April 2004 - what's new
And so starts another month of cold weather in New Jersey. Bees are ordered and coming in 2 weeks - I had to delay the receiving date because it's too cold to ship them and have them laying around a post office somewhere local awaiting pickup or delivery.
A photo showing my basic photography equipment and some hive supplies.What I don't need is for the bees to be shocked during delivery: excessive heat or cold or carbon monoxide poisoning from the mail truck. Direct sun exposure or mishandling or being smothered by other mail packages. Many different scenarios could cause the bees to be damage. If you have a claim, it is with the postal service, not the shipping farm.
The bees are certified healthy for shipping and should arrive within a few days healthy. If you have excessively dead or sickly bees, file a damage claim with the post office and notify the farm of the situation. Note: A huge part of the bees cost is shipping charges.
The forum has grown though, picking up to date 55 members with an amazing 820 posts. That says a lot about the membership and the prolific writings of our moderators. As the Summer nears I can only imagine how many members we will have and just think of the content that we will have.
A quick look at the Forum Main Page
and you will see many new categories have been added. I honestly think we have something for everyone now - but I'm sure that members and guests will come up with great new ideas that will find their way here.
I've also created a new feature where I post emails (anonymously) to the EMAIL BRAINSTORMING FORUM where members can supply answers to questions sent to me via email. Often, I receive questions that are just NOT applicable to my beekeeping history - meanwhile we have members who have tackled similar issues many times, so why not let the membership assist when helping others is a MAJOR part of this and any forum!
I simply copy the email question into the email forum, then send a link to the person who sent the original email. They only need to click on the link (like tracking a package in route) and it takes them right to their own page on the forum where (hopefully) members reply and assist them in some helpful fashion. It's a great feature and I think it will really benefit the emailer better than my single minded and sometimes inexperienced view. I never like to guess and often researching is something that the originator could do themselves - so why not use the educated resources of this forum to assist them!April 1, 2004
We heard from Al (our forum Moderator Trail Twister) that his daughter gave birth to a healthy and absolutely beautiful baby boy - photos surely to follow. Congratulations to him and his entire family, our blessing is with them in this joyous time.
I also started a 6 day weekend (if that makes any sense - lol) but I'm off until NEXT Tuesday at 3pm when I start 5 3-11 shifts. That gives me a great deal of time to work on this page, the website and the forum. Lately the forum has taken up a lot of my time, but I enjoy every minute of it. The brainstorming part is the most fun - coming up with new and creative ideas to make this the most unique, educational and entertaining website is a goal of mine.
I will add that as time goes on (and with the help of the moderators) the forum is pretty much taking care of itself. Ideally, the Admin. and Mods. should do mostly simple tasks; move improperly posted topics to their proper place, correct some spelling errors if the errors make the post confusing (I'm a bit compulsive about spelling but I leave other's content alone) and of course we are here to assist when possible with answering questions and also FLAGGING topics in poor taste or if profane.
The last two are really not an issue in this forum - Beekeepers (or better stated the membership here) are great people, all helpful and most are very active in posting and assisting when they can. I have NEVER had to delete a post or boot a member and hope that I never have to. Having to use administrative powers is NOT enjoyable, but necessary if someone got a personal grudge going or a guest came in with a serious attitude.
I spent a good part of the rest of the day at Motor Vehicle trying to get my Drivers License renewed. New Jersey is implementing the NAtion's toughest requirements for a license - they have a points system that you must meet in order to obtain your renewal. A MUST is a township/city issued birth certificate (the hospital version with the foot prints is NOT a legal document and is not allowed) and then you need additional forms of both photo and addressed proof of residence.
