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Ten Styrofoam hives and a 20 litre jug of n-butyric anhydride

I don't really have clue how to best assemble these hives, whether to use glue, and what type.  I'll have to phone around, I guess.  I'll be transferring some of our wintering hives into them as an experiment.  They are not much different in price from wooden boxes after the cost of assembly, nails and paint are factored in.

 The jug contains bulk bee repellent for driving bees from supers.

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Tuesday September 10th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

I'm now have counted 39 messages from people who read the diary and it seems that over 80% say they read it every day. (Wow!).  Many of the feedback emails contain nice, well written comments describing the readers themselves and their beekeeping.   I might quote a few here, after removing any identifying information, of course. 

That number is pretty amazing to me, especially considering that there are likely as many or more who have not, and never will, respond.  Of course, I don't mind.  I write the diary primarily for myself, and sharing it is just something that makes it more fun.  The notes I get back from readers with suggestions and comments are a real bonus and often very helpful.  One good example is the information on honey prices people have been sending me, and the comments on equipment and methods.  Keep the info coming, folks, and thank you.

091102_005.jpg (45964 bytes)We'll be pulling honey and extracting today, and hopefully we've hit our stride now.  The guys got two good loads from the field yesterday and the extracting crew is now doing a tank a day.  There are a few yards that got missed on the first round -- there wasn't enough to make pulling worthwhile.  Those hives had three and four supers each plus broods, and we are taking them down to 2 high -- just the brood chambers.  As the picture shows, many stayed wrapped all summer.

The boxes from those yards are now coming in very heavy and fully packed.  I wonder if the bees fill the supers better if the boxes are only pulled once.  There was a Beaverlodge study some time back showing that the best quality and quantity comes with two pulls in  as summer, not more.  I wonder; there are those in Saskatchewan who swear by making a pull once a week and taking off the honey as nectar.  They get 300 pound crops, apparently, but then again, many subscribing to that philosophy went broke a few years back.  Go figure.

Here's another note from one of my best sources, in response to previous discussion:

Yes indeed the wax is a problem. And with the price of wax at 80 Cents (US) a pound & 25 cents to render it, well you do the math. The honey & all the wax from the extractors are run thru a 1-1/2 Viking pump into a 5 drum holding tank. We skim this tank along with a tank that sits under the Gunness into the Woodman extractor to spin the honey out of the cappings. Yes some what a pain in the butt, then what is perfect in the bee business.

Last year I heard of some beekeepers burning old combs & frames for heat as the price to render the old comb ( 50 or 60 cents ) was worth little or nothing. Were as the intense heat from the wax & wood was worth quite a bit more. My how this world is a changing. Some how many times I feel that it would be just as easy to give the wax away as to mess with it.

Today..Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h. High 25.
Tonight..Partly cloudy. Wind becoming west 20 km/h. Low 8.
Normals for the period..Low 4. High 18.

Wednesday September 11th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

I have little time for writing this morning.  I have to get an extractor working properly first thing.

I got a little background behind the honey prices:  Apparently Argentine honey prices -- after the duty -- landed at US ports is setting the top of the market.  I heard that Argentine white costs $US1.63 landed and duty paid at US ports currently and that most of the crop is sold, although the problems in that country have hampered sales. 

If that is true, then $US1.63 is the benchmark.  I am also hearing that the US clampdown on the Chinese honey leaking into the USA via Thailand and Vietnam caused the latest bump in price.  No one can see where enough honey is going to come from to ease the supply shortage and many packers are afraid that they will not have enough to make it into spring. 

Here's an added wrinkle: reportedly, Australian beekeepers have additional incentive now to produce honey and are gearing up to produce as much as they can. Selling package bees into export may not have a high priority next year, so there may be a package bee shortage again this coming spring in Canada.

This from a very reliable source:

The $1.62 price (US$) is real...or at least $1.57 (US$) I head last Saturday was...so I figure yours is too. The $1.32 (US$) may be low, there isn't any coming in from hardly anywhere so any a packer can get is better than none at all. It's tough on midsize producer/packers...already some are hurting, and already some are gone.

... And this from another very reliable source:

Hi Allen,

The price I have heard here is in the $1.50 - $1.65+ (US$) range and moving up.

