Where has Yowie Yoga Cat BEEN?

I know you all wonder how Yowie Yoga Cat has been doing with his CAREER.  Actually he’s been doing a lot of photo shoots lately.

Yowie Yoga Cat on a Cat Tower

Inquiring minds Want To KNOW

Yowie Yoga Cat Basket Pose

Yowie Yoga Cat Basket Pose

Yowie Yoga cat looking over shoulder

I am a serious cat

yowie yoga cat relaxing

I am sometimes shy and unimposing . . .

Yowie Yoga Cat getting fit for tne new fashion hat

Yowie Yoga Cat getting fit for tne new fashion hat

Yowie Yoga Cat is sexy

Yowie Yoga Cat is a sexy thinking guy

Yowie Yoga Cat In the Bath

And Yowie Yoga Cat ends his day in the bath

HOWEVER . . . Nowdays, when he isn’t posing for a photo shoot, he hangs out with BUBBA

BUBBA THE HAMSTER

BUBBA, Yowie’s friend

And he also hangs out with CHICKME, his maybe girlfriend

Chicken perching

CHICKME

A family of bears

8 cute bear figurines

The bear family

Halloween and Christmas decorations for your shelf collection. Eight bears from my bear collection need a new home.  Here’s what they look like up close and personal.

hand painted composite fuzzy Halloween Bear with pumpkin body, top hat, and raven on his paw

Even birds like bears

witch bear figurine with hat,broom,and raven perching

Get that bug off my broom!

hand painted ceramic pumplin bear with pumpkin body

I need some anti acid pills.

composite halloween bear holding pumpkin with baby bear

Even a teddy bear needs a teddy bear

bear with pumplin body, hat, sack, and baby bear

I think I’m lost

Halloween Bear figurine with skeleton costume and lantern and hat

BOO!

hand painted composite christmas bear with bag and list

I’ve got a list and you’re on it.

hand painted composite fuzzy drummer bear figurine

I AM CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!

They each measure from 2 1/2 inches to 3″ tall.

All eight bears for $18.00  #CER 52,56,72-76 Paypal buy now button

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Hand painted figurines 3

Jewelant is painting more ceramics before Christmas 2014.

hand painted baby reindeer

Rudolph’s brother

Paypal buy now buttonSmall brown reindeer, green harness, Hand painted ceramic 1  4” long x 4”tall x 2”wide  #CER 40  $5.00

ceramic woven basket with flowers

Fresh for your table

Paypal buy now buttonLarge Pink woven basket with flowers inside, handpainted ceramic.  #CER 19  $16.00

hand painted Ceramic victorian doll

For doll collectors, or just yourself

Paypal buy now buttonFrilly lady doll with pink dress, lace, and gold necklace. Handpainted very tall about 16”  #CER 20  $28.00

hand painted wedding swan

You can put things inside of this swan such as candy or tiny favors

Paypal buy now buttonSwan container with sparkling flowers on neck, Handpainted ceramic  12”long x 8 1/4”tall x 6”wide  #CER 25  $24.00

hand painted ceramic elephant

Baby loves this elephant

Paypal buy now buttonStuffed elephant, Handpainted ceramic 8”long x 6 1/2”wide x 6 3/4”tall.  #CER 08  $24.00

hand painted ceramic container with lid

puffy basket with ruffled lid

Paypal buy now buttonGreen and white and sparkled sewing basket or container with quilting on top and ruffle edged lid, Hand painted ceramic  9”long x 6 1/2”wide x 4”tall  #CER 50  $22.00

large hand painted ceramic teddy bear

A large teddy for the baby room

Paypal buy now buttonLarge brown Stuffed bear, Hand painted ceramic  8 1/2”tall x 10 1/2”wide x 6 1/2”deep.  #CER 43  $22.00

home sweet home wall plaque

Home Sweet Home

Paypal buy now buttonHome Sweet Home ceramic wall hanging with bluebirds in a nest on front, Handpainted ceramic.  About 12” tall.  #CER 21  #12.00

Ceramic cherubs Christmas decoration

For your Christmas tree

Paypal buy now buttonCherub face, two girls, for Xmas decoration, Hand painted ceramic.  Measures about 2 ½” wide. #CER 69  $5.00

 

Hand painted figurines page 2

Gnome on a turtle hand painted

Gnome on a turtle

Gnome on a turtle hand painted figurine

Gnome on a turtle

Gnome leaping over turtle.  Completely handpainted and sealed for the outdoors.  He wants to go home with you.  You could hang your jewlery on him, or use him as a door prop.  9”tall x 5”wide x 7 1/2” deep.            #CER 18  $26.00  Paypal buy now button

Small hand painted ceramic lop earred rabbit figurine

Lop earred rabbit

Small white Lop earred rabbit, hand painted ceramic 4” x 3 1/2”  #CER 36  $8.00  Paypal buy now button

Ceramic hand painted Rabbit napkin holders

Rabbit napkin holder set ON SALE!!

Rabbit napkin holder set, Perfect for weddings and easter. Hand painted ceramic          3 1/2”long  x 3”tall x 1 1/2”wide.  #CER 38  $16.00 SALE (regular $24.00)  Paypal buy now button

Ceramic Santa with little girl and presents

Santa and friend

Santa with girl and sack of presents, Hand painted ceramic.  About 10″ tall.   Regularly $18.00      #CER 45  SALE PRICE $16.00    Paypal buy now button

 

One renegade chicken

Picture of chicken face

Renegade chicken. She’s SO idependent

I had recently started letting my chickens out of their pen to roam the yard.  I have a privacy fence, and after blocking the undersides of all the gates, not including hawks,  it was a pretty safe place for them to roam if I didn’t let the dog out of his pen.

So I let them out and watched to see where they hung out.  For the most part they stayed at the back of the property which is where thiere pen and nests are at.  They scratched everywhere, the compost pile was a favorite, as was under the flatbed and trailers in the backyard.  I introduced them to the winter garden which had nothing in it they could destroy.

They had a whole lotta chicken fun.  And I cut down on the feed bill quite a lot.  They got bugs, and grass, and seeds to eat all day long.  They got to roll in the dirt, flap their wings, run a good distance too.  But when I’d come out to take a head count, (I’ve got six hens), there was always one not with the flock that I would have to search for.

Today I went out to check on them and that renegade chicken was at it again, only this time I couldn’t seem to get her to come when I called, even though five of the hens were eating chopped apples and leftover spaghetti as a treat.  I came back out later, I heard what I thought was something from under one of the junk cars in the yard.  Worried that maybe a racoon or possum had started living in a trunk, I checked.

Nope . . . no chicken.   And I’m worried about her because she isn’t staying where I can find her.

I went around and looked under all the vehicles, the trailers, anywhere one might find a chicken hiding.  And low and behold, under the BACK side of a trailer, was this very silent chicken.  She wasn’t unhappy, or hurt.  She wasn’t laying an egg.  What she had done was to scratch out a hole in the dirt under the trailer and hunker her body into it.  She didn’t seem to be nesting.