After going to the town of my birth to get a new certificate of birth (mine and Tracey's were stolen years ago while away on a cruise to Mexico) I then went back to motor Vehicle and easily got a renewal. The crazy part is that in ONE MONTH a new "Impossible to duplicate" digital version of the drivers license will be available - I can 1) use this renewed on for 4 years and then get the digital or 2) trade this one in and for $11 I can get the digital license. Either way, I'll need to show all the same proof again, even though I had to show it to get THIS one - ugh.April 2, 2004
Another rainy (at least not snowy) cold and damp day in the Garden State. I'm enjoying the day after keeping an appointment with the Doctor I don't like and making appointments for further testing to find out why I am getting these crippling headaches I get. Lately, I have had serious migraines that are lasting 2 to 3 days. They are blinding and make the simplest of tasks impossible. I'll keep you filled in on how the CT scan goes, etc..
I started the motorhome
and ran both the engine and generator for about 10 minutes. I plugged the shore-power (240v/50amp) power back in and started the refrigerator - we needed the freezer space after Tracey went on a supermarket frenzy.
This my Bus Logo from different RV Forums
It's great to get out in "The Bus" as we call it. All last Summer from July on we spent a great deal of time out there, hanging out, attaching DVDs, inviting guests over and it was just a fun place to hang. I have some pretty good pics at the link I listed above, although I took those when the place was a bit messy and Tracey would kick my butt if she knew I put them on-line.
I have a bunch of great photos in my notebook PC, but I haven't gotten around to uploading them to the server yet, so for now: forgive the mess - lol. The neatest feature is the powered slides which greatly increase the living space of the Bus when it is parked. But even when the slides are in for traveling, you still have an incredible amount of room to maneuver around and plenty of room to relax while traveling without having to extend the slides.
I really felt bad when we got the Bus because I had to remove 3 peach trees, a rose-o-sharon and a few swamp maples. All just to swing the Bus into the yard. I'm jealous (one of my many human flaws) of the members in the forum who have literally DOZENS of acres, meanwhile Beemaster lives on a 50'x105' lot in the middle of town. This brings me to an actual beekeeping point - bout time huh?
NOTE: All Beekeeping INFO in this Beemaster's Logbook will be in DARK RED TEXT
[/b]- thus making it really easy for you to find the stuff within my ramblings. I hope that makes it easy, I have done that before in my Online Logbook, so it should familiar to many of you.I made my first of many local trips to my drivable foliage areas that I know are constant food sources for my honeybees. I have many other locations that I can access by nature trails using MY GPS www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=64 which takes me right to the exact spots of DOZENS of pockets of pollen and nectar sites. If you have NEVER used a GPS, I really suggest borrowing one from a friend and giving it a try. Read the section I linked above to get an idea of how Beekeeping and GPS's go together like peanut butter and jelly!
So I went to the cranberry bog near the back entrance of Navy Lakehurst - a sizable flooded field owned and operated by Ocean Spray (so I understand) and I was happy to see they had the final Winter Flooding in full swing. The next step is to drain the water and set the plants into blossom mode. Now, I don't know the details, but I do know that in resent years the managers HAVE NOT brought migratory bees (honeybees shipped from Florida by truck mainly) to pollinate the bog. That leaves this huge source of pollen and later source of nectar for my bees - it's about 3/4 miles from me as the bee fly's!
I then checked out the garden center 1/4 mile away and they were getting ready for the Mums and other Spring time sales and soon they will be ready for pollination too.
This a view of Lake Horicon in Summer.
I then went to Lake Horicon, also known as Lakehurst Lake (about 1/2 mile away) where the borough recently drained the lake to kill off the heavy "seaweed" like water plants using the cold of Winter as the killer - it actually works very well. Soon enough, lily pads will be floating to the top and as the warmth of mid to late Spring arrives beautiful white flowers will cover acres of hidden areas of the lake, giving another great source of food for my bees.
So everything is ready for the arrival of my packaged bees in under two weeks. The trees of Main Street (the closest source of pollen to my hives) are about a month from blooming, so I have plenty of time and lots of food for my two hives I plan to start up this season.
