Beekeeping Hints – Fueling your smoker – Save money! Go natural! 0

Beekeeping Hints – Fueling your smoker – Save money! Go natural!

OK, I get all the mass mailings of all the same beekeeper supply houses and vendors that most of you do. Some of times I just flip through some of the pages and shake my heads at what people will buy, and much more at what people will pay! Clearly, there’s some newbies still out there that haven’t been tought about smoker fuel or else have more money than brains.

So, let’s just employ a little planning and opening your eyes. Most cases, some of the best smoker fuel is right in front of you and best of all, IT’S FREE! Unless you’re in a desert you have pine trees around you somewhere. In my case, they line the roads to my hives and we have lots of them in local parks! Well, simply avail yourself to some of the dry pine needles and pine cones!

They’re some of the best smoker fuel you can find! They light easily (especially when you use a blow torch like I do!) and smoke more than Winston Churchill
smoking a cigar!

When loading my smoker I first cram in a dry pine cone in the base, then I pack the rest on top and around sides. Works incredibly well.

Usually I take a small bag with me and fill it with dry needles and a few cones. You never know when you’re not going to have a pine tree handy and need to fire up a smoker.

Some beekeeping vendors hope you have more money than brains, well, I’m hoping you have more brains than they think 🙂

I did a quick low budget youtube’er on this. It’s here at:

Good luck and good Beekeeping!

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Beekeeping Hints – Controlling Small Hive Beetles with Diatomaceouse Earth – DTE 0

Beekeeping Hints – Controlling Small Hive Beetles with Diatomaceouse Earth – DTE
For old time gardeners and beekeepers, the use of diatomaceouse earth(DTE) is an old and well used tool when it comes to trying to get a handle on unwanted pests.
For the beekeeper fighting small hive beetles(SHB), DTE is used liberally under the hives with the intent of disrupting the growth cycle of SHB’s by killing the larva phase.  The natural growth cycle of a SHB requires that the larva spend some time in the earth before it emerges as an adult insect, so if you can kill or disrupt its larval cycle you can help reduce the numbers of these things we have to deal with.
The application is simple.  Just sprinkly liberally below your hives.  I prefer to use St. Gabriel’s brand ( no paid plug here ) as a fellow beekeeper’s research determined this to be the best working variety for his hives.  And, I don’t like to reinvent the wheel.
I did a quick low budget video on utube that you can find here –
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand…in the bee yard.

Beekeeping Hints – Controlling small hive beetles with Beetle Blasters 0

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Beekeeping Hints – Controlling small hive beetles with Beetle Blasters

One of the many and perhaps most annoying pests we beekeepers have to contend with is the small hive beetle.  Frankly, you can’t get rid of them, probably second only to mite issues, they’re at the top of the list of parasitic arthropods that beekeepers have to manage.

With this blog, we’ll look at one item – the Beetle Blaster.

Frankly, they’re an incredibly simple device to use.  You just fill them about 2/3rds of the way up with vegetable oil and carefully slide them into your hive box in between the frames.  Usually one per box of frames is sufficient and you’ll insert one in each box of your hive.  I check them periodically when I’m working my hives as they tend to either fill up, solidify with age or in some hives get sealed off by the bees.  As they age or fill, simply and carefully remove them from the frame, replace with a new one and throw the old one away.

You need to be careful as the oil inside them is a fluid and will slosh around and spill out if not handled carefully.  It’s a very simple clean up if this happens – just wipe it off with a paper towel or napkin and you’re in business.

Be very careful with working with the hives that have blasters installed.  Again, the fluid in them can spill out if they’re not carefully handled and get on your bees. This will kill your bees as it coats them in oil and prevents them from breathing or moving. If and when this happens, just remove the dead bees and quickly clean up the mess.  Be very careful because if you spill on your queen, you’ve got a more serious problem to deal with.  Vegetable oil isn’t a poison per se, but coating a bee with it is potentially deadly to the bee.

Most any 100% vegetable oil will work.  I generally use the generic store brand, but if I run out I’ll snag a bottle of whatever the local Tigermart has on the shelf to finish the work I need to get done.

Now, these blaster aren’t the cheapest things around.  If you’re a smaller hobbiest buying them a strip at a time is very economical, but if you’re a bigger hobbiest or planning on being a beekeeper for a long time, then I would suggest you get them in case lot of 100.  It’s ALOT cheaper.  I get mine from Trevor and the folks at Bon Aqua Springs (  This isn’t a per se plug for them and I advocate shopping around but I’ve had good luck with them.

I just posted a low budget vid to youtube so you can see the process visually –

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand…in the bee yard.

So Trump walked out of another interview – Can you really blame him? 0

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So Trump walked out of another interview – Can you really blame him?

