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 March  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Beekeeping Near Round Lake, NY

Thursday March 10th 2016

Today Fog dissipating this morning then mainly cloudy. Clearing near noon. High 9.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Wind becoming south 20 km/h before morning. Low minus 5.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at eight, had coffee and returned to bed, rising again at eleven, or eight AM Vancouver time. My flight was at 1415, so I had a short visit with Jill and drove to the car rental agency. 

My GPS took me right there off the freeway and since my arrival was so sudden, I'd forgotten to fill the tank.  The penalty was only eight dollars so I elected to pay that rather than go looking for a gas station.

The flight north was un eventful and I arrived at YSB at 1515.  I looked for Bill and tried phoning him, finally reaching Vic and found Bill had been unsure when I'd arrive, so had not gone to the airport yet.  I caught a shuttle and was at 1207 a short time later.

My van started right away, even after sitting since fall.  We disconnect the battery when the van is sitting for longer than a week or two.  Otherwise the background electronics run the battery down in a month or two.

After supper, I drove to Costco to refill the tires as they are quite low from sitting, then drove to Bill's for a visit.

I like this place, and willingly could waste my time in it
Shakespeare

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Friday March 11th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 gusting to 40 late this afternoon. High 11.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. Low plus 1.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I don't have anything planned for today except visit with Mom and get travel health insurance.  Tomorrow is Mom's birthday and the next, I head south.

The morning at home looks frosty, but I see the ice on  the pond is fast disappearing.  Historically, Saint Patrick's Day is the day I expect to see it gone.

I slept in and rested up.  Mid-afternoon, I drove to Canadian Tire to get some steering fluid and sealer.  The store was being moved, so I wound up at Wal-Mart.

There is a big pile of snow on Mom's deck and I started shoveling it off. It is heavy and deep, so I doubt I'll complete, but the biggest job begins with one shovelful.

After supper i went to Bill's and we went to Wal-Mart to get some exercise.  We hike around the perimeter a few times for exercise, but of course we get distracted...

We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
 John Steinbeck

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Saturday March 12th 2016

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light late this morning. High 14.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind becoming southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 this evening. Low plus 1.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

It's Mom's birthday and we are off to Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart has scooters that let her cruise the store freely without needing a walker. 

I weigh 216.2 today.  I bought a scale yesterday. It is the same model that serves well at home, but seems to not be as consistent.  It could be that they need time to settle in after moving and temperature changes?

My weight loss continues linearly, with a few bumps along the road.  Do I feel any better?  Not really, but I can be proud of my flat(ter) stomach.  I worry I may be losing muscle, too, but maybe not.  Who knows?

> Personally I like the Pierco frames, mainly because  they do not need to be assembled, it is also claimed that the frames have 10% more brood area than wood frames???

Black Pierco waxed frames have been my preference for many years, however in spite of continuing complaints about warping, Pierco has never rectified the problem. The warping seems to be a constant and can be an issue when  the frames are closely spaced unless all are oriented the same direction.  It is a known issue.

On the other hand, When Nick left Pierco to start Acorn Bee, he made flattening the foundation in the one-piece a priority and he has succeeded in producing a superior frame.  Currently, I recommend Acorn black one-piece double-waxed as the best frames available.

Unfortunately, Beemaid seems to keep stocking Pierco and not as often Acorn, so I was forced to settle for Pierco last summer.

My advice is to source some Acorn Bee frames if you can and only settle for Pierco if you have to, or if you run nine-frame spacing.  AFAIK, the commercial beekeepers I know have abandoned Pierco and are all buying Acorn by the truckload.  I'm sure they would sell a few cases to the club if asked nicely.

As for brood area, the cells on both Pierco and Acorn standard frames (not the medium depth)  are also marginally smaller than other brands and therefore there are significantly more cells per frame, resulting in a more compact brood nest.

Mann Lake PF-100s have even smaller cells, but in my experience Pierco and Acorn cells are ideal.

 

>> ďA swarm in May is worth a load of hay
>> A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon
>> A swarm in July isnít worth a flyĒ
>> A quote from somewhere.....

>The person whom you quoted obviously never kept bees in Alberta.

Alberta is a big province and the beekeeping season in the south is very different from the north.  Moreover it varies widely from year to year throughout .
the province.

Some years I have had hives swarm out of the wraps in May and other years  had mating nucs killed by hard frosts in June.

I've had to pull supers of honey in June to be able to move hives to pollination and other years I've had to feed in July.

In beekeeping, I never say never.

And yes, a May swarm is probably a real winner, however a swarm in late July or August may sometimes perform and make a crop, but just as likely may fail and/or not make it through winter.  Historically, in the north, the season is often ended by frost in mid-August.  In the south it may go on into October at times.

May is a good time to put out bait hives.  They may not fill until later or never (there is that word), but the longer they are there and the longer the scouts know about them, the better your chances.