It has gone up from the $1.30 (US$) range 3 weeks ago. Some packers ( sounds like several ) are really beating the bushes looking for white honey and the crop is short. SD doesn't have much crop, part of ND got a good crop but much of the state is down, from what I hear MN is down but not as bad as SD. The southern part of MN might be a little better than the north but not sure on that yet but total crop is looking below average for the state. Also have heard that prices are in the $1.30 (US$) range for cotton honey.

How long can it last? Nobody knows of course but with the Chinese honey out of the market due to the drug residue issue there appears to be a very short supply world wide.

How will the increased prices impact demand? If demand stays stable the shortage could last at least until next year depending of course on crops in other parts of the world and if the Chinese deal with the residue issue.

From BEE-L, in reply to my query:

> Does anyone have any idea what the limit is for the price of bulk white
> honey in North America?

To be truthful the only limit is the amount of honey available and the desperate state of the packer.

Packers which have made record profits at the expense of beekeepers for as long as I can remember will have to dip into their bank accounts and buy honey at record prices to keep from losing accounts.

The packers will run at a loss until the honey supply changes.

As in the spring of 1996 many which wait for the prices to climb further will end up getting less for their honey because in a world market the prices can come down as fast as they went up.  $1.20 - 1.25 U.S. is the price range in the Midwest today but we have heard of higher prices being paid by a few desperate packers.

> I thought $US 1.00 a pound was pretty good, but have heard as high as $1.62 US for bulk honey in drums!

Several packers are close to bankruptcy. 1.62 U.S. is not a lot of money if you do not get your money. Choose your packer wisely.

> Has anyone here a good understanding of the market and how long the price can stay this high?

The 1996 price spike lasted only several months but there really is no way of guessing as a complete different set of factors are involved this time.

> I just got an offer for $ 2.10 CAD (US$ 1.34) for a load of white honey without even bargaining hard.

You seem to not be bound by sales only to your coop Allen.  The largest U.S. coop members are going to come out with only average prices for their honey and unable to benefit from the run away prices.  Many are ignoring sales to the coop and selling on the open market. Never underestimate the power of money. 

I am told that said US coop is paying top price (1.55 U.S.) because of *loyal* members jumping ship and selling coop headed honey on the US open market.

The same happens here.  We had to have a resolution at our co-op AGM a few years  back to reinstate the membership of a former chairman of that same co-op  for selling so much of his crop outside the co-op that he accidentally failed to ship the 5,000 pound minimum required to maintain membership!  He was counting on the honey from some wax being melted at the co-op to make the minimum and it fell a few pounds short.  It was the year before he retired, and he needed the cash price, and he just could not take a chance that the co-op would be able to manage to give as a good price as the open market.

46 replies to my survey so far and counting...

1-763-658-4193 is a Midwestern US honey price hotline: I've been given this number from several sources, so I feel okay in giving it out here.  I gather it is not a secret.  I called it up a few minutes ago.  The prices are a week old, but $1.40 (US$) seems to be in the range.  If you know what current prices are, please share.  If you send me anything that is confidential, say so clearly, and I'll keep it under my hat, but having a variety of  background info helps me sort out the wheat from the chaff.

We're going to have to try to take it easy on the packers and try to play fair with them.  That could be a problem, since the packers have to pay high prices while they are still strapped with contracts to deliver at old prices, but they are facing a situation where the sellers are concerned whether they will be able to pay when due -- or at all -- if beekeepers allow them to buy on terms.  Sellers are cautious and demanding cash or shorter terms than before.  Generally, beekeepers in Canada tend to like the Canadian packers, and with a few exceptions, they two groups get along nicely with mutual respect and co-operation.  Each group depends on the other, so when things get out of balance, we have to be careful not to wreck a good relationship or drive the buyers to the wall.

The highest bidder may not be the best customer if he is not in business when the time comes to pay the bill.  In the past, I have not heard of many beekeepers being stung by packers going out of business -- eventually in the past, most loads have been paid for -- but this time it could be different.  The risks are going up just as quickly as the price.  A sudden reversal could see sellers having to renegotiate with buyers on honey already delivered, or getting pennies on the dollar.  Another factor, consumer resistance, takes some time to show up.  If sales fizzle due to price, there could suddenly be an oversupply.  Thus we are in a quandary: the price is good and getting better for the seller, but the music could stop at any time and leave some players without a place to sit.

toolbox_005.jpg (42332 bytes)
toolbox_007.jpg (49834 bytes)

This evening, I took a look at my 'pet' hive, the toolbox hive that has had no treatments of any sort.  I haven't wrapped it in winter, it got no menthol in spring, and no Apistan®.  I also did not pull any honey from it -- I wouldn't know how, even if I wanted to.  I have not treated it to prevent AFB or EFB, but it thrives.  If any hive should have AFB, this is the one, since it gets to rob supers coming and going from the home yard.  Anyhow, I could not see any signs of varroa on the bees and the bees have filled the box to the point where I can't open it any further than in the picture without ripping comb.  I know it is exposed to varroa, since last year I saw a mite on a bee at the entrance.

