Wednesday July 1st 2015
Canada Day, eh?
Canada Day is starting off cool and breezy, so I had breakfast, read the news and went back to bed.
I had thought to go kitesurfing today, but since I don't have a wetsuit, that is probably not a great idea.
My alternate plan was to work through beehives, but that is on hold as it is pouring rain. We have had a half-inch since midnight.
First, after the rain quit, in my continuing effort to eliminate exceptions I screwed a few more slats on the remaining floors that are still lacking runners. There will be a few more slat-less floors showing up as I work through the last of the hives, but once the hives are all on identical floors, life will be much easier.
I'll be able to move hives around to mow and to padgen* them as needed and loading will be simpler. One thing that made me decide to go to this expense and bother was the thought of loading 40 hives onto a trailer by hand, and not being able to use a dolly. The other incentive was the out of control grass and weeds among the hives. I find working in a neat environment much easier and being able to move the hives periodically makes mowing easier.
After lunch, I went out and worked bees for an hour, going through a dozen hives in the North Yard and marking them. I combined several and straightened the row a bit.
The day has turned warm and breezy and it would be a perfect day to be windsurfing or kiting, but I want to get this bee work done, plus, I have to get a wetsuit or lose twenty pounds first so I can wear my old one.
I went out again before supper and worked through more hives.
The one at left is a Pierco one-piece and the one at right is is a wood frame with plastic insert. The two shots are cropped so that the outer edges of the frames occupy the same area in the image.
To me the difference is obvious. The wood frame wastes a lot of space on useless support material that interferes with the brood rearing. The plastic frame provides far more comb area.
The biggest drawback to one-piece plastic has been the bowed surface typical of Pierco frames for many years now, but after examining more and more Acorn frames, I am fairly well convinced that Nick has conquered the warping problem. I now recommend Acorn and do not any longer recommend Pierco, although I would choose Pierco above wood frames.
I don't much like the Mann Lake one-piece frames I have either, but they are years old and may not represent the current production. I don't know. I do know, though that PF100s have 5.0 mm cells (they claim 4.9) that are a bit too small for EHB and tend to be poorly drawn by my bees.
So far, I have only worked 15 hives today. At this rate, I'll never be done, so I am headed back out. I'd like to finish the North Yard -- approximately thirty hives.
So far, I have shipped 33 hives and have another ten ready to go out of sixty-nine promised.
I finished around 2030, tidied up, and had a swim, then came in for the day. At 2100, it is still bright and sunny out.
The best way out is always through
Thursday July 2nd 2015
Hives are leaving the yard daily now. The flow is beginning and it is time for people to pick up their hives before they need more boxes and before they get to heavy to handle..
After one day of watching what I eat and, of course working in the yards for five hours in the heat, I appear to be five pounds lighter and my blood sugar, normally OK, is lower.
All this, just to get into my wetsuit?
Generally, flies in the house are a sign that the honeyflow is on. I also see yellow starting in the nearby fields and the bees are beginning to beard a bit again. It is time for the main flow, which generally starts now and gets going in earnest in a week or so.
I should really have gone out and started on the bees, but I first worked on the pool. I had found out by searching that the only way to get rid of the wispy debris in the pool bottom is to vacuum it out and discard it, so I rigged a siphon, vacuumed the bottom and it worked! I also lost very little water.
I then made a bean stew. When I say bean stew, the recipe calls for whatever is in the fridge, with three cans of beans, a can of corn, and a can of diced tomatoes as base. Added to that are diced carrots, beets, celery, onions, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, cauliflower, red cargo rice, turnip...
Bean stews are the staple of my diet. I make a big pot and keep it in the fridge. It lasts well over a week and makes a quick snack, or even a meal.
I called friends and invited them for burgers tonight. I have a customer coming, but that should not take long.
Now, at 1110, time for the bees.
I visited the South of the Hedge Yard and checked the hives. There are 13 hives there now, including two that are raising queens.
The new queens are coming on well. I find my queens from walk-away splits to be the most reliable. Oftentimes purchased queens are not accepted or disappear after a while.
Now for the Quonset Yard. It's now 1312 -- almost solar noon -- so we will see how long I last.
I invited the Usual Suspects for burgers tonight and figure on making a run to town before suppertime.
I went back out until, just before around 1500, I was feeling hot and faint so I quit and went for a dip. The pool is staying clean. Vacuuming worked.