So that's it for today, unless I get energetic later tonight - but chances are I'll be working elsewhere in the forum. Some days are banner days with dozens of posts and some really great brain-teaser questions. I'm now searching through some resent emails that I think could easily make it to the new Email Brainstorming Forum
and I really think the originators will get a kick out of seeing their post anonymously posted and replied to by members from around the globe.April 3, 2004
I was up really late last night, talking with Beth about different stuff, mostly photos and web pages - meanwhile I finally got a chance to get some images uploaded to my website to finish off two of my travel pages. I got the Blue Ridge Parkway Trip
done last night and then finally got the Lake George, NY Trip
finished off this morning.
this image from the Blue Ridge Parkway Page
It's still raining here and probably will be all weekend long. The weather folks say that there is a huge weather mass that is just rotating above us like a huge powerless hurricane. Hopefully it will be out by Tuesday (today is Saturday for those counting) and maybe we'll actually get some of that Spring weather that other people keep telling me about!
Today I am going to open up the slides and make the bus seem ready for the Season. I think it's more of a mental thing (Beth would say that I'm a mental thing) but at least she finds me funny - lol. I mention Beth often in here, she does read this logbook as I hope many others do - although in reality I would hope that anyone keeping a journal or diary or logbook (or whatever you call it) is kept for their own behalf - being able to look back to a given day and remember in detail what happened that day is always a great way to recall both special and ordinary moments in your life.
This out the bus view near Lake George, NY
For me, it is a necessity - after having Spinal Meningitis I lost a lot of my short term memory and this log includes a lot of information to help me recall my day to day events. It's good therapy to actually write it "that suppose to reinforce the memory process" and it also keeps some people coming back to see what's new in Beemaster's life.
I'm enjoying the digital logbook this season especially - having it here in the forum is a great way to update it without the need to constantly upload and make web page changes. This is just a click or two and the page is update. The best part of course is that it NOW is available to the SEARCH FEATURE in the forum that I hope you all use whenever you can not find something that you are looking for.
Without a doubt, it is the most powerful feature in the forum software and making use of it will greatly assist you in finding the MOST INFORMATION about any topic that you are interested in. At the top right side of this and EVERY PAGE in the forum you will see the SEARCH OPTION - it has a good help feature which explains how to quickly narrow your search and within seconds you will have detailed listing to any topic found on the forum - then you simply click and it takes you to the post or article and EVEN highlights the word (or words) you searched for.April 4, 2004
Just spent the last hour dealing with paramedics as they took my mom off to the hospital. She is a very sickly lady, who I rarely talk about (at her request) but the last few years has been tough with a triple Bypass followed by a lung removal several months later. She has diabetes and many other complicating health issues and at 67 years of age, all these problems have taken their toll on her.
Early this morning she started having tremors and extreme trouble breathing, she is fully oxygen dependent at 4 leters per minute and even that wasn't helping her this morning. She can not breath on room air more than a few minutes and she has an oxygen concentrating machine that "makes air" for her to breath 24/7. But even cranked up to the max 6.5 leters per minute she wasn't getting enough oxygen to breath comfortably.
So she is now at the local hospital where I will visit as soon as emergency gets her settled in and examined - what they do not need is me in their way. For those of you who are believers in prayer, I ask that you think of her in these difficult days. Thank you. I promise to keep you updated since I mentioned this.
On to lighter notes, I was talking with Beth until about 3am after I had fallen asleep earlier and awoke at 1am. We talked about lots of things, but we were speaking about the forum and even joking about the many images (including the TOILET SHOT) on my updated Bus page at www.beemaster.com/bus.html
- I mentioned that I had just seen a TV show on the home and garden channel which showed various ranging RVs from pop-ups to floating Class As (bus style) that sold for $1.6 million and NOT A SINGLE UNIT showed the actual toilet.
Now I know that seems a bit foolish, but it goes beyond that. When we searched for a motorhome by order brochures through the Internet we received about a hundred beautiful booklets and again NOT A SINGLE SHOT of the toilet area. Do RVers (other than us) go in buckets and toss it out the window at 60mph on the Inter-state?
I like ours, it's a separate room, away from the sink and shower area and all three "bathroom features" are centrally place between the bedroom and living area. There are solid wood pocket doors that also enclose the bathroom from both the front and rear areas, giving the user the ultimate in privacy.