What she was doing was to just plain take a spa dirt bath. She was happily contented to just wiggle around in the cold dirt and bathe in it.  I mean she was in total chicken heaven too.  Her eyes were glazed with this enjoyment I’ve not seen anywhere so intense.

And she seems to just be that type of personality, a chicken that is a renegade, independent “doesn’t need the flock” kind of gal.  But I think I need to mark her with a scarlet “R”.

Hand Painted Ceramic figurines 1

I paint ceramic figurines with a lot of cuteness, beautifulness, and character.  You can give these to children, as wedding presents, birthday presents, and all occassions.  If you collect, I have Cherubs, bears, and all kinds of animals and dolls. Here’s a few of them I have for sale.  This page will be updated as I add more items. NOTE: I ship only within the U.S. presently.  I may change this later, but for now if you live outside the United States it’s not possible.

Large Hand painted ceramic brown squirrel

Got any NUTS?

Large hand painted ceramic brown squirrel

Measures 12”long x 8 1/4”tall x 8 1/4”wide  #CER 16

head detail of large ceramic squirrel

I SEE YOU!

Large brown squirrel with tail upraised and glistening eyes, Handpainted ceramic.  Measures 12”long x 8 1/4”tall x 8 1/4”wide.  Genuinely hand painted and ready to greet people at your door.  #CER 16  $26.00   Paypal buy now button

Large ceramic hand painted partridge rock chicken

Partridge Rock chicken #CER 04

Large ceramic hand painted partridge rock hen

I lay lots of fake eggs (not reallly)

Large colorful Partridge Rock breed hen statue.  Hand painted ceramic, Measures 14 1/2” tall x 6 1/2”wide x 13”long.   #CER 04 $28.00   Paypal buy now button

Large ceramic lamb with turquoise flowers

Large ceramic lamb with turquoise flowers #CER 01

Large White Lamb with black face and flowers around neck.  Hand painted ceramic.  Measures 12”long x 5” wide x 7 1/2” tall.    #CER 01a  $28.00  SOLD

Hand painted ceramic lambNOTE: #CER 01b Grey Faced Lamb SOLD.  I’ve sold the grey faced lamb also.  BUT, if someone happens to like this lamb and wants to buy one I can see if I can find another one to paint for you.  Just let me know.  I can paint it any color you might like even rainbow colored!  If you have a decorating or personalization you want I’m open to ideas always. Hand painted ceramic.  Measures 12”long x 5” wide x 7 1/2” tall

Large ceramic hand painted colt

We had a colt just this color. #CER 02

Large ceramic hand painted colt

Close up of colts eye. The real colt had eyes like this.

Hand painted ceramic baby colt lying down and looking to the side, Hand painted ceramic. Measures 15”long x 8” wide x 8 1/2” tall.   #CER 02  $28.00Paypal buy now button

Hand painted ceramic white duck preening feathers

White duck preening feathers #CER 59

Large white ceramic duck with head preening, highly detailed feathers and brown metallic eyes, handpainted ceramic 10”long x 7 1/2”wide x 6 3/4”tall                          #CER 59   Paypal buy now button$28.00

This form will send me a private email message. The one at the bottom of the page posts a comment that appears on my blog page.

Chickens don’t like unfamiliar things

Perching chick

I don’t LIKE new stuff

I had some white breadcrumbs that I put in the blender to take out to them, and went out to the chicken pen to give them to the hens. And I found something out quite by accident about my girls (the chickens).

I bent down to sprinkle some on the ground as I do every day with thiere regular crumbles.

They backed up.

I put some in my hand because they will eat directly from my hand with gusto.

They backed up again, looking upset. “Hey! that’s not food!”. They just did not TRUST those bread crumbs.

I finally got them to eat some by pecking with my finger at it like I always do.  The bread crumbs are lighter color than their crumbles.  But it taught me something about the discerning eye of a chicken.

And possibly the discerning eye of most people.  I know people that act that way about a new idea, a new food, a new thing they didn’t have experience with.  I just had to show them that it was good for them.

The Scaredy Cat beekeeper?

DO I HAVE BEEKEEPER PTSD?

After I recently got stung to pieces trying to capture a swarm in the wrong manner, all kinds of things went through my pea brain.  Kind of like a person that falls off or gets bucked off a horse, I was reluctant to do my normal bee routine. I was having trouble wanting to get back out there and tend to the remaining bees that I did have. Although I know that with my suit and gloves on, the chances of getting stung again were not really very likely.  And I always take great pains not to crush anyone.

But I had never in 5 years of owning bees gotten to really enjoying them.  I did not enjoy the fact that they really didn’t like my presence, and could act really hateful at the wrong moves.  Adding to the fact was that I had changed my bees from Russians, to two different other breeds.  One of these breeds was Italians, which did not seem to be very touchy.  The other breed was a mutt breed called “survivor bees” who seemed calm, but with no warning would explode into a rage.  I had never had any bees that temperamental.

My Russians would always head butt me before actually stinging, so I had some kind of warning.  But they were very swarmy, so I changed types last year.

Anyway, after the attack I was leery of bees, not terrified, but reluctant.  I knew I needed to tend to them, but I found all and any kind of excuse to put it off.  However, I did consider the idea at the last that aside from that reluctance, those survivor bees did seem to be a tad screwy.  And since I didn’t actually see them leave the hive in a swarm, I entertained the idea that possibly these were not my bees, but a feral bunch from somewhere else.  OR “Africanized bees”?????

 Bee guarding entrance to hive.

The culprits. Bee guarding entrance to hive.

But none of that explained that one hive in the back that was super touchy.

I thought possibly if I requeened all the screwy hives . . . And I also thought about selling all the darned bees, because what good is it having them if you don’t maintain them?  I didn’t mind having a few hives (2 or three), but six was a maintenance thing if you didn’t really love it.

Hey, here I am posting umpteen articles on how to take care of bees, and I didn’t even feel comfortable around them enough to want to keep them any more.  I opologize profusely.  But it is the trooooooooth.  I can stand sitting in a chair in front of the hive without fear at all.  But I put on that bee suit, and I know the bees will like me up until the point that I remove some frames.  Then they just lose it.  I keep going, but they are pissed and I do not enjoy them being pissed at me.  I guess I just want my animals to like me because I take so much care taking care of them.

Finger stung by bee

Finger sting

It’s not as if I’m terrified, or in fear of my life or anything.  I know that it isn’t personal. I know the bees don’t hate me personally, or even all people personally.

Bee stung eye

My eye . . . swollen up

I think I need a beekeeper shrink . . .
——————————————————-
But now for my other reaction

I got up the morning after writing the above article.  I was not even awake, with bleary eyes, cricked neck, and another thought coming into my not yet awake mind.  Here I am spending my hard earned money on beehives, frames, beetle traps, time out of my life, etc.  So I resolved to look at this in the opposite way for once.

    • They cost me over $100 each. x6 = $600
    • Their hives cost about $150 each. x6 = $900
    • The beetle traps cost at least half that each. x6 = $300
    • The extra supers cost a certain amount.
    • Extra excluders cost a certain amount.
    • Powdered sugar for shaking, and miscellaneous equipment probably cost at least $100
    • A SMALL spinner for spinning frames of honey cost $120.
    • Maintenance averages 2 weeks a year. That equals 5-6 months out of my life. Which is equal to a large vacation.
    • I worry over the parasites that attack them.
    • I have to go out in the cold and make sure they don’t freeze to death or starve.
    • I have to go out in a hot bee suit and sweat over them while they try to kill me.
    • Bee stings make me itch and dig my skin off for at least a week.

