Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goals and Mites

Beekeeping season is winding down, sadly so is my beekeeping apprenticeship.  It has been a fantastic experience!  I still have yet to experience a honey harvest, that will be in the next month or so.  Unless the harvesting experience is horrible, I have brainstormed a few goals for next beekeeping year.
1)  Add my own hive to my yard (in addition to the one I host)
2) Continue my apprenticeship, checking on a local hive (but change the location form last years)

I'd also like to add another animal to our abode. I was thinking ducks, since I have chickens down pretty well. We recently tried duck eggs, and did not like them at all. However, a friend reminded me that there is a high demand for ducks eggs here, so I'd easily be able to sell them.  Hubby doesn't like the idea of having an animal whose product we don't like ourselves.   We shall see.  I only want 2-3, and I have all winter to work on him.  :)

I also discovered that the Buff hen has a severe case of mites.  I have treated her and the whole flock (i.e. forcible dust bath in DE - natural non-toxic remedy) to help, but have ordered a product (chemical) that will take care of the problem for real. I am against using chemicals usually, and never have treatment my flock once.  Ever.  With any chemical.  But her mite load is so high, her behavior is off and she seems unhappy. And she stopped laying. I think the mite load is so high, she stopped laying.  So, I'll treat her and the coop when the product comes. It's similar to a 'flea dip' for your cat or dog.   Because it's a chemical and I'm weird about their use, I'll dispose of the eggs for a few days after I use the treatment. 

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