Sunday July 20th 2014
I'm caught up and have the day off. Yesterday's post was quite interesting, but has scrolled off this page. I put a lot of work into it. If foundation interests you, check back there.
We had more rain last night, and today promises to be cooler than recent days.
What does this mean for our bees? Well, by mid-September, the more conservative queens will be shutting down, so we now have only two months to get our smaller hives built up to wintering condition. Wintering condition involves two things: population numbers and the condition of each individual bee.
For our bees here in Central Alberta, we can expect another month of flow and perhaps two.
We now have to start thinking of winter and the time for splitting is over.
The time for combining down poor hives is coming. although we may have flows into mid-October, some years there is nothing after August 20th in Central Alberta.
* * * * *
I had been thinking of going up to Gull lake, but think I may just stay here and get a few jobs done. At the moment I hear rain outside the window.
* * * * *
I've been playing with the page layout and graphics. It's fun, but I am not at all sure what the effect is. Brickbats or Bouquets? Comment in the forum.
I decided to clean house today and one job I have put off is getting rid of Ellen's clothes. She had a lot of very nice clothes. I offered them to friends and family and donated some already and now just have what's left. I have wanted to get this job done and the bedroom cleared out before the family comes in August. I bagged things up and sorted as I went, checking pockets, too. I'm petty well done now, but found the job exhausting.
Tonight, I am expecting a beekeeper to come for some bees around 1900. The day was rainy, but turned sunny mid-afternoon. I see bees robbing lightly on the truck at the north door.
Before they came, I checked the foundation test hive. At this point in time, Acorn is winning. These are two centre frames and the same visible difference extends out from centre each direction.
Pierco at left, Acorn at right.
As far as cell bottom shape or size is concerned, I can't say I see much difference between the two when looking straight down in a close-up.
From watching the bees draw out the initial wax coat into cells, though, it appears that the thinner, sharper stub wall in Pierco requires more wax to achieve the same cell depth as the bees can build on the broader bases which already have the bulk from the design.
I was afraid the cell wall bases might be too wide in Acorn, but it appears that on Pierco, the bees employ some of the wax coat to widen the bases to the same width, requiring more wax. (See close-ups above).
Actually, looking back, the opposite side was favoured in the box I took off that was all Pierco. I repeat that shot again here.
A man who carries a cat by the tail
learns something he can learn in no other way."
Monday July 21st 2014
I've been spending a lot of time writing lately and turned out some pretty interesting work, if I do say so myself. Today, I propose to try to keep away from the keyboard and do 'real things' That is not to say I won't be answering email to doing a little last-minute bookwork, but I'm taking the day off diarizing.
Today my goals are
That's it. people who know say that the way to achieve in life is to set one main goal for each day and achieve it. If other things distract, then avoid them if possible. Of course this conflicts with the second secret to my happy life: "Be ready for anything and always answer when opportunity knocks".
That's why I only follow one rule: "Break every rule".
(I hope the recursive humour in the forgoing rule is obvious).
* * * * *
This morning, I closed the windows and started the furnace. It was 62 degrees in here and cool and cloudy out.
After lunch, I went down to the Swalwell Hall to talk about the memorial plans. It all seems cut and dried.
Now I have to go to town to see the accountant at 15:30. I'll take some clothes for the donation bin.
In the meantime, I have promised myself and readers that I would do an alcohol wash.
I might be able to kid myself along, but can't let folks down, so I plan to go out and do three hives.
I was hoping for zeros, but the first one shook out two mites. The next one showed five, plus the two already in the jar from the previous hive and this is still July. That computes to 0.3% and ~1% if I actually shook 300 bees and I was not too careful about that seeing as I was ballparking the question and these readings are approximations at best of times. They only become truly meaningful when a number of samples are combined.
Now what? Looks like a fall treatment coming up for sure.
* * * * *
I drove to Three Hills and went to the accountant's office. While I was waiting for him to be free, Nick called. He was worried how my test had come out. I reassured him that his product seems to be at least as good as Pierco and perhaps better at this stage. He was also concerned about warping and has his team working hard on that problem. I told him that if he can solve it, he will have a clear winner.
My analysis of the cause of warping is the lesser mass and therefore faster cooling rate in the frames' foundation surface compared to the surrounding frame itself.
My guess is that the foundation sets first, then the frame, being more massive, sets up a bit later. As the frame cools, it shrinks. This shrinking squeezes the already hardened and set up foundation around the edge, causing it to bow out to the side.