And the bad possiblities . . .

    • They are in MY backyard.
    • They are bought and paid for by me.
    • They are taken care of with time out of my valuable life.
    • I only ask for PART of their food, which is extra they won’t use.
    • They live at my discretion.
    • The beetles would get them if I didn’t do something about it each year.
    • They could have gone to someone that bangs on their hive.
    • They could have gone to someone that likes to smash bees.
    • They could have gone to someone that puts poison in their hives.
    • They would just act like bees and die a like a bee if I didn’t take care of them.

So, who cares if the bees actually LIKE me?

The perks used to be getting to watch bees and observe their many ups and downs.  And HONEY, the main thing that is not replaceable by getting it at the grocery store in the same manner.  The honey is storable for very long periods of time, tastes great, make great gifts and can be sold.  You can actually stockpile it, put it in your coffee, tea, cook with it, etc.

Well, they are insects.  And in their little pea brains I probably should not expect any more than that.  And I’m sure I wouldn’t get a heck of a lot of money if I sold them.  And that would also mean having some inspector running around my yard telling me what I already knew in the first place, which is that I have a few small hive beetles. Yeek.

So, I’m back to square one.  I need to get out there today and fix those hives so they’ll survive some more and see if they have any extra honey after swarming all over the place.  Anyone have one of these epiphanies?

For the Moms you knew

Chicken wall hanging

Moms Chicken

Mom was always doing art and artsy stuff. When I was very young, one day she started a project that always puzzled me, because she slaved and worried over it so strenuously.  And this is how it started.

She got out some wax paper, Elmers Glue, sawdust, a big bowl, some tools, and started mixing the glue with the sawdust. She drew out this chicken on the wax paper and then with the glue/sawdust mixture she proceeded to make a flat but bas relief chicken on the wax paper.

She fussed, she cussed, she just couldn’t get it right.  But when it was finished and dried out, it looked like the chicken in the picture above.  Well, it didn’t hold together very well.  It broke in all the small places like the feathers.  But I remember it so vividly because it seemed so important to her.  I didn’t try to figure it out then, but now I know what it all means.

See, when my mother died I inherited all of Grandmas stuff that SHE inherited.  And one of the things that I got was this cast iron chicken.  I had never seen the actual thing, I just experienced my Mom trying to make a chicken.  But now I know that it was her Moms chicken, and it meant a whole lot to her.

So this chicken has a place of great honor in my kitchen now. You just never know the history of things sometimes except by accident. If someone had thrown it out, I might never have known.

It was a very special light bulb moment when I “got it”

Nick Nack Paddy Wack Photos

I have been meaning to post these.  I collect wierd stuff, but I like it.

Cool Dog ceramic

This is one COOL dog

Christmas light

My night light

Camel figurine

This Camel that looks at me all the time

Figurines and Nick Nacks

Real Nick Nacks

Santa figurine

I painted this one

Figurines and Nick Nacks

Real Nick Nacks 2

antique Cat pepper shaker

I am PEP. And I need hugs.

BEE ATTACK! Holy Moley, aaaaarrgh!

Darn it, I neglected to get to the hives early enough this spring, and had two of them swarm in the last week (which I did capture because they stopped low enough on branches I could reach)  Those two safely put in boxes, I had intended on doing all the hives today. Today did not wait for me.

Bee swarm in a tree

The box, the tree, the bees

I have 6 stings, two on my head (the worst ones), and various other parts, and a big headache.  I knew when I got up this morning that I really just needed to drink coffee and fool with the blog.  Now I’m fooling with the blog after the fact. Two Benadryl tablets and Denvers Sting Stopper are helping a little. (update 1 hour later a lot)

I went out with my coffee to look at the hives, just look. Oops, another one was in the process of making a swarm tornado around their hive.  This, I must note, was one of my peaceful hives of bees, very mild natured.

Onward with the story . . .

I thought, to myself, “Dangit, I can’t do anything about it now, I’ll just have to wait for them to light somewhere and then I’ll get them if they’re low enough.”  I then went back into the house.  I hate worrying about something that I can’t control anyway, and I wanted my coffee.  I wasn’t even awake quite yet.

My hub, who is vigilant about these things kept going outside and checking.  He finally came back inside and informed me that they had lit in a tree, OVER THE SHED.  THE TALL SHED.  THE SLIPPERY METAL ROOFED SHED.  I went to look and sure enough they were on a tree branch above the roof.  I estimated if I stood on the peak of the roof and reached up they would still be two feet over my hand.

NOW the theme song to JAWS starts to play in my head.

Bee Swarm at Jewelant

This is how high

My husband, always good with ideas, starts telling me how to do it.  And I’m-a-thinkin’ that I don’t want to do it.  But I get ready to do it anyway.  I prepare a hive bottom, with all the fixin’s but get a cardboard box to take up to the roof at his suggestion.  I am not strong enough to carry a wood box up there. He holds the ladder and I go up with the box and no suit. I repeat, I did this with no suit (stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid)

I needed something to pull the branch down so I could shake the bees into the box, so he got me a hoe to do it with.  Little by little, step by step I slid myself on my hip to the peak of the roof.  Now the JAWS music is getting louder.  It is really slippery, but I am trying to position the box and I can’t get a bead on whether it’s right under the bees.

I shakily stand up and put the hoe over the end of the branch.  I look at the box.  I give it a big, sharp, SHAKE!

All of a sudden the bees fell into part of the box.  Only 1/16th of them fell into the box, the rest fell beside the box. Dang, the box was out of position.

And suddenly I was in a tornado of really angry bees and they were attacking all of my UN-suited body!  Boom! Just like that I was trying to get off that roof, the slippery roof.  I tumbled over and slid almost off the edge, grabbing the top of the ladder, which was not close to me, and tipping it out of alignment with the roof.  My husband, who was at the bottom quickly grabbed the ladder and dragged both it and me back into position as I scrambled down it unceremoniously (did I spell that right?)  Oh, who cares about spelling, I’m traumatized.

I almost fell down that ladder while being stung multiple times by a tornado of really pissed bees.  I mean REALLY.
But I made it down the ladder.  He also got stung because they followed me down that ladder and all the way to the house.  My forehead, wrist, cheek, legs, ankles, I dunno where all else. The JAWS music has stopped.  I done been TACKKED!

Attacked by swarming bees which most people will tell you are not stingy. On the other hand, it’s a toss up who attacked who first.  I’m sure my approach was the first blow. So maybe the reality is that I attacked them and they just defended themselves.

So, after my HUB, told me that I should have done it a different way.  I should have, and that’s for sure.  He did try to tell me when I was climbing up the ladder another way, but I was shaky and not about to stop. The bees are back on the branch, and he is right now trying to tell me how I can do it.

