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 April  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Confused Seas in the North Atlantic

Wednesday April 20th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 20. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low plus 4.

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My friends think that Apivar is still working, but that the timing and dosage is quite critical.  I am not quite as convinced.  If it is, a higher dose than recommended seems to be required.  Also timing is critical.  I am not getting the kind of control that I saw when inspecting a few years back.

I looked up some references and the manufacturer makes some pretty strong claims -- up to 99%+ control, etc.  I think that is not typical.  Here are some interesting charts I pulled off various websites.  Note the differing curves.  Also note that the charts show eight weeks and our instructions are to take them out after 6 unless they are repositioned in the hive.  Most people do not reposition them and do not need to, or do they?

The question of repositioning is an interesting one the assumption being that the brood moves around.  Hmmm.  Maybe in the fall with feeding, but often not, especially in singles.  It seems clear to me that they cherry-picked the data, and also that these websites are promotion, not science.

       

Note that without repositioning, in these tests, control was far less than advertised and would never have nearly approached 99%.  80% looks more like it.  Also these charts all show 8 week treatments -- I assume unless the charts extend out after removal.

Oh, well.

I noted this last year in the forum.  I should have paid attention..

Why Beekeepers Need to Consider Plan B for Varroa Control
    Dr. Medhat Nasr
   Alberta Provincial Apiculturist, Crop Research and Extension,
   Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
   Email: medhat.nasr@gov.ab.ca or bee@gov.ab.ca

Alberta beekeepers have been successfully applying Apivar application in spring for varroa control. In most years the surviving bee cluster usually covers 6-9 frames. In this situation an application of 2 Apivar strips provided excellent control of varroa. Beekeepers have been quite happy with the results. They report no to very little number of mites after treatment for 6 weeks.

This spring beekeepers have been reporting higher than usual varroa mite levels after the 6 weeks application of Apivar. They are concerned over the efficacy of Apivar strips and bee health. I... 
More
 

I spent the afternoon repotting plants.  When I am away some get too little water, so I they need better pots and saucers.  

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
Isaac Asimov

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Thursday April 21st 2016

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 22. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Clearing after midnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low plus 5.

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I wrote to Randy yesterday and he replied with some useful comments.  Randy gets around, has a very good mind and is an independent thinker.

Hi Allen,

Amitraz is failing in a number of areas around the world. It is seriously losing its efficacy in California, as mites have been continuously exposed to it for quite a few years. I'm not the least surprised to hear your report.

That said, the application of strips is indeed a slow release. Here's some data:
   
Medhat is correct in that you should not expect serious mite reduction in the first week. One also needs to apply enough strips for full dosing, and be sure that the strips are placed to ensure contact with enough bees.

I doubt that the issue is one of poor manufacturing. You could easily test for efficacy by shaking packages of infested bees and comparing treatment with strips to the degree of kill with Taktic.

Apistan will likely work if the mite population hasn't been exposed to fluvalinate for a number of years. But likely won't work for many years.
 

The above chart is from this study:

THE AMITRAZ STRIPS EFFICACY IN CONTROL OF VARROA DESTRUCTOR AFTER MANY YEARS APPLICATION OF AMITRAZ IN APIARIES
P i o t r Semkiw1 * , P i o t r S k u b i d a 1 , K r y s t y n a Pohorecka2

CONCLUSIONS Using the amitraz to control the V. destructor infestation for a lot of years in the Polish apiaries did not lead to the significant decrease of this substance efficacy in fighting the mites. The amitraz strips (500 mg active substance/strip) allow to considerably decrease the mite population in the honeybee colonies. Extending the treatment to 8 weeks significantly increases the treatment efficacy. To assure full protection of the honeybee colonies, the use of amitraz strips should be incorporated into the year-long Varroa management.

I note variability in results above that is greater than we observed when we first used Apivar.  I wonder if we are seeing that in our hives here,


Looks like winter is over

I walked out to look at the hives and see five alive in the north yards.  None are huge.  I looked for mites on bees but did not see any.  I have some Apistan.  I think I'll put some in before I go away.

