.

Quote of the Day
The road to success is always under construction.
Lily Tomlin

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Sunday June 30th 2019

Today Sunny this morning then a mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 25. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers early this evening and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 10.

I'm up at eight to greet another dull day.  I began by looking out the window.

Yesterday, I cleared most of the plants from blocking my access the south windows and now I can sit close and look out over the pond and the southern landscape for thirty miles south.  I am noticing that my new neighbours must have sprayed my southern border hedge. The trees and shrubs look as if they are damaged.

I've noticed in recent days that I seem to have reached some sort of turning point.  For one thing, for the first time, I am feeling lonely.  That is something new.

I did some major re-potting of plants and that took up the morning.  This afternoon, I'm off to a barbecue.  Tomorrow, I'll likely go to Gull Lake.  Jean sent me a picture of the family out on the pontoon boat.

Lately, Amazon.ca has been my shopping destination of choice as I don't have to drive miles and search high and low. Since I've been pruning, I decided to get a better blade for the Sawzall.  I looked on Amazon, then found a better deal at Home depot in Red Deer.

Today has a been an indoor domestic day.  I transplanted all morning, then decided to cook chicken thighs to take to the potluck. 

After I set up a large dish of thighs and tomatoes, and they were cooking, I decided that was not appropriate and will save that for next party.  I then made a bean salad, which is far more flexible and fulfills my duty for the potluck. 

At potlucks there is always too much of everything.  I have discovered that the main thing is to bring a token something  - anything. 

Actually the bean salad is excellent.  Here's the recipe: Several cans of various cooked beans, a can of corn, and a can of string beans chopped, plus half a chopped red onion all mixed.  Then a half-bottle of Italian salad dressing is added and the whole thing tossed several times.

I went to the party and left the salad in the car.  there was already too much food and another bean salad on the table anyhow. 

I stayed until about eight-thirty and drove to Three Hills for a few items to see if the IGA was open.  It was not, so I drove home, watched video for a while and went to bed around midnight.

Quote of the Day
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones,
you'll start having positive results.
Willie Nelson

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