 

I have two questions that I was hoping you would have the time to answer for me in regards to the Acorn frames you were talking about earlier today. First, in your experience, how do the bees take to them? I ask this because in my experience and reading it goes like this: My grand father who was a beekeeper in the '80's only ever used wood and beeswax for frames. A lot of the things that I read says bees do not take to plastic very well.
 

Don't believe anything you hear/read and only half of what you see.

I've covered all this in great detail in my diary, but the information is scattered -- so here is the essence.

I can buy any frame available -- and all at roughly the same price -- and would use nothing but Acorn black double-waxed plastic one-piece frames, with Pierco a second choice, followed at some distance back by black Permadent or other plastic foundation in wood.

Wood/wax is really obsolete IMO for many reasons. Fresh wax foundation installed properly in good wood frames can work well, but if not drawn immediately may be damaged in storage and handing or in the hive -- or chewed by the bees.

Wax goes stale and it cannot be scraped to the midrib for a Mulligan if needed.

Wood frames waste brood chamber volume with wide useless surfaces that impede queens.

I put entire boxes of Acorn double-waxed frames on at the right time of the season and usually they are drawn flawlessly and filled.  Not so wood and wax.

Ken mentioned how to buy direct, but I recommend that everyone call Beemaid and demand Acorn and refuse Pierco until they can make a frame with foundation that is not warped or hunt down a commercial beekeeper in a good mood.

I know lots of trucks come up this way with full loads of Acorn frames.

In the afternoon, I shoveled Mom's deck, took the seats out of the van and blew up the air mattress.  At 1745, we drove to the Apollo to meet Bill and Faye for a birthday supper.

love is more thicker than forget
e.e. cummings

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Sunday March 13th 2016

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

If my plans worked out, this morning I am on the road to Upper New York State.

As of 1000 MST today, I have been away from home one month.  Of course it is Daylight Saving Time (what a misnomer) now, so that will be 1100 by the clock.

*   *   *   *   *

I woke up at 0320, actually 0400 now with DST and could not sleep. I'd slept only three hours, but I packed and ate, then hit the road at 0530.

I started to take the highway 17 route for novelty, but soon decided I'd prefer a faster road and turned south at Wanapitei, cutting through Wanup (where Ellen was born) and met up with the 400.  The divided four-lane is safer and faster than the old road.  Even if 17 is the Trans-Canada, it is a poorer road, especially in the dark.

At Toronto, I turned east and took the Canadian route along the 401 to Gananoque, then crossed into the USA and went south on 81 and 481 to Syracuse.  From there, I followed the Thruway to Amsterdam and the 67 to Malta.  Along the way, I stopped twice for a nap on the air mattress I had put in place of the seats.

I arrived at Aaron's at 1800 on the nose.

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
Samuel Butler

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Monday March 14th 2016

 Today Increasing cloudiness. Periods of snow beginning this afternoon. Local amount 2 cm. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High 7.
Tonight Periods of snow ending near midnight then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Local amount 2 cm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 5.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
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Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept in until 0900 and will be spending the day here in Round Lake.  Tomorrow, I'll drive south to Annapolis to look at the boat.

Here, the day is dull and cool, but we'll probably go out and lift a few hive lids later.

At home, rain is predicted.  The grass is greener, but the ice on the pond has not changed much.  With luck, I'll be there around the end of the month.

Aaron and I went out for lunch at Mom and Pop's and then went to two yards and opened a few hives.  It was raining lightly and breezy, but the hives were strong enough that we did no harm.  Even his five-frame nucs were looking good.

His bees look great, and colony survival is high but neither of his top bar hives survived.  They both starved and one had a mouse nest under the lid. They were not wrapped.  When we opened them, there was not a scrap of honey in either.

I called the boat yard was told that 'First Mate', a service contractor has the boat keys.  They were not answering either phone and that put my plans in question, but I finally reached them and set up a meeting for tomorrow, so  I have a six-hour drive first thing, then some work to do.

Itís always about timing.
If itís too soon, no one understands.
If itís too late, everyoneís forgotten.
Anna Wintour

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Tuesday March 15th 2016

 Today Increasing cloudiness. Periods of snow beginning this afternoon. Local amount 2 cm. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High 7.
Tonight Periods of snow ending near midnight then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Local amount 2 cm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 5.

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Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'll be on the road this morning, hoping to make Annapolis by early afternoon. 

*   *   *   *   *

I left Round Lake at 0530 and drove the 400 miles south, arriving at 1400.  I met George, inspected the boat and was finished  by 1615.  I dropped off the key and drove back to Round Lake, at 2300.

It was quite a drive, mostly at around 75 MPH down Interstates and toll highways.

Stopping at toll booths must have cost me at least a half-hour.  There must have been at least twenty stops.

I followed the GPS on my phone and took a different route down from the one back. The trip totaled 760 miles.

Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road, the way is made by walking.
Antonio Machado

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Wednesday March 16th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of flurries or rain showers late this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 8. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 6.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm back in Round Lake.  Aaron and I plan to go out to look at more hives while the weather is good.  Predictions are for rain later and cooler days as the week progresses.

*    *    *    *

At home, I see the auger has jumped the fence and wandered to the wall.  I notified Carolyn.

She fixed it and all is well.  It looks like two weeks before I will be home.

*    *    *    *

Aaron and I went out and looked at more hives.  His wintering success is the best ever.

He winters in doubles and some of the doubles were ready for thirds, so Aaron used the few deadouts on hand to give these hives room.  I can see swarming in his future, about three weeks to a month away.

We saw some Small Hive Beetles but only a few worms and only in the occasional patty. I can't imagine they manage to pupate here and are more of a curiosity than anything.

In the last yard, we got stuck. I managed to get us out, but I also mudded up the truck a bit.  Apparently in New York, this is a muddy truck.  Not where I live.

We finished looking and went for a beer, then another beer, then returned to George Ave for supper. 

We had corned beef and vegetables from last night warmed up, and that was just what I wanted.  I like to eat simply these days.

For, dear me, why abandon a belief Merely because it ceases to be true?
Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt It will turn true again, for so it goes.
Most of the change we think we see in life Is due to truths
being in and out of favor.
Robert Frost

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Thursday March 17th 2016

Today A few flurries ending near noon then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind becoming north 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High plus 2.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening then partly cloudy. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 11.

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I slept in until 0930 when Aaron called me because he was starting to wonder. 

I had retired at 2100 last evening, but watched an hour of video before going to sleep. I slept fairly well, but at three I woke up and realized I was dopey.  I took two Benadryl and an aspirin and slept right through from there.

We have another nice day but Aaron has to prepare for a class he is teaching tonight so I have to decide what to do. I have extra time since my boat investigation completed more quickly than expected. I may decide to drive up to Ontario  and visit friends and relatives or stay another day or two.

Aaron's work has been thwarted due to his new laptop with Windows 10.  He has spent several hours now dealing with a non-working context menu and running updates, and has yet to begin his prep.  He is now working on his old decrepit laptop with Windows 7.

He did a big update and the machine began working properly.  I decided to get the oil changed and drove to the Halfmoon Walmart.  They weren't busy so the job was done in short order.  They noticed the battery is performing below standard, but I am not worried.  If it started the van after sitting since last summer, it can't be all that bad.

I have had a slight exhaust leak for a while, so I pulled into Midas.  They said they were not busy and they would give  me a free estimate.  Forty-five minutes later the counterman quoted me US$610, saying that was discounted and if that was too much, I should name my price. He knew the quote was three times too high.  I did not bother.

I know what mufflers and pipes are worth and know when I am being screwed.  The parts would cost $150 total at retail, tops, and actually more like $100 if I replaced the muffler, resonator ands the pipes.  As for labour, they would do the whole job in twenty minutes but keep me waiting hours.  A for me, the job would take me two hours, doing it outdoors on the ground without a hoist and the power tools.

I would not want a place that took forty-five minutes to lift the van to do the job anyhow.

Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
Harry S Truman

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Friday March 18th 2016

Today Clearing early this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 6.
Tonight Clear. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h overnight. Low minus 9.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept in until 0855.  Today is predicted to be cool and there is talk of snow.  I'm thinking it is time to head north.  I fly to YVR Wednesday morning from YSB.

*   *   *   *   *

Just before noon, Aaron and I went to the Malta Diner for breakfast. 

On returning, I hit the road, and just before midnight, almost twelve hours and 651 miles down the road, I pulled into 1207.  The trip was uneventful. 

My power steering leak seems to have completely healed.

This week I drove 650 + 760 + 650 miles. 2,060 miles total.  That is equivalent to a one-way drive from home to Toronto or one-way from home to San Diego.

Last month I drove 3088 miles from home to Aliso Viejo and up to Vancouver.

All this does not include the 60 miles by rental car from YYZ to Burlington and back or driving around in Vancouver and up to Powell River, the 51 miles by boat on the delivery, the 20 miles to Snug Cove and back -- or the 2,500 miles by air from Vancouver to Sudbury.

So, that is over 5,000 miles of driving in five weeks, plus 70 by boat and 2,500 by air.

Nothing is said that has not been said before.
Terence

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Saturday March 19th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southeast 30 km/h. High 10. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low minus 8.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at six, rolled over and slept until 7 and got up.

I weigh 218.0 this morning.  Chances are the weight gain is mostly water. A few days settled down will tell. Oh, and I do not trust this new scale to be consistent with my home scale.

I spent the day visiting with Mom and looking for various things online.  In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping.

We had supper, then, after, I made soup.

No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
Harold Rosenberg

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