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Fresh honey straight from the hive

This week: Darn clever these Chinese; What is a mean, median, and mode?; Fresh honey straight from the hive; A walk on the wild side; Rapid reconfiguration;

Sunset after the storm
Sunset after the storm

Suddenly it’s the weekend and I really have no idea where time this week has gone to.

I don’t seem to have done very much, but yet I have spent every day being busy.

I’ve neatly tucked the wires into the beam in the Konoba, but have still to order the switch unit. The more I look at options, the less able I am to decide what system I would like.

There are just too many different ways to turn lights on and off now!

I took Callie to the Vets again on Friday. We had another FSAA test and this time the level was 8. Somewhat down from 116 ten days ago and close to normal.

She has stopped sneezing, is more lively and now just wants to eat whatever is going. I think that whatever she has had has been coming on for a while. However because it was insidious, I only noticed when she was feeling quite ill.

Some day in the not too distant future, we will be able to plug into our pet’s brain waves and understand what it is they are feeling and trying to communicate.

Darn clever these Chinese

I installed my new weather station in early December and after making sure the sensors were all working, let it go live at the end of the year.

I also spent hours adjusting the spreadsheet I use to record the data, to make some of the figures more accurate and more usable.

For things like the daily average temperature, it is usually the average of six numbers, the maximum, the minimum and the temperature recorded at 01:00, 07:00, 13:00 and 19:00.

The 2023 spreadsheet input page
The 2023 spreadsheet input page

I created five new rows and calculations in the spreadsheet and then copied the figures day by day from my station’s web dashboard.

However, I couldn’t get the online average to tally with my average. It was often a degree or more different.

Computing "Cloud" dashboard
Computing “Cloud” dashboard

Downloading the raw data from the “cloud”, the enlarged sataset didn’t calculate correctly either.

Then I discovered that the “cloud” download was actually an abridged data set. More than six points, but not a complete day’s records.

I wanted to download the full data from the terminal in my hallway, however I ran into problems with using a Micro-SIM. Without being boring, it was too large and too fast for the machine.

My base station terminal
My base station terminal

Having found a small memory sim in an old phone, I tried again and was able to download all the records, 5,472 a day.

The moment I added all the temperatures for a day, then divided by 288, the number of temperature points recorded, the average immediately was the same as the on-line dashboard.

This means that with 288 individual records daily, it is a far more accurate daily average than just six. The Ecowitt / Frogitt system is Chinese, but I am impressed with how the software works.

The downside is that this week I have completely reconfigure the spreadsheet!

Work in progress - revised data input sheet
Work in progress – revised data input sheet

What is a mean, median, and mode?

You may have noticed that I am using the term “mean” in the row headers, rather than average.

Depending where you are reading on-line, you will see references to average, mean, median and mode, when referring to a group of numbers added together and then divided by the number in the group.

Average and mean are the same thing. The word average is used in common parlance and is understood. The word “mean” tends to be used in scientific papers and research and is perhaps more accurate than “average”.

In English we use “average” all the time. For example “How was your day?”
“Oh about average.”

Used it that way it coveys meaning to the questioner, but without actually meaning anything at all! Talking about the “mean” of a group of numbers suggests accuracy.

In contrast, the median is the middle number in a set of values when those values are arranged from smallest to largest.

The mode of a set of values is the most frequently repeated value in the set.

Fresh honey straight from the hive

I’ve dabbled with a couple of hives of bees in the past and have some limited knowledge of bee keeping.

In one of my storage boxes I have my hat and veil, my smoker and a smock for the summer. However I have never used them here in Dol.

I would like to build my own Top Bar hive. However the problem is that I don’t have enough time to do all the work around my home without starting something else!

One of my neighbours has a series of 18 hives along side the path of the stream bed. This week I spent an afternoon with him doing hive maintenance.

Local bee hives
Local bee hives

The almond blossom is finished, the Apricot’s buds are only just bursting, but my plum trees are at peak blossom at the moment.

Peak blossom for my plum trees
Peak blossom for my plum trees

As I walk under the trees, the air is positively vibrating with the sound of the honey bees going from flower to flower.

I suspect that most of the bees will be going back to these local hives, less than 100 meters away.

These are the traditional Langstroth hives. Developed by the Rev. Lorenzo L Langstroth in 1852.

They are modular with the brood section at the bottom, where the Queen lays her eggs, and the upper sections, called “supers”, is where the frames of honey are found.

A hive of activity
A hive of activity

After adding some “supers” to hives where the brood chamber was full, I was given a small section of honeycomb.

Some honey comb to bring home
Some honey comb to bring home

You really cannot get a fresher and more natural product than this…

I would like to build a pair of Top Bar hives for my largest orchard. I just need a few more hours in the day!

Top Bar bee hive
Top Bar bee hive

A walk on the wild side

As the days lengthen and the sun warms our world in Dol, I have been walking the olive groves again this week.

The felines sit by the gate, looking hopeful. Then once they realise we are off for a walk, they bound ahead, clearly enjoying the experience.

Felines having fun
Felines having fun

After the winter rains, the orchards and olive groves are covered in a mass of wild flowers.

In one place there are thousands of wild Grape Hyacinth.

Grape Hyacinth
Grape Hyacinth

In another spot, a mass of Anemone hortensis.

Anemone hortensis
Anemone hortensis

I have never noticed before that these Anemones fluoresce when the sun is at the right angle.

I noticed this small butterfly in my citrus orchard this week. Although I have several books to help identify butterflies and moths, I can’t find this one.

Butterfly on citrus leaves
Butterfly on citrus leaves

At first sight, it looks like a Comma, Polygonia c-album, however the Comma is orange with black/brown markings.

This butterfly is brown with orange and white markings, and is smaller than the Comma. I’m still trying to identify it.

Rapid reconfiguration

As the sun climbs higher in the sky every day, I noticed that it was now sweeping across a long case clock I moved into the dining room.

This is a mid 19th century clock which belonged to my Great Grandfather.

Dining room clock
Dining room clock

There are various parts of sunlight which will quickly fade anything and everything it touches. This clock has a rich Mahogany case and it would be a shame if it was damaged by the strong Mediterranean sun here in Dol.

I need to quickly move things around in the dining room, to remove the clock from the sunlight.

I’ve drawn a plan, measured everything and will attempt the move this week.

Another issue I came across this week was in the hall, where the stairs from the Konoba reach the first floor.

The hall
The hall

The floor is not level, because of the tree-trunk beams underneath. There is a difference in height of 4 or more centimetres in places.

The hall is also in daily use. It is much easier when you have a clear space to work.

I’ve realised that the radiator needs to be moved and a bookcase.

This next week is going to be about furniture moving. NCG

3 Responses

  1. Jonathan McAuley

    Hi Norman. Like your Bee Keeping blog. Took up the hobby myself just before Covid. Had my best year last year with a harvest of 41kg of honey. My apiary was inspected two weeks ago and each hive is strong and ready for another year. All langstroth hives. Fascinating hobby. Keep well. Jonathan

  2. Marcy

    Hi, Enjoyed this weeks blog very much. Loved the flower pics. I’m in Santa Maria, CA and moving furniture as well. have a great week.

  3. Mike Southall

    Hi Norman,
    I asked a knowledgeable friend and he says the butterfly is a Nettle-tree Butterfly, Libythea celtis