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It's November already. Halloween's over and no one came to the door. I did not turn on the outside light or put out a pumpkin and I am a long walk from the hamlet, so I was not expecting anyone, anyhow. Back when we had young kids, people came, but now I have not seen anyone for years.
Today I plan to finish the bookmark sorting and resume the heating research. and do at least an hour of cleanup. I might apply oxalic vapour to some hives as well. I also have a meeting tonight.
Adrian wrote and pointed out this compromise: Why You Should Cook An Egg Into Your Oatmeal. I'll try it, but it somewhat runs counter to my intention to reduce egg consumption. The reason I am thinking I should cut back on eggs is that even after the dietary cholesterol myth has been for the most part debunked, smart people I regard with respect still seem to think that eating three eggs a day is not a good idea for someone with CVD
Back to the heating matter. I am actually just about finished my procrastination. At least the procrastination I do before getting down to serious procrastination. Sometimes I am like a government and research a topic to death, without doing anything at all concrete. I have certainly done an analysis of the historical heat requirements and costs, plus pro forma estimates of switching fuels. (Right).
Any bets? Will I actually get the gas hooked up and working this time? Before Christmas?
* * * * *
Time is a strange idea. Yesterday, At 10 AM, it felt like noon. Today, at a bit past noon, it somehow feels as if the time should be around ten. I've been up since 0730 and all I have done is the dishes, water plants, do a little writing and some bookkeeping. Yesterday I had done far more by ten, or at least it felt like it.
Discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in
seeing with new eyes.
We have a few warm days coming up, so I should take this opportunity to do outdoor things. I can make a dump run Saturday if I want to haul the items recently rejected by the Linden transfer station.
Sunshine Village opens Thursday. Only a few runs will be open, but it is tempting.
I was complaining that Chrome has been slowing down. Today, all of a sudden, Chrome is fast again. What happened? The software updates in the background, so maybe that is it? Also, though, I installed Maxthon 5 and they both use the WebKit engine. Maybe they share DLLs and Maxthon gave Chrome a kick in the butt?
I mentioned the heating system in the diary on Friday 12 December 2003, Monday December 3rd 2012, Wednesday August 19th 2015 & Monday January 11th 2016.
* * * * *
I went out after lunch and put screened floors under the remaining two hives in the South of the Hedge yard. On one, a double, I had to move the frames in the top box to an EPS box. It was newly drawn and full of honey, so I put it on the bottom. The hive looks good (yellow bees).
I also I reversed the other, a triple. I'm not sure that is a good idea, but I did. I may reverse it again. That second hive did not look too good. It has a medium population (dark bees), some emerging brood, but seems disorganized.
The floors were interesting, though, and one has what looks like a young queen with damaged wings. It is probably not a queen, but who knows? I had dumped the floor before I looked at the pictures. I don't see many varroa on the floors. Varroa normally do not enter queen cells, but do sometimes. The one hive looked disorganized so maybe it is queenless and was raising a new queen? Who knows?
I picked up the deadouts, too while there and was surprised to see evidence of wax moth. Wax moth is unusual around here. Our cold winters usually kill them off.
Seeing as I am planning to evaporate oxalic in these hives, I scraped the bottom bars. (left). Burr comb between and descending from the bottom bars can block the fumigation and also descending comb can impede the entry of the evaporator or scorch if it gets close to the hot pan.
Note in the picture at right, looking down through an empty super on a screened floor, that the screened bottoms have areas where mites can sit and not fall onto the sticky board below. Top bars in the bottom box of doubles may also intercept some falling mites and affect the count.
Democracy must be something more than two wolves
and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
First thing today, I made up drop boards to go under the two hives. First, I ruled pencil lines across the boards to form squares. Accuracy is not important the lines are simply there to make counting easier. Without reference lines, it is easy to get lost when counting.
Then I rolled a mixture of Vaseline and mineral oil onto the surfaces to make them sticky. Varroa that drop are not always dead and they can run and jump if they are not retained by something sticky, so the layer of grease has to be thick enough to hold them.
