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Biz Notes – Here & There

August 5,2017-

SLO Median Home Price Up About 16 Percent

San Luis Obispo’s median home price during the first half of 2017 was $639,059 vs $550,000 the same period in 2016 accord to Central Coast Lending. That is an increase of abbot 16%.

Pachco Valley Solar Downsized – County Stiffed

In a settlement with several environmental groups Con Edison has downsized their plans for a huge 247 megwatt solar farm in rural San Benito County to to 130 megawatts. The project is now just  one third the size as proposed in 2009.

San Benito County supervisors were unhappy to hear they will not be getting some $4.4 million in sales tax, nor even the $2.5 mil they would have seen from a 247 MW project. Indeed they will not see any sale tax revenue it turns out, says a county officials – instead that will go to San Francisco where the panels will be bought. Legal action is being threatened.

Cheap Nat Gas Provides Tough Competition

Natural gas prices continue to plunge, now $2.74 from $3.27 in May – offering cheap heating and cooling prices and tough competition for other energy like sources like coal or even renewables’ storage batteries.

Natural gas is often the preference for base load or peaker power to supplement renewables that do not produce all the time.

But Midwest states like Minnesota are looking at building more battery storage to back up renewables instead of more nat gas plants.
We will see. Minnesota currently gets about 21 percent of its energy from renewables and current plans call for bringing an additional 1,800 megawatts of gas-fired “peaker” plants by 2028 say press reports.

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 9.21.27 AMCraft Beer Sellout Continues

Craft beers is so popular the big boys are joining the party.The latest news comes from San Francisco where Anchor Brewing is being sold to Japan’s Sapporo Holdings, according to press reports.Recently Heineken’s recently acquired the Lagunitas brand.

 

Bee Colonies Surveyed – Colony Collapse Down

As of January 1, USDA says honey bee colonies for operations with five or more colonies in the United States on January 1, 2017 totaled 2.62 million colonies, down slightly from January 1, 2016. The number of colonies in the United States on April 1, 2017 was 2.89 million colonies. During 2016, honey bee colonies on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 were 2.62 million, 2.80 million, 3.18 million, and 3.03 million colonies, respectively.

Honey bee colonies lost for operations with five or more colonies from January through March 2017, was 362 thousand colonies, or 14 percent. The number of colonies lost during the quarter of April through June 2017 was 226 thousand colonies, or 8 percent.

During the quarter of October through December 2016, colonies lost totaled 502 thousand colonies, or 17 percent, the highest of any quarter in 2016. The quarter in 2016 with the lowest number of colonies lost was April through June, with 330 thousand colonies lost, or 12 percent.

Honey bee colonies added for operations with five or more colonies from January through March 2017 was 586 thousand colonies. The number of colonies added during the quarter of April through June 2017 was 653 thousand. During the quarter of April through June 2016, 737 thousand colonies were added, the highest number of honey bee colonies added for any quarter of 2016. The quarter of October through December 2016 added 125 thousand colonies, the least number of honey bee colonies added for any quarter of 2016.

Honey bee colonies renovated for operations with five or more colonies from January through March 2017 was
240 thousand colonies, or 9 percent. During the quarter of April through June 2017, 806 thousand colonies, or 28 percent, were renovated. The quarter in 2016 with the highest number of colonies renovated was April through June with 561 thousand colonies renovated, or 20 percent. The quarter in 2016 with the lowest number of colonies renovated was October through December 2016, with 60.4 thousand or 2 percent. Renovated colonies are those that were requeened or received new honey bees through a nuc or package.

Varroa Mites Top Colony Stressor for Operations with Five or More Colonies
Varroa mites were the number one stressor for operations with five or more colonies during all quarters of 2016. The quarter of April through June 2016 had highest percentage of colonies reported to be affected by varroa mites at 53.4 percent. The percent of colonies reported to be affected by varroa mites during January through March 2017 and April through June 2017 are 42.2 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively.

Colonies Lost with Colony Collapse Disorder Symptoms Down 27 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies
Honey bee colonies lost with Colony Collapse Disorder symptoms on operations with five or more colonies was 84.4 thousand colonies from January through March 2017. This is a 27 percent decrease from the same quarter of 2016. Colonies lost with Colony Collapse Disorder Symptoms were reported to meet all of the following criteria: 1) Little to no build-up of dead bees in the hive or at the hive entrance 2) Rapid loss of adult honey bee population despite the presence of queen, capped brood, and food reserves 3) Absence or delayed robbing of the food reserves 4) Loss not attributable to varroa or nosema loads.

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