The war, the bees, russia and the UK

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Good to hear from you again Podilia. keep safe
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Hello, people. Have an update today.

I'm happy to finish the main extraction of the season. I've got my first ton. Worked alone (I like to work alone without this "oh, I got a sting, what a pain!" or "Look, it's a wasp, it's going to kill me!") so it took 6 days, and I've got several stings from wasps. It seems to me it's really more painful than the bee's sting. While bees were working wasps in great numbers swarmed around to rob any drop of honey. Wasps are the big problem of this season.
It was interesting to see how the bees react to the different weather. After the rain at night they were not flying until afternoon, maybe waiting the plants to absorb water from the soil or the concentration of sugar in the flowers was too low. In general there is a drought for two month with little ocassional rains - typical summer weather.
1) Positive aspect of the current situation. All flights are forbidden. Farmers don't use their airplanes and helicopters which used to buzz at this time of year. The colonies look stronger and I haven't seen many dead bees on the ground though the sunflower as the main source of honey usually exhausts colonies.

2) Recently our regional city of Vinnytsia got a missile strike, the buildings at the center were destroyed. More than 20 people were killed including kids and even a baby.
Propaganda said they had attacked a military headquarter. The city is far from the frontline but sometimes missiles fly over there.
Fuel at the petrol stations is avaliable again.

3) The news from my cousine in London. They've got a pretty nice appartment from the local government. Her little son is already speaking English, maybe better than I do after years of learning. The weather in London is very warm, some trees are dropping leaves. She said, fruits in supermarkets are "plastic". I'm sure there are good fruits and vegetables somewhere in the local rural markets and shops. We used to have our own gardens and fruits here.
Also there were funny events for Ukrainian refugees and their kids.

4) For those interested in military aspects. The impressive video (with Eng. subtitles) of a street fighting from a journalist who spent a day in one of the cities on the frontline. We could see it only in the Hollywood movie but now this is the reality. When Russians realized they couldn't capture the city they destroyed it as they had done with other cities before. However putin's army is not doing well now.

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Good to hear you are still safe Podilia ... I can't begin to imagine what it's like living with the continual threat of missiles ... we all wish you well ... at least your wildlife and your bees seem to be benefitting from the awful situation you have over there .... it's a small silver lining.
Now this is getting seriously off topic, but...

Putin's puffy face has been commented upon (not least by Dr David Owen). One treatment for a thyroid lymphoma might be, I am told, the administration of a corticosteroid such as prednisolone, which might cause the puffiness. Apart from the immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids (which might account for the long tables) corticosteroids are known to have psychiatric side effects:

"Although disturbances of mood, cognition, sleep, and behavior as well as frank delirium or even psychosis are possible, the most common adverse effects of short-term corticosteroid therapy are euphoria and hypomania. "

And if you know you are going to die anyway, then: well what the hell.
When you are on high amounts of steriods you cant sleep at all. You will be up at 2am knocking together frames and hives and then take the dogs for a long walk. Its horrible stuff to be on.
You don't need exogenous steroids to be a genocidal maniac and suggestions that the decisions he's making are influenced by medication risks shifting some of the blame/culpability for his actions away from Putin. We in the West may not comprehend why Putin is acting as he is but there doesn't have to be some mitigating factor.
Carol of the Bells.jpeg

During this Christmas season you will probably hear one of the most popular, and world famous carols celebrating the season, "Carol of the Bells" The young Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovych who wrote the original was assassinated. Shot in the stomach whilst sleeping at his parents' home by a state agent. His mother and father tied up watched their son bleed to death.

Archival documents confirm that the killer was a genuine operative of the Cheka from the office based in Haisyn. Just as today, the official Kremlin playbook was used. The official Soviet narrative of this assassination was presented as a trivial robbery by a criminal who just pretended to be a Cheka agent (the agent having looted the Leontovychs' valuables).

Why? Well he simply stood for a free and independent Ukraine.

When you next hear the "Carol of the Bells", take a nanosecond to remember the people of Ukraine who continue to be killed in defence of their democratic independent country.
Electricity supply has improved at least until the new missile attack. Although the danger signal sounds almost every day but it seems nobody cares. We got incredibly warm days a month ago, during new year holidays, the bees were flying like crazy. Obviously it can help them to overwinter with less load. The "bombardment" was not very intense because in November they also had chances to do it. When they sit in hives for three months, sometimes four months, after that they usually spot everything around. However this kind of "bombardment" is more desirable and welcome than that one from our eastern "dear brothers".

When you have electrycity as well as the internet only a couple of hours per day you buy batteries and listen to the radio. It's very useful especially in the evenings. I used to listen the cultural channel. This is a good idea for media to play classic music and read books at this dark in all aspects time because we are tired of that endless horror thay're showing and speaking about. I think people need something that could make them calm and better, the things of all times and cultures. Every morning you expect something like: new attacks, new missiles, destroyed appartment buildings or power stations and civil victims...

My cousin has got a certificate of E2 English level and now she's with a more advanced group of students. I've never heard about E2, my level's stuck somewhere near B1. If I were there for almost a year, I could read Shakespeare.

