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Wednesday September 13th, 2000

Mainly sunny. High 20.

First thing this morning, after our daily meeting, I filled 17 drums  with the honey that had been accumulated in the tanks while we waited for the truck.  Drums had begun to choke the warehouse, so we held the honey until we had space. We had hoped for a truck sooner, but yesterday was fine.

Skimming the tankClick for a close-upBefore we pump each morning, we skim the sump tank into the whirl dry.  Since the uncapper and extractor both empty directly into the tank, there is usually a two to four inch layer of wax on the surface.  It is easier to skim when the tank is full.

We use a Jabsco pump with 2" hoses attached with aluminium camlocks.  The pail is to catch drips when we remove the suction hose to check for wire and wax or when moving the pump. A certain amount of wood and wax comes down from the extractor, and the auger sometimes grinds up a comb, yielding wire, wax and honey.  This pump moves a drum in about ten minutes, or less if the honey is at 104 degrees F

The float switchA Jabsco pumpThe pump is controlled by a float switch, so it is not much work to fill drums.  By the time tidying, moisture sampling, and lid fitting is accomplished, it is time to move the hose and switch to the next drum, and so on...  The switch ensures that all drums are filled evenly.  we don't weigh individual drums, since the Co-op weighs the truck in and out of their plant, and a standard weight is assumed for all drums.

I showed a picture previously of this swarm.  Today I went out and brought it home, intact in its window.  We're thinking to mount it in a wall in our home, just for the fun of it.  I don't know how it will do, since it seems to be starving from appearances (but not by weight when I lifted it).

I cut it out in mid-afternoon, using a Sawzall, then returned in the evening around nine when darkness descended and loaded it in the light of the full moon.

A swarm in a barnA close-up of the swarmP9130114A.jpg (84999 bytes)

P9130120.jpg (180838 bytes)

The swarm was removed, loaded and delivered home by truck

Our front DoorA sunflower volunteered in a crack in our sidewalk this spring and we wondered if it would survive.  We left it alone and so did all the comers and goers who visited during the summer. As we can see, it flourished. and flowered and often we see ten or more bees visiting it.

Tonight: Mainly clear. Low 7.


Thursday September 14th, 2000

Mainly sunny. Wind southerly 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 26.

Today has been one of those days.  We had visitors from Saskatchewan and France, then Adony came by in late afternoon to stay over and work on the experimental hives tomorrow.  The phone ran non-stop all day.

Out in the field, the each crew got four yards done which is about twice what they have been able to accomplish previously, so things are going well.  The honey house is full of honey and we will have to extract tomorrow.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 9.

Normals for the period
Low 4. High
Sunrise:7:10 AM  Sunset:7:52 PM
The Moon is Waning Gibbous (100% of Full)

Friday September 15th, 2000

Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h. High 23.

We extracted today and got a bit done.  The warehouse is so packed that there is hardly room to move.  I got some bookwork done. 

Adony examined the hives and although the plot confirms what I thought going in -- showing dark comb to be the best, white comb a close second, Pierco third, and The black and the white Permadent in wood at last place -- I am told that the differences may not be significant, so I'll have to wait for further analysis.

By 6:30 PM, I was on a jet on my way to Vancouver for a second try at picking up the car.  Ron picked me up and we went back to his place via Home Depot again. We picked up the car along the way and it ran perfectly.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers. Low 9.

Normals for the period: Low 4. High 17.

Saturday September 16th, 2000

A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of morning showers. High 20.

Galiano Island from the ferryBruceSaturday morning I drove to Tswassen to catch the ferry to Salt Spring. On the way to the ferry, I stopped at White Rock to visit old friends, Brian and Sandy. 

I made the 12:50 ferry and in a little under two hours, I was on Salt Spring, driving to Ganges. Bruce was at the Saturday market, as he almost always is, and I met him there.  He is a jeweller and makes candles as well.  I've known him since he was in art school in the sixties. 

A mason bee houseAt the market, I noticed something of interest to beekeepers -- a mason bee house.  Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.  The holes are about 3/8", and I am told the size is not critical.  I was later told that using solid wood is not ideal, since if the larva nearest the outside opening dies, the others cannot get out.  Softer material is better.  I know nothing about these bees.

Bruce and I had supper at Vesuvius and I stayed the night at his place.

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