I waited until today to put in the boards since I did not have any ready, but also because I had disturbed the hives and after moving things around a lot of debris falls and makes counting difficult.
I put the boards in at 0935 today. I'll glance at them in 24 hours, but keep them in for longer and count after three days. Any one day's drop does not give a representative sample since the drops can vary greatly from day to day due to weather and other factors.
I may get curious and take a peek this afternoon. If there are lots of mites, I'll see some by then. Hope not.
I was going by three hours later. Here are two high-res images. Count the varroa and report your count in the forum.
Those squares drawn on the board help a lot, don't they? The job would be almost impossible without them
I am expecting company for supper tonight and decided to take a trip to town to get a few things. Seeing as I was going that way, I took along the flat tire from the trailer and had another tire installed while I was grocery shopping. That eliminates an obstacle to making dump runs.
I made a soup and stir fry for supper. The Mill gang were otherwise occupied, so there were five of us.
After supper, I cleaned up and watched video until 0130. That is much later than my usual bedtime. I finished off Line of Duty.
Few rich men own their own property. The property
At 0935, I'll check the drop boards.
Looking at my recent weigh-in records (right), I'm not losing weight and I am not gaining.
Over the past few weeks, I've taken
a break from trying to lose weight due to travels and other distractions
and have been watching to see what happens.
When I visualize carrying 40 extra
pounds with me everywhere, which is what I am doing by some reckoning, I
can see that walking, skiing, and even getting out of an easy chair
should be much easier if I reduce my mass.
At 220 pounds
At 200 pounds
At 180 pounds
At 160 pounds
* * * * * *
I made up new boards and exchanged them around noon. By then, the temperatures was in the high teens and the bees were flying freely. I took the previous boards inside and looked them under the magnifier lamp. I got counts of 15 & 74.
the same time, I took the Heilyser evaporators out with me and treated
these two hives. We'll see what the drop count is tomorrow. I gave
the triple five grams seeing as the drop screen floors are leaky and do
not seal well. The double got four grams +/-. The pot filled
level and packed a little as shown holds 5.4 grams.
I wonder if the treatments both worked. One unit boiled dry but the other one is full of burnt slum, wax and honey. I assume that it was under one of those pieces of comb on the bottom of a frame and the comb melted and dripped. That is one problem with this evaporator design when used with these floors. These screened floors have very little clearance between the screen on the floor and the bottom of the fames. My regular floors have much more clearance, having been designed with this job in mind. I should add spacers to lift the boxes a bit. Not hard to do.
This little job may be easy, but everything in beekeeping takes time and by the time we do a two-minute job on ten hives, we have spent twenty minutes, and of course a two-minute job always takes at least five, and first I have to find the materials and tools. Just the same, it would pay off.
* * * * * *
Next, I went to the North Yard and worked through the four hives there.
The first proved to be very small with a decent looking queen that could be a virgin or a shrunk-down laying queen. She looked okay, but there was no brood. I reduced it to a single and went on down the line.
When working hives that I do not wish to reverse, I lay them down on their back, then remove the bottom box, scrape it and place it on a fresh floor in front of the original spot. I then scrape each box, top and bottom, and restore it to its place in the stack. If any are empty and unneeded, I take them away. If some are full of honey but without bees, they can be taken if not needed.
If I do plan to reverse, I do not lay the hive down . I simply take the boxes one by one from the top and place them in reversed order on the new floor in front of the old position, scraping burr comb as I go.
During summer, the floors tend to sink into the ground. Putting them on fresh ground moves them away from ants, mice, and the debris they have cast out and reduces the tendency to rot.
With the hives open, I had a chance to drizzle oxalic acid syrup and since I had some handy, I treated the hives as I went.
Separating badly gummed boxes is easier when they are standing on end on the ground after the hive is tipped back. Lying down, the weight of the upper box is not pressing down and resisting the prying. Also, it is easier to see where the problem spots that resist splitting the boxes apart are than when working on a standing hive.
Notice how long the shadows are in the pictures. The sun is a long way south at this time of year and the maximum elevation is only 23 degrees off the southern horizon. Our weather has been unseasonably warm, running up to twenty degrees yesterday and today. Seasonal normals are more like six degrees.