It's that simple. If the frame solidified and cooled first, then the foundation would be cooling under tension not compression, resulting in a flat surface.
After supper, I went out and observe little difference in the foundation drawing progress on the test hives. We have not had a flow the past two days, so the test hive has done very little more, and the other two hives have not yet begun to work on the foundation in the fourth boxes.
Two out of three ain't bad.
Parents were invented
to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
Tuesday July 22nd 2014
I slept in until almost 0900 and am feeling much better today. I don't know what hit me over the past few days, but I was feeling weird and having some vision issues. Today all that is gone.
I have the day in front of me.
I began with answering email and one was from a sailor putting together a crew for September. I recall I am speaking at the BCHPA on the 25th through 27th and also considering Western Apicultural Society (WAS).
I could not recall the WAS dates, so started looking them up and found the WAS has no dedicated web site. I've flogged them for that before, so grabbed the bull by the horns and registered http://westernapiculturalsociety.com/. Now I have made more work for myself, but I am hoping some qualified volunteer steps up.
Here, back in the so-called real world at Swalwell, Alberta, I look away from the screens and see a sunny , cool, breezy day outside. I should set some priorities. How about
In the back of my mind is the matter of varroa loads, but they are not an immediate problem. Having found a 1% infestation after sampling only two hives, I have to ask myself, "what are the odds I hit the worst case right off?"
If my sampling had been random, the answer would be, "Not likely", but I did pick the two strongest looking hives, so the odds are better, however my SWAG is that there must be several hives with worse loads -- somewhere.
Should I test further now? My answer is, not until I am ready to do something about the problem. The hives should be OK for a month or so, but I should plan on pulling the honey by late August and sampling and treating again at that time.
Someone asked if I am seeing Apivar resistance and I referred to this previous diary entry with comments on that question. I have also contacted Medhat.
Frankly, I doubt it, but have no easy explanation.
I didn't get out of the house until 1300. When I did, I changed the arrangement of frames in the test hive so that Acorn and Pierco are alternating.
BTW, here is what Nick says:
1/16" is 0.0625" and the current warpage measures about
3/16" or 0.19" and 0.08 is a little less than half the current warping.
The afternoon was spent vacuuming and sorting books and magazines. I'm throwing lots of books out, but keeping the bee magazines. I figure someone collects them. I've seen ads for specific copies. I must have a stack seven feet tall.
I also threw out more of Ellen's clothes and things. I'm down the scarves, gloves and shoes-- and sweaters. It is a hard, hard job as all these things are perfectly good and were prized. Besides, each has a memory for me. I got it done.
Parents were invented
to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
Wednesday July 23rd 2014
Today, I have to be out the door by 0645 to be at my eye doctor's at 0845. I had eye problems the other day and felt it best to see him. My eyes are just fine today (wouldn't you know) and I could have cancelled, but figure eyesight is nothing to trifle with.
Today promises to be hot. That always presents a problem with the dog. She hates to be left home, but If I take her along, I have to worry about keeping her in the shade or somehow keeping the van cool. She starts to cough if the temperature gets over about 25 degrees C.
I drove to Calgary during rush hour and arrived in plenty of time, having allowed two hours and fifteen minutes to drive the seventy-five miles.
I'm selling a hive in four boxes with honey already in the supers tomorrow, so I have to go out and find one tonight.
I thought I'd better test for varroa. I did, and shook a zero. (at right). Bonus!
This hive has four boxes of drawn comb and about 130 pounds of honey.
The equipment I sell is the same equipment I use and some boxes and frames may be brand new, and some older, but all are sound. It is like buying a bag of oranges or a sack of onions. There is some variation
My front walk looks especially bad and I am increasingly noticing that it is slanting and cracking. I think I'll pour a new one over top. That should be about a day's work unless I get creative and try to change the design.
It's funny how we get used to things. When we moved here 46 years ago, the sidewalk was only twelve years old and like new. gradually over time, it has cracked, sagged and broken up.
I am really happy with these EPS boxes. I still have a lot of wood boxes and use them, but although I used them by the thousands over the last four decades, they seem strange and unnatural to me. As I have said before, I don't much care for wooden frames any more either.
I corrected, clarified, and added a bit to the posts from recent days today.