Personally, I’m having second thoughts about bees, but that’s in the heat of the moment because I wrote this just 30 minutes after the incident.  He’s talking about finishing the job, and I’m telling him I would rather talk about it after breakfast.  He’s so positive and up about things. And very brave for staying and grabbing the ladder instead of running off to keep from being himself stung.

(He does love me . . . I THINK)  Just hit me, just slap me for goodness sake. I’m way too old for this shit. My head hurts.

 

How to clip a chickens wings (with links)

Baby Chicken perching

NO, not MY wings! You seriously wouldn’t clip MY wings!

I will be soon having to clip the wings to prevent flying off to escape, so here are some links for you most with diagrams.  I don’t think you do it on a chicken as young as the one in the picture.  And you could get away without it if your pen had a top on it and they couldn’t escape.  In any case, you only clip one wing . . .

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-clip-trim-the-wings-of-your-chicken-to-prevent-flight

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/how-clip-chickens-wings-beginners

http://livinghomegrown.com/2013/02/day-25-how-to-clip-your-chickens-wings.html

http://www.instructables.com/id/Clipping-Chicken-Wings/

http://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/clipping-chicken-wings.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-pros-cons-clipping-chickens-wings-1930316.html

http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/2010/03/24/clipping-chicken-wings-flight-feathers/

http://poultrykeeper.com/general-chickens/how-to-clip-a-wing-to-stop-chickens-flying

http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2011/04/clipping-chicken-wings.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_clipping

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww19eii.htm

http://successwithpoultry.blogspot.com/2007/09/wing-clipping-clipping-wings-of-chicken.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_clip_a_baby_chickens_wings

http://www.chickenkeepingsecrets.com/keeping-chickens/clipping-chicken-wings-why-when-how/

http://www.chickenforum.com/clipping-wings.html

 

If anyone has a blog with the instructions, and you let me know, or I find you, I’ll put a link to your blog on this page.

 

 

Researchers Find Foe for Small Hive Beetle

This is a reblog of a Small Hive Beetle conversation I had on the blog IPM IN THE SOUTH.  It might possibly add more solutions to beetle infestations.

IPM in the South

In the winter issue of Southern Exposure, you’ll find a story about a relatively new pest that has been “bugging” bees in the southeast. The pest, the small hive beetle, is too small for the eye to see, but big enough to bully entire colonies into leaving their nests.

View original post 113 more words

Changed my Gravatar (a little)

Here’s the old one, just so ya can compare

Jewelant first gravatar

Jewelant first gravatar

Here’s the new Gravatar. I want to thank Andrew Zhebrakov of http://www.icojam.com for letting me use the Maneki Neko icon to use in my header.  He designed the cat, and I just incorporated it into my design.  He is really very good at what he does.

Jewelant second Gravatar

Jewelant second Gravatar

Let me know which one you like the best

 

Hive Beetle update April 2014

One of my readers wrote to me asking advice (I added a few sentences later):

I just read your blog about hive beetle. We had them for the first time last summer. Noticed it when we found a huge pile of bees on the ground. Bees had been in that hive since spring. When we opened up the hive, we discovered a large amount of hive beetles. No other hive was disturbed. We have four hives. I installed another swarm a few weeks ago and they absconded. Was thinking about making the cd case trap. We cleaned out the box, burned the inside, and installed another swarm in the same box. Less than a week later, we had dead bees again all over the ground. No beetles, though. It is strange how this has happened, but will be destroying that box, but first will douse it with 50/50 bleach and water. No other signs of any disease or anything. You mentioned using roach bait, I have some of the powdered bait, would you suggest I sprinkle it on the ground near the back of the hives? Also, what kind of nematodes should I purchase? ~ Gloria

Dead bees after hive beetle infestation

Dead bees after hive beetle infestation

I know the feeling. You do all that work and there they are, a big mess.  How are your other hives doing?  Are they free of problems? In my case, after all of what I did to get rid of beetles I decided several things:

  • That I couldn’t tell if the nematodes did anything.  And they are really expensive.  So I decided not to get them a second year.  Maybe the original ones are still alive in the soil and working.  Who knows?

  • The beetle traps with poison in them didn’t catch anything at all.  I don’t know why, but other people say the opposite.  They catch beetles for them.  I caught none.

  • I forgot to add something.  POWDERED SUGAR SHAKE!  You put powdered sugar in a flour sifter or something similar, and shake this all over your bees and inner parts.  It riles the bees up irritatingly, they attack whatever is in there.  And it makes things slippery so that mites and whatever falls into your oil trap.  Do this regularly, maybe once a month during fine weather.  It’s non toxic, and the bees will eat the leftovers.
  • OOPS! forgot something else my husband reminded me of.  We have our hive up on a deck up off the ground.  And several times a year we wrap the legs in rags and soak that in used transmission fluid and kerosene half and half.  It keep ants and all kinds of things from crawling up to the hives.  Additionally, my deck legs are sitting on concrete blocks for leveling.  I douse these with oil too.
  • Additionally, and this is very important. There must be enough bees in the hive to cover all of the frames, and chase the beetles and harass them.

Bees will corner beetles and keep them in corners and make it difficult for them to breed.  They even resort to using propolis to wall them in. But if there is too much space, such as adding a super prematurely, and too little bees to cover the space, the beetles will be able to evade persecution, running in all directions and hiding in the cracks.  This gives them ample time to lay eggs and multiply.

I think, if your other hives were not overcome with beetles they had a big enough population to defend and corral the beetles that they did get.  It’s possible that your failed hive was the opposite, and even that beetles were not the original problem, but what weakened them enough to make them overcome with the beetles.  So check for any other problems.

NOTE:  My hives only had a few beetles one summer.  I left for a week long vacation, after putting extra supers on all the hives hoping to prevent a swarming.  When I came home the beetles had taken over all the hives.  CAUSE:  I gave them room to escape by putting the supers on too soon.

I also think that the powdered sugar shake, combined with the Freeman Beetle trap, and sucking the beetles up regularly with a low powered vacuum can keep the population down to manageable levels.

The Freeman oil Beetle Trap is different from other oil traps, in that it doesn’t have ledges at the bottom for varmints to hide and lay eggs in.  Which leads me to my other article about sealing cracks in the hive.  See my article on how I sealed the cracks permanently HERE

Honey Bee Deck

Bee deck 2010 before beetle invasion

Honey bee deck leg

Leg of Bee Deck where you wrap the legs

Probably using a combination of controls is what helped my beetle thing.  But I think the sweeper was best.  I never completely got rid of every single beetle, as they came back the next spring. (They overwinter in the hive, and hatch normally in the dirt outside the hive if not actively reproducing inside the hive)  So the bees keep them warm for the winter.  How convenient.  What I did was to cut the population down to less destructive levels.

The way I used the sweeper was that whenever I opened the top lid of the hive to check or mess with the bees, I flipped it over quickly and vacuumed any beetles running around as quick as I could, dodging bees all the while (it WILL suck up bees too).  Then I switched to the inside top of the hive and chased any beetles I saw running on the top board and/or up over the sides of the outside of the hive.

