How To Start Beekeeping

man covered in beesPhillip’s trying to turn me into a beekeeper. An email I received from him, which I think is applicable for anyone wanting to start beekeeping [in New Brunswick]:

If you ever wanted to set up a standard hive in your backyard, here’s the simplest way of doing if you ordered from these guys:

http://countryfields.ca/

Nuc box: $135.
Starter kit with extra brood box: $255.75.
Medium honey super (or box) on the off chance you can harvest honey the first year: $17.00.
10 medium frames (without foundation) for the honey super: $14.

You could get 10 all-in-one plastic medium frames for the honey super for $28.50, but foundationless frames would be more fun for the kids. They’d be able to cut the honey comb right off the frames and eat it.

You’d have to get gloves, veil and hats for everyone, but you might be better off ordering from Beemaid:

http://www.beemaidbeestore.com/index.php

because even with shipping, you’d probably get a better deal on the clothes.

In the end, it would cost about $400 for everything you might possibly need in the first year. Man, that’s cheap.

However, if you know anyone who knows how to build things with wood, something like this would be really cool:

http://beetalk.tripod.com/tbh.htm

I’ve seen better and simpler designs online, but this gives you an idea of what a top bar hive is like. The sliding door allows you to observe the hive without bothering the bees. I’ve seen other designs that have a flap door on the side that opens up with plexiglass behind it. A top bar hive, especially with an observation door, is more kid-friendly. You can practically inspect the hive without ever pulling out the frames. But when you do inspect them, you don’t have to lift the entire roof off the hive and expose all the bees to the air like with a conventional hive. It’s easy for you and easier on the bees. The tricky part is getting a nuc package with frames that will fit in a top bar hive.

Anyway. Just a thought.

Love,

Phillip

Gmail: Google Uses Tape Drives For Backups

gmail logoGmail screwed up yesterday due to a bug from a software update:

Imagine the sinking feeling of logging in to your Gmail account and finding it empty. That’s what happened to 0.02% of Gmail users yesterday, and we’re very sorry.

There are about 170 million Gmail users. 0.02% of 170 million is 34,000.

They’re in the process of restoring all lost email, but what surprised me is they use tape backups.

Tape backup technology has been around since the 1950s. It’s used by every major corporation – it’s the final backup solution – backups of backups resort to tapes in the end, despite their failure rate.

I use an external hard-drive, but tape drives are cheaper (in the long run).

Update: Some resources on how to backup gmail:
Back Up Your Gmail the Easy Way (or the Cheap Way)
How to Backup Your Gmail Account
Backing up your mail with POP (from Google)
– Or just google “backup gmail