Every journalist has
a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
Thursday July 24th 2014
Today, I have a customer coming at 0700 so she can get the hive home before the day gets warm and the bees wake up.
My customer came and we weighed and loaded the hive. It weighed 215 lbs. I had intended to load the hive in one piece, but without the forklift, we decided to load the hive onto the truck one box at a time.
The bees were already awake. I had worked the hive with smoke and no veil last night. but I guess they had the night to contemplate the events of the evening and were on guard.
All went well when I lifted the first three top boxes off, but when I got down to lift the last (bottom) box I was a little careless and I got a faceful of bees. Fortunately, most of them did not sting, but I got enough stings to slow me down for a moment while I found a veil.
I spent the day cleaning house and throwing things out.
I was never much good at throwing things away. I hate to just throw useful items into the trash and recycling is a real hassle. I have books and magazines that are of no use to me -- and probably anyone -- and called the recycling depot see if they take them. They say, yes, but they must be sorted according to various criteria.
Progress is slow. I could just throw all the papers and books into a bin and be done with it, but my nature is to look at things as I go and sometimes I find myself reading a few pages in books and magazines. The time consumed by browsing adds up.
Fen, Bert, Maddie and Elijah came for supper. I cooked a bean stew and ribs. Bert brought some of his saskatoons. His berry crop is ready
Life is just one damned
thing after another.
July 25th 2014
I closed the windows last night and had started the furnace the other day. Today, the weather is overcast and breezy. It looks like a good day to work indoors.
Not a good day to have a new strong hive of bees on your acreage, apparently:
This is one aspect of selling strong hives I had not considered. People who have only had experience with weak hives may be surprised.
They say they are on an acreage. If so, then there should be no problem after the bees settle in. I mowed all around, and right next to, that same hive and other hives in the group the previous week wearing no veil. There was no chasing. I even bumped against them with my tractor and 52" mower and the grass clippings landed on entrances with no response!
These folks are in the foothills and an in an area that is not normally considered good bee range. They have a good microclimate from what I was able to ascertain in conversation, though.
* * * * *
I spent the day doing the sort of small tidying jobs that aren't really obvious, but have to be done from time to time.
I should do one thing that makes a difference. I think I'll change the bearing on the Crossbow sailboat trailer after supper.
Don't go around saying
the world owes you a living.
Saturday July 26th 2014
I did not work on the Crossbow sailboat trailer after supper. I spent the evening studying apnea again.
This morning, I awoke at 0400 and realised that I would not sleep unless I got up for a while. That happens and there is no sense fighting it. Reading the CPAP machine's data card card in Sleepyhead software, I see I have some sleep events again. Go figure. One thing that has changed in the past few days is that I have closed windows and started the furnace. Allergies??
Breakfast is at The Mill at 0830. I'm going, assuming I get up in time. I'll have a cuppa coffee, then back to bed.
What the heck. I think I'll have breakfast, too. I'll be ready for another by 0830.
* * * * *
I went back to sleep and woke at 0800. Zip and I drove to The Mill and had a long breakfast with the usual gang and drove home.
Arriving home, I stopped in the Quonset yard and saw bees hanging at the entrances, so placed six boxes of foundation on the strong hives and decided to mow grass, seeing as the mower was in the Quonset. I did a bit and the motor quit. The mower was out of gas. I had thought that I left it with a half tank. Hmmm.
After lunch, I went back out and worked through nine hives, removing seven boxes of honey. Two hives, I combined down with others as they apparently had no queen and it is getting too late to try to requeen them.
I quit around 1730, did nothing all evening, and went to bed early.
Don't go around saying
the world owes you a living.
Sunday July 27th 2014
I got back out to work on the bees. I'm pulling out honey and replacing it with supers of foundation.
I did an alcohol wash on another hive as I was working and got another zero. (Right). I tend to forget to do the test unless I put the shaker right in my path so that I can't help but remember.
My varroa tally now: 2,5,0, & 0.
That varroa average is much better than the first two tests suggested. Some scatter is to be expected, and the hives with higher counts are more at risk now and during winter, but I am seeing the entire outfit is not too bad -- if the trend continues.
I had a nap, then went out again at 1600. The sun was still hot, but I did a few more hives, then quit to do some lawn mowing. I can ride the tractor that when it is too hot to work long on the bees. I've considered building a sun shade for it, but I have a lot of low tree branches that grab my hat when I pass and an umbrella would have issues, too.
