Winter 2017

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BDT123
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Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » March 14th, 2017, 9:02 pm

Hi all, down to my one monster hive. 3 Deep, tons of food and bees.
BBK, I know you're getting pounded, CB, hope you're good.
Interested in how things are going?
We came out of -30C last week to +10C today. Yikes
Bees are messed up.
Need some positive affirmations, would love to see you 2 back on-line!
I follow BBK on other forums, but this one is quieter, just sayin'.
Hope this enterprise isn't done...
Brian
Drayton Valley, AB
115 W, 53.5N

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BadBeeKeeper
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » March 15th, 2017, 2:15 am

Yep, pounded again. I had to put the plow back on...I must be some kind of stupid and doing something wrong, or missing the obvious, because it takes an hour of fighting to get my 'Minute Mount' plow on the truck. I bought it second-hand and it didn't come with instructions.

After fighting with it yesterday evening, I hit a couple of plow forums and it seems that there is supposed to be some kind of bar with it, that makes things easier? Have to do some more research and see if I can get, or make, one.

I finally got it on and cleared the drive out to the street, there was about 8" on the ground already and still the road hadn't been touched. I had to get up extra early this morning, so I can punch a hole if they came by at some point. The first couple of snows of the season, even if it's only an inch or two, the town crews will plow and sand to beat the band...but by March and April they don't want to bother at all and sometimes it will be two or three days before they get to it. I think they forget that there are a few folks that live way out on the edge of town...well, unless you don't pay your property tax, then they remember you real quick.

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Allen Dick
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Allen Dick » March 15th, 2017, 4:06 am

Yeah. Funny winter. We had runoff a month ago. Water ran down the stream and filled my pond and the ground was bare.

Then we have had several more big dumps. Right now my driveway is passable only by 4x4. With warming temperatures and longer days, though, it should all go again soon.

I'm on the wet coast right now, so snow usually just melts soon after it hits the ground, if not before. We've had more snow out here this winter than I can recall. Saw daffodils yesterday, though.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
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Countryboy
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Countryboy » March 15th, 2017, 8:17 am

It got down to about 10 degrees last night. It's supposed to get up to 25 or 30 today. By Friday, it is supposed to get into the 40's and the extended forecast is saying 40's and 50's for the rest of the month after that.

I got mite treatments on a few weeks back during a warm spell. Silver Maples were starting to bloom then, and bees were bringing in maple pollen. The Sugar Maples are pushing buds, and will bloom as soon as it warms up.

Daffodils have a bud on them, but have not bloomed yet.

Bees in the observation hive are starting to brood up.

Getting geared up for farmers market season too. The first market starts the end of April. Another market is under new management this year(good thing) and I have the new market master's ear, (zero experience) so I am suggesting changes which could be incorporated to help the market. It's a market with enormous potential, but has struggled due to management problems. I had a vendor meeting for another market last night, and the market manager is a left-wing whackjob who is more interested in pushing her political agenda than trying to benefit the market and vendors to the point that she tries pushing ideas which hurt vendors and drive customers away. When I pointed out her insanity, she started to backtrack a little. (She wants to discourage customers from using disposable shopping bags by making vendors charge customers 10 cents for each plastic bag. I pointed out that would require every vendor to obtain a vendor's license (costing us more money) so we can charge the penny sales tax, and trying to discourage customers in any way is only going to discourage them from ever coming back to the market. She finally conceded that if we had bought a bunch of plastic shopping bags, we could use up what we had. I heard several vendors say that they will never run out of bags, because they will keep buying more but tell her they were bags they had purchased before. The bags are cheap, quick, convenient, and they work.) And even though research at farmers markets shows that folks whose incomes are less than $25K do not normally shop farmers markets, the market manager is thrilled that this market was the best market in the state for food stamp dollars used. Market management is trying to cater to the wrong customer base. With the debt ceiling hitting at midnight, and the Treasury only having enough cash on hand to last about a month, and with Trump and the Republican Congress having spoken out against welfare, I expect to see the food stamp program gutted, if not eliminated, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

I did sell honey at a craft show last weekend. $650 in sales. A few springtime craft shows are starting, so that will take up a few weekends.

And of course, still bottling honey for stores. That's year round.

I need to take a day and clean all my excluders to get them ready for this season too. It won't be long and they will be going on hives.

There's more to winter beekeeping than watching the cold weather.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Allen Dick
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Allen Dick » March 15th, 2017, 10:28 am

I tend to avoid stores that do not supply plastic shopping bags and hate the ones that use paper in a misguided notion they are saving the planet.

Paper bags usually don't have handles and they also tend to fall apart in the rain. Often shopping is a spur of the moment decision.

Actually paper bags turn out to be a bigger burden on the environment.

http://www.farnell.ns.ca/forms/document ... may_08.pdf

I recycle my plastic bags, but not paper ones.

As a boater, I don't love plastic bags as litter, though. We lifted Cassiopeia for bottom painting the other day.

Image

If a plastic bag gets into the water intake, it can cause engine overheating that, best case, triggers a cutoff, and worst case destroys an engine.
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Countryboy
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Countryboy » March 15th, 2017, 10:43 pm

Paper bags usually don't have handles and they also tend to fall apart in the rain.
Paper bags are also more costly. And at a farmers market, vendors often mist salad mixes or spinach so they stay crisp and don't wilt. Produce often contains a lot of water. That lettuce head starts to get squished, and the next thing you know, your bag just busted open and you are chasing everything all over the lot.
I recycle my plastic bags, but not paper ones.
I saw a study once that said the only things you should recycle are materials the recycling center pays you for, such as aluminum cans or other metals. Things like paper, you have a smaller environmental impact putting them in a landfill. They can grow trees and turn it into new paper with less fossil fuels and energy and resources used than trying to recycle. People use a lot of gas hauling recyclables to the center, the energy and labor sorting the recyclables, then shipping somewhere to get processed again. That's supposed to be harder on the environment than making new. But recycling is a feel-good thing, regardless of the facts.