Today, we hired two new guys: Clarence and Raymond.  Raymond is Marvin's brother and can work part-time.  Clarence is an aviation student in Three Hills and can work Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  They all went together to Willows, a huge yard and pulled it, then went to Cyril's and did that one too. 

I had not intended to leave as many hives at Willows as I did, but when moving time came, conditions were so dry that I was afraid that I would kill, or seriously damage, hives by moving them to locations where they might not find water before the middle of their first day on the new sites.  In retrospect, leaving them at Willows seemed to be a good decision, since Willows turned out to be a very good yard and the boxers were very heavy.

Meijers came for supper



of the Day:

Ag Journal

Today..Mainly sunny. Wind increasing to southeast 20 km/h. High 22.
Tonight..Clear. Wind diminishing to light. Low 9.
Normals for the period..Low 4. High 18.

Thursday September 12th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

It's another nice day.  Marvin and Paulo pulled Meglis, a another big yard, and came back early.  El and I left in the afternoon to go to Calgary, just to get a way.  The pressure is getting pretty high.  It looks as if we will be extracting into October again.

We need a storage place where we can hold the supers waiting extraction so that the field guys are not held up if extracting slows, so we were looking at temporary structures.

toolbox_001.jpg (71460 bytes)Today..Sunny. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High 25.
Tonight..Clear. Wind becoming northwest 20. Low 10.
Normals for the period..Low 4. High 17.

Friday September 13th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

Marvin took the day off.  He has an eye swollen shut and also needs to rest a bit.  Pulling honey is hard work for someone who is young and in good shape.  It takes a few days to get used to it and it is a good idea to take some rest days to heal up in between sessions.  Paulo and Clarence are off to pull some local yards.  Today is cooler and there is wind predicted; I'm thinking that I should have built some wind boards for a day such as this.  I didn't -- yet.

It's becoming very apparent that we need a large hot room to accumulate the supers that we can pull faster than we can extract.  There are a number of pluses: the longer the supers are stored, the fewer bees stay on the combs. Another advantage of a large hot room is that supers held at 85 to 90 degrees F will not granulate, and over time, may actually liquefy, depending on the honey's sugars profile.  Moreover, if humidity in the room is controlled properly, the honey in the very dry combs (<15.2% moisture) that are otherwise hard to extract, will pick up moisture so the honey will run out better, while the wetter honey in other combs will dry down to a more appropriate level.

We decided to buy another Dakota Gunness and I'll pick it up tomorrow.  Whether or not we'll use it this year, I'm not sure, but the unit is fairly new and reasonably priced, so I'm assuming that it cannot be too big a mistake.

Dennis and I moved the rest of the drums out of the basement and into storage this afternoon.  We're both tired, but have work tomorrow.  Dennis pumping drums, and me driving to get the Gunness.

I went to Three Hills to meet Walt L. for turkey supper at the Coffee Break.



of the Day:

Today..Mainly cloudy. Sunny this afternoon. Wind increasing to north 30 gusting 50 km/h. High 17.
Tonight..Mainly clear. Wind northeast 20. Low 5.
Normals for the period..Low 4. High 17.

Saturday September 14th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

We've extracted 61 pounds per hive now.  The late season kicked in and there is quite a bit of honey out there still.  I used to always leave a third on until September 20th, but have pulled about 366 hives to two high now to get a start on the fall work.  There is still a flow on in some areas, including some that looked as if they would never come back from the drought.   I was talking to a beekeeper near Edmonton and he was pulling down to two broods only, but stopped because there was so much honey coming in over the past few days.

I think we have been influenced by our neighbours to end the season a bit too early.   We still have 4,200 supers in the field and by the looks of it most are at least half full. They are tired this year and impatient to finish up.  Nonetheless, there is always the rush to finish later if we do not at least start now, so we have to start getting ready for winter some time. 

We are not seeing much in the way of mites, since we treated in spring, but need to get out and look more.  We did not finish the menthol in spring either, so we need to make sure we get that done.