After supper, I did some more yard tidying and mowed grass until the gasoline ran out. I had siphoned some from the yard truck yesterday, but only got a few gallons before the siphon sucked air.
Jon and Kalle come on Thursday morning at 1025. That gives me three more days until they arrive.
I don't really need to do the work I am doing with the bees. I could just stack on boxes, but at some point, I'll have to remove honey. I'm doing it now because I am moving from four-way pallets to floors in rows and removing fat combs to get them uncapped and flattened.
Fat combs result from
Fat combs are unsuited to use in brood chambers and passing them through an uncapper can make a huge difference. Alternately, we can use a cappings scratcher to liquefy the fat parts, but then wax and honey runs all over. The simplest solution is to uncap them in a machine or with a knife and extract them
I have fifteen heavy boxes of honey ready to extract. I don't have a forklift, so I'll have to hand-bomb them onto a pallet and drive them over. I reckon I'll wait until I have at least twenty-four and maybe thirty. Each box weighs seventy-five pounds, I'm guessing. My truck can carry three thousand pounds, and that would be forty boxes, but that is getting to be a big load.
Forty boxes is three and a third extractor loads and takes less than an hour to run though the 120-frame system. If my guess is right, that truckload would yield 2,400 pounds of honey and wax.
* * * * *
In the evening, I watched what appears to be the last episode of The Guardian. I could see the plot devolving over the past several episodes and wondered where they could go with it as they painted the characters into corners.
The conclusion looked preordained and I suppose that maybe this was a series that was written with a final episode pre-planned and designed to go a certain distance and quit, like Life on Mars.
I don't really trust
a sane person.
Monday July 28th 2014
First thing today, I have to go to the cemetery and place a flag so Remco can find Ellen's grave an put up the stone.
Then, off to town to get the books back from the accountant and pay my taxes. I get to pay taxes this year. Yay! That means I must be doing OK.
Actually, looking at the forecast, I think I'll go to town in the heat of the day and get things done here at home in the cool part of the day.
I have to find an 18-foot plank and a level, and use them to locate a suitable spot in the yard for the pool, then set it up and fill it so the water can warm up in this expected hot weather.
At left is a shot of the drill bit I use to make the 1" holes in all my brood chambers. It is turned either by a cordless drill or a brace (as in brace and bit).
I have a hole in the front and also the back of every brood box so that the boxes can be rotated 180 degrees when desired and also so that a flight hole can be allowed at either front or back or both.
These holes can be used to provide winter ventilation or to manage flight from nucs and full-sized hives. By opening and closing the appropriate front and back holes, bees can be encouraged or discouraged to enter or exit a nuc placed on top of a hive.
When introducing a queen into a nuc on top, losing the older bees can help with acceptance. That is easily done by closing the front hole and opening the back hole. The experienced flying bees will be frustrated when they return to their habitual entrance and migrate to the hole immediately below the nuc and go into the main hive below. Young bees will exit the rear and orient there.
Auger holes also are useful to ensure that the bees in the upper boxes in multi-storey hives in spring are aware of the outdoor conditions and can exploit good weather. It gives them a window so they can look out and not have to walk all the way down to the bottom entrance. Bees hate to walk.
* * * * * *
I decided to do some yard jobs, including setting up the pool. In my search for flat spots, I found myself looking at the trailer I use to haul trash to the dump. It was sitting on a flat spot and I have been intending to move it anyhow, so I hooked up the 4X4 and pulled it out.
When I stopped at the air hose to check the trailer tires, I left the door open so I could continue to hear the radio, but the key alert chime was driving me crazy, as it has since I bought the truck two years and 4,500 miles ago.
Every time I am listening to the radio and want to leave the driver's door open while I work near the truck, the chime makes listening difficult. I know the key is in the ignition. How else could the radio be on? Why should my truck be bossing me around?
I decided to fix the problem and the answer turned out to be simple. Of course, however, I did not go directly to the solution. I took the long way around. At the time it looked like the direct route, but until I asked Google, I was in the dark.
There is a feeler wire that slips onto the the key switch. It has a whisker that feels for the presence of a key. It slips off easily and I pulled it off left it dangling -- and the problem was solved. I suppose I could also have filed a notch in all my keys.