If you checkout the link above to the Bus page, you will see 21 all new photos that I took just yesterday and a complete listing of features that the bus has. If you ever have a desire for full-time RVing, there is nothing like a motorcoach - pulling a car is practically a non-issue because it easily trails behind the bus and you can watch it in the ceiling mounted monitor connected to a live video cam at the center rear of the bus.Sorry it's turned off, but here is the backup monitor
This "Backup Cam" as it is often called is perfect for watching the tow car, but also great for assisting your mirror views when changing lanes. If I can see a car in the monitor, I know the bus has cleared it and I can safely change lanes.
Beth is now using Netscape to work on her website - I have used Netscape since the inception of www.Beemaster.com
nearly 6 years ago now. The program COMPOSER which is packaged with the Netscape Communicator Suite is all you need to make great web pages. It's not the fanciest program in town, but it is FREE and you can set it up to easily upload your pages without using separate FTP software.
[IMPORTANT UPDATE]I just copied my entire beekeeping course (minus the lecturing, photo gallery and website designing sections) into My Beemaster's Interactive Beekeeping Logbook Section - this Forum's main page.
The reason is SIMPLE - Now all that contents, pages and pages of material will be accessible through the SEARCH FEATURE making the entree course that much more Interactive and valuable to members and guests.
I'll be adding the photos to those pages eventually, right now though - I want the material there so that it can be available to the forum search engine and thus the membership.April 5, 2004
Firstly, Mom is doing better, her internal thermostat is malfunctioning and her body temperature was dropping extremely low causing serious (hypothermic like conditions) over the lung and heart problems she already has - what a shame that she is so sickly. Everything else though seems to be fairly ok and there is a good chance she'll be home soon.
High temperature today was a whopping 48F with continued gail winds making it miserable out and I'll repeat myself in saying - I'm glad the bees are still in Sunny Georgia.
I did notice we hit the 60 members and 900 post mark today, although there haven't been many posts over the weekend - we still have met another milestone. Soon 1000 posts and who knows, we may see 100 members by May!
Snowzerdog (officially the FIRST MEMBER of the FORUM) I can't really count myself this time - lol, sent me a cute avatar to upload for him. Check any of his posts to see it - I'll save the surprise for your post readers.
By the way, I added many links to avatar sites which Beth found for us at this address www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=335
so you can find one for yourself from these huge collections - please note, they are OFF SITE and many may be semi adult in nature. Beth gave some commentary about each link to help you decide whether you want to go there or not, so be careful but have fun searching for the just right avatar.
I tried to INSTALL a new chat program - it was doing some funky stuff so I aborted it - looking for any glitches now in my programs. Hopefully, nothing wrong. Talk more tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed and email if problem occur with forum.April 6, 2004
Many of you asked how I can run a forum of this size and a website with the magnitude I have - after all 250 page and 1300 photos is a ton of space. Well last night I got a warning concerning over-usage of the space, I maxed out of my bandwidth (the available space I have to put stuff on the server where Beemaster.com is kept).I spent nearly 3 hours trimming the site of about 30 megs of files, many images I had hosted for family and friends had to go - out dated web pages that no longer have links anywhere to be found though out the site had to go - video and audio files that I have on CD (luckily) had to go.
I made enough room for some sizable growth, as long as I keep with images that I compress good here and move MUCH of my website features (example is my cooking section at Beemaster.com) is NOW just a link to the FORUM MEMBERS RECIPE SECTION.
Sadly, I'll need to hack away at my site or increase the bandwidth eventually. The increase wouldn't be that expensive, except for the fact that I am locked into a 4 year deal - so I'd have to pay for the extra space in a lump sum (4 years additional bandwidth at about $10 a month - ugh) - now I'm not crying, just rationalizing my expenses in the forum as I do with everything else in my life. $480 sounds reasonable for the expected space I'll need to keep both my private site and the public forum going for a very long time.