By the time I finished the yard it was after four and I was tiring. I don't seem to have the energy I once did. I went in and did a few things, then had supper and watched some video. I'm going to bed early tonight. I slept only five hours last night.
I've gone back to counting calories again today and at bedtime, I have consumed 82% of my 2200 calorie allowance and burned 3937 calories for a deficit of 2074. That is, of course, an estimate because I really do not know the calorie content of my stews and soups.
It's 9:46. Good night.
Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada,
I woke up at 0700, after nine hours sleep. That catches me up for the five hours the night before.
This morning, I weigh 218.2. That's down a half pound from yesterday. Of course, day to day changes are not reliable indicators, but the trend is supportive.
I bought a carton of egg whites the other day to try. so I had egg whites for breakfast. The yolks are the reason eggs are suspect -- calories, cholesterol and animal fat. I have porridge as another potential alternative, but it makes me hungry again before long.
Around 1030, I went out and adjusted the choke in the bee truck. That's a job I've put off for years, and should make it run a bit better. Then I switched the drop boards and brought them in to count. This time, there are a lot of mites, so many that I gave up counting. It seems I got a good kill and the hive I wondered about seemed to have had a good treatment judging by the number that dropped.
I played around for an hour or so with methods of photographing and counting the drop boards. My conclusions?
Below are pix of the same boards as above with direct light shining straight down. I had to shoot from a bit off-centre to avoid casting a shadow.
Although there are a lot of varroa, this drop is not as heavy as I might have expected. We'll see what the drop is tomorrow, but so far, so good. Here, again, are the observations from 2011/12. Although I did not actually count, today's counts look in line with the drops from back then and those hives survived and did well.
Here are graphics from March, at the end of the tests:
* * * * *
In spite of the fact that my Nexus 6P has the best camera of any phone I've owned so far, the image quality is not as good as an eyeball aided by appropriate lenses. Looking through a magnifier, the confusion with shadows is less and the board can be moved around to improve the view. A photo is fixed and unchangeable.
Counting on a computer screen is easier than manipulating a board and peering through lenses, but for me counting from pictures has been less accurate -- sometimes very much so -- than counting the actual drop board. Possibly a top quality camera in a jig with a strong light might do a better job.
I have tried various ways to count mites on the boards and for best results a magnifier like the one at left works well. The delivered cost is C$13 on eBay.
A handheld magnifying glass works well, too, but it has to be a strong one. They come in different strengths.
I have not tried a fresnel magnifier (left), but I imagine they would work, too if they do not cast a shadow.
I've used a magnifying lamp (right) quite successfully. Although these lamps provide a clear image and good lighting, these lamps can be a bit unwieldy due to the fixed base and limited reach.
At any rate, I really do not need to count these boards. I just have to take a glance and I know all I need to know: the treatment is working. Drops are many multiples of the twenty-four hour drops taken before the treatment.
* * * * *
I went out and cut grass around the Quonset Yard, then worked through three hives and stacked up some empty equipment and tidied the truck deck. There are some really good hives there.
* * * * *
I worked until almost five, then quit. I was beat. I'm out of shape. The wind did not make things easier either. Working bees in the wind was tiring, and when cutting the dry grass, chaff blew up and over me. I have a mild allergy to the dry grass, so we'll see how I sleep tonight.
* * * * *
When I came in, I made a pot of chili con carne to freeze for next time I have company. My supper night often takes me the better part of a day. The job of preparation and cleaning up after gives me new appreciation for the work of the housewives of years past. These days, I doubt many people cook the people used to.
My supper was stew and soup. At this point, today, I see I have consumed 1,200 calories and after figuring in my day's exercise, Fatsecret says I have a 3,600 calorie deficit. Hard to believe. That equals to a pound of fat according to theory. I'll probably have a snack later, but at this point, if the theory holds, I should see some decrease tomorrow morning. Almost a pound by theory, but I don't actually expect that kind of change. Not in one day.