One hive had attracted a shocking mob of red ants, coming and going, in and out.  They move so quickly the picture does not show how many are involved since they come and are gone in an instant.   I laid down some ant poison.

I have been reluctant to start on the bees. I have had strong intentions to do so, and guilt feelings, but I think I have simply lost interest. 

The accountant has finished my taxes and I don't owe anything, so I guess it is time to celebrate.  Fen's daughter, Ruth, has a CD release event at the Ironwood tonight.

Fen's son, Noah, and family are moving to Nova Scotia tomorrow, and Maddy is driving one load, so there is a farewell at Noah and Annie's before the event, so we're going in for that.  Our families were close when the kids were growing up, skiing and dining together often.  Jon and Noah sailed Tornados together in the Worlds.

I picked up Fen at the Mill and we drove to Noah and Annie's for supper, then the Ironwood.  The concert was excellent.

I dropped Fen off at eleven-thirty or so and was home around midnight.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Friday April 22nd 2016

Today Mainly cloudy. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 19. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain before morning. Wind east 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low plus 2.

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I woke up groggy.  Went to bed too late, I guess.

The day was spent trying to understand Travel Medical insurance and other housekeeping matters.  Ruth came for Zip at 4 and I discovered a while  that I could not pay the GST I owe personally on the web as expected and, running up against a deadline, I drove to town to catch the bank before it closed.

I got that done, had supper.  After supper, I had a nap, then was up until after midnight tidying. 

If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Saturday April 23rd 2016

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 13. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low plus 3.

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I have a seemingly impossible list today, outlining all the various little things that I ideally should do to be ready to leave tomorrow, so I will just do the most important and do what I can.

I was up at 0630, had breakfast and coffee and found I was too tired to do much, and went back to bed for a power nap.  That helped.

I weighed in at 217.2 today and I see I am breaking out of my weight loss trend.  It's time to get more serious, but I am off to sail with Frank, and it is unlikely that we'll diet on Compass Rose.  Au contraire.

The day is dull and overcast with promise of rain.  Rain will be good since we are very dry, so dry in fact that there have been wild fires in Alberta and fire bans are now on locally.

I shoveled the ashes and did some tidying, put away papers and started packing.  I have to load some boxes for people near Lacombe I will visit along the way, but, of course it is raining.  I was going to take the van, but maybe the truck would be more appropriate.

It was raining and I was running out of time, so I just grabbed floors, lids and four boxes and put them in the van and drove to Orams', arriving at 1405. 

Chris's parents were there and we visited a while, sang Happy Birthday to Mckenzie who is now a teenager, then went for a walk to the shore and back.

I left then and met the customer in Lacombe, and drove home.  I had planned to drizzle the hives and add Apistan, but decided I was tired and need to sleep and pack without stress before my 3 AM rising to catch the 0810 flight.

I watched a bit of Netflix and am off to bed early.

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses.
They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton,
they laughed at the Wright brothers.
But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Carl Sagan

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Sunday April 24th 2016

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 I got up at 0300 and had breakfast, then sat down here to wake up.

Only one of my three alarms went off.  I had set three due to doubts about the reliability of the Android alarm and the fact that I need a an alarm that is not phone-based when offshore to wake me for my night watches.

The tablet had shut itself down during the night for some reason and it seems I had set the travel alarm, but not turned it on. My phone alarm did go off as expected.

The failures hardly mattered because for some reason, I slept five minutes at a time and was awake anyhow before they went off.  The alarms were just a  test and also a belt-and-suspenders backup for my internal alarm.

My internal alarm seems to screwed up lately and went off at 0300 Eastern Time -- 0100 local -- not 0300 Mountain Time and I slept poorly after that.  It seems I have screwed up my time sense with all my travel.  The change to DST without a geographical shift did not help.  DST is a needless confusion and like many things people do, not justified by any consideration other than it increases retail traffic.

