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March 1st, and our bees are looking good -- and flying

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.
Their tastes may not be the same.
-- George Bernard Shaw --

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Thursday 10 March 2005
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Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so -- Bertrand Russell

We've been worried on BEE-L that maybe oxalic drizzling has adverse effects.

> I wanted to ask folks who have used the oxalic acid
> dribble treatment for varroa during broodless
> periods in the fall/winter if you have seen any
> changes or a time shift in the spring brood rearing
> in their bees.
> I have read in the Swiss studies that the OA can
> show spring build-up problems but did not give any
> specifics.

This concern seems in the air. At the last Qc beekeepers annual meeting, I heard at least one important beekeeper reporting similar observation. Another one said he heard the same in BC for OA drizzling. We were then asking questions about OA mechanism of action on varroas and possible difference between drizzling and vaporizing methods.

> From what I understand, low pH of OA solution would be the main factor of varroacide action.

We are reassured from Finland.

Several European countries joined to study oxalic acid dribbling. If I remember right that was during years 1996 - 1999 or somewhere there. Same tests we done in different years in different countries.

First  result was that  the effect was much better in sugar/water solution than in water alone. After that the right dose was searched.

Some were too small with only 60 - 80 % effect, some were too much. Overdose makes the bees to be restless during winter and kills a lot of bees.  The optimum was found to be 75 g of acid / 1 litre of water / 1 kg of sugar. And the application 4 ml / Langstroth frame fully covered with bees.  With this dose there is as many bees in spring as in untreated controls.

In Finland we have not seen any delay in spring brood development. At the moment about 60 % of hives in the whole country  are treated with oxalic. Mainly by dribbling, less than 10 %  by vapour method.

Based on my experience the problems in spring brooding could come from overdose rather than the treatment itself.

Ari Seppälä

BEE-L has an excellent international group and we get the perspective from all over.  This one brought in comment form Quebec, Switzerland, and Finland.

Today: Sunny. High 15. Tonight: Clear. Low minus 6. Friday: Sunny with cloudy periods. Becoming cloudy in the afternoon with 60 percent chance of showers late in the day. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 60 late in the day. High plus 17. Saturday: A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 1. High plus 10. Sunday: Cloudy with 70 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Windy. Low 1. High 2. Monday: A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 13. High minus 1.

Friday 11 March 2005
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People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up -- Ogden Nash

Today, I finished the curriculum and emailed it off.  What to do now?  I have the books to get ready to take to the accountant, and a meeting Monday with an advisor, so my weekend is booked.

From Bee-L

I treated with oxalic in the fall (drizzling method), for the first time, using exactly the protocol described by Herve, in Maine, after queens had quit laying. We got great mite control, and build-up this spring is, if anything, better than I've been seeing for a few years. Relieved of their mite load they are charging ahead. Naturally I've been looking pretty hard for any signs of ill effects from a new treatment and I can't see any. So far.

Saturday 12 March 2005
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I just need enough to tide me over until I need more -- Bill Hoest

We were discussing the Quebec-style escape board
 in the forum

We are getting some good discussion in the HoneyBeeWorld Forum lately.  I'm hoping that, maybe, we'll get more prairie and B.C. sideline and commercial beekeepers (plus people from everywhere) adding comments and asking questions relating to our unique situations.  We're up to 136 registered users, now, and 142 articles.

I was looking on the CHC site, and found the CHC item about the oxalic approval.  Seems they still need money, but don't say how much.  I think it would help if they kept a tally on their site with a thermometer showing progress.  They might get contributions from some beekeepers who would never, ever, support the CHC itself, and there are many of those, if the money were kept separate for that purpose only.

While at the CHC site, I also found the information on proposed labeling rule changes.  Comments are accepted until the end of March, so take a look, and comment, if you have something to add.  Feel free to add to discussion at the HoneyBeeWorld Forum

I worked at the books, and then went to the mill for supper. 

Today: Cloudy with sunny periods and 60 percent chance of flurries this morning and showers late this afternoon. Wind northwest 20 km/h increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this morning. High 7. Tonight: Cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h. Low minus 4.

Sunday 13 March 2005
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All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure -- Mark Twain

I stopped to see how the bees over at Elliotts are, and opened the drum of feed.  I notice that something, a skunk, maybe has torn one of the wraps.  I was not dressed to work on anything, since I was on my way to supper, so I'll go back later.

We continued on to supper at Jean and Chris' and were home by nine.

Today: Cloudy with sunny periods and 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers. Wind north 30 km/h. High 3. Tonight: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 5.