But that's a few months away - luckily I have all images backed up and if the family needs them (until now they were online family photo albums) now they will need to be CDs sent to them as gifts. I really hacked though - almost accidentally wiped out my entire beekeeping course at the click of a mouse - FTP MANAGEMENT is NOT for the faint at heart. Of course (I hope) as you will see, I didn't kill anything, and hopefully it is all still there AS IS THIS FORUM :!:
Often the time factor is the tough part. As much as I enjoy all this stuff, I find myself sitting in front of the keyboard some days 6 to 9 hours when I'm not at work - and brainstorming on paper when I am. There is a lot to this, the logbook, the administrative end of the forum is complex although very interesting to learn - I've gotten VERY GOOD at using the control panel - allowing certain users access to areas that the guests, embers and even moderators are NOT allowed.
I have been thinking about a MEMBERS logbook (journal section) I would love some feedback on that and I am starting a poll to see who would be interested in that feature. Right now, several moderators and me have an online journal available - and with 60 members now, it would be interesting having journals available for them also.
Whether public or totally private - they could (using the same features as we use here in the forum) keep track of their entire beekeeping season or other hobbies. The degree of access that I can mandate to members is quite impressive and allowing them to having a digital log of their own would be a real asset to the forum.Image of the Day is a diagram of the internal workings of the worker honeybee. Understanding the complexity of these marvelous creatures can open your eye to their delicate bodies and hopefully make you think on how important it is to TAKE YOUR TIME when maneuvering the frames around when inspecting - remember SMOKE is the beekeepers best friend, but clumsy oversized gloves can be your bees worse nightmare. Just something to think about.April 8, 2004
Major announcement today!!!
Last night I constructed a completely independent RECIPE BBS at www.beemaster.com/cookbook
- if you are familiar with using this forum, then you will have no problem at all in the new cookbook BBS.
The great part is it is multi-topic unlike the Recipe Section here in the beekeeping forum. Our old recipe forum was very limited in your ability to categorize recipes, making posting and searching VERY DIFFICULT.
Now at www.beemaster.com/cookbook
you can easily find a place for any recipe, hint or tip and post it or find it without long winded searching topics for a recipe that got lost in the shuffle. Trust me, the new Cookbook is REALLY REALLY NICE!
You don't need to join, but I hope you do - you can use your same username there as you do here (unless someone takes it before you do) but you do have to register like you did here - simple and free!!!
I'll be moving the recipes from this recipe forum over to the cookbook over the next few days and as I do I will delete them here. Eventually (within a week of this post update) the existing recipe section will be empty and all the great recipes will be in the new and attractive cookbook BBS.
I hope you all give it a try, whether you are a beekeeper or not, I know you eat and probably cook - so share your recipes with others from around the world.
Later same day...
I just noticed 124 people have visited THIS page so far and it's the 8th of the month - that's not bad :) I enjoy this section - much easier doing the logbook HERE in the forum than in HTML format at the Bee Course. Either way I'd enjoy doing it, but this way YOU can interact.
Of course, so far - NO ONE has written me in this section, I get more emails then I have been though. So slowly everyone will make their way to the forum where I honestly think the evolution of the site is going! I've added a few more categories to the cookbook forum - it's amazing to think of all the different categories that you can divide food into.
It looks great though and I actually have 2 members, at least one (Judy) from the Bee Forum and a mystery member who hasn't added any info about his/her self yet. It's gonna take a while to get all the recipes over into that BBS but it rules!!!April 10, 2004
Just finished a five night stretch of 3 t0 11pm watches, and now have a two whole days off and I have a ton of updates to let you know about them.
First, cause God has to have precedence over my simple attempts of making an enjoyable website for the many thousands of visitors I get here each day. But first the weather is breaking and Spring looks to be coming along well. I see forsythia bushes are blooming and the tulips are almost ready to open. Still got 5 days before the bees come though.
