Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Chickens need to take a bath, in dirt.
Dust baths are how chickens prevent mites and lice from taking hold on their skin and and making them sick. If your chickens have access to a little area of dirt that they can dig up and then throw the dirt around they are all set. IF your birds are in a coop where they don't have access to a little dirt pit you will need to create one for them. Here is what I have done (although my hens have access to the outdoor baths - see above) to make one. I take a low galvanized tub and fill it with a mixture of things: diatomaceous earth (wear a mask when using), sand, dirt, and some fireplace ashes.
Posted by dawer at 12:42 PM
Before I open any hive I try to understand how they are doing. The last few weeks have been very hot and dry and the stores are down. I have decided to start feeding.
Posted by dawer at 9:22 AM
Saturday, June 2, 2012
This spring semester we added three hives to our school campus. It is really beautiful where the hives are placed. We were fortunate to have lots of beekeepers (and mentors) in the valley. There are lots of beekeepers nearby because our school is in the middle of citrus and avocado groves (home of the Pixie Tangerine). Two of our hives hives arrived already well established and the third is a maverick hive, truly a renegade hive. The third hive is essentially feral but we thought we would take it as a great experiment. The last time I opened that hive they went nuts. Crazy feral bees. I was stung 8 times. Oh well. I decided to let them be for a few days before I went back to open it up.
It is really great having hives at school because eventually we will be able to serve our own honey at each table. Also there are many students at school who seem to think that bees are cool. I am hopeful that this fall we will be able to harvest the orange blossom, sage and rain water tasting honey.