Anyhow, these apparently simple jobs always take far longer than each actual fix takes. Since I started by looking for the door switch (which must be some sort of proximity detector since I never found a switch) I found myself checking to learn why the speaker in the driver's door does not work. I proved the speaker is OK, and the problem must be a connection inside the truck. That's a job for another day.
I also spent a while looking to see why the lumbar support adjustment on the driver's seat does not work. Google was a big help: 1999 Manual Lumbar FIX - F150 online Forums. One more job for the future.
I managed to use up three hours doing almost nothing, but I am pleased with myself. After that, I moved the trailers out of the yard so I can do more yard cleanup and mowing.
Next: a trip to Three Hills for mower gas and to pay my taxes.
I drove to town and did the chores, then came back home. The day is heating up and I always worry about taking Zip with me, but she wants to go. When she gets hot, she coughs. I wonder what's up with that.
I mowed grass until the oil light came on and I got off. I'll check it out when the machine cools down. I was mowing very heavy growth, so maybe the oil just got thin. Or, Maybe it is just due for an oil change.
I've changed the oil faithfully and the machine is only three years old. (or is it four now?) I did notice a slight leak at the drain, last time I changed the oil, but I check the level every time I start the mower (almost) and it has not been dropping..
Tonight, I finally got around to calling to reserve a hotel for the BCHPA Conference and the reservation agent asked me if I had been to the Delta Airport before. "Yes", I said, "Thirty-two years ago". Time flies.
Dewey Caron, Marla Spivak, Eric Mussen, and Medhat,Jean-Marc and Shelley Hoover are on the same programme. I see that on the programme I have been awarded a doctorate.
I have given two
cousins to war and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife's brother.
Tuesday July 29th 2014
I lifted a lid to check, but was driven off and I'll check them for progress this morning.
Speaking of defensive bees, I wrote the customer asking if there were any further issues and received no response, so I gather the issue was temporary. Bees always inspect their new environment closely after being moved to a strange location, as do cattle -- or for that matter, people.
Elijah came over at 0800 an was out gardening when I went out to mow grass. I mowed until 1030. The oil light I saw last night was just a reminder that comes on every 50 hours to remind me to change the oil. I had changed the oil at the end of last season, so it is fine.
Today, I mostly cut grass. The day is very warm and I am not feeling very energetic.
Well, the problem is solved, sorta. She is bringing the hive back for a refund, less a restocking fee to cover wear and tear, the effort of preparing it and loading, etc.
Seems there are worries about the neighbours and family, etc. I thought she would be up for it, but I guess anyone who has only had a small hive finds a production hive scary. It's the difference between a cute, harmless calf and a full-grown cow or bull.
I happened by the South of the Hedge Yard and see the bees found it hot today, too. Guess which end of the row is open to flight and closer to the flowering crop, and which end is near a tall hedge.
All in all, today was not what I had expected. Oh, well.
Blessed is he who
expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Wednesday July 30th 2014
Here comes another hot, hot day. I'm up at 0600 and going out shortly to assemble the pool before things heat up. The water will be chilly until it warms up, so the sooner I fill it, the better.
At 1300, it's filling at a rate of five inches an hour and standing at eighteen inches, so should be full by suppertime. The temperature of the water is 15 C or about fifty-eight degrees F, I'm hoping it will warm in the hot sun. I'm going to need to be really, really hot to go in unless it is near twenty Celsius or seventy Fahrenheit.
It is getting hot, though. I'm not used to temperatures in the eighties in the house. I do know that if I go into that cold water, I'll be cool for an hour after, so I may just do that.
I have some tidying to do today to get ready for Jon and Kalle tomorrow. There is not much, but Saturday, the Wickenedens arrive and the Piirtoniemis...
I should really go out and put on a few more boxes. I looked into the bearded hives yesterday and some are not up into the top box yet, but the bees in front suggest crowding, even with the top holes open.
I see that the top box is about complete, and I have to put boxes on, sooooo... I took the plunge.
Otherwise I was too hot to work. The water is chilly, but bracing!
This cold plunge reminds me how we set up a honey tank full of cold water next to the deck for the extracting crew to jump into when they got too hot back when we were extracting all summer. The tank was seven feet deep and we had a step ladder to climb out. Crude, but effective!
We also had a 3' x 10' horse watering trough set up in the days when Jean was little and she used to splash around happily on hot days.
I went out and pulled five boxes of honey, stopping to take a dip in the pool three times. It's cold. The pool is now within a foot of being full.
