Sunday, June 24, 2012

SHB options

With the warmer weather, I'm really seeing the SHB populations rise in weaker hives. Even the strong hive have quite a few, but are keeping them at bay.

Here are some options with links with dealing with SHB issues.

SHB information

Don's method boric acid

Cheap Bottom Board traps This requires completely taking hive apart to install/change and remove.

Freeman beetle traps expensive

AJ Beetle Eaters works, inexpensive, but is messy and hard to install and remove without spilling.

Entrance traps These look like a good option. No leveling of hive necessary!

Keeping your hive real estate in correct proportion is the best method, but if you have a compost pile or more shade then sun, mechanical SHB removal is a must.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I promise this is the last of the chick post, for awhile...

Last night when I went to close up the coop, I found Goldie and the chicks in the coop. At first I only saw two chicks, one on her back and one behind her on the window frame.

After climbing in the coop with my flashlight, I found the other two tucked under her wings.

I'm glad they have decided to sleep in the coop, since there has been a coyote/chicken incident right down the street last week. I'm not sure how the dog create would hold up to a hungry coyote. I'm sure they would be traumatized at the very least.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Time is now to do your Mite treatments before it reached 85f days

This method is, inexpensive, works and is approved by Certified Naturally Grown. I find it to be the kindest way to handle the mite issue when threshold has been reached. My bee buddy, John Jones, made my fume board for me and mixed my formic acid to 50%. It's good to pull the girl card sometimes. ;) I have about 15 hives to check and treat if needed. I find that once, every other year, takes care of it. Here is John's blog with more information on the treatment and pictures of the fume board.

Broody Hen in pool and Goldie's chicks update

My grandmother told me that my Aunt was a chicken fan as well, she always tried to save those poor colored Easter chicks, so I'm glad to partly blame my new found fondness of the girls on heredity. They don't really pay for themselves, I think I break even after food. I love my Buff O's, they are the big hipped Wallace and Grommet chicks, that crack me up when they run, but they sure seem to be broody. I quite honestly don't need more chicks, so after doing some looking around on the internet, it seems that the temp of the vent is what triggers broodiness. Why do I care if they go broody? First off it causes a traffic jam in the the nest boxes to have one just sitting. Secondly, she won't lay when broody. I'm starting to think that this might be kinda like my son's book, Click, Clack, Moo. The farm animals find a typewriter and start writing out demands to the farmer or they withhold milk and eggs. I think she actually enjoys the coolness, and wants a drink with a umbrella. Goldie and the chicks are doing fine. It's so much easier to raise chicks with a Mama hen. Last night they actually slept in the coop with all the rest of the hens and all is well in the coop-yard. Goldie does a great job of following them with the constant peculating sound she makes. Brent thinks that's her telling them about all about their world. The rest of the girls didn't want to be left out of the spotlight so they gathered for their picture to be taken as well.