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Ed Lusby and his bees

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Thursday January 17th, 2002
Last year on this date

wpe1.jpg (32041 bytes)We're in Yuma this morning and since this is a pretty nice hotel (a Ramada), we decided to wash clothes and soak in the hot tub.  The hot tub was OK, but the hotel laundromat turned out to be too small and we drove to Mission Beach in San Diego where we found a real laundromat.  That is another story.  We met a window washer who shared his supper with us and talked of going to Canada to wash windows.

wpe6.jpg (48064 bytes)Dee had suggested that while in Yuma, we stop to see Tom, and we called ahead, then dropped in.  He was sick in bed with the flu, but got up to greet us and agreed to pose for a picture with his foundation rolls.  He can supply rolls to make any kind of foundation --either by hand or with sophisticated commercial mills -- with only a week or two of notice.  His phone is 520-305-6828.

Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind light. High minus 6.
30 percent chance of flurries in the evening then partly cloudy. Wind increasing to northwest 20 km/h. Low minus 12.

Wednesday January 16th, 2002
Last year on this date

Sunny. Low minus 9. High minus 1.
Cloudy with occasional snow. Accumulations near 2 cm overnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light. Low minus 13.
Normals for the period: Low minus 18. High minus 6.

We left Lusbys after a leisurely breakfast and headed for the bee lab.  We got about ten minutes down the road, and my cell phone rang.  It was Dee.  I had left my computer on a chair after showing the pictures I shot in their yards.  We turned back and retrieved it along with my bee gloves which somehow had been transferred to the van the previous night  (and some little presents which Dee added) and said goodbye again.

Next, we stopped at the Tucson Bee lab and were shown around by Tommy Deeby and Gordon Wardell.  We already knew Gordon from a night on the town in Phoenix, and caught up on things.   He's working on essential oils and bee nutrition with some promising results coming soon -- hopefully.   We had lunch with Gordon (he's great guy) and then headed for the Desert Museum.  Our visit there took up the rest of the afternoon, and then we went north to Interstate10 and headed west to Yuma.

Tuesday January 15th, 2002
Last year on this date

Our second day in the yards.

Dee & Joe filling in a wash. This is rough country.  We had a blast 4 wheeling through the desert trails. Rocks to discourage the coatimundi from scratching

A typical yard.  Most of these hives are thriving on 4.9 comb.  We looked them over quite closely.

Sunny. Low minus 12. High minus 2.

Monday January 14th, 2002
Last year on this date

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Our first day in the yards.  More to come later.

Dee & Joe examining brood.  We saw lots of perfect patterns and found very few varroa.

Dee & Joe examining brood. We saw lots of perfect patterns and found very few varroa.

More perfect brood with a cup in the centre.  Smile, Dee.

More perfect brood

Sunny. Low minus 13. High minus 6.

Sunday January 13th, 2002
Last year on this date

Ed and Joe couldn't wait  to open some hives.We arrived at Lusbys' in the mid-morning and were immediately shown our quarters with the understanding that we would be staying at least a few days.

Before long Dee had us making foundation and we turned out about 66 sheets in somewhere around two hours with the three of us working.  Considering that Joe and I were learning and that we were not really set up for an efficient production line, that is pretty acceptable.  We made wages, I reckon.

Dee, sanding the blankMore sanding
Dee sands the wooden blank that is used to make the flat wax sheets.

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She wets the blank, using a little dish detergent if necessary, 
then dips it into beeswax.  Twice, inverting between dips.

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The wax peels of the blank with help from a knife.
Making 4.9 foundation
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The sheet goes into a black plastic bag with water as a release agent.

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And goes through the mill, then is cut to size, using a template
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Joe repeats the operation.  It's simple.

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The trimming table (my job) and the finished product.

Sunday: Mainly sunny. Wind increasing to northwest 30. High minus 1.

Saturday January 12th, 2002
Last year on this date

A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming west 20 gusting 40 km/h. High 7.
Mainly clear. Wind northwest 30 with gusts to 60 diminishing. Low minus 4.
Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.

As much as we enjoyed the atmosphere at the Embassy Suites, we felt the need to reduce expense and left the hotel around noon, headed south to Tucson to find a cheaper location for the night.  Lusbys had invited us to come by to see their bees and operation and we wanted to be sure not to miss the opportunity, but had no idea what to expect.  We imagined we would spend an afternoon and be on our way.  

We arrived in mid-afternoon and spent the rest of Saturday sight-seeing around the Tucson area.  We tried to visit the Biosphere II, but forgot our Jeep's clock was on California time and arrived too late.  We returned to Tucson, found a Motel 8, and then called it a day.  

Friday January 11th, 2002
Last year on this date

Becoming mainly sunny this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h shifting to south 20 in the afternoon. High plus 5.
Clear. Wind south 20. Low zero.
Normals for the period: Low minus 16. High minus 4.

Halfway through the AHPA meeting I realized that things were going in one ear and out the other, so I started taking notes.
Dr. Jay Evans Beltsville
AFB Genes
Gene expression & identify queen characteristics

Dr. Jose Yilla - Baton Rouge
TM susceptibility common in USA Commercial bees. Some suppliers are much
better than others. Breeders should be testing their queen mothers

Patti Elzen-Westlaco
-Apistan & Formic promising
-Coumaphos resistance confirmed in Fla with David Westervelt
-SHB problems are much worse in hives treated with grease patties
-Planning to work more on nutrition

John Harbo
-30 pupae purple eye - count reproductive mites calc %-described on a colony level
-res x ctrl are 1/2 way between res & ctrl with some variation
-Trait appears to be additive
-Is SMR related to poor brood production? 100% SMR have poor brood. But 1st& subsequent crosses seem OK. 75% is OK. 70% SMR seems ideal.
-SMR takes 6 weeks to show up in a colony after new queen begins work.

Jeff Harris
-Russian crosses with other stock may not retain R characteristics

Tom Rinderer
Russian queens have good tracheal & varroa resistance. Can go years w/o

Gordon Wardell
-co-operative research
-Naturally Occuring Products
-oil of origano in a slow release strip 94% drop over 6 wks
-Several oils at 1% levels can prevent CB

Eric Erickson
-Tucson bringing out several mite control products in the next few years
-Emphasis on IPM
-Varroa natural tolerance is masked by chemicals
-Very low Varroa counts in Leonard's colonies
-Cross contamination from non-tolerant neighbouring hives both managed & feral
-Susceptibility to varroa is declining rapidly
-Natural products will help in an IPM
-New research direction. Partnerships with technical small businesses
-Tucson will not close for the foreseeable future

Thursday January 10th, 2002
Last year on this date

Sunny. Wind becoming west 20 km/h. High plus 5.

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