was able to visit three of my hives yesterday. I expected a lot of development and wasn’t disappointed. Bees were very calm, filling all the frames of a two deep super, with 8 frames each. I actually ended up not using smoke on the last hive as they were happily busy in their duties to bother with me.
All three were in full brood mode. Sheets of solid brood patterns, surrounded by nectar, honey and pollen. Instead of expanding each super to an extra frame. I decided to add on a third super moving up other framers and dropping ‘j’ frames* in the direct center of the brood nest. (if you drop frames outside the brood nest. The comb will be drawn and filled with drone cells.) The bees welcomed the space and opportunity to grow upwards and have somewhere to build new comb.
I experienced a 8 % loss this year, however this is low for me as a average loss is about 40% similar to Adrian’s reporting. I still have a strong base of survivor stock and did not keep any overwintering swarms this year.
I had a few deformed K-Wing virus crawling around outside one hive. That seemed to be the extent of it. Always a sad thing to see. Only two of the hives had a nominal amount of hive beetles in the traps I installed in the fall.
All in all a very happy start to the year.
Valley floor is also in the middle of a full nectar flow that started earlier in the month.
I highly recommend that you have all your equipment ready to go. Indications are that we will be having a very successful year and unlike the past drought years, large build up of brood, consistent collection of resources and hopefully a good honey crop.
* ‘j’frame - A ‘J’frame is a locally coined term for a foundationless frame.
Advantages • In my experience the bees will draw their own comb faster than they will draw foundation. • Natural Varroa control. Allows bees to decide the cell size which typically tends to be smaller which is an advantage in reducing mites in drone cells. • Makes great cut comb, and is easily cut and crushed for solar honey extractors. • Requires bees always draw fresh comb, maintaining a cleaner wax base. With less chemical contamination. • Easy removal from frames and you get a lot of useable wax!
Disadvantages • More fragile particularly in hot weather. Care in manipulating the frame during inspections is required. • Can be extracted in a rotary extractor, with the use of wires and rubber bands. But with some difficulty. • During a dearth resources are better extended to collecting and storage instead of comb drawing. • Tendency to ‘pooch’ to one side if there is too much space towards the adjoining frame.
The Gumshoe: Colt Detective Special series - .38 Special
So yesterday I touched on the Smith And Wesson Model 10 revolver, probably one of the most common police guns, but there was another common design. This is the Colt Detective Special, and is probably the most iconic snub-nosed revolver.
So the concept of the snub nosed wasn’t a brand new idea in the 1920′s when the Detective Special was first made, many guns used short barrels like the Single Action Army and Colt Thunderer’s “Shopkeeper Models” as well as a number of ad-hoc models usually made by sawing the barrels down. But with the arrival of swing-out cylinders, there really weren’t any actual snub nosed revolvers, at least until the Colt Detective Special.
The Detective Special originally started as a modified version of the Colt Police Positive Special and besides being high quality sits size wise between a S&W “K” frame and the S&W “J” frame, like the Model 36. This allows it to have a 6 shot cylinder over the “J” frame’s 5. That gave the Detective Special and edge in the market and the Detective Special was made from 1927 all the way to 1995 before Colt’s post-bankruptcy model of whoring itself to the Department of Defense ceased all revolver production excluding the Colt Python.
Now to say that in it’s production cycle that the Colt DS sold well is an understatement, cause they sold like crazy. Besides police departments, a number of gangsters bought them, such as Bonnie Parker, who’s Colt DS is the one above. Gangsters liked it for it’s reasonable accuracy for a 2″ barrel gun, it’s 6 shot capacity and small size.
Now besides various versions of the DS made over the years, such as the First, Second, Third and Fourth, genius naming on Colt’s part, there were a number of different models. The first was the “Fitz” Special, designed by John Henry Fitzgerald and usually made from Colt Positives and Colt DS’s, involving lobbing off the hammer spur and the front half of the trigger guard for a quick draw.
Fancy. Now there also was the Colt Commando Special, a modified later model made between 1984 and 1986 during a strike at Colt’s Manufacturing plant. There also was the
Colt SF-VI/DS-II, a modernized model that replaced the DS, making it stainless steel and removing the need for hand-fitted parts. Besides that, the only other offshoot was the Colt Cobra.
So the Colt Cobra was an offshoot made from 1950 to 1981, effectively being a Colt Detective Special with a special alloy frame designed by ALCOA, and this gun served as a cheaper option to the Colt Detective Special and had a number of offshoots like the Colt Agent, Colt Viper and infamously bad Colt Aircrewman. Rather famously, a Colt Agent fitted with a hammer shroud was used by Jack Ruby to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.
With all these models, Colt DS’s, Cobras and other models are a relatively uncommon sight on the used market, usually going for decently higher prices over S&W and Charter Arms snubbies, but with a long history and being of very high quality revolvers and while you shouldn’t ever fire +P or +P+ out of them, they’re very fine guns, and cinema seems to think so.
The Detective Special line has seen it all through a number of movies, cop dramas, criminal tales, future sci-fi, everything. From the Lizzies of The Warriors to the decadent streets of L.A. Confidential, from the junkie to the journalist, it’s a very common sight. It’s small shape fits any actor and while not everyone who handles it knows the exact perfect firearm etiquette, you can’t deny the Colt Detective Special is a cinema favorite.
And that is the Colt Detective Special, one of Colt’s most common guns ever made. It’s a design dating all the way back to the Roaring 20′s and even though more modern guns have entered the Colt’s playing field, they can’t beat it out just yet. It might be out of production, but it’s legacy will be living on for years to come. From Elvis Presley to Bonnie Parker, it’s the perfect fit for any situation.
“Cause there’s music in the air and lots of lovin everywhere, so give me the night.”
This beautiful Korth Sky Marshall is a one of a kind revolver.
Extremely smooth double and single action trigger
Picatinny rail behind the cylinder for a laser attachment
Picatinny rail in front of the cylinder to add an adapter that allows for a suppressor to be mounted
Be on the look out for Korth Arms in the near future. Products awaiting ATF import approval and they’ll be here before we know it!