Something surprising I learned today is that a handful of mixed nuts (40g or 1/4 cup) has 258 calories versus 134 for an entire cup of stew. That is if we can believe Fatsecret's numbers for the stew. After all, they cannot know exactly what goes into mine.
Whenever you are about to find fault with someone,
ask yourself the following question:
I woke up at three or was it four? My clocks did not agree. Some automatically make the change to standard time. Some don't.
I soon realised I would not get back to sleep, so I got up and washed dishes then went back to bed and slept soundly until seven MST for a total of eight and a half hours.
Today I weigh 217.6, down a half-pound from yesterday (Yay!) and blood glucose is 5.3. BP is 123/71. Although short term day to day changes are hardly a robust measure of progress, calorie counting and activity does appear to have had an effect.
I found I was hungry when I was up in the early morning so I ate some Red River cereal I had made in bulk earlier, with half and half cream. Later, when I got up for the day, I cooked oat bran cereal for breakfast.
Rain and wind are predicted today. I'll still try to get outdoors. Although I have been uninspired to get out, when I actually do get out I find the work very satisfying.
I'll pull the drop boards again today, regardless, and I'll treat the hives I worked on yesterday. I won't put them on screened bottoms and drop boards, though. Two hives is enough and I have previously documented the process in detail over months, beginning in September 2011 and running to April 2012.
Maybe I'll cut more grass, but not if it is windy and not if it rains.
* * * * *
After having it for three months, I still love my Nexus 6P phone. It works flawlessly and has replaced both my previous phone and my tablet. It is a bit large, but not too large for my hands or pockets.
I find I can use the 6P as a portable radio, streaming the local CBC station with the CBC app, or music with the Tunein app. I can also listen to Audible books.
The front-mounted speakers are loud enough for quiet locations. In noisy situations, I use Bluetooth earphones. I bought these (right) on eBay and am quite happy with them. They have excellent sound quality and I can wear them under a veil or moving around -- and they don't fall off.
* * * * *
Here are the boards I removed around noon today. They were scraped and re-coated yesterday at noon. The grease is still soaking in and the boards were dry. I had to cover them to carry them in. The wind would have blown them clean if I had not.
Do we need to count? Maybe, to compare to the 2011 results at right, but , we can see without counting that the treatments are working. One board, from the looks of it, must have at least four hundred, I'm guessing, much like hive two at right.
If someone wants to count, go to it and please post the results in the forum.
Each fumigation only kills mites for a few days -- maybe up to a week -- so I'll fumigate again when the drops taper off in a few more days. Treatments can be repeated indefinitely, according to everything I have read, but there must be a limit, one would think.
Seeing as it is miserable outside, I worked in the basement shop this afternoon. That is a job that needs doing in prep for the gas project. I have to organize tools and move things from the path of the project, and there is lots to move -- and sort.
I worked until four-thirty, then had a rest and supper. I watched video for a while, then returned downstairs to resume the cleanup.
I quit at nine-thirty, had a shower to wash off the dust, took a Benadryl, then went to bed.
Whenever you are about to find fault with someone,
ask yourself the following question:
I slept nine hours and awoke to the dawn. Now that we are on standard time, we have morning sun again.
The scale says I weight 216.2 today, down 1.4 pounds from yesterday.
That's a big loss and somewhat suspect since I only had a calculated calorie deficit of 2,200 calories yesterday, but many factors affect one's weight and activity can affect water retention as well as fat burn.
My glucose is 5.7 and BP is 109/77. Reducing meat and simple starches consumption and substituting fish and fowl and complex starches seems to have made a big difference, as does dropping calorie intake below my equilibrium ration of 2,200/day.
Counting calories works, but only in conjunction with other changes in diet.
I could never figure how to follow such a diet. The recipes offered don't appeal to me and are a lot of work. I've developed my own methods, though. I make soups and stews in bulk using beans, whole grains and vegetables. I use the slow cooking versions of breakfast since the "quick" versions are usually higher glycemic and one of the secrets of weight loss and avoiding diabetes is to eat mostly foods with low glycemic loads. I cook cereals in bulk and reheat them when needed.
* * * * *
Today I go to the Red Deer cardiac unit for a stress test.