I made this a regular thing every two days while the beetles were thick, and then every week, and then every two weeks.  Until I only saw a few.  It really cut down the beetles, all of which are breeders that you want to kill.  Now I only regularly see 4 to 5 beetles when I open the top cover.

Make no mistake, these four could become many upon many if left unchecked by controls.

I’m working on some kind of front of the hive entrance trap, because when beetles come back, they just fly to the front entrance of the hive and crawl right in!  I’ve actually watched them DO this, and once inside they make a mess.  And that mess is what makes your bees leave.  They just give up in disgust because their honey is rotten, their babies are eaten, the maggots are everywhere, and stinky slime is all over the place.  It’s a science fiction, but NOT fiction horror movie made for bees.

Also, although I’m no expert, from reading what you said, I wouldn’t sprinkle the roach bait on the ground, because bees can be scavengers in the spring, and they might pick it up and bring it back to the hive.  I didn’t use powdered roach bait.  They (other people) recommend the roach bait that comes in a syringe in a past form, and you put it in a CD case when you use it.  Like I said, it didn’t work or catch anything where I was at.  The CD case makes sure the bees can’t get it on their feetsies.  Also, with the CD case, you can see if any beetles end up in the CD case.  In mine nothing was caught.

We used a big RubberMaid tub to soak the nasty parts in overnite, and then used a power washer to heavily spray the bleach solution completely off all hive parts.  Bees are sensitive to smells.  And then air dried in the sun for a week before storing the parts for winter.  Then the next year I got new bees.  So my parts had time to air out and get rid of any bleach or smell.

LAST NOTES JUST IN CASE:

  • I would make sure you have oil traps on the bottom (I recommend the Freeman Beetle Trap) they catch LOTS of beetles and mites.

  • I would make sure you don’t have some additional problem like mites, or disease on top of having beetles.  It’s possible to have multiple problems at the same time.

  • And bees can go out and get poisoned, come back to the hive and die from it.  We can’t do much about that.

  • Sometimes, when a hive is weak, the other hives will rob it out.  But not likely if the honey is crapped out and nasty.

You can get an idea of mite populations if you take a piece of sticky shelf paper and put it sticky side up under your ventilated screened hive bottom (you got one?) to catch dead mites.  Then you count the mites that stick to it.  Don’t put it where the bees can get to it, or they’ll stick to it too (grin)  OR you could just reley on your oil trap to catch the dropped mites.

I ordered my nematodes from here: 
Note:  They are tiny in a zip lock and a wet gel to keep them alive and a cold pack.  And they are sensitive to overheating, drying, AND poison.  (Another reason not to sprinkle poison around the hives)  You have to keep the ground moist or they will dry out and die.  We put ours in non-chlorinated water (chlorine is bad for them), and sprayed them on the ground under and around the hive.

Southeastern Insectaries, Inc.
606 Ball Street, PO Box 1546, Perry, GA 31069
Office 478-988-8412   Fax 478-988-9413  Toll Free 1-8777-967-6777
Email addresses:
sei@windstream.net
southeasterninsectaries@gmail.com

 

Baby chicken poopy feet

I was mistaken when I thought to save money on shavings by using newspaper for baby chick bedding.  And I promise it wasn’t a problem when I only had to change papers once a day.  But as baby chicks grow, so do the poopy spots, so I changed to pine shavings.  But not before I had to remove the cemented on poop galoshes that walking in poop created on the bottoms of the baby chicks feet!

baby chicks

Chicklets snuggling in my coat and learning to be tame.

I should have taken a picture of what it looked like (poop snow-shoes, galoshes, chicks-turned-ducks with poop webs).  It had dried rock hard under that heat lamp and you couldn’t have gotten it off without taking skin along with it.  So I put them, all six, in a cardboard box to the downstairs bathroom and proceeded to soak it loose.

I first thought to soak it off with soapy water, but that didn’t go too good.  It was too dried, thick, and hard, so I ran enough really warm water in the bottom of the bathtub and let them walk around in it for 15 minutes or so.  I’d check each chick and pull off whatever came off easily and put them back to stand in the water for another few minutes.

I had to do all of this on my knees, and they were sore by the time I got finished with all of it. But when I was finished I had baby chicks with clean feet and wet belly feathers.  I put wads of toilet paper into the bottom of the box, layered that with wet chicks, and topped it off with more wads of toilet paper and closed the box.  They were grateful as heck too.

I took them back upstairs to dry under their very own heat lamp and 15 minutes later they were good as new.  Just thought someone might be interested in what it takes to do it.

 

 

Baby Chicklets are so darn cute!

Eggs, eggs, eggs, on my mind . . . (I must have eggs on my mind)

I had chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl many years ago. I went through the whole learning process with fowl homesteading. I lost a few, got too many, learned how to fix them when sick. I learned what to do with predators, owls, rats, stray (and not so stray) dogs, possums, etc. I learned the hazards of buying them at swap meets and how to treat the leg mite you get that way. How to treat chicken colds. And how to mercifully put them to rest when they needed to be. I knew what breeds I liked, and which might be problematic. (no nervous Polish chickens or Leghorns for me)

After years of doing many other things I kept looking at chicks in the feed store. They had a chick corral with 5-6 stock tubs full of all kinds, even Banty chicks. Three years passed, each year I looked at chicks.

picture of a baby chick head

Baby Chicklet

Although I knew my husband did not relish cleaning a chicken house, I kept asking if it was okay if I made sure I did all the chicken chores. No chicken was going to come between me and my husband. But this year, with grocery costs, and the fact that I knew chickens would eat all the leftovers that the dog wouldn’t eat, like salad trimmings and make eggs out of them, I asked again (while at the feed store).

He said yes this year, and I bought six pullet chicks (female chicks). They happened to be a breed that is easily sexed at birth by color, the Red Comet. When grown they look kind of like a Rhode Island Red chicken, but instead are red or gold and white feathered. The breed I really like are a dual purpose breed called Buff Orpingtons, but they weren’t available at the feed store.

chick brooder

Home made chick brooder from plastic tub

He helped me find a container to keep them in, a Rubbermaid tub. I put it in a room with a closed door to keep the cats out.
I clamped the red heat lamp to it, installed a thermometer close to where it was hottest, put newspapers in the bottom,
filled the feeder, and the waterer, and put the Chicklets in it.

Here they are snuggling in my coat . . .

baby chicks

Chicklets snuggling in my coat and learning to be tame.

It’s been a week, and they are so far doing fine. However I did find that half of them were much younger. You can see by how long the wing feather are on the younger half.  Here are pictures of the difference.

Baby chick wing feathers

The younger baby chick wing feathers, still pin feathers.

baby chick wing feathers

Baby chick older wing feathers same day

The difference in the way they act is that the younger ones sleep more, and want to snuggle more under your hand.  The younger ones are also not as strong.

It’s going to be several months before I have eggs. They do have to grow up and be old enough to lay them, which gives us time to make the chicken house and pen. While looking online for more chicken information, I happened upon my old chick supplier Murray MacMurray Hatchery, (or McMurray) and found out they have a new thing. They now sell older birds, and you can buy almost laying age pullets singly for WOW, $17.95 or so. They are expensive, but you don’t have to wait months for eggs. I may get some few more chickens from them that way.

