Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dust Bath

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.

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.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Package of bees from Georgia [H+R Apiaries}

Thanks so much to my Bee Mentors Jane and Rob Wild for installing the three packages this year!

#BeeChat from @happyhoneybees

Every Sunday on Twitter from 2pm Pacific Time / 5pm Eastern Time we are getting together to figure out ways to help bees, so check out #BeeChat. I just figure the more we beekeepers all share information and experiences the more we can all help the bees. Please join us. Simply search #BeeChat and see a record of all the bee information that people are sharing. Please pass along.

Bees at school.


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.

Check Out Handpicked Nation.