Monday 14 March 2005
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If you cannot convince them, confuse them -- Harry S Truman

I went looking for sites that are mention mine today and found quite a few.  I seldom think about such things and usually ignore requests for links and email telling me how I can make money from my site.  I'm not interested. 

One of the links I noticed on the search result was the Honeybee WebRing (link in box on the right and on my front page), which I joined a long time back, and had almost forgotten about.  I clicked over to that non-profit site, and was pleasantly surprised to see HoneyBeeWorld.com ranked near the top.  It is good concept, and I recommend you give them a click or two some time when you are bored and want to see how the number of bee sites on the web has grown.

Usage summary for honeybeeworld.comLooking at my control panel, see that my visits continue to grow.  Of course, I really don't care how many visits I get, but I am pleased to see some people see value in the site.

Years and years ago, I had a free beekeeping classified ad area.  I had problems with my server, and gave it up.  On looking around, and thinking about it, I realize that I have the resources to do it again, in the HoneyBeeWorld Forum.  I'll just add a topic or two and see what happens.

How about trying a Random WebRing site?  Okay I went looking.  There are some good sites, but most of what I saw was pretty lame.  Take a look for yourself.  If you've been thinking of starting your own site, there are some that should be easy to beat.

We went to Calgary this afternoon and visited Sheri, then returned by suppertime.  While in Calgary, I took in my glasses to have a lens replaced.  Not cheap.  They want $80 for just one glass single-view lens, with coating.  I cannot understand the pricing of eyeglasses, especially when I can buy sunglasses that appear to me to to be roughly comparable, for under $20.  I wonder if there is a site on the Internet selling glasses for a reasonable price?

As for my most recent web purchase, my final tigerdirect.ca shipment finally arrived -- two full weeks after I ordered it. 

Today: A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning and early this afternoon. Wind becoming north 20 km/h this afternoon. High 5. Tonight: Clear. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 11.

Tuesday 15 March 2005
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Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule -- Friedrich Nietzsche

I forgot to mention that Ellen saw some pussy willows the other day on the way to Ponoka.  Pussy willows mean that the bees are getting some high-quality pollen.  Willows give the bees a boost in yards close to swamps and creeks, but the weather varies a lot, at this time of year, and can limit access.  Beekeepers who get a lot of willow pollen tend to benefit more from putting on patties in early to mid-March than those who don't get pollen until late April, since patties augment the natural supply.

I posted this to BEE-L this morning

Among other things, we have been discussing radiation treatment of bee boxes at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=499#499 

In looking around, I found that there are quite a few irradiation facilities in the USA. See http://www.steris.com/isomedix/locations.cfm . From what I can see, some of the facilities have pretty large carriers and should be able to handle bee boxes.

One sobering thing I saw, though, in my brief research foray -- at least for those of us who don't wish to think that irradiation will alter the chemical properties of food (human or animal) significantly -- was that e-beam is used for polymer cross-linking. See http://www.steris.com/isomedix/ser_ebeam.cfm . To quote the page: "Materials Modification by automated electron beam irradiation produces physical and chemical improvements in your bulk polymers ", and "Electron beam cross-linking forms a bond between polymer chains". I'm not sure we wish to see physical and chemical improvements' in the pollen, honey, and wax in our hives.

Anybody on the list using any of these facilities, or know of other similar firms?

Anybody here able to comment further on the 'physical and chemical improvements'?


Today: A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. High 3. Tonight: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind becoming east 20 km/h late this evening. Low minus 6.

Wednesday 16 March 2005
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Things are only impossible until they're not
-- Jean-Luc Picard

Ellen & I flew out of Calgary around noon, after visiting with Frank and Mike at Global on the way.
We arrived in Vancouver and picked up the car, did some odds and ends around town, then drove to Ron's.
Tonight: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 8.

Thursday 17 March 2005
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Psychiatry enables us to correct our faults by confessing our parents' shortcomings -- Laurence J. Peter

We spent the day at Ron's and around town. Joan came home in the evening and we visited.

Today: Flurries ending this afternoon then sunny with cloudy periods. High minus 5. Tonight: Clear. Increasing cloudiness overnight with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 15.

Friday 18 March 2005
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It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that -- G. H. Hardy

We spent another day in Vancouver

Today: Flurries. High minus 4. Tonight: A few flurries ending overnight then cloudy. Low minus 11.

Saturday 19 March 2005
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The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it -- Joan Rivers

We left for Salt Spring in the morning, arrived there via Schwartz Bay in late afternoon, then went for supper with Bruce.  As usual on SS, I went to bed early and slept well.

Saturday: Cloudy with sunny periods. 30 percent chance of flurries late in the day. High zero.

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