I reuse plastic bags, but I don't recycle them. A lot of folks I know reuse plastic bags. Heck, you see people making these crafty dolls that you stuff your excess plastic bags up the doll's butt as storage and as a bag dispenser whenever you need one.

At the vendor meeting, they did talk about bag bans that are in big cities, especially on the East and West coasts, because bags make it into the sewer systems and cause blockages. Interesting to note that your file showed that bag bans are counter-productive.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Biermann
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Biermann » April 9th, 2017, 6:17 am

Hi, interesting how 'Winter 2017' (should it not read: winter 12016/17, since every year has two 1/2 winters anyway) turned to 'shopping bag 123'.

I refuse plastic bags wherever I can since I see them in every fence and I rather have a rotten paper bag, no matter of the cost then a non-rotting plastic bag. Small parts go in my pockets, if I buy more then I can carry, I put it in the shopping cart and the truck, at home I can unload as I please. BTW, I normally make a chopping trip to shop and don't shop 'by accident'. No plastic bag, please.

Back to the Winter 16/17, it is officially over now, but in Alberta one never knows.

Cheers, :) Joerg

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Allen Dick
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Allen Dick » April 9th, 2017, 7:06 am

Ten days of winter were in 2016.
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » April 15th, 2017, 6:13 pm

Seems like Winter is back, at least in central Alberta. I've got 6" of snow on the ground and lots melted yesterday. Bees haven't even poked their heads outside for 3 days. Forecast to go to -10C tonight. It has snowed all day today and got up to -1C for a high.
April can be the cruellest month.
Best to all,
Brian

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Countryboy
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Countryboy » April 15th, 2017, 8:15 pm

It was 80 degrees today. I was sweating pretty good in a t-shirt doing some stuff.

The bees were flying, and have been bringing in lots of pollen and some nectar too. They are really starting to brood up good.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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BDT123
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » April 21st, 2017, 8:18 pm

Tons of pollen coming in here! Mostly willow and Aspen, some flowers now. Dandelions just starting.
Big hive is getting bigger daily. I take off the reducer when the sun is shining, put it back on for the evening. We have 4 days of inclement weather forecast.
New packages and one new queen are due on Thursday, 27th. Should be warm enough by then. If not, my loss I guess. Wish me luck. Lots of drawn comb and some honey stores for the new ones. Should be ok.
Split on the big hive may be tricky. Only supposed to get to + 13 on Thursday. WTH, wish me luck! Queen is coming no matter what!! What was I thinking? Seemed good a month ago when I did the order!
All the best to you beeks!
Brian

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BDT123
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » April 23rd, 2017, 8:50 pm

Well, since April is the cruellest month, we woke up to 5 " of fresh wet snow.
My bees now live in a swamp! What is usually a nice dry area is inundated with melt-water. Most unusual.
We have 2 more cold wet days forecast and I have packages of bees arriving on Thursday. Yikes!
I have a drier, sunnier spot ready for the newbs and a couple brand new hive stands. The tough old 'swamp' bees will have to wait for drier weather to get re-located.
After getting them through this crazy winter I didn't think I'd have to offer swimming lessons!
Hope all y'all are doing ok. It's starting to seem hectic around here.
Brian

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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » April 24th, 2017, 2:33 am

Yep, weather's a little nuts here too. Been cold and wet, even a little snow last week. Yesterday afternoon was nice but it's only 35 this morning. Might get no rain today, maybe tomorrow, then it will start again and go through all of next week...that's what the LR forecast says anyway.

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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Jiminycric » April 25th, 2017, 5:44 pm

BDT123 wrote:
April 23rd, 2017, 8:50 pm
We have 2 more cold wet days forecast and I have packages of bees arriving on Thursday. Yikes!
My packages came in on good friday. I hope this weather does not affect them too bad. Sigh, they had a really good start this year from my last hive last year! I really want the new bees to do really well this year!
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- Jiminycric
Strathmore, Alberta

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Countryboy
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Countryboy » April 25th, 2017, 7:40 pm

In Allen's diary, he has pictures of installing packages in the snow. As long as the bees have feed, they will do fine. (Combs of honey make a good way to feed packages.)
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Allen Dick
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by Allen Dick » April 25th, 2017, 8:26 pm

True. The worst thing is hive packages on a warm day. They drift and get lost. A cool evening followed by a cool day is best to let them settle. Put them on drawn comb with some honey and pollen, reduce the entrances and make sure the lids seal well and they will be happy.
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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » April 25th, 2017, 9:00 pm

Thanks guys, my packages arrive Thursday. I was stressing about the cool weather but have stores from my starve-out from February. I think this will go ok.
Nice to get feedback from pros.
Brian

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Re: Winter 2017

Unread post by BDT123 » May 3rd, 2017, 6:26 pm

OK, I'm not saying we won't get another snowfall, but I think real Winter is over here. We got to 21 C today and bees are dragging in tons of pollen. Forecast is for 24 C tomorrow, 29C Friday, 24C Saturday. Sweet.
Willow, Aspen, Poplar, hazelnut, and other shrubs are blooming. Dandelions really just getting started.
Optimism! Huzzah!
Best to all,
Brian

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