You can also get fertilized eggs from them, and put them in your own incubator. But I didn’t live in an area that I could have a rooster, and didn’t have an incubator.

Beehives in cold winter winds

Although I live in one of the not so arctic areas of the US, but THIS winter had a few extreme cold snaps, and I improvised a wind break for the beehives.  I was mostly worried about the wind, as these are first year hives.

Beehives with coverings

Beehive wind and rain protection. The hive setup.

The winds were deeply chilling, and I got out my old sheets, couch covers, and bundled up to go and cover them before night came.  It was vurrrry windy (30 MPH), and I took sheets of solid foam insulation to cover the sides on the bottoms because I have  ventilated bottom boards.

Beehive with covering for winter

Beehive number ONE (the Italians) with wind and rain protection

Then I covered the entire hive, including the front entrance clear to the ground floor with couch covers and sheets.  My aim was not to completely seal the hive, but to break the wind.

Beehive with covering for winter 3

Beehive number 3 with winter protection from wind and rain

When days come that it isn’t really badly cold, I just lift the front to expose the entrance so the bees can get out and do their “business”, whatever that might be.

NOTE:  the things on the top of the hives are scavenged from an old hot tub cover, and are foam covered with Naugahide upolstery material.  They are waterproof, and can be used for shade if needed, or rain and snow.  I’ve had them for several years and they also come in handy to set things on top of when I’m tending hives any time of the year.  You just don’t put your smoker up there.

New design for my website header

I first want to thank Andrew Zhebrakov of http://www.icojam.com for letting me use the Maneki Neko iconset to use in my designs.  He designed the cat, and I just incorporated it into my design.  He is really very good at what he does.  And I really like Maneki Neko cats.  I will do an article on their history later.

NOTE: Recently I had to take the site down for security reasons.  Lots of spammers and such.  But I’m working on getting it back up soon.  I’ll post here when it’s ready.  I had to really figure that one out, not being a professional person (grin)

Jewelant.com artwork for header

Jewlant.com new header

Small Hive Beetle Sweeper

Last year when we had our huge beetle infestation my husband, overwhelmed at the mess, said he was “tired of squishing beetles” and invented me a BEETLE SWEEPER!  This year with my new bees, I have been using it every few weeks in my beehives, clear up to when the bees are left alone in the fall for the winter.  It works really good.

Photo of Sweeper used to suck up small hive beetles

Brand and power of sweeper

He took a small, low powered sweeper, and cut the end off of a transmission fluid funnel like this one:

Photo of transmission fluid funnel

Transmission fluid funnel used to make nozzle

He then inserted it into the tip of the hose and secured it with electrical tape wound really tightly.

Photo of nozzle on small hive beetle sweeper

Nozzle with cut off end taped inside of it

And this is the result:

Photo of Finished small hive beetle sweeper

Finished small hive beetle sweeper

I just lift the top lid of the bee hive and lay it down quickly so that the beetles that might be in the lid do not scatter or fly off.  And you have to be VERY careful to avoid the bees because it will suck them up too.  And you can’t release the bees without releasing the beetles, so they are gone.  But you’ll get the hang of it after sucking up a few bees.  You will learn to gauge just how close you can come without commiting a bad thing.

Photo of beekeeper using a small hive beetle sweeper

Me using the hive beetle sweeper on my own hives

I have found that if I do this on a regular basis, after a while lifting the lid and examining shows only a few beetles. I think it’s having a good effect on the population.  Keep in mind, I also have bottom oil traps too.

HONEY BEE and HONEY FACTS 2

Cartoon of Bees and a flower c1981

Bees and Flower MY FLOWER!

Honey bees can gather the nectar in more than 300 flower types in the United States.

A honey bee must tap 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.

The average worker honey bee makes 1 1/2 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

A honey bee visits between 50-100 flowers during one collection trip.

To make one pound of honey, honey bees must gather 10 pounds of nectar.

Honey has a tendency to granulate due to its natural properties. Granulation does not affect the taste or purity of honey.

Granulated honey can be restored to liquid form by carefully placing the jar in a pan of very warm water. (not too hot, cause that can ruin the taste and the vitamins and enzymes)

Store your honey in a dry cupboard. Do not refrigerate honey. Cold temperatures hasten granulation.

Honey does not benefit from pasteurization because it is naturally low in bacteria and other microbes.

Honey contains no fat, no cholesterol, no gluten and no sulfates or sulfites.

Honey is primarily composed of carbohydrates.

Honey is a natural sugar and is easier to digest. Honey is 100% pure and natural. It is made entirely by honeybees from flower nectars.

For all inquiries regarding the use of honey in medical conditions such as diabetes, weight control, etc., please consult your physician.

Honey was found in the tomb of King Tut (fl. c.1350 , king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty) and was still edible since honey never spoils.

Due to the high level of fructose, honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar.

Honey is created by honey bees who mix plant nectar, with their own bee enzymes and then evaporate excess water.

Honey has different flavors and colors, depending on the location and kinds of flowers the bees visit.

To the ancients, honey was a source of health, a sign of purity and a symbol of strength and virility.

Nectar can contain 80 percent water, which the bees fan with their wings to evaporate most of.

Honey is antiseptic, antibiotic, and acidic

Natural honey will form into granular sugars

Honey can be used as a preservative

Honey can be used as a sugar substitute

Honey can be used as a facial beauty mask

Honey is used by some people for allergies.  But supposedly only honey from your local sources

NOTE – I understand from hearing from other sources that honey should not be fed to children under the age of 12 months.  I’ll research this further.

HONEY BEE FACTS 1

Bee Family cartoon copyright 1981

Bee Family and Baby Bee

HONEY BEES ARE NOT NATIVE TO THE UNITED STATES
They were imported by Europeans in the early 1600’s to America.  But they are native to many other parts of the world, including the Middle East.  For over 150 million years they have been making honey all over the world.

HONEY BEES ARE VEGETARIAN
They eat honey, pollen, nectar, and royal jelly.  Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are carnivorous, and eat other insects.  They also are a lot more touchy and stingy.

BEE VENOM is acidic.  Wasp, hornets and the like have alkaline venom.  It still hurts no matter . . .

HONEY BEES AREN’T MEAN
They protect their food, queen, babies, and home from predators.  Foraging and swarming bees aren’t apt to sting unless you bother or step on them.  If you make them angry they will normally only chase you about 50 feet. Bees on or in a hive will guard and protect the hive and their family, and they post guard bees for this purpose.  The hive contains their young and the queen, and also all the food they have stored over the summer to feed them in winter.  Without any of those they would not survive.  I think I’d protect that!

HONEY BEES DIE AFTER STINGING PEOPLE – BUT . . .
When they sting and die they give off a smell that alerts other bees that an enemy is around.  They are much more likely to attack and sting if they smell this.  Don’t squish bees, they take it personally.

HONEY BEES LIVE FOR 60 DAYS  Except queens, who live much longer I remember someone saying about three times as long as the workers.  Although I have heard the queen can live for up to three years, I cannot confirm that as of today.  Let me know if you know the answer to that.

