[QUOTE=JoanieL;1181288]The creepy crawlies in Florida are amazing! I woke up my then husband one night because there was a spider on the wall about the size of a tennis ball. I'm nearsighted, so it might have been a bit smaller. He got up, looked at it, went and got his baseball bat, and smashed the shit out of it. LOL - shades of Annie Hall.[/QUOTE]
I allow the giant Huntsman spiders to live... I figure they are the only thing that could possibly take down one of those awful mutant 2inch long cockroackes! (that can/will fly and land on your head... :eek: )
dad always used to say the spiders were there to eat all the worse insects so i have never been scared of them. i love spiders in fact and thankfully none of my kids have picked up arachnaphobia. i think work's US office could be in florida.
bees are cool Val. varroa is not so cool. we had it arrive here over the last year. previous to that i think we were the only place left in the planet which didnt have it. i am going to get some more bees in spring but having to treat them with all those chemicals is putting me off a bit. i do drench the horse so maybe if i just view it like that but i also dont eat the horse.
I kind of meant that I let them live in the house... LOL
Like if one of those big guys is on the ceiling where I can't scoot it into a bin to take it outside safely, then I just think of it as a house guest on patrol for the "bad guys".
I actually like spiders... especially the fat jumping spiders with the red bums we have here. So cute!
But I'm still not sure having a Huntsman the size of a salad plate walking over my face when I'm sleeping is a very good idea, so I generally escort them out when I can.
Varroa and trachael mites are indeed bad news.
But... the nasty chems are not [U][I]necessary[/I][/U] in the opinion of many keepers.
(I know even some fairly large honey producers here who don not use the chems or any HFCS(guys my husband went to HS with)... but do it more naturally instead.)
Here is a good link about he use of grease patties, read comments... and click the "mites" link on the upper right of the page for a ton more info!
[QUOTE=valmason01;1181159]I need to stay caught up on your journal Doc! I need the laughs :) I most definitely have the bodice to be a wench...One of my best attributes if I do say so myself. And heaven knows I ain't no lady. Florida is definitely closer than NZ...and while many people don't think of us as so we are the deep south with all the good and evil that entails. Come on down and join us whenever you are ready! My new goal is my own homestead by 50 (3 years). praying the economy holds until I can get it running.
Must add bee keeping to the list of haves Doc! Not only does the honey taste amazing it is a wonderful antibacterial and wash. Has all sorts of uses :) And it is nice and sticky and sweeeettttt....mmmm mmmmm[/QUOTE]
Mead.......... the BESST reason t keep bees..... Mead
[QUOTE=NZ primal Gwamma;1181224]morning all - Florida sounds like a realy lovely place Val........appart from the creepy crawlies !!!!!!
Woo hoo Pebbles - looking hot in your wee dress !!!!!!
Doc - sounds like you have been one busy wee boy !!!!!!! How is the dog saga panning out ?????[/QUOTE]
Not well on the dog front. Lost 3 more birds yesterday... Looks like I need to set up a hiding spot in the pasture so I can cap me some chicken thieves.....
i have a book called the natural beekeeper by ross conrad who lives in vermont i think. it has a 51 page chapter on mites. it all sounds awesomely good and doable except our conditions are so different. our bees breed 12 months a year, even up in nelson, on st michaels day ( end of march ) thymovar wont vapourise as it is too cold. i know 2 registered biodynamic fruit growers who have kept bees for years. neither are idiots. one ended up having to use bayvarol as his were pollinators and they were all dying still. the other limped his along the best he could and lost them due to robbing when a commercial apiary moved in down the road. i have a friend who has a friend who is currently treating by spraying the frames with the bees on with thyme oil. early days yet but we shall see.
OMG Doc - thats awful about the wee chickies........ Its duck shooting season over here - could you set up a wee mimi????? in the chicken coup ?????
FL is a year round climate as well...
I'm pretty sure the site I linked was western Washington based, milder climate. Maybe the wrong area?
Lots of alternative methods, like creating trap areas and cutting out capped drone comb.
The guys I know here in FL say that a combination of alternative methods are just as good as using the harsh chems that mites are becoming resistant to anyway.
Even if you chem the snot out of your hives the mites wind up right back in them and they have said that it affects the bee health too, so they prefer gentler management and doing a bit more work instead... ending in much the same results.
The fewer hives you have the easier it is to manage multiple techniques and schedules based on time of year and the weather/bee activity level at that time.
That's part of the problem with the bigger outfits doing it though. It can become very labor intensive.
Maybe I can get some suggestion from the guys around here for sites... but then our very hot and humid/wet summers then dry warm winters don't really match up to your climate either.
[QUOTE=NZ primal Gwamma;1181739]OMG Doc - thats awful about the wee chickies........ Its duck shooting season over here - could you set up a wee mimi????? in the chicken coup ?????[/QUOTE]
If a mimi is something like a camoflage covering, then yes something like that. Probably not in the chicken coop per se, but I do have a chicken house that is unoccupied at present.... hmmmm, there may b something to that... at least I'd have room for the cooler full of beer!
No Doc - guns and beer do not go well together............... however at the end of a long hard day - lounging in the Mimi (aka spare chicken coup), a beer may be justified !!!!!!!