I then came in and checked my blood sugar. It measured 4.5 (US 82), which is about as low as it goes for me. I had a snack of stew and some nuts and have to get back out. I still don't have the hive for tonight. I am finding everything except a strong single with enough brood in all stages. The singles I have left -- that are not made into doubles -- have new queens and too .little brood or are plugged out. I may have to break down a double.
I have to go to town soon, too, so this is it. If I can't find one in the next ten minutes, I'll make one.
* * * *
It will be a small group tonight, so I skipped the ride to town and worked more hives. I found what I needed for tonight's pickup. I am also finding that the queenless colonies have almost all made queens or queens have drifted in.
Fen, Betty, and Elijah came and Barb tagged along with Elijah to tell me about an anniversary celebration Saturday at the Hall.
We ate outside and after Elijah and Barb left, a customer came for a hive. That took only a few moments. Fen, Betty and I chatted a while, then Fen and I had a swim. The water was 24 degrees, but when the sun is not overhead anymore, 24 degrees is not all that warm and we only stayed in for a few minutes. There is not that much for adults to do in a 9' x 18' pool although kids can be entertained for hours.
Love is a better teacher than duty.
Friday July 3rd 2015
Garry and I are going Bobcat shopping today. Fen has decided the Mill's tractor is not up to the various jobs they have for it and that they need something that can lift bales and also clear snow, so the millwright and I are off to see what we can find. I'm to be at The Mill at 1030.
I have 10 strong singles to prepare for tomorrow, plus another ten or so doubles. It is 0620 and I intend to get out and see what I can do.
What I did find was a picture of what the pond looked like fifteen years ago (above right). In that time, the trees and bushes have grown, the shed as disappeared, and the west end of the quonset has collapsed. Duckweed has taken over the pond as well (a current picture is at lower right).
Photography and web technology have changed a lot as well.
As I write this, I hear the sounds of crop dusters spraying crops nearby. For what, I don't know, but I never like to hear that sound. Nonetheless, in recent years, I have not noticed any damage to the bees from spraying. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
I went out around 0830 and the bees were not too bad at all. I worked through four hives before I had to quit at 1000 to go to The Mill. By then, it was getting pretty hot, so I had a swim and a rest.
I got to The Mill a bit late, but Garry was ready and we drove to Innisfail to look at skid steers.
The first one we looked at appeared a bit small and used up, but the second one was pretty good. It has 8200 hours, but sounded fine, had no obvious leaks and obviously had been well-maintained and kept indoors. Garry bought it and we returned to The Mill where I dropped him off, picked up Zippy who had stayed there while we went shopping, and drove home.
Now, at 1530, I am thinking of going back out. I have six more hives to prepare for tomorrow night and it is time to super everything as well. The flow is on.
I decided instead to have a nap and wait for the sun to get lower in the sky. I can work until 2100, and there is no sense wearing myself out in the heat.
I went back out and worked a bit at 1830, then had a swim and went back again and worked until 2115, at which time the sun got close to the horizon and prudence suggested closing the hives.
I managed to finish the Quonset West yard and have seven of the ten hives I need for tomorrow night ready. Working the hives is getting harder because the populations are mushrooming and because the flow has started again, making everything gooey.
I need to get supers onto all the hives, even the little ones. Have I mentioned that I hate honey?
I have forty hives left to work over in the Quonset yard.
If you wish to be out front, then
act as if you were behind.
Saturday July 4th 2015
I slept well and weighed myself on waking. 232.
That is down at least ten pounds from the highest recent reading and maybe more if I go back a few months. It is down four pounds from yesterday, but the numbers are not exact. Rocking around on the scale affects the reading and I can't see the fine gradations on the dial either.
I checked my blood sugar: 5.8.
That is unusually low for me, and approaching ideal. Wow.
I had breakfast and cut back from three eggs to two. It's time to get used to eating less. If I am going to lose 10% of my weight or more, I'll have to get used to eating less.
It seems I am really going to do this. I changed my diet and set up a spreadsheet. The changes are not huge. I know what to do. Don't drink wine or other alcohol, reduce meat consumption, avoid foods made with flour and sugar and eat sensibly.
This the time of year to lose weight. I am physically very active right now and the hot weather suppresses appetite.
From what I read, my ideal weight is somewhere between 133 and 180.
For me, that is unimaginably thin. I have not been down to 185 since the 1970s. This is going to be a psychological challenge. I know I'm not going to like shrinking, and my subconscious autopilot will resist strongly as my weight approaches 200. I'll have an identity crisis if I go under 200.