HONEY BEES HAVE ONE QUEEN (unless another is born)
There can be only one.  If any more are born they have a big fight to the death or one leaves. She can lay over 1500 eggs a day.  Worker bees create new queens by feeding the larvae Royal Jelly, which they produce from special bee glands.

WORKER HONEY BEES ARE FEMALE
Male bees don’t do much work at all, except to date the queen for a short while. In fact they get tossed out of the hive before winter so they won’t eat all the food.  But spring more hatch out.

MALE HONEY BEES HAVE NO STINGERS
Yep, that’s right.  You can pick them up with your bare hands and they won’t sting you.  If you can dodge the guard bees while you’re doing it.  They are called DRONES.

HONEY BEES HAVE TWO STOMACHS     (One of them is for nectar and honey)

HONEY BEES HAVE FIVE EYES
They can see ultraviolet light, and red is seen as dark brown or black.  The eyes also have tiny hairs that can detect wind speed and direction.  Some of those eyes are in the top of their heads.

HONEY BEES HAVE FOUR WINGS
Their wings beat over 11,000 times a minute. And they can fly 15 miles an hour.  But if you are being chased you will swear it’s 90 miles an hour.

HONEY BEES HAVE THREE PAIRS OF LEGS
Their legs are used to walk, grasp, clean their antenna (or doorstep, or other bees), carry pollen or propolis (resins from plants they use to close crack in their hives)

A HONEY BEES ANTENNAS
A Honey Bees antenna have sensors that detect odors.  In 2003 some bees were trained by researchers to associate the smell of explosives with food, therefore being able to detect bombs.

HONEY BEES BREATH THROUGH THIER ABDOMENS (stomachs)
This is also why they are so easily poisoned by pesticides.  And why dusty stuff irritates them.  I even feel sheepish using my smoker on them, and do it sparingly.  Sometimes I don’t have to use one.  Sometimes it’s not advisable to use one.  But whenever I omit to bring it to the hives, I always end up going back to get it.  Such as when I accidentally squish a bee or two.  They hate that.  Well, it is murder, even if accidental.

HONEY BEES PRODUCE WAX FROM THEIR BODIES
They exude (push it out) of their abdomens (belly) in flakes.  Then they take the flakes and form them into hexagon shaped cells with their little jaws and legs.  It takes approximately 450,000 of those flakes to make one pound of wax.  I’ve never actually seen them make wax, but I’ve seen pictures.

HONEY BEES ARE AWAKE IN THE WINTER
They huddle together around the queen to keep her warm eating honey for energy.  They need about 70 pounds of honey to survive the winter, and if they run out of honey, they freeze and die.  This is why sometimes beekeepers feed them in the winter if they don’t have enough honey.

HONEY BEES POLLINATE THE FOOD WE EAT
They make help make food for us when they gather pollen and nectar and go from flower to flower.  This places pollen from one plant to another, and fertilizes the plants.  Plants can then make fruit and seeds.

Artist Tsugouharu Foujita, 1886-1968

Foujita prints
Foujita was a Japanese Artist that moved to France and practised art there during the 1900’s.  He did a lot of cat prints and other things.  More history later . . . But in the meantime, here are some links to information on this artist, which will give you some background.  I have these on my wall at home.  Anyone have questions about them, just let me know.

Image

Image

WIKIPEDIA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuguharu_Foujita

William Weston Gallery  http://www.williamweston.co.uk/pages/previous/single/24/161/1.html

QUEEN BEE ESCAPES !!

I finally got the third hive installed yesterday, but not without a wierd problem.  I had everything in place to put the last bee package into the last hive, and brushed the bees off of the queen cage.  Normally, you pull out the cork in the candy end, and there is still the candy plugging the end of the queen cage.  Then you insert this cage between a couple of frames and during the course of a few days the queen eats herself out and goes into the hive.

Problem is, I took the cork out, and there WAS no candy in it.  The queen crawled out, and FLEW!!  My-O-My was I upset.  I partially covered the top of the hive in case she wasn’t in there and wanted to come back, and made a frantic phone call to the people I ordered the bees from.  Worry, worry, worry.

bee hives on a deck

My bee hive setup.

They told me that they had run out of regular queen cages, and this one was called a “California cage”.  No candy in this one.  The way I was supposed to put the queen in was to take the cork out and immediately put my thumb over the opening to prevent her from escaping.  Then I was to push the cage into the front of the hive and let her crawl into the hive.  Gee, I would have never figured that one out.

Anyways . . . he said that I should observe for three days, and listen to see if they were keeping a low hum instead of an upset hum.  If not he’s see about getting me another queen.  Okay, now I know what to do here.  That did help, and I calmed down.

Now you know how that one goes . . .

YOGA CAT IN VACATION RETREAT

White cat in a basket

Yowie is resting from his exhausting yoga career. He is sure he cannot be found by his many fans.

YOGA CAT LIKES HIS UNDERWEAR

Cat with underwear on his head

Yoga cat likes his underwear

YOGA YOWIE IS AT IT AGAIN!

cat on back, yoga cat

Cat surfing can be hard if you are less than yoga FIT

Yowie yoga cat career continues . . .  He is now deeply getting into . . . SURFING!  (He always did like the Beach Boys)

INVENTED NEW TOP FEEDER

I almost forgot.  In my upset over drippy feeders, feeders that drown my bees, hard bee candy they needed water to process, etc, etc…  I came up with another idea.  I took some large square cake pans and 1-2 in thick foam padding, and a razor blade and cut it to fit the inside of the pan, leaving 1/2 inch in all sides for a trough.  Then I took and cut v shaped grooves almost through the foam.  That left foam for them to stand on, and even if they got in the syrup they could easily pull themselves out of it.  It seems to be working pretty good.

foam honey bee feeder, syrup feeder

FOAM FEEDER – The foam looks like you could eat it too.

Then I set the pans on top of an inner cover that has a center hole, and the bees come up and get the syrup!  I have to fill it every two days or so though.  I’m going to fix some kind of float so that I can fill the pan deeper with syrup, and have the foam float to the top, and back down again as the bees consume the syrup.

Hive Beetle fresh opinions. New spring hives. WolfCreek and Georgia Bees 2013

new bee hive

First new hive, Italian bees, all stragglers vacating the box after dumping.

WHY I PICKED THE BEE BREEDS I DID
I said previously that all my bees didn’t make it because of the beetles, and that I’d be ordering bees to start fresh with this winter, and I did, but in a totally unexpected way.  THIS time I decided I was going to try some new kinds of bees instead of my normal Russians.  I always loved Russians, but then I’d never had any other kind.  And although I didn’t worry about Varroa Mites, they were not immune to beetles, and they were very, very SWARMY.  Sometimes even though I did the early checks, giving more room, checkerboarding techniques, etc, they might even swarm several times per hive.  Sometimes they would swarm late in the season.  And when they got too many beetles they were out of there!

So I explored some of the others, researching and running all over the internet getting opinions.  I thought hmmmm. . .  CARNIOLANS.  But couldn’t find anyone close to get pure forms of.  Then I thought VSH resistant types.  But ultimately, I ordered some Italians from Georgia Bee, because I was just plain curious.