Since I have to leave before noon, I'll pull and photograph the drop boards before then.
The boards are not in the same orientation, but we can see at a glance that the density of dead mites is half what it was yesterday, so we can conclude that the treatment is wearing off.
The big kill was in the first day and now we are returning to background drops.
* * * * *
I left home around noon and arrived at the cardiac unit right on time for my stress test at 1430. That took an hour and was uneventful. I was told I am in good shape.
From there, I drove to Ponoka to watch Mckenzie play volleyball. It took me a while to find the venue. I first went to Ponoka Composite High, then the elementary school, and finally did a web search on my phone and found that the event was taking place at Saint Augustine's.
The first games were at four, but I only made it in time for the third. The next matches were at seven, so Jean, Nathan and I went to Boston Pizza for a bite and returned for the final games. Mckenzie's team won handily, so they move on in the finals, I gather.
We split up after the games and I headed home. Tomorrow is a warm day and I want to get things done outdoors. I also have a dog groomer appointment in the afternoon. I immediately came across the No Frills and since I intended to buy groceries along the way, I stopped and bought a few things.
I was amazed at the low prices. Things I buy often like canned beans and and plain yogurt have dropped significantly from already reasonable prices. Canned beans have dropped to 75ȼ and yogurt to $2. Cauliflower, a vegetable that people were complaining about were around $3.
I then turned south on the two-hour trip home. As I was passed Red Deer, I realised it was nine, not ten as I had thought (damn time change) so, I stopped at Walmart to return some goods I had been carrying with me a while.
As I approached Elnora, an hour from home, I noticed a man walking down the shoulder of this isolated country highway in the dark, carrying a jerry can. He was just walking and not attempting to hitch a ride. I found that curious.
I stopped, turned around and picked him up and we drove back to his truck, which he had parked off the road and was not the car I had seen earlier. He poured the gas into the tank and tried starting. The battery was almost dead. I looked in the back of my van, and by some chance I had booster cables with me. Why, I don't know.
Anyhow we boosted the truck and he was on his way. He was behind me as far as Trochu, where he said he lives, so he made it home. Lucky guy.
I was home in bed an hour before midnight.
A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool
usually has his suspicions.
I Weigh 216.8 today, up a bit. That is not unexpected.
I want to work outside today, but have an appointment with the dog groomer this afternoon. I also have a quick appointment with the doctor at noon.
My choice of times for the groomer could have been better since today is predicted to be warm and I will be there at the best time of day for working on my bees. I did not know that when I agreed to this date. Maybe I should reschedule.
At 0830, the day is dull, but warm, at ten degrees Celsius. I'll go out shortly to exchange the drop boards. I'm expecting the drops will have tapered off quite a bit.
I fumigated these two hives on November 4th, so this is Day Four, if we consider Nov 4th to be Day Zero (not Day One as some would).
I'll do another treatment soon, maybe even today since I have yet to treat the six untreated hives and the sooner the better.
And here are today's
The background twenty-four hour drops before treating were 15 & 74. These pictures are poor due to bad light and carelessness, but I get about 100 on the one that was 15 and I counted over fifty on just one square alone on the one that had 74.
So the treatment is still killing varroa four days after the evaporation, but the effect is wearing off. I have no illusions that there are not lots of mites left.
Should I wait another day before treating? Probably not, since I have the other hives to do ASAP and the weather is okay for the job. If I start and do those hives, I should do these too. Getting started is the hardest part.
So far, at 1100, the day is decent, but not really pleasant. We are promised a mostly warm, sunny day, but currently it is cool, overcast, and windy.
* * * * *
A bit before noon, I went out and treated the two hives. By then, the sun had come out and the wind died. Then I noticed that I was feeling a bit faint, so went in to have a bite.
I checked my blood sugar and it was 4.8, which is low for me. I'm not diabetic and do not use insulin. I have no idea what was the cause, but I had some soup and a small cone.
I texted the groomer and she said she could take the dog earlier and seeing as I had felt faint, I figured a drive might be a better plan than tossing boxes around in the middle of the day. The drive each way is twenty-five minutes and the appointment took over an hour. I sat in the van, read the news on my phone and had a nap.
