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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:10 PM
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It's winter now!!!

Seriously, snow was not in the forecast for today! Where was it during the Olympics??

Woke up this morning to find some very heavy wet snow on the ground. Halo loved it, but Shadow thought it was a bit too sloppy for her taste.

My rapini here is not too happy, but I think it is hardy enough right now to survive this brief setback. We had about 2" of snow when I left for work, but I'm sure it will be gone when I get home. It's very wet and getting milder by the minute here. At my office it's just rain.

I snapped a picture also of the way the rain was bubbling under the slush. It was very neat looking, the picture doesn't really do it justice. It looked like a sheet of bubble wrap laid on on the driveway and roads.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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And I'm out in just a sweater today... what weirdness!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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I heard Ontario was getting mild weather today. It's very strange. We're going to hit 9 later, this was just a blip I think.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Well DON'T send it our way thank you very much! I'm enjoying the sunshine! Of course you folks have the Para's starting next week so maybe the snow is a blessing!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Yeah, they were expecting about a foot of snow last night on the local mountains. That should extend the ski season some.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Well there you go. You can mention that at the memorial service for your rapini ~ they sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the ParaOlympics.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:57 PM
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oh no, what about your plum tree? will it be ok? its 10+ here right now, Brina and I just came from a 3 mile hike through the bush (still lots of snow there) cause its so gorgeous out!!!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:10 PM
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We're hoping the plum tree will be fine. It hasn't been really freezing (like heavy freezing) out, so with any luck it will still have fruit this season. I'm hoping the snow didn't stick in the tree.

I have a space heater out in the bee hives (I call it my bee condo, it's a shed thingy with three hives in it) so it doesn't get too cold in there, and more space heaters in the greenhouse because hubby just planted all his tomato seeds. Can't wait for the next hydro bill....
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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well I must admit, we're loving our hydro bills this winter *L* so far we've spent 490 less from this time last year!!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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I didn't realize you kept hives, DD! I hope they're happier than the poor rapini!

We're in the upper 30s and low 40s (single digits C I think) this week--way too warm for this time of year. Sounds like you have about the same? We're getting rain, though--no snow...

It feels warm to me, though--haven't had the winter coat on all week!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Hazel, yes I keep bee's, I've posted on here about it before, but it's been a while. My bee's have been busy making honey already!

You haven't worn your winter coat in a week - I haven't worn my winter coat ALL WINTER! We've had such a warm winter (as most of you saw during the Olympics), the plants are all in shock now to get snow. It is supposed to go to about 9 C today, so not staying cold anyhow.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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don't send it here either , I put away all shovels and wintery stuff yesterday
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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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The bubble wrap picture is pretty kewl.

Was very mild today here in Ontario. Suppose to rain all weekend but I'll take the rain to clean up all the sand & dirt anytime.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Hazel, yes I keep bee's, I've posted on here about it before, but it's been a while. My bee's have been busy making honey already!
Whoopsie. So likely I've read about them before? Have I mentioned lately that my memory is a casualty of age? Have you ever posted pics of the hives? I can't believe they're already making honey! Ours are still hibernating!


So I hear you keep bees? I didn't know that! But have I told you that my memory is shot?







They say the first thing to go is the memory. I don't believe it--I think the first thing to go is the mind
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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:51 PM
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They say the first thing to go is the memory. I don't believe it--I think the first thing to go is the mind
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:54 AM
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2nd pic Dog Dancer.

It's out here eh? Little bit of snow in the rain Wed morning then sunshine all afternoon. Today more snow, rain, sunshine in the afternoon and pouring rain tonight
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Well finally someone (two of you) said the 2nd show was cool. I don't recall ever seeing exactly that before. It was everywhere and I thought it was neat - well interesting enough that I went in for the camera anyhow.

Today it was just chunky rain, no snow to speak of. Rapini is happier today!

Hazel, I'm pretty sure I've put pics up here a while back, but here's two for you. These are from a couple summers ago, no new pics yet this year. Can you spot the queen in the second pic? She's right in the centre (can you see the little crown??). She has no stripes and is longer than the workers (who are all females - typical huh). The drones are males but there are very few in the hives.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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That bubblewrap picture is so neat!!! Probably will never see that effect again. Thanks for sharing that!! And the bees! You brave woman!! I can't handle the stings. I know if you are covered well that doesn't tend to happen but I would be putting out so many fear pheromones they would find a way to get me! I'm glad your rapini survived.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:42 PM
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I actually ended up with a bee in my bonet so to speak last weekend. It somehow got into the veil part of my suit and I had to remove my hood very quickly to let it out. I had that happen once before and got stung on the cheek. The ironic thing is if I was brave enough to do it without the full gear I'd have less chance to get stung because they wouldn't get trapped. Go figure. The stings aren't so bad though, I get about one a year. Shadow is allergic though so I have to keep the dogs out of the bee yard.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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Hey, great pics! But I didn't know you kept bees

Just kidding! My memory isn't that bad!!! most days

Those are cool pics! Yes, I think I can even spot the queen!!! Do you get much honey?

