Small hive beetles are much like vampires in that they hate sunlight, which is probably why I saw no evidence of beetles in my English hive which sits in the middle of a sunny spot, but huge numbers of beetles in our hives in a relatively shady area. Adjacent hives even have different levels of infestation, with the strongest hives having lower numbers of beetles. While I can’t turn a weaker hive into prize fighters overnight, I can do something about the sunshine, which is why I spent much of yesterday shifting the brush line further back from Bee Lane. Hives that were in the shade at 10:00 a.m. yesterday were in full sunlight this morning. We hope that helps somewhat. We have mineral oil traps (Beetle Blaster) in the hives, but our schedules haven’t allowed us to maintain them and let them do their job — which they do very well!
One thing the beetles have managed to do is get me beyond being squeamish about squishing bugs! When I lived alone, my preferred bug disposal method was a vacuum cleaner stretched out at arms’ length and a can of Raid. (Sometimes the whole can, according to Hubby’s version of certain stories.) Teaching got me to the point of being able to chase a cockroach down with a broom and dustpan so as not to let my students see how much doing that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Beekeeping now has me using my hive tool to squish beetles and moths and even using it to kill a roach yesterday. Sadly for Hubby, none of that translates into me taking care of bugs in the house, as there is no rational reason to be scared of creepy crawlies in the first place, I’m not even going to try to figure out why outdoor-me and indoor-me have such contradictory attitudes towards some things at times!
Other projects in the works this week are staining the door to the well house with Minwax White Pickling Stain, clearing the area around the beautiful old culvert, planting trees, planting the remaining daffodil bulbs, fencing, and weed eating. More about those later.
Maggie continues to enjoy the farm, and expends enough energy to power a small city while running in circles like a grey hound and digging holes in which to bury her bones. Her favorite toys when we are here are a tennis ball and empty diet Coke bottles. She is the first dog either of us has had that actually fetches sticks — it just has be the “right” stick. She also loves racing the four-wheeler and can keep up with Hubby when he’s driving over 15 m.p.h. She travels better now, which is good as she spits out motion sickness pills even when they are wrapped up in pill pockets. We love having a dog again. We love being here at the farm. We even love our tiny house on wheels. Life is good.