Well, in case you’ve been under a rock for the last day or so and totally missed the latest barrage from the all knowing, self righteous media, Trump walked out during another interview.  And since the media didn’t get the incriminating negative sound bite they could use against him on page one for the next week, they’re crowing like jackasses about it.

Well, who can blame him?  Certainly not me or anyone else that actually thinks for themselves and has an IQ that gets bigger as you square it.

Face reality.  Ever since Trump showed that he actually had a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating Clinton, the media has been allied against him in any and all ways possible.  To call the “main stream” media “liberal”, “biased”, “left winged”, “unbalanced” or any other of well earned and deserved labels they’ve been assigned by the voting public would not only be more than fair, it would be monikers that were well earned and justified.

Trump’s not an idiot.  He, like the rest of us, fully see that the biased “interviewers” have an agenda to come out of their session with at least one sound bite that they can twist in the most negative presentation they can find and use against the president.  And, they will run this clippette as their lead story or page one for as long as they can milk it.  Further, they have a nasty and assanine habbit of asking the same question 10 different ways with the hope of getting the answer that they want.  Can you call this “Making the news”???

Then there’s their habit of continued hammering on one subject with the hope of getting their negative sound bite…

Trump’s not an idiot.  He, like the rest of us, clearly see through this bullshit and won’t stand for it wasting his time.

Frankly, I fully applaud him for ending interviews that are clearly going no where and are a total waste of time.  He should CONTINUE this policy until the lame stream media gets back to REPORTING the news and not trying to make it.

But then, do you ever think there will ever be unbiased and responsible reporting done by the media?  Frankly, if you do, then you also believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy.  It’s clear by their irresponsible actions that hell will probably freeze over before the media acts responsibly and with unbiased reporting.

OH, and in case you’re one of the idiots that’s complaining about Trump’s taxes – They’re in a VERY SAFE PLACE FOR ALL TO SEE!!!   They’re right underneath Obama’s college records, his birth record, Obama’s passport application,

Obama’s immigration status as a student, Obama’s funding sources to pay for his college, Obama’s college records and transcripts, Obama’s selective service registration along with Hillary’s email log and the 66,000 missing emails….which frankly I’d much rather see than Trump’s boring taxes!

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided 0

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Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided – Updated 4/25/2017
As those in their market service area are well aware by now due to the deluge of mail, phone calls, barrages of TV and radio advertisements, not to mention the pages and pages of print ads and mailers, Verizon has a product called FiOS.
FiOS is Verizon’s all in one answer to putting voice, internet and cable TV functionality in your home and to do so at a low cost – low cost at least to them.  Once they get all the fiber run in an area they then can pump a wide variety of goods and services down that one single little piece of fiber optic cable into your home.
Now, I have to admit, Verizon services and support are generally about as good as it gets.  You usually don’t end up with a brain dead technician to answer your tech support calls, coming out install or fix any of your problems, unlike some cable companies I know.
My problem with FiOS isn’t the services or support, it’s what happens AFTER they install the product to a home or site that has existing telephone service.
Keep in mind that with a regular telephone that is wired to your house with what we call “twisted pair wiring”, that the power supply that drives this connection, gives you your dial tone and makes things work when you pickup the phone is supplied by the telephone company.  They generally do a very good job at making sure that there’s power to the phone lines even if there’s no power to the house.   Your home can be as dark as a cave and there’s a good chance your telephone will still work.  This comes in handy for things like natural disasters from storms, power loss due to bad weather, your neighbor deciding to play Paul Bunyan and dropping a tree across your power line, or any of many other reasons we’ve all run into at one time or another in our life.
But, this all changes when you convert to FiOS.  During the conversion process, your copper cable is disconnected.  All power supporting the cable, internet and telephone functions is provided by you in your home.  Yeah, I kinda wondered if the power companies weren’t in on this as well when I first started thinking about it.  But the big hazard comes in when you lose power to your home.  At this point, you are switched to a very small short term running uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which is also installed with the FiOS.  How long this will keep you up and running will depend on its size and age.  Like all rechargeable batteries (of which this is one) they tend to deteriorate over time and they also have a short finite life when they’re fully charged.
The kicker is, when this UPS goes dead, your whole house goes dead.  Forget making any phone calls.  It just won’t happen.
For a good part of the population, this may not be a concern or just a passing pain in the tuckus, but, for the older parts of our population, this is a concern.  These are the people that may have a medical or other issue and need to be able to call someone for help or other logistical issues or needs.
When I first published this, I was fairly immediately hit with comments about how one could go out and recharge their cell phone on their cars, or how the current trend was away from copper and into fiber due to the amount of additional services we could have marketed to us.  Well, what about the older parts of our population that may not be able to go out to their car and recharge their cell phones?  And why do I need to buy additional services from Verizon, or whomever, if the current works just fine and even in a disaster?   Speaking of disasters, this now means that in a Katrina type event, you now not only have to wait for your local Telco to fix THEIR wiring, you have to wait also for the power company to send power to your house.  Is this really goodness?
Let’s look at the demographic trends of our population.  Guess what, we’re getting to have a much larger older population segment.  This trend is not in question. They’re going to be a concern due to their lack of availability to call out once the touted 4-hour limit of their UPS is dead.  This segment is growing and it’s not going to stop.  They can live VERY well without cable TV, but they can’t live without the means to call for help.  And for many shut ins, this is their social network.
So, I asked a Verizon representative about that and their reply was “go buy a cell phone”.  Now, let me get this straight, you want me to go buy another phone which is very expensive just to be able to call you and tell you that your service is broken and my house needs power and the phone at my house doesn’t work?  Well, their response is basically “yes”.  Granted, many of us already have at least one cell phone so for most of the reporting part isn’t an issue…unless you don’t have access to it…or the battery is dead…or you’re in one of the many dead cell zones that the Verizon Bimbo and his army of “technicians” just haven’t found yet.  Hello Verizon, can you hear me yet?  My house is in one of those partial dead zones.  And I’m on a ridge about 1200 feet about sea level.
Then, nobody is talking about what’s going to be done to handle all the toxic waste created from all these UPS batteries when they go dead and are past their usefulness time!?  If you figure out how many houses in the US have a phone in them in a metro area, figure that they’re going to need their battery replaced every 3 or so years.  In a short period of time, we’re going to dumping a lot of batteries in landfills and when they start to leak that’s a lot of lead acid that’s got to go somewhere.  Hello Al Gore, where are you and why aren’t you thinking about this as well?  Or are you too busy flying around in your private jet and calculating how big the carbon footprint of your house is this week?  Want to retire early and rich?  Figure out a way to PROFITABLY recycle these  batteries!
My recommendations are thus:  Avoid FiOS totally.  If you MUST have FiOS make sure that they install it separate from your existing telephone lines and if you’re a multiple phone line home (which many are due to internet dialup from several years ago), make sure that at least your main line is still a twisted pair copper wire connected to the home telephone switched network.  If they can’t guarantee you that you’ll keep your original copper line for telephone voice calls, you need to tell them “NO THANKS!”.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, From Where I Stand.