Now for the updates on Web pages and forums here at www.Beemaster.com
First: the grand opening of Beth's "FAITHFUL HEARTS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP FORUM" at www.beemaster.com/fellowship
- this Christian forum is fully functional with many topics to cover many issues that Christian s face in the world today, from peer pressure for youth, teen forums, Bible Study, living in a Christian home, and many tough issues in a world where living in Jesus image is tough when battling the negative issues in the news and in the world.
Then we have the New and Improved Cookbook Forum @ www.beemaster.com/cookbook
- a totally massive categorized place to post and share your recipes and images, talk to others about food and learn great kitchen safety tips.
Then there is the RV Forum @ www.beemaster.com/bbs
that really never gets used, there are too many of these already - but mine is nice and whether it gets used or not isn't a priority to me - it is just a forum made to test software updates that I can use in the Bee-Forum and other forums hosted here.
I am hoping that Al, Trail Twister will take on his own Garden forum when he gets home from visiting with his new grandson and his other grandchild and family. I'd like to see Al build up and maintain a terrific forum that people car come to find all their gardening questions. He has a ton of information already on the Bee-forum related to gardening, but I'd like to see this moved so that it can be fully interactive an categorized for proper searching and easy posting and finding by guests and members.April 13, 2004
Well. it HAS been a busy few days with lots of stuff happening in the Beekeeping Forum, now and forever to be called the Bee-forum just to make it easier - and to help differentiate it from all the other forums I have here at www.beemaster.com
and now... I proudly present... without further ado... and without commercial interruption: Carousel Butterfly & Alleyyooper's Gardening Forum the GARDENING BBS of Al and Kare who just days ago returned from sharing the birth of their grandson and NOW they are ACTIVELY ADMINISTRATING their (rather interesting named garden forum) which already has members, avatars, a moderator and a bunch of Categories, Forums and topics!!!!
That is part of the enormous growth of this website this year - it may not be the number of visitors (I'm always tracking such things - the server gives me a great admin. panel that shows incrdible details about hits, etc.) but that isn't what the site is about - it's about people having a place to come and share ideas on different topics and it has and will evolved beyond just Beekeeping - which is fine too.
Have multi-topics isn't new to to this site of mine, I've had 30+ topics that I have covered for years. The big difference is that as the FORUMS expand the regular visitor, it also gives content that I couldn't possibly create on my own - new and varried opinions (whether I agree or not) are what makes the site unique - I think.April 14, 2004
Here it is the LAST DAY of the first half of the Month!!! Been a long read I bet - I hope it was interesting. If you've never read the log before, then it might be different then MOST beekeeping logs. If you are looking for a professional beekeeper with countless hives, vast experience in the commercial world of beekeeping then NO WHERE ON EARTH is more entertaining and complete than Allen Dick's http://www.honeybeeworld.com/
again - the best site on the Internet for commercial interests in Bee Farming.
Here thought, you get me - lol. Ok, you get us now... and THAT is a whole lot better than just me. I hope you enjoy the forums, there are many now and please share recipes in the new Beemaster's GIANT On-Line Cookbook at www.beemaster.com/cookbook
I know everyone eats, and most people cook - so you MUST have a recipes or two to share.
There is Beth's Faithful Hearts Christian Fellowship Forum at www.beemaster.com/fellowship
and Al & Kare's Carousel Butterfly & Alleyyooper's Gardening Forum at www.beemaster.com/garden
- and even check out the NEWEST BBS to hit my site (still in the works, but up and running) Beemaster's Vacation and Travel Forum at www.beemaster.com/vacation
that's enough new stuff for the first two weeks of the month for any website host.
Bees are coming and on the NEXT PAGE you will be seeing the whole process including some great tips for installation and none of us know what the next 5 months until Fall arrives will be like. Remember too that we will be going on RV trips, maybe even visiting some Beekeepers from the forum on the road - hey... there's a whole new section someday. If only I had enough hours in the day to really go wild here - as it is, I kid you not when I say I commit at least 5 hours a day to this entire site. I hope it shows. The End.
More later - the 15th is coming soon and PAGE 2 of the Logbook will be starting.