In spite of encountering fog near Airdrie, I arrived at the airport a bit over two hours early, as recommended for flights to the US, and was through customs and security and at my gate an hour and a half before take-off.

While I wait, I can catch up on email and change out my Koodo SIM to my Roam Mobility card for US service. 

With luck, I'll be in Chicago in a few hours and Charleston by 1805. From the airport, I plan to take Uber to the boat.

We landed on time in Charleston.  I walked out and ordered an Uber ride.  Moments later, Margie picked me up and drove me to Patriots Point and the marina.  I found Compass Rose.  Frank, Max and Emil were waiting for me to go for supper.  We caught Uber again, back in the direction from which I had come and had a pleasant dinner at a Crab House restaurant.

From there, Max and I returned to the boat for the night, again by Uber.  Frank and Emil travelled separately, stopping for groceries along the way.

First there is a time when we believe everything, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again - and, moreover, give reasons why we believe.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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Monday April 25th 2016
Tuesday
April 26th 2016
Wednesday
April 27th 2016
Thursday
April 28th 2016

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Monday turned into Tuesday and Tuesday into Wednesday, then Wednesday to Thursday.  Each day was a succession of sailing, motoring, fair weather, foul weather, fair winds and no wind, rain and sun.

I slept a lot, and at every opportunity.  I'm realizing how stressed I have been.  Although passage making can be an ordeal, it is also meditation.  Everything is stripped down to simple goals and simple existence and relationships are simple.  Eat, sleep, plan, eat sleep, plan. Get along.

On Thursday, we passed Virginia Beach and arrived at the entrance to The Chesapeake.  The weather forecast was bad and we were also low on fuel, so we had to make a stop.

There were marinas closer to our route, but Frank had his heart set on a marina several hours into the Bay, so we motored in and tied up at the Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth. (The red flag lower left in map)

Frank rented a car for $9.99 a day and we talked of going up town, but wound up staying for happy hour at the 757 Crave Restaurant on the dock and had supper on board.  We were ready for the showers and for a quiet, uninterrupted night's sleep.

We drank too much and laughed a lot.

Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton

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Friday April 29th 2016

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We relaxed and then went uptown for propane and groceries.  From there, we returned to the boat and passed the day doing basically nothing.  Come happy hour, we returned to the 757 Crave.  We had talked of going uptown for a movie and another restaurant, but after a few drinks it did not seem like such a great idea so we ate there.  I picked up the tab and it came to $175 US with tips.  Ouch.

We returned to Compass Rose and the guys wanted a movie, but would not say what.  I polled them until sci-fi was mentioned.  I immediately found Serenity on Netflix and that seemed to do the trick.  I watched a bit, then turned in, leaving the rest for the others to watch.  I've seen at least some of it before.

I find extended battle scenes boring at best.  I enjoy the character and plot development, but seldom the climax and dénouement.

Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton

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Saturday April 30th 2016

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I slept poorly, having eaten a number of things that disturb my sleep and consumed beer and red wine.  I know better, but sometimes it is just worth it.

Frank was up at 0730, as always and listening to Chris Parker, his personal weather whisperer on the SSB radio.  Chris said it was a "Go", today, so we are off as soon as we take the car back and get more food.

Using a weather service like Chris is a legacy habit.  We used to talk to Herb (Southbound Two) daily for weather advice but he retired.  Chris offers a comparable service and Frank consults him daily.

At one time, and offshore beyond cell service, weather data was hard to come by, but today, I have more weather models available by cellphone than our guides had at sophisticated base stations ten years back, and it is updated constantly.  Offshore, data is a little harder to obtain, but it is available by radio and satellite.

Frank and Emil went provisioning, then I went with Frank to return the car.  We ordered Uber for a return ride to the marina and were notified of "Surge Pricing" -- 2.1 X normal.  Nonetheless, the cost of our return was just $10.30.

I paid the slip fees and we cast off around two. Now, at six, we are just back to the Bay entrance and about to resume the course to New Jersey.

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.
Andrew S. Tanenbaum
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