Verizon gets a lesson in remedial business management 101 0

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Verizon gets a lesson in remedial business management 101

Any current or former Verizon user that read this past Friday’s Wall Street (4/21/17) had to get a good chuckle out of the article on how Verizon had posted its first quarterly loss due to customers leaving them for the competition.


For those of us that have been constant and loyal Verizon customers for many years, we’re finally seeing Verizon(VZ) waking up and realizing that the basic tenets of undergraduate business school concepts still hold true – it’s the CUSTOMER, stupid!

Back in 2011, VZ decided to punt unlimited data plans from the cell phone service plans it provided.  Further, and even more annoying, if you wanted to upgrade your cell phone hardware, it meant having to buy a new service plan as they wouldn’t let you grandfather your old plan with any unlimited options, to the new phone.  Well, there was a way around it and I still kept my unlimited plan when I upgraded, much to the chagrin and consternation of VZ.  You can’t imagine how many spam calls I’ve gotten over the years from VZ telling me how much greater the new plans were – but of course they were NOT unlimited data and would charge me a tonne of bucko$ after a certain data useage – not to mention slower speeds for actually using the unlimited data you were paying for.  Add to that when you had to leave your current units for iPhones or whatever, VZ had removed the automatic hotspot capabilities that allowed you to turn your cell phone into wifi hotspot.  But, you could buy more hardware at a high price and pay more money to get the same functionality you had before.  This attempt to ripoff customers didn’t last very long.

Enter AT&T, Sprint and everyone else with their unlimited plans, acceptable service hardware and all at a much cheaper price.  Basically, someone at these companies had a clue at what doing market analysis really is and actually figured what the customer really wanted and how to make money selling it to them!

It didn’t take much marketing from the competition for people to realize that the Verizon bimbo that was always wandering around asking if anyone could hear him, was costing them too much and they didn’t have what they used to and more importantly WANTED.  It also didn’t take too long for the Verizon bimbo to realize this as well and he switched from Verizon.  Gee, go figure.

According local sales reps in the stores, the very recent and sudden changes in plan offerings to include unlimited data and much better pricing structures was a huge surprise that they were only informed of, literally, until minutes before the public was.  Kind of sounds like VZ had a major “oh shit!” moment and a major reality check! Gee…wonder why….