I guess we are right on track compared to last year, but somehow it does not feel that way.  The drought in July slowed us down a bit and lowered our expectations and I think we needed to make a faster first pulling round.  There did not seem to be much there for a long time, then the flow hit in August.  We always have a real problem with staff continuity at the end of August.  I suppose we should be used to it by now, and maybe just shut down completely at Labour Day for a week  before that date, students are pretty well all we can find, but after labour Day, the quality changes and we get adults who are serious.  We need to start advertising widely on august 25th and assume we will be short-staffed until about the 7th of September.

This year, Ellen -- against her better judgment and against my adamant advice -- decided, in the dying days of August, to hire and train two youngsters who obviously would be borderline at the job at best and who could stay for ten days at most.  She spend days trying to train them, and in the end one quit and the other had to be fired.  They left quite a mess that others had to clean up, and they used up a lot of our scarce psychological resources.  One whined all the time she was here and made trouble whenever Ellen turned her back..  Hiring them was a huge mistake and keeping them as long as we did was a much worse one. 

Such experiences taint our enjoyment of our job and make us suspicious of people.  There is nothing to make a person a more positive and beneficent employer than competent, willing, positive staff.  Bad employees, kept on the payroll, and not discharged promptly, can make even the best boss cranky.  Bad experiences, unless carefully analyzed and properly managed and understood can lead to inappropriate conclusions and apprehension in the future.  This bad hire was a direct result of not understanding and accepting the seasonal nature of the job market and trying to 'push on a string'.  A bit more advertising and a bit more patience were what was required.

A large hot room kept at 106 degrees F
Two Cowen Lines with Cook & Beals uncappers
Two Cowen Lines with Cook & Beals uncappers -- view from the back end
 The sump, two spinfloats, a Moyno pump and a wax melter

We have built up management rules over the years, and one of our most important rules is not to hire or train anyone who does not show promise for a job.  Any time we have broken this rule, we have paid, and paid, and paid.  Our rules also demand that we quickly release anyone who does not train up well in the first few hours or days.  It may seem callous, but time and experience has proven -- without exception -- that if there is promise there, it will be obvious within a day or two.  If there is no sign of aptitude or interest by the end of the second day, there never will be, and to keep such people on in false hope of improvement is bad for them, and bad for us.

If we hire someone on trial, it is much easier for everyone to admit, early on, that things are not working out than it is after much time and effort has been spent by both parties.  Even one poor staff memeber demoralizes the other staff quickly, since attachments are formed and sympathies developed. People just naturally help one another and compensate for others on the job, and, if a weak link is permitted to last long enough for this to happen, it is painful for all when the truth must finally be recognized and the employee discharged.

We're hitting pockets of granulation again this year, only worse, and I guess we have to get the first crop of honey off faster.  The problem is that to get a good crop, we have to super the hives early with at least 3 supers  (plus 2 broods = 5 high) and the better hives need to be 7 high.  If a good early crop does not materialize in July or early August, like this year, then it is spread through all those supers because the bees 'stovepipe' up the middle.  They may even cap the partially filled combs.  Pulling and extracting this is slow, and barely practical since so much equipment has to handled for so little honey in the drum.  Then, when the second crop cuts in, the bees will finish the combs; but, if there was a pocket of rape in the first crop, granulation is a serious problem and combs may be hard to uncap and may blow up in the extractor.

In the afternoon, I headed up to Walter Dahmer's to get the Dakota.  Dahmers run around six thousand hives, with about a third on pollination.

We had a pleasant supper, toured his facility (right) and chatted, then I headed home, arriving around 1 AM.

Saturday..Sunny. Wind light. High 24.
Normals for the period..Low 4. High 17.

Sunday September 15th, 2002
Last year on this date
       Year 2000 on this date

I slept in; staying up after midnight generally tires me out the next day.  Then I played at my desk for most of the day.

I called the Midwest hotline (1-763-658-4193) and found it is now updated as of the 15th.  $US1.50 seems to be the offer price these days, and apparently some Argentine has been going for over $US1.70 at the dock.  (That is about $2.34 and $2.65, respectively, in Canadian funds).  This hotline is a good service to all beekeepers.  I hope that everyone checks the current market before selling, so as not to undercut the market -- or lose out.

The market is just going up and up, but it has to stop somewhere, so most beekeepers have sold a little and are hanging onto the balance.  When to sell? 