I'm even going to have trouble believing myself if I get to 210, which seems to me to be a reasonable intermediate goal.
* * * * *
Enough about me. Lets get back to the bees...
Today, I have to get at least another three strong singles ready and this afternoon, I am invited to go to the community hall for an event celebrating the sixtieth? anniversary of the local ladies club.
Tonight several customers come for bees. It should be interesting since bees are now starting to hang out in the evenings and may not stay in too well when travelling.
It is now 0750 and I am going out to work on the bees before the day heats up.
Leaving off the lids did get the bees up. I don't know what other effects it might have had, but the bees that were bearding were inside and several frames were covered with bees. This is a trick I used when making splits and wanting bees to come up through an excluder into the split.
By noon, I've worked through about ten of the remaining forty hives and had three swims. I'm still not quite ready for tonight, however.
At one point, I managed to rile a hive enough that I beat a retreat. They were fine when I returned fifteen minutes later.
I had a nap after lunch and went back out long enough to do another hive or two, then dressed to go to the Hall.
I arrived and looked around, said hello to a few people, then slipped away. There is a program planned, but it is hot in there and I doubt I'd enjoy it, and I am obsessed with getting the bees done so I can go east.
So, I am home again, with time to get back to the bees. The day is overcast and 'only' twenty-five degrees at 1439, so with any luck, I'll get a fair but accomplished. I doubt I'll finish this round today, but if I do, I have only a few more deliveries and supering and I'm done for a while.
I'm hungry. And I'm resisting snacking. My spreadsheet is a very rough approximation, but it tells me how long it will take to get to 210 snack by snack, meal by meal on the assumption that I continue to eat the same as I have from the start of each day. A few bites can move the end date from August to October. I know it is a joke, but playing games with myself keeps me motivated.
It is that time of year and we're discussing frames and foundation and waxing again, so a trip to this page is in order to look at this image (right).
Does waxing make a difference? You betcha!
No matter who you are, no matter
what you did, no matter where you've come from,
you can always change, become a better version of yourself.
Sunday July 5th 2015
Good day. We have a cool day promised, with rain likely. This is a welcome change after the heat of the past week.
My weight is unchanged today but my blood sugar is still lower than usual. Portion control is the secret, it seems.
While checking calories in foods, I came across a website that looks promising, so I signed up. We'll see how it works out. It looks good.
I downloaded the Fatsecret phone app and without the extra allowance added by the exercise which I have yet to do today it agrees with the desktop website base calorie budget, but shows the extra allowance separately from the base budget. I think this is going to work.
If I don't get off my butt, I have only 1290 calories left today. If I do the work I promised myself today, I have another 2,000. I wonder about this. It sounds like a lot compared to other calculations I've done. In time, it will all come clear, I am sure.
I went out when the sun came out and mowed around the hives in the Quonset area and counted hives in all the yards. I am realizing that I have finished the sales for now. There are 24 hives yet to go, but they are ready.
Now I have to decide if I want to sell more and how many.
I have been playing with Fatsecret off and on as I come and go, and my first impressions are that it is the Swiss Army Knife of dieting. It has everything from recipes, nutrient breakdowns to community.
Now back to the salt mine.
The Quonset Yard has 36 hives and I've done about twelve. I'm finding very few queenless hives. It seems that at this time of year queens show up. I am sure most are raised in the hives where I find them, but I also suspect that queens drift in. Could be that they can detect queenless hives.
At 1800, I got tired and came in. I had been working through hives, making the occasional split, and shuffling hives around to neaten the yard and to equalize populations.
All that activity had stirred things up and I figured I should stop confusing things to give them a chance to calm down.
I saw one immature varroa on a drone pupa when separating boxes. That is the first since spring.
I finished the first two rows and there are two left now. All the sold hives are ready to go.
I finished the day on Fatsecret and according to them, I am 2062 calories short of the daily calorie budget (4044) that would reduce me to 210 pounds (It does not say when). Seems squirrelly to me.
Entering everything I eat in to a web page is work, at least at first while I am finding out the calorie load on various foods. The work involved in recording is an actual deterrent to eating.
If this calculator is correct and if I am measuring and finding the right numbers, the prediction is to lose four pounds in a week! That seems extreme, but who knows. I'm not starving and I notice my bee suit fits better today.