At 1900, the pool is full and I have adjusted the chemicals -- and been in and out at least six times. It's over thirty outdoors and over eighty F in the house, but I am cool and comfortable. When I start to sweat I go in again.
After supper, I pressure-washed the north and front steps and walk. I figure I'll probably cast new concrete over top, but for now they really needed cleaning. The recent wind and hail storm covered them with needles and cones.
Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt
I am expecting to be unloading a hive this morning around 0800. My customer decided to return the hive and I agreed to take it back, minus a restocking charge. I'm crazy, I know, but I'm soft-hearted. The whole thing has been time consuming and turned into a bit of a farce. Apparently the buyers were not ready for a real hive of bees.
From the last correspondence, there were indeed eggs in the hive, and once I got to thinking about it, I wondered what in the world they were doing working through the entire four-box hive frame by frame shortly after taking it home.
It also turned out they had no more boxes to put on the hive. It was full of honey and half done the fourth when it left here, as they requested,. That hive could finish that box in one good day of honeyflow. She says there are queen cells in the hive. When I heard the whole story, and thought about it, I'm not surprised. I doubt they'll swarm, though.
As for temper, yesterday afternoon I pulled honey out of sister hives right where it had been, hives with the same number of bees and supers, with bare hands and without a veil and only a bit of smoke, so if it is a cross hive, I'll be surprised.
I know that hive stung me a few times as I loaded it onto their truck, but I had examined the entire hive frame by frame before the sale, moved the hive across the yard, bumped it as we put it on the scale, and lastly, disassembled it and loaded it onto their truck box by box --all this without a veil. Then I carelessly moved too quickly when loading the last (bottom) box without using smoke and some flew up in my face. A few got into my hair and I got a sting or two on the neck. I'd have stung me too. I deserved it for being so stupid.
I'll bet the hive will be a bit grumpy, though, for a day or two after the ride there, being disassembled and reassembled, then trucked back. I'll be interested to see.
After that job is done, I have to pick up Jon and Kalle at YYC.
It's 0134 as I finish this and get ready to go back to bed. The temperature is over 20 degrees C, so I imagine the pool will have warmed somewhat by tomorrow afternoon.
* * * * *
I'm up early and finished breakfast. The temperature is 16° C.
Most of the honey I removed yesterday was taken by shaking frames one by one. I don't worry about shaking all the bees as the others leave after a few minutes, but I want to be sure I don't take the queen way. She might not find her way back.
At the end of the job, I left two full boxes tipped up to allow the bees to abandon. Since I don't have excluders in the hives, I am concerned that I might lift a queen off with the super, so I smoke gently a number of times before removing the box and wait to give the bees and queen time to go down, then leave the box until the bees are gone.
If I see a cluster in one of these boxes when I return, indicating a queen or brood, I know which hive I got it from and will return the bees or brood there.
At this time of year, I can leave the boxes standing on end for days without anything bothering them. We often left them overnight in the outyards before returning to pick them up back when we were commercial beekeepers.
* * * * *
Well, the 'grumpy' hive is back, weighing about the same as when it left. The hives here made a lot of honey while it was gone. When we unwrapped it , the bees seemed just fine. I had to lift it down from the truck one box at a time and I see that the frames have been rearranged and boxes seem to have been exchanged. Oh, well.
Were they vicious? Not particularly. Bees came out when I separated boxes to lift them down, but returned to the hive. I didn't need much smoke. I worked with bare hands, but wore a veil this time.
They seem just like any hive of bees to me. We'll see.
* * * * *
I met Jon and Kalle at YYC, right on time and we drove to Crossiron Mall for a snack. Jon had an hour-long conference call in the van while Kalle and I wandered around, then we bought groceries and drove home.
At home, I changed to my swim suit and went outside. Curious about its temper, I stood in front of the 'grumpy' hive a while and watched it work, then had a dip in the pool nearby. The water is still chilly at 18 C, but most refreshing.
The hive? It was just like any other hive and took no notice of me and my almost naked body, sweaty from the van ride (the air conditioning has stopped working completely now) standing there, six feet directly in front of the entrance. If it is grumpy, then all my hives are grumpy.
I have yet to pick up those two supers of honey tipped up on the hives. (Above).
I am still adjusting the pool chemistry (right). It takes a while to get everything stable. The test panels are shown at right.
The quickest way to
a man's heart really is through his stomach,