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Sunday October 1st, 2000

A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming west 20 km/h. High 15.

I spent the morning trying to troubleshoot Window ME's Internet Connection Sharing.  After lunch Purves-smiths came over and we went to Carbon to hike their trails.  We stopped at the second-hand book store for a while and then walked around the island.  We had supper at the 'Good & Plenty' restaurant and then went home to watch a movie.

On the way, I stopped to look at one of the yards (50 hives) I had fed a few days back.  The syrup in the five open drums was over half gone with little sign of bee loss.  I had used good quality wheat straw in those drums and had been careful to make a mat of straws facing in every direction by sprinkling the straw in a circular motion.  The drums were spaced at 25 foot intervals and it was interesting to note that the levels in the drums farthest from the hives were not quite as low as in those closer.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Wind west 20. Low zero.

Monday October 2nd, 2000
Becoming mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers. High 8.

The forecast has changed for the worse this week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday look pretty cool.

We are on schedule, but I would like ideally to be about two to three weeks ahead of where we are.  I don't know exactly how to accomplish that, since it seems every year we have a lull at the end of August and the beginning of September when we lose staff and have trouble finding new help.  Although the work gets easier when the weather gets cooler, we start to have problems with granulation in the supers after the middle of September some years.  That is worse some years than others and is likely related to being on pollination.

I loaded another pup trailer of 42 drums for the co-op this afternoon to make some room in the warehouse.

Tonight: Showers changing to light snow. Low minus 2.
Normals for the period: Low 1. High 16.

Tuesday October 3, 2000

Light snow ending this morning otherwise cloudy. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High plus 2.

There was a quarter inch of snow on the ground this morning and the day was predicted to be cool.  Everyone showed up and we set to extracting.  Garry and Dave are still a bit unfamiliar with the job, but willing and we are going a bit faster.  Nonetheless the chain came off a time or two and we had a plugged auger.  These thing slow us down.  We got the small tank full, but there is getting to be a lot of granulation.  I hope it is just from one area and that we will find more liquid honey in the rest of the boxes.

I expect we will get back to field work in the next few days since the weather is forecast to be nicer towards the weekend.  We always have some cold weather and snow before Thanksgiving and we always have hot days.  The days get shorter though and the warm ones get fewer.

I went for a walk at five in  the afternoon, and it was quite pleasant out by then

Tonight: Cloudy with a 70 percent chance of light snow overnight. Wind southeast 20 shifting to north 20 overnight. Low minus 4.

Normals for the period: Low 1. High 16.

Wednesday October 4th, 2000

Light snow ending by midday. A mix of sun and cloud this afternoon.
Wind northeast 30 km/h gusting 50 this morning diminishing to north 20 this afternoon. High zero.

We awoke to another layer of snow, a little over an inch more.   Sunrise: 7:42 AM, Sunset: 7:06 PM.  The days are getting quite short now. The forecasts have been accurate, unfortunately, and I think we can count on a cold night tonight. Minus thirteen Celsius is 8.6 degrees F.

Extracting is going better now, but still could be faster.  the new guys are trained, but we are hitting a lot of granulation.  That requires two men on the loading conveyer, and we are putting a lot of granulation aside.  All the honey we are doing now is from this local area, so we are hoping that we will hit another are with less, but it is becoming apparent that we are out of time.

The weather will be better later in the week and we can usually count on several weeks of decent bee weather in October to complete feeding.  We have a little over 100 drums to put out yet and about 2000 supers still I the field.  Many of those are supers we left on to provide space for the bees in late August and will be empty.  Matt went out late today and set down another 15 drums and we are set up to get the rest out pretty quickly.

Hopefully the extracting will be done within a week or so.  All depends on the weather, since we are planning to get back outside as soon as the weather is settled.

About 570 singles remain to be doubled up, so we are looking at a few days field work before we start wrapping.  Wrapping will be interesting, since we will be short of wraps.  How many remains to be seen.

My operating system has settled down now and seems stable, but the Internet sharing doesn't work.  I added Ucmore to my browser and find it works very well.

Tonight: Mainly Clear. Wind north 20 diminishing. Low minus 13.

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (42% of Full)
Normals for the period
Low 1. High 15.

Thursday October 5th, 2000

Mainly sunny. High plus 3.

I awoke just after midnight and noticed that there was quite a bit of light outside. It turned out to be the most southerly display of the Aurora Borealis I ever recall having seen.  It was directly overhead and spread from east to west and north to south.  A good portion of it was visible out our south-facing windows.  There was no colour to speak of and, remembering the debates as to whether it makes noise or not, I stepped out to see.  I heard nothing but cattle and a distant engine.

Today is my 55th birthday, if I counted correctly. I am always forgetting exactly how old I am.  I do know I was born in 1945, so I think I got it right.  Both years divide evenly by five

So far, at 1 AM, it was minus 4.6 C.  Now, at 2:15 it is minus 6.5, so we may hit the predicted low of minus thirteen.  That is not necessarily bad for the bees.  It may reveal some weak colonies, but is probably good for the strong ones, since it will slow them down and get them into a winter mood.

At 6:52, Brett phoned and he had a sting in the finger yesterday that swelled and immobilized the finger.  then the arm got sore and he cannot lift it above the shoulder.  He didn't sleep well and needs to take the day off to recover.  Joint pains are not unusual after novices get stung. I don't know why.

Tonight: Mainly clear. Low minus 13.

Normals for the period
Low 1. High 15.

Friday October 6th, 2000

Sunny. Wind increasing to southeast 20 km/h. High 8.

I drove Ellen to Calgary for an eye exam first thing in the morning and bought a suit on the way home.

The crews continued to finish up in the field and Steve extracted with Gary and Dave.

We returned mid-afternoon and found that the extractor was not working properly, so the extractor crew did tidy up and odd jobs to finish off the day.

Jean came down from Red Deer after supper and she and El and I headed for YYC at about ten to catch the Red Eye to YYZ

Tonight: Mainly clear. Wind southeast 20. Low minus 6.

Normals for the period: Low 1. High 15.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday
October 7th, 8th, and 9th, 2000
Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

Saturday: Mainly sunny. Wind south 20 increasing to southwest 30 gusting to 50. High 16.

Sunday: Mainly sunny. Low zero. High 18.

Monday: Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers. Low 2. High 15.

The flight was delayed until 1:40 AM and we boarded finally at two.  We then sat a while while the airline looked for an essential part that was broken, then took off for Pearson.

We arrived at about eight AM and headed straight to our motel in Guelph to catch some sleep.  At about two we went to the hall where we attended our cousin Sue's wedding and spent the rest of the day with friends and family.  A banquet and dance finished off the day and we quit at twelve to catch some sleep.

The next morning we had breakfast with the wedding group and then drove to Sudbury, stopping at Erin for their Fall Fair on the way.  We dropped by the local beekeeper's booth and admired his observation hive, but he seemed very busy and ignored us so we eventually left without speaking to him.

We arrived in Sudbury at 5:30 and had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Mom, Linda and family.

Monday, we lounged around, visiting with Linda and family and with Ellen's cousin Brenda.  Supper was cold turkey.

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