When I got home, I went out and fumigated the North Yard, then went to the Quonset Yard and did the three that I had cleaned off previously. In the North Yard, bees were robbing freely on equipment I had stacked up for storage. These stacks are on floors with an excluder under the boxes to stop mice. The lowest auger holes are plugged.
I then worked through two more and fumigated them. At one point, I got confused and fumigated one of the first group a second time. I then fumigated the two I had worked through.
Looking at the bottom bars at left, we can see why I have to scrape them if I wish to poke an evaporator in there. I also like to clean the floors and move onto fresh grass to reduce rot and to raise the floors back up as they have sunk into the ground over summer. Ideally, I'll move them up onto pallets to get them off the ground, but we will see.
I now have checked ten live hives. Eight of them look promising.
We are now experiencing very unusual weather with temperatures more like August than November. We broke a record today at +22 degrees Celsius and five more warm days are predicted.
Normals: Max 3°C. Min
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they
appear to be busy when they are writing
Hillary, you're Fired!
This will be interesting. Obviously, the American public is fed up with the same old, same old.
Whether this is 'out of the frying pan, into the fire', or a demonstration of collective wisdom or the wisdom of the crowd, we will soon find out. What Trump says and what he does have not tended to coincide.
Why are people surprised? The signs were there all along, but the media were so busy cheerleading that they totally missed it.
The world has changed in recent years and Hillary didn't notice, the elites did not notice, the media did not notice, and they got too distant from the populace.
The 'common man' is deeply suspicious of the motives behind the Climate Change meme and globalization generally. They see that special interest groups and vocal, irrational minorities have seized control of agendas, and blocked sensible projects. They see the current leadership as having given away the shop and see The Donald as a no-nonsense, outspoken, get 'er done sort and are hoping he will cut through the BS.
The sun still rises.
At nine-thirty this morning, I arrived at the ophthalmologist's for an eye exam. The doctor did a complete examination, explained everything in detail and showed me pictures of the various issues she looks for. With aging, there is always concern about macular degeneration and she saw none of that. Other than the slight issue with the nerve in the left eye, a condition that has been stable for over a decade, and some cataracts that are not yet bad enough to require attention, all is well.
I bought some groceries for tomorrow's supper and drove home. It was time to pull the boards and see if the second treatment had an impact. It did.
I see that the drops are up again, but are not nearly as heavy as a day after the initial treatment five days ago, so I have to assume that the total varroa populations are decreasing significantly. just by glancing and assuming we killed the same fraction of the total, I am guessing we have cut the mite loads in half. maybe not.
Here are today's drops, one day
after the treatment yesterday (Nov 8th)
Compare to yesterday's (below)
Here are yesterday's drops
before the treatment yesterday afternoon
And, for comparison, below
(again) are the boards from
Around two, I went out and boosted the bee truck. I had apparently run the battery flat evaporating oxalic last evening.
I then dealt with another six hives, getting them ready to treat. I decided not to scrape them all, other than the bottoms of the bottom box where needed. I stacked up the dead hives as I went.
As it turns out, I have 11 decent hives so far in the Quonset yard.
I worked until the sun got low and we reached that moment when the bees say, "Get out of here". There was still light, so I got the mower and cut grass until I stalled the mower. Its battery is too weak to start the mower when the engine is hot. Time to replace the battery.
I came in and had supper, then made soup for tomorrow and any leftover will be for my supply in following days.
Heat the broth, water, and tomatoes to a boil. Add pepper, chilies and garlic, then soup mix, and simmer and stir occasionally to prevent sticking until the barley is almost at the right degree of doneness. Meanwhile, microwave the vegetables separately until just about tender and fry the diced chicken. Drain and rinse beans in colander. Add everything to the pot and stir. Heat again to boiling point while stirring as needed to prevent sticking. Turn off heat and allow to cool on stove an hour +/-. Cooking and blending of flavours continues while cooling. Refrigerate.
The very first step to building wealth is to spend
less than you make.
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