That looseness might have to do with the stitching, though. I notice one of my new "Quality Bee Suits" from Beemaid (left) -- worn twelve times and washed as many -- has a hole in the bottom of one pocket already and the zipper has become unstitched for two inches near the top. What can one expect for $44.95?
I used to know how to run the sewing machine and I guess I'll have to pull it out. My mother taught me to sew, knit, and clean house. I was a good student.
You never have to change anything
you got up in the middle of the night to write.
Monday July 6th 2015
I feel great. I went to bed early last night, slept well, and woke up at 0455 this morning, feeling energetic. I've now fulfilled all my commitments for hives although there are a few stragglers and hives left to pick up.
The Calgary Stampede, Calgary's is on until the 12th and I'm wondering if I'll go. The Stampede is Calgary's original claim to fame back when Calgary was a small city and known mainly as "Cow Town" (Toronto was "Hog Town") rather than for being the economic powerhouse of Western Canada,
Last night was the coolest in recent weeks and yesterday there was feeling of fall in the air, even though summer has just begun. Predictions are for a resumption of the heat wave, however.
* * * * *
Nighttime temperatures are a big consideration at this time of year when the bees are up to strength, and beginning to draw foundation readily.
Temperature is a big steering factor, and hive interior temperatures have a strong influence on where the bees will draw foundation and where they will not, as well as how good a job they will do.
You will note that the top of the foundation is drawn best and that is where the heat accumulates above the front and back auger holes in this new box. I had unthinkingly left them open. When there is a breeze, wind can blow right through the box, dissipating the necessary heat. I should plug them.
Yes, I am using EPS boxes for supers. Insulation is beneficial, both summer and winter.
When the hive interior approaches the 95 degree F brood temperature, wax becomes soft and pliable and bees do not have to expend energy staying warm, or for cooling . They can accomplish far more and much more quickly than when temperatures are cooler.
In our climate, cooling is seldom a challenge, and when it is, a good hive can manage it easily with normal bottom entrances and maybe a few auger holes.
If a region of the hive interior cools, however, the bees drawing foundation will retreat to the brood nest and may not return for a while. This is one major reason that ventilation schemes dreamed up in the south that draw air through the hives in ways the bees cannot control easily are not a great idea up here in the north. In some years these schemes may not do damage, but in other years, they can be costly.
Stampede week weather can range widely. I recall years when we wore ski clothes to the Stampede and others when we were baking in shorts and tees.
* * * * *
I plan to finish working through the Quonset yard today and then figure out how many more hives to sell, and begin supering.
By noon, I had only five hives left to look into and took a break and went in for lunch. Just after noon, my phone rang and was my last remaining customer queued for hive pickup. He had three hives on deposit and as hoping he could cancel two because he had reserved them for a friend who had backed out on him.
I told him I'd see if I could find a buyer for him, made a call, and sold them right away, so he is off the hook. I'd have probably let him off anyhow, but don't get any ideas.
I had been dog-tired since I came in at noon, so I lay down for a nap and fell into deep, deep slumber for an hour and a half, finally awakening at 1500.
I suppose I am relived that I finally am finished (almost) the worst of the bee work. I sat down and counted up the hives from my notes and see that I now have 31 hives with no queen, 23 that I rate weak, and 7 that I rate as strong. The total is 61. The queenless hives are raising queens -- I hope. I have a few swarms, too.
This is a rough count and subject to recounting after I finish, but I am guessing that if I don't sell more, I'll have about fifty after the dust settles. Is that too many? Probably.
Tomorrow night two people are coming to pick up hives and Friday the new buyer is coming by.
I went out and finished this round just before a storm moved in. Next, I have to super everything and head east.
I looked under lids of some of the hives I sold that are still here, with the customer's supers on. The supers he supplied are half partly-drawn comb and half foundation. The best one I saw is shown here. Others are just getting going in the supers. As you can see that super is almost full. He is coming for his last twenty hives tomorrow night.
I saw two hives with bad chalkbrood today, sitting side by side, obviously splits from the same hive. That is the one problem with walk-away splits -- no selection . I'll have to requeen these two. I don't want those genes in my population.
When I meet successful people I ask
100 questions as to what they attribute their success to.
Tuesday July 7th 2015
It is 0605. Again, I slept well, and the scale says 230 this morning. I was at 236 just four days ago and I saw 240 and even 245 in preceding weeks. My clothes are falling off me. Hmmm. So far, so good, and I'm not really trying that hard.