Selling too soon could result in missing the bonanza of a lifetime, but holding on too long could result in selling into a panic and tumbling prices -- if the news turns bearish.   Depending on whether the Argentines smarten up and ask a good price for their honey, and what happens with China, prices could be unstable on the upside for a while yet. 

Right now, there is a buying panic and that is driving prices up and up, however, at some point the contracts will be filled, the news will change, and buyer resistance will inevitably cut in.  Volumes will slow, and then the prices will turn down.  Depending on the amount and quality of the new supply coming in at that time, the prices could crash.

The Argentines do seem to be smartening up, judging by the recent price news, and I can't visualize how China will quickly overcome their bans.  We must keep in mind, however, that obviously, not all, or even most of the Chinese honey was contaminated.  At some point, a system will be figured out -- perhaps with testing of every drum? -- to permit some of the backlog into some of the countries that are currently refusing it.  

Even a rumour of such an event could stop the price advance.  In fact, that may be the very news that will eventually sober up this crazy market.  There is a lot of Chinese honey out there with no place to go -- at any price.  Unlike the Argentines, who are now learning they sold too cheap in the past and who are now rectifying that mistake, the Chinese will have written this refused honey off, and thus be glad to get any price they can for it. They will also sell new honey cheap to get into the market again.

My advice to beekeepers with honey to sell:  Get while the getting is good.  Sell some, hold some.  Be careful about offering credit terms to buyers.

pix_002_DCE.jpg (45985 bytes)In late afternoon, I pulled 20 boxes off the home hives and left them to abandon. I did replace the third, since there are combs to rob in this home yard.

Bert came for supper.

Today..Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h. High 26.
Tonight..Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 20. Low 10.
Normals for the period..Low 3. High 17.

Monday September 16th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

I am curious about your recent comments about honey prices. You have said in the past that most of your honey goes to one particular packer but I am not sure on what basis you sell to them.

I normally ship the entire crop to our co-op. They sell it, then distribute the proceeds after costs to the member / owners. Usually this works well, but in some years they have fallen quite short of the market price.  This could be one of those years.  In fact I am almost certain that it will be..

Is there a "forward" market for honey or is everything done on a "spot" basis?

There is no futures market. Any forward selling is with individual buyers.

You have also referred to "payment terms" which, if I understand you correctly, means that you supply the honey before receiving payment. How long do you have to wait for payment?

That is a matter of each agreement made with a buyer, and a result of negotiation. The buyers usually like to get some time to pay, since their customers don't pay them immediately either, especially if the honey has to be packaged before sale, however -- if they really need to make a purchase -- they sometimes will pay cash.  Usually they they expect -- and try to negotiate -- a discount. in exchange for that concession.

I would assume that the longer the terms the higher the price (to account for loss of interest/default risk). Is this correct?

That should be the case, and is what both parties usually expect, but what actually occurs in any given instance depends on the buyer and the seller, and their relative bargaining power at the time of sale. 

Whether drums are returned, who pays any shipping and / or fees, and other small details is also subject to negotiation.  Sometimes the buyer expects the seller to hold the honey for a while before shipping, with payment promised X days after delivery.  Some buyers demand samples and contracts putting responsibility for any shortfall in quality on the seller.  Others just do business on a handshake.

Clarence and Paulo pulled two yards.  Our crew continued to extract.  I set up the Dakota Gunness, outside on the lot, to look at it and check it out. The spring action drive pulley was seized, but after disassembly, cleaning and reassembly, was as good as new.  I'm still not sure if the D-G was a wise purchase this late in the season, but it does look good.



of the Day:

Today..A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h. High 20.
Tonight..Increasing cloud. 30 percent chance of showers overnight. Wind west 20. Low 8.
Normals for the period..Low 3. High 17.

Tuesday September 17th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

The day started off cool.  While waiting for warmer conditions, Paulo and Marty straightened out the trucks they have been using, then sorted out some brood chambers.  They then went to EE and put BCs under the singles and sorted the granulation and broken comb left there for robbing.  Bonnie showed up to extract, but said that Marvin (her fiancé) finds the work too hard, and she guesses he has quit.  No problem.   Each year, we have found that about this time -- if we advertise well and widely -- we get lots of quality people.  Another young fellow came by today and will start tomorrow on field work, so we will have four in the field.  We actually have a few hands more than we absolutely need, but better too many than too few.