My guess is that in the future business schools will be adding this to the litany of case studies that undergraduates will have to endure.  It would make another of the many good case studies of how you will lose market share by not offering what the customer wants and is willing to pay, as well as being too arrogant to be aware of your market competition and think that just because you’re currently the 800 pound gorilla on the playground that things can’t change against you…and quickly!

Interestingly enough, we’re seeing other former market share “gorillas” thinking the same thing and also seeing that they’re losing market share.  In my opinion, this list would start with none other than IBM…

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Watching them as they go… 0

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Watching them as they go…

This week two friends of mine lost one of their parents.  Another is going to lose her father in short order.  It’s the time in life when we become parents to our parents and for many it’s a transition they’re not ready or prepared for…not that anyone could ever be.

It wasn’t long ago that we looked out and saw our parents and grandparents in the audience as we performed in school.

Then later as we looked out it was only our parents…and then too soon they weren’t there when we looked out…

Now our kids look out to us as the cycle of life continues its ever churning spirals of reality.

Watch them closely, while you still have them in sight.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Don’t Quit 0


Don’t Quit

I don’t usually go for sappy stuff like poetry, but I ran into this little parcel of writing this week after reading one too many postings from people that were clearly in need, one way or another. So, I pass it along. Perhaps you know someone you could or should pass it along to as well.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low and the debts are high;
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When all is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.

– John Greenleaf Whittier

I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.

Filing your taxes – when Free really isn’t – are you being "monetized" ?? 0

Filing your taxes – when Free really isn’t – are you being “monetized” ??

OK, so you’re intrigued by those online services and all that nice software that says they’ll do and file your taxes this year FOR FREE! Hmmmmm… We all like stuff for free, but hold the phone here folks – there’s more happening here than you may be aware of…

You may not be aware, yet, but you’re being mined and sold. Yupo folks, once again if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.

It would appear that there’s really a growing and big business in mining as much information about you from your tax forms and from all those piles of paperwork that you have to use to create those monstrosities that you have to send the IRS each year! Think how much information you really tell about yourself when you file your 1040. Do you have any loans? Investments? Outside business interests? Student loans or college payments of any sort? Well, it’s all on your 1040 and it’s all there for whomever is doing your electronic filing to mine, aggregate, package and sell to whomever will buy it. The latest buzz word is call “monetizing the customer” – uh, that’s you! And it’s big business and big money.

SO, if you don’t want to be sold you may want to read the fine print and make sure that your privacy stays that way – private.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.

Easter – What’s the real reason for the season? 0

Easter – What’s the real reason for the season?

OK, you usually hear this around mid December – people talking about “the reason for the season”, but does anyone really study history enough to know the REAL reasons for any of these religious centric holidays?

Based on the Biblical historical record (and yes, I think it’s a correct historical record), Christ died and was resurrected during the last weekend of Passover. I think most of Christianity will easily agree with me on that.

Interestingly enough, the Biblical record makes no references to brightly coloured eggs or bunnies. So, what’s really going on here?

Well, like it or not, Easter is yet another pagan holiday season that Christianity felt it had to adopt for its purposes. You would think that Christianity would follow the Biblical historical record in celebrating the death and resurrection of their Saviour and celebrate it when it ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN – uh, that would be the last weekend of Passover.

But, the calendars tend to create a bit of a problem here. This year Easter and Passover actually happen on the same week, but this is NOT case on a REGULAR basis! Consult your calendar if you disagree with me. Sometimes the two events are several WEEKS apart! Gee! Go figure!

The Jewish calendar dictates when Passover occurs but, who and how do we determine when Easter occurs? Well, for that we need to look at the historical record.

In 325AD, the council of Nicaea determined that Easter would be the first Sunday after the first full moon, occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From then on, the date of Easter depended on the ecclsiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. Hmmm….doesn’t sound like Passover to me. Let me make this simpler, Easter is the Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox. Sounds more like a Druid event than a Christian one.

If we look further, we find that the term “easter” we find that the it directly refers to the mythical goddess “Eostre” – sometimes also referred to as Ostara or Ishtar. So, we’d be just as accurate to be saying “Happy Ishtar!”. Oh, by the way, her symbol was a bunny or rabbit because of the high reproductive proclivities of rabbits…and I’m sure you’ve heard several humorous analogies during your life.

Chances are the Germans brought us the colored eggs from their traditions, but then, there’s also the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex, yes Ishtar again, in which bunnies and eggs play a big part.

If you really want to dig deeper into this, you’ll find origins going back to Nimrod and his family as well. Interesting reading on a rainy afternoon when you’re really interested in finding out the real roots of how you got where you are now…not just what your preacher is telling you.

Christianity has a bad habit of attempting to sanitize old pagan and druid customs, rites and celebrations and attempting to make them Christ centric events. But is this right?

Christianity could also declare the color green to be called brown…but would that make it right or better yet – correct?

I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.