I bought an old 4-frame extractor sight unseen from the Calgary Beekeepers list and am off to pick it up this morning. I hope not to use it myself, but figure I can lend it to some of the people who buy bees from me and other newbees.
I had bought and paid $100 for this device sight unseen the instant I saw the ad, and with no more description than "old four-frame extractor". I figured for $100, what have I got to lose? The gas and time to pick it up was worth $100.
When I pulled up, I knew I'd hit the jackpot. I could have purchased anything that met the description, in any condition, but this machine is just as I hoped and just as cherry as the one I used forty years ago to extract my first one hundred hives in an old school bus. I had hung a two-speed furnace fan motor on that one, a simple mod, and run a gas generator outside the bus to power it. These old machines are built to last and one of these things beats the $1,000 Dadant 4 Frame Little Wonder Extractor hands-down.
It can also give the $2,700 Dadant 20 Frame Radial Extractor a run for its money.
I see that there are no lids and people often ran without one. I think I did, actually. I doubt it had lids originally, because the tub is deep enough that spray coming over the top is not an issue, but honey mist can get all over after a while if the machine is run fast, so I may rig lids if I put on a motor. It is just a matter of making two Plexiglas flaps on hinges.
Some people, including the Canadian Food Infection Agency (CFIA) frown on galvanized extractors with lead solder, but the first honey that hits the sides sticks there until the extractor is washed and put away, and the rest of the honey runs down over that honey coating. Even after sitting for weeks, that coating never runs down. It makes and ideal varnish.
Even if it did, I doubt that zinc and lead from the machine would be detectible. Environmental zinc and lead in the nectar would mask that infinitesimal amount, and when we consider how little honey most people eat, any concerns seem to me to be rather hysterical.
I also see that the baskets are slightly bent and there is some rust, but these are minor issues that are easily fixed.
My plan is to lend it to people, and in the back of my mind is to have a "Honey Day' here with honey extracting taking place on the lawn on a day when robbing is not at all likely. We'll see. I am not very happy to have a lot of strangers wandering my place, but I think I could confine things to my North Yard if I built an outhouse. I could also just rent a porta-potty as I did for the memorial last summer.
Was it only last summer? I guess it was.
I had forgotten how much I like driving around in the morning. The new van certainly makes the ride more comfortable.
From Edgewood, I drove to Airdrie and dropped into Lowes and the Dollarama, then Wal-Mart.
Shopping was easy because the stores were almost empty and I did not worry about Zippy in the van because the day was still cool. My habit is to go to town at the end of the day, after the day's work, but I can see this works better and I'm going to go to town earlier in future.
I arrived home at noon and had done all this by the time of day when I am often just pushing away from this desk and thinking of going outside.
* * * * *
I took it easy in the afternoon because I am expecting two customers tonight and Maddy is coming to help with the bees after supper.
Last time we flew the AR Drone, we had a crash from high up in a tree and when I took it out to fly it again the other day, it reported "Motor Error". Google explained that they had become unplugged internally, so I disassembled the thing and put it back together.
The thought of dissecting a high tech toy like this rather daunting, but I figured if kids on the Internet can do it, so can I. After all, I used to repair TVs for a living. Once it was apart, I wondered if I'd ever be able to put all those tiny pieces back where they belong.
My eyes are not as sharp as they once were, and my fingers are big and clumsy, but with reading glasses and a magnifier light, I was successful and the self-test completed with an OK signal.
I took it out to test it and the drone lifted off six inches and flipped. A close examination found that one propeller shaft is bent. I've seen that before and may have the part on hand, but that is for another time.
* * * * *
The frames were last year's honey and partly granulated, but a tangential reversible. can get honey from granulated combs without blowing them up, so we got a half- pail of so-so honey which I gave to Maddy to take home to The Mill and give away. We figured it was $30 worth at bulk price and a lot more at retail, from just six frames and it was easy. What a great machine!
Then the first customer showed up. His veil, smoker and supplies were all unused and in packages, so I lit his smoker, showed him some things and found some frames and boxes for a second.
Then the second customer came for his last twenty hives and loaded up. There is one more coming for one hive tomorrow (I think) and one on Friday, but that is pretty well it. What a relief!
* * * * *
I am now relying exclusively on the Fatsecret website to calculate and record calories.