Paulo reported yesterday that the single hives that received new BCs on top of the single BC earlier, when we still had a third on, had plugged the new box with honey instead of putting it into the super, so it reinforces our belief that adding the new BC underneath singles is more likely to result in the honey going into supers.  We prefer to winter on sugar syrup and we winter in two BCs, since we have never had any luck with singles in winter.  The same hives with another box under, do just as well as hives that were doubles all season.

dakota_002.jpg (24377 bytes)I worked on the Dakota Gunness again, figuring out how to best set it up.  Tomorrow, with any luck, I'll get the trays fixed up a bit better and, if we empty the hot room area, we can install it.  There is not much to installation.  The extractors are already well paced and it is just a matter of dealing with the cappings.  We timed the throughput, and it will do exactly 20 standard frames a minute if anyone can keep it fed with combs.  (It will do 30 medium depth combs per minute, since they fit three across instead of two across, but we don't use mediums).

The boxes were a bit lighter today and extracting went more quickly.  Dennis had to go to Calgary to take his son in for some tests and left around noon.  Around six, I happened to go downstairs to check the furnace, and walked by the tank just in time to see a first drip of honey run down the side.  Upstairs, Laura was just starting another extractor.  Without my chance arrival, we would have -- within moments -- had a half drum of honey on the floor.  I quickly pumped a drum and a half to make room, and the last load of the day was run.

Frank and Mike came by in the evening to visit.  Matt came over to work on D4.  He had done the clutch previously, and now changed the master cylinder.  The rear brake job is all that  remains before the truck is 100% again.

I was going through some of the responses to my survey.  The count came to about 50.  Although I did not ask for comments, I did get quite a few and appreciated them all, even though I may not have replied to all, yet, anyhow.  One of the notes got me wondering what peoples' favourite beekeeping links are.  If you folks send them in, Write me. I'll summarize them on this page someday soon.  I reckon that all the readers of this page probably have interests in common, and sharing might be fun.

Every year I repeat mistakes that become obvious at this time of year, but get forgotten during the year.  This diary is partially to remind me in advance of the potential pitfalls.

One mistake I have made repeatedly around the end of August in recent years -- besides forgetting that there is always a flat spot around Labour Day when things are hard to accomplish, and that things always resume within a week or two -- is forgetting that we always extract into October, and that we always have needed to leave a third on until September 20th.  The temptation is to get the supers off and the job done, but many years we do not have frost until October.  Any sign of granulation tends to create anxiety and we become afraid to leave boxes out.  The thirds give the bees room so that they do not contract too early, and we often get a bit more honey.

Today..Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind northwest 20 km/ h. High 12.
Tonight..Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this evening. Clearing around midnight. Wind north 20 diminishing. Low plus 3. Risk of frost.
Normals for the period..Low 3. High 17.

Wednesday September 18th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date
The First Day of Autumn

Four men went to men went to the field today, Paulo, Clarence, Marty, and Dave.  They did three big yards: Freres S, Loosemores' and Halsteads.  Two were very heavy, and the last one a bit lighter.  We had to send out a third truck late in the day to pick up the excess over what the two trucks could carry.  There are 3,307 boxes on hives now according to our records. That's another three weeks of pulling at 200 per day and about the same amount of extracting.  What we really need right now is a big hot room with space for all the boxes and we could extract until Christmas. For 4000 boxes stacked 4 high, we'd need a 50 foot by 50 foot room.

The extracting crew caught up and went home early, so things are moving along well.

Today..Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h. High 16.
Tonight..Clear. Wind west 20. Low 8.
Normals for the period..Low 3. High 16.

Thursday September 19th, 2002
Last year on this date       Year 2000 on this date

It occurred to me that Bee Culture keeps some of my articles on their site.  Click here to read the latest in the wintering series.  Here is part of my article on the Lusbys.  The web versions of these articles are incomplete, and the site does not contain much of the magazine's content, particularly the ads which are as useful as the articles.  I recommend subscribing.

We're over 65 pounds to the hive now and still going.

Our co-op has now set the price at $2.00 ($1.28 US) and is promising more if the members ship enough honey for increased bulk sales.

Thursday..Mainly sunny. Wind increasing to west 40 with gusts to 60. High 19.

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   "If I make a living off it, that's great -- but I come from a culture where you're valued
not so much by what you acquire but by what you give away,"
-- Larry Wall (the inventor of Perl)
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© allen dick 1999-2014. Permission granted to copy in context for non-commercial purposes, and with full attribution.