I forgot to comment on the bubble-wrap shot cuz I was feeling so sorry for your rapini, plus my feeble brain was overloading on the fact that you kept hives. Because, as I recall, I didn't know you had bees. Yeah, I know...I'm a nut case
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Old March 12th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Last year two of my hives were new and didn't produce honey for me, just enough for them to winter with. The other hive had about 100 lbs in it, but they ate half of that in the last week before I harvested it and I only managed to get about 45 lbs for us. 80 to 100 would be about average. I lost two hives over the winter and one survived. I have since bought two more and hopefully because it's earlier in the year I will get honey from all of them. Harvest is in late August. I have heard that one of the ladies living at your house is a nut case, but I can never be sure which one it is... Doesn't matter, I love all of you.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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The other hive had about 100 lbs in it, but they ate half of that in the last week before I harvested it and I only managed to get about 45 lbs for us.
Why would they do that in the last week? Gearing up for winter?
I lost two hives over the winter and one survived.
What causes that to happen DD?
Do you "make" different kinds of honey? What do you do with it all?
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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:06 PM
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Last year two of my hives were new and didn't produce honey for me, just enough for them to winter with. The other hive had about 100 lbs in it, but they ate half of that in the last week before I harvested it and I only managed to get about 45 lbs for us. 80 to 100 would be about average. I lost two hives over the winter and one survived. I have since bought two more and hopefully because it's earlier in the year I will get honey from all of them. Harvest is in late August. I have heard that one of the ladies living at your house is a nut case, but I can never be sure which one it is... Doesn't matter, I love all of you.
Aw...gee, thanks, DD. Now we're blushing again!

I second MMM's questions--and also, how do you know how much they'll need to get through winter?
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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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wow ! I didn't know about you and the bees that's too cool !

so ... just the females make the honey ? Figures
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:30 PM
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Let's see, they ate the honey in that hive because a new queen hatched in the honey chamber and rather than make new comb for her to lay eggs in they simply cleaned out some of the existing comb (as in ate the honey) and she layed her eggs in there. There were lots of frames of empty comb for her to lay on, but the workers took the easy way out. Typical huh.

As for making different types of honey, no my honey is just plain generic honey. Mostly a clover taste. To get honey in different flavours and colours you would need to move your hives to different flowering crops (blueberry, buckwheat, raspberry, etc.) Since my hives are stationary the bee's just take pollen from whatever flowers and tree's they find - alot of that is dandylion and clover.

As for losing hives over the winter, it's not entirely uncommon. Apparently on VAncouver Island this winter some beekeepers lost all of their hives. And these are commercial keepers who have hundreds of them. They really don't know why they've lost them yet. For mine, it could be the cold and damp. One of the two was sick last fall with a brood disease and although I did get that cleared up, it's possible they just weren't strong enough to overwinter.

Frenchy I think the male bee's just hang out and play with teeny tiny remotes all day. They really are there only to mate with a virgin queen and then they die - what a life!

Generally bee's only live six weeks (except the queen who lives up to seven years), so going all winter really does take it's toll on the bee's. The queen doesn't lay in the winter as there isn't enough food, so a colony that starts the winter in a weak condition will struggle to make it through. They live longer in the winter because they are not flying around and making honey then.

A healthy colony will need about 40 lbs of honey left behind for them to eat in the winter.

I hope I got most of the questions. Let me know if I missed anything for now. Beekeeping is really a very interesting hobby.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:48 PM
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Hazel, I was looking at my threads I started and I don't see a bee thread listed there. Hmmm, maybe it's me losing my mind and not you. It may have been at that "other" board I was at for a while.

I might just have to start one over the weekend...
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:56 PM
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Hazel, I was looking at my threads I started and I don't see a bee thread listed there. Hmmm, maybe it's me losing my mind and not you. It may have been at that "other" board I was at for a while.

I might just have to start one over the weekend...
You really should! They really are fascinating! I had no idea that it took 40 lbs of honey in a hive to overwinter the bees!!!
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Old March 13th, 2010, 12:35 AM
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I might just have to start one over the weekend...
I 2nd a 'please do' for starting a thread - it's all very interesting, I saw the indoor hive they had set up @ the PNE year before last

What made you get into bee keeping?
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