As much as calorie counting has been denigrated in recent years by the proponents of various fad diets, calorie budgeting, like money budgeting just works. Moreover, calorie budgeting is the actual underlying explanation for any success that the fad diets achieve. What more is there to say?
Regardless of what a person eats, adding calories will increase weight and decreasing calories will reduce weight. This basic principle seems to be far too simple for most people and therefore there is an endless market for 'systems' that dwell on slight variations and small exceptions and which promise to suspend the laws of nature, but mostly serve to enrich the promoters and confuse the devotees.
I suppose we could say that selecting foods that achieve nutritional balance, satisfy hunger and are pleasant to eat are also important, but that is another topic. You can gain or lose weight on almost any diet if the [portions are controlled. Some food choices result in less hunger than others, though, and some foods create cravings for more and more food.
After all the dust cleared and everyone left, I sat down to watch Netflix. I've been watching Scrubs, lately. I tired of Grey's Anatomy and other series I watched in recent months. Scrubs is stupid, but funny -- and gentle.
There was a little wine, maybe four ounces, in the bottom of a bottle of merlot and I decided, in spite of my resolution to avoid alcohol while reducing, to finish it off.
Change will not come if we wait for
some other person, or if we wait for some other time.
Wednesday July 8th 2015
At 0405, I woke up and decided I'm not going to sleep, at least for a while and got up, did dishes and had breakfast and coffee. I tidy the kitchen daily but it is amazing how quickly it gets to be a mess, even living alone.
I noticed a little congestion and disturbed sleep overnight and wonder if that small amount of red wine was responsible. Maybe it is just as well to avoid it completely.
Elijah is coming to work today at 0800 and it will be a full day. The forecast is for thirty degrees and windy, so we'll see how things go. I am sure he can stand it. I may not, though. One thing is for sure, keeping him occupied will keep me occupied.
Elijah came at 0800 and we hauled out the winter's ashes. He left at 1100 to return books to his school library and will be back mid-afternoon.
Having a helper makes work a lot more fun and keeps me at it. Things progress much more quickly, reducing the boredom and distractions that interrupt my work when alone.
At noon, I made a stew. Actually I don't know if it is a stew or what you call it if it is not, and neither does Fatsecret.
I have no accurate idea what the calorie content is, but one cup of this dish is probably under 150 calories when we average the ingredients and consider the amount of water.
The beans are the highest at 250 calories per cup, but the other ingredients are far lower, with some as low as 50/cup and the final volume is about 1/3 water as I make it, so if it were nothing but beans, it would be 167/cup. A comparable recipe on Fatsecret comes out at 134 calories per cup and I think that is close.
I keep this stew in storage containers in the fridge and find it delicious for meals and snacks, and very filling, hot or cold. It freezes fairly well, too.
I've spent a lot of time puzzling this out, but if the initial results are an indication, I have more energy, and I might get to see my knees more often.
Elijah came back at 1600. We finished the ashes and washed the truck and extractor, then called it a day. I'm working on the books to get them to the accountant before I go away.
I spent the evening doing bookkeeping entries and reconciliations. At one point, I found my accounts seemed to have gone off balance and spent an hour or two trying to put my finger on the problem.
The Quickbooks file verification function indicated that the file was not corrupted, but month end balances in several registers going back a year or more were incorrect. Sometimes that is due to one accidental entry under an incorrect date, often due to a conflict between paid and received dates reported by two accounts moving an entry over the statement date in one or the other account, but that did not seem to be the case.
Finally, I restored a recent backup and found it was okay, so I have more detective work to do on the intervening entries.
At that point, I quit and went for a walk to look for skunks. Zippy and I walked through all the yards and saw no sign of any. I have not even seen skunk scat lately. A few weeks ago I could see several skunks any evening, and the solid evidence of their presence on the ground here and there in the yards.
Where they have gone is a mystery and although I miss watching them, I am glad they are gone.
Then I skipped watching Netflix and went to bed. It seems lately that the secret to getting more sleep has been going to bed earlier. I always wake up at about the same time.
I've learned through the years that
it's not where you live,
Thursday July 9th 2015
I woke up feeling energetic and weighed in at 230 pounds again -- no change from yesterday as far as I can see from the fine gradations on the scale -- but I note that my girth is two inches less than the largest number I recall in recent months. If getting into my old wetsuit is my goal, girth, not weight is the real issue an d two inches is a lot.
Today I plan to water plants, work on the books, move swarms out of the equipment stacks, super some hives, and have the gang over for burgers. It is going to be a hot day, so I should get out early to do the bee work and save the indoor jobs for later.