Now the weather is wintry as usually at this time of year. Sparrows and especially those yellowish bandits visit the apiary in numerous gangs searching something tasty, for example a bee which they can seize in the entry of a hive. The mysterious circles have appeared on the hive roofs. Someone may say that the roofs need more insulation. There are already 3 sm of styrofoam. I can't say it has any effect on a colony. However I can see where the colony is, its size, whether it has enough honey and what the bees are doing. Sure they are already rearing brood. Some colonies are big enough so they can take honey from all frames and probably don't need help.

Some are smaller but also happy in the center of the hive.

Some colonies have reached the rear side and have to move either left ot right which is very difficult for smaller colonies, or die keeping the brood warm until the end. I've already saved six colonies in that condition.
The frames contain solid sunflower honey. I said: dear, you need to adapt to this food in winter, I don't give you sugar because it's expensive and at all it's an additional work for me, who don't like to work. Seems they agree and doing it well.
For comparison these hives in December.

Well, now a story from a family of refugees who have arrived in summer and now renting a house nearby. As I wrote I hired two boys from that family to load the hives in autumn. Their city of 70 thousand now is in the center of intense fighting. There are merely 6 thousand people still stay there. The city is very damaged but still under our control. When a few months ago they got a message that their house is destroyed their 70 y.o. grandmother got a heart stroke. Now she is ok. Her husband told us how they left the city. They don't even had time to take winter clothes. Volunteers provided the evacuation. A driver said he could take a dog but not a cat in his car. Maybe he didn't like cats. The cat were standing near the car while shelling and explosions hit around. The cat looked at those people with so terrified eyes that the man said he couldn't leave this animal so he should stay there. After a few seconds the driver agreed to take the cat.

So, the war is going on. We lost a lot of time in summer when putin's fascists were severely beaten but we didn't have enough weapon to advance quickly and beat them comletely. Our western friends suddenly limited the delivery of ammunition. Moscow managed to collect a new army. Now they are using the WW2 strategy of human waves. Russian commanders are well known proffessionals at this style of war. The first wave is prisoners and other trash who have nothing to lose because their professional colleagues in the second line kill everyone who try to escape. So this way they can detect our positions. The prisoners and mercenaries are the resource like ammunition and vehicles. Also Moscow keeps on its fascist propaganda, recruiting new fools for this stupid war of one insane man who try to save his high position for the next several months. Actually orcs die in huge number (several hundreds every day) for the sake of these additional few months for putin to stay in power. Well, we use the word "orcs" which is not so bad compare to the word used by our soldiers and which is not appropriate for this forum.

Again Russian generals promised to start a new massive attack along the eastern frontline and already have started. But we already saw their massive attacks in March and May. Seems they are not able to achieve any goal putin demanded from his generals. Maybe he will recruit a million or two of people. This process usually takes a year or two. It will be interesting to see western tanks in action against old-fashioned russian T-62 they are trying to restore. The funniest thing in the story about tanks is Germany sentiments about "German tanks fighting against russia again". But Ukraine lost the most number of people, civilian and soldiers, during WW2, and Ukraine was the most destroyed country, at the same time nearly 1,5 million russians fought at the German side. So this sentiment has nothing common with the history and reality. The problem is that Hitler's regime was condemned but Stalin's one was not. Therefor this viruse is alive in russia. They again install monuments of Stalin and other devils, they keep the mummy of one of them in the strange structure in the center of the capital near the Christian cathedral. There is a lot of strange things to think about, for example, their so-called Christian orthodox church fully supporting the war.
Thankyou for your thoughtful update. I’m happy the bees seem to be thriving.
I am so sad to hear how things go in your country. Sad? What a totally inadequate word that is. I read reports of what the Russians are doing with utter disbelief. But you know our media can only handle one big story at a time and they have taken the pedal off the accelerator somewhat.
Bless you, Podilia. Keep well keep safe
Thank so much for writing Podilia. It's wonderful to read such a personal account of how life is for you and the people around you. And truly awful to hear about the military strategies that are being employed against your people. Good to hear about your bees. Every best wish to you all.
Good to hear from you again Podilia.

We know from the news over here that the Russians seem intent on destroying all your infrastructure and attacking your power stations. The internet provides us with more details of what is happening over there. I don't think anyone here can begin to imagine what it must be like for you, living with the constant threat of missile attack, shortages and the lack of even the basic requirements of power and water must be a nightmare.

I'm old enough to have known people who lived through the German blitz of our cities during WW2 and heard their stories first hand. It seems incomprehensible that, here in Europe, in the 21st Century, anyone should be facing such a similar onslaught.

Hopefully, the Leopard tanks that are coming your way and the other hardware you have been promised will give you the means to drive these devils from your land but the cost in human terms is tragic.

Our thoughts are with you and our admiration for Ukraine for standing up to the Putin outrage, but there are no words to describe what you must be going through. Stay safe. Let's hope your allies in the West increase their supply of everything you need to succeed.
Nothing changes with the Russian army I remember my uncle telling my how the red army executed loads of Ukrainians returning from forced labour after the war ended, over the years a few mass graves have been found in Ukraine.
I am happy you are able to connect to the web once more. Wonderful to see that the bees mostly thrive and that you are safe. The world resisted the madness of hitlers dream and it resists the madness that attempts to engulf you now. Stay strong stay safe.
Even the police van appears to be sympathetic….. I hope there’s no rush to actually clean it up, could be there for months😂

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