My left arm is warm and a little itchy today. When we were moving ashes out yesterday, I felt a sting and was surrounded by small wasps. Seems I had brushed a nest hidden in the bush close to my basement ramp door. I'm always surprised by how restrained they are and that I only got one sting. Of course, I'll let them be, but warn the kids when they come to visit.
It's 0830 and I've been up for over two hours. At this point, I have eaten and done dishes and am just procrastinating. Time to get out there and do some work before the day gets hot. It is twenty degrees already.
As is so often the case, I went out and did something that was not on my list. As I went out the door, I saw the truck which had just been washed last evening sitting right there, and the trailer I have been intending to hook up nearby, so I backed up the truck and got out to see how close I was since there is no way to see with the truck tailgate in the way. The hitch was right exactly over the ball and all I had to do was lower the trailer onto the ball. How often does that happen?
My intent was to just hook it up and leave it, but I could see that the tarp was dirty, so I washed it. There went the better part of an hour.
After that, I went to the Quonset and put frames into EPS supers. Even with these one-piece frames and boxes already set up, it takes a while to ready twenty boxes. I'll never go back to assembly equipment, though. Life is too short.
My wash water was dirty, so that gave me an excuse to come in and have lunch. It is hot out there now, and I think these new suits are much hotter than my old thin bee suits or the Sherriff suits. They are also tighter and that makes them hotter. Bee suits should be loose all over for coolness and to reduce stings.
In hot weather, I wear little or nothing under the bee suit, but I had employees who wore a full set of street clothes under the suit, even on hot, hot days. I could never figure that out. I guess some people would rather roast than risk an occasional sting through the suit.
I took it apart and the job was simpler than I expected. The shaft is bent alright (right), so I looked at another motor. Its shaft is bent, too. That explains some erratic flying recently.
Now, I really must get out there. I have an hour's work, then cleaning and preparation, and trip to Three Hills for buns and tomatoes. People come at 1830, but sometimes some come earlier, which disrupts the preparations a bit, so I have to be ready. I expect M,J,F,M,B,E,A,R,D,C, & maybe J,O,&F. That is ten for sure, and possibly thirteen of us.
J&O did not come, but M&S came with F, so it was a big party. We sat outside and I barbecued.
I had finished my bee work and ran to town for last-minute supplies, arriving home at 1800, just a half-hour before guests were to arrive. R&D arrived early, but I went about preparations and recruited Ruth to shuck the corn.
I should have started earlier, as it worked out, I was running all through supper and hardly had time to visit while cooking and serving because I was not quite prepared. It did not matter, though. Everyone was having a good time. I did get as much help as I needed from several of the ladies, but being disorganized, I was not ready to use much help..
The food was good and there was enough. Just as we were finishing, the first customer showed up and he knew Maddie and Elijah, having been in the same bee class. Maddie and I helped him load his hive and went back to supper. A picture is at right. I had removed some of the beard so as not to crowd the hive too much.
By then the ladies had finished supper and were in the pool, and I was told to stay away as they were in their underwear. They were in there a long time.
So, we tied a wrench to a rope and threw it over the branch. It took a few tries, but soon we had the rope over the branch and a few sharp tugs brought most of the bees dropping onto the tarp we spread out on the ground.
I prepared a brood box and placed it over the bees on the tarp and they soon went in. All this took place just as dusk came and it grew too dark for the bees to fly back up. Will they stay in the morning? Hard to say. The outer layer had been pretty active, so they may have had their mind set on another location, in which case they will move on.
Supper was hamburgers and smokies. I had decided that I would relax my diet a bit and eat what I liked, so I had two smokies on buns with onions and relish and mustard. I skipped the wine and the ice cream and was quite pleased to see that in spite of having pigged out and eaten almost 900 calories at supper, I am 2446 calories below break-even for the day.
In theory, I should be losing 2446/3500 of a pound
today. That is roughly 7/10 of a pound. That loss is almost undetectable
in the normal; weight fluctuations due to water and food retained in the
body, but over a week it
Time will tell.
I went out after midnight (yes, I was still up) to check and the bees had not all gone into the box. There were several little clusters on the tarp and a small cluster up on the tree. I gave the rope a few more tugs and that cleared them off the branch pretty well and they cannot return until dawn.
So much of what we call management
consists in making it difficult for people to work.
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