Image

Georgia Bees (Italians) on the front porch of their castle!

Then I found another breed that wasn’t even a breed.  They were from Wolf Creek Apiary, and were called survivor bees, a combination of feral, Russian, Carniolan, Italian.  In other words tough like a mutt dog!  In addition, they were purported to never have been raised with pesticides, and also were raised on small cell foundation.  They said they were gentle, productive, bug resistant, etc.  I was really attracted to that.  And here is the reason why:

I do not have an isolated bee yard, and in fact my Russians weren’t originally pure bred.  And I have not requeened by ordering a queen yet, so they basically breed with whatever is running around out there anyway.  I just end up with mutt bees in the end, because my queens breed wherever they want.  I may do the requeening, but without killing any of the original queens, as for instance if I just do a split.  But I figured I’d just get some tried and tested mutts from somewhere that at least knew the traits their bees had.

GEORGIA BEES
April 14th I when to the post office, got my bees, and went home to install the Italians from Georgia Bees.  Golden in color, and very gentle.  Not so much after they took posession of the hive, but that is normal for any bee I think.  But definitely not stingy.  NOTE: For some reason the queen didn’t have any “attendants” in her cage with her.  Possibly an oversight, but she didn’t have any girlfriends inside with her to take care of her.  Just all the strange bees in the whole cage outside HER cage.

Image

From Wolf Creek. So gentle I installed without gloves or suit or smoke.

WOLF CREEK APIARY
April 20th we went to meet Ruth Seaborn and her husband of Wolf Creek Apiary from up around Nashville, and met her in the parking lot in Memphis.  They were delivering a large batch of bees to some beekeepers around Arkansas, and she said I could save shipping if I just met her and she’d bring my one little package of their bees.  We called it an outing, and took off for a day of getting bees!

They had brought many many cages of bees for a bee club also, and one woman came just to pick up some queens she had ordered.  I asked a lot of questions, and Ruth is the greatest.  You can tell they care a lot for the bees they raise.  Her husband calls them “his girls”.  (so do I)  She also brought some of the essential oils I ordered which were Peppermint, and Lemongrass oils, which can make the bees attracted to the food, and I guess much else.  I figured I could use them for anything, not just bees.

I was so impressed with how healthy the bees looked that I remembered that I wished I had ordered two boxes instead of one, and she said I could order another one right then and THERE.  Very nice, I sure did so, because I didn’t want to wait until next year.  Now that is handy.  Normally by this time of year (April), nobody HAS any bees to order.

SPRING HIVE BEETLE OBSERVATION
Hey, I had my FREEMAN BEETLE TRAP, the oil pan one under the first hive I installed in April.  We had, last year, sprayed nematodes, sterilized all equipment, and I was hoping that they all died from not having a hive to overwinter in.  Well, I think they lived somewhere around that I missed, because I find it hard to believe that 15 beetles came with a box of bees.  But my Freeman Beetle trap caught that many and I killed just two.  One in the hive lid, and the other scampering on the deck by the bee hive.  I BELIEVE THESE BEETLES HATCHED AND CAME OUT OF THE SOIL OF MY YARD, not the bees I ordered, but I can’t proove it.  If that’s true, then the nematodes either didn’t kill them all last year, or they overwintered somewhere else.  I couldn’t afford to nematode my whole yard.

THE FREEMAN BEETLE TRAP FROM LAST YEAR
I can say that this a really GREAT beetle catcher/killer.  It differs from the regular under the hive oil pan trap, in that the screened bottom goes all the way to the edge, and there are no ledges for the beetles to hang out on.  The bees can then just herd and push them off through the screen as they enter the trap.  But I advise continuing to check the lid of the hive and crushing or vacuuming those so that they don’t reproduce.

I’ll keep you all posted on what happens with them.

Yoga Cat asks for his bath

cat in bathtub

Yoga cat is dirty . . .

Yowie hangs out here in the bathtub. If he can’t get me to give him a bath,then he diddles in the water while I take one myself.

HIVE BEETLES KILLED LAST HIVE

dead bee from hive beetles

Rest in peace my girls . . .

Well, it finally happened.  I lost the last hive I had.  It was weak anyways, and ultimately didn’t make a queen in time to make babies and store enough honey.  But to add insult to injury, the robber bees that ended up dealing the last blow were probably from a previous hive of mine that had swarmed.  Big, healthy bees that came back to get the last honey.

HOWEVER, all is not totally lost, because I’ve read that hive beetles can’t survive outside the hive in the winter.  That they need the warmth of a huddle of bees to keep them warm.  So, anyone know anything about this last bastion?  If it’s true, then possibly my bees didn’t die in vain.  Possibly when I get my new order of Russians, they will be able to start new without any outside varmints to eat them alive . . . We will see.

Small Hive Beetle Distribution

FROM WIKIPEDIA   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_hive_beetle

Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida was first discovered in the United States in 1996 and has now spread to many U.S. states including, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Virginia and Hawaii. The small hive beetle has become established in the state of Texas as well. The movement of migratory beekeepers from Florida may have transported the beetle to other states. Recent findings also indicate transport of the beetles in packages.

Internationally, the Small Hive Beetle has spread to Australia being first identified at Richmond, NSW in 2002. Subsequently it has affected many areas of Queensland and New South Wales.[1] It is speculated that a combination of importing queens from other countries and beekeepers moving their hives has caused the spread.

In Canada, the Small hive beetle has been detected in Manitoba (2002 and 2006), Alberta (2006), Québec (2008, 2009), and Ontario (2010). In the Prairie Provinces, measures were taken to control the pest and Small hive beetle failed to establish a population. It is still to be determined whether Small hive beetle has been able to establish a resident population in Ontario or Québec.[2]

EXTERNAL LINKS FROM THAT PAGE

FROM UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA . . . http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm    That link has more information and also a MAP of the distribution.

ANOTHER U.S. LINK TO MAPS OF PESTS http://pest.ceris.purdue.edu/map.php?code=INBJQEA#

UNITED KINGDOM https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/index.cfm?pageid=125

ANOTHER U.K. LINK, DATABASE https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/index.cfm?pageid=125

PEST DATABASE INCLUDING WORLD MAPS     http://www.cabi.org/isc/?compid=5&dsid=109537&loadmodule=datasheet&page=481&site=144

I’ll add more later as I get the time.  Hub is taking a nap, so I can this moment (grin) If he wakes up he’ll need coffee!

Yoga cat still Yoga-ing

Yowie is so laid back.  Here his recent Yoga poses

White cat doing Yoga

Yowie is so laid back

He is so laid back that you can decorate him like a Christmas tree

White cat with bannanna on his stomach

Yowie wears bananas sometimes

Go figure, he’s adopted, maybe that has something to do with it.

Freeman hive beetle trap and nematodes arrived!

Bees from Georgia Bees

Italian bees from Georgia Bees

Got my beetle trap.  Unadvised and as I did the frames, I used a glue gun to track down any cracks in the construction to prevent the beetles from hiding from the bees.  I only found the normal amount, just along the sides and bottom.  Did not do this on the grooves for the sliding tray by the way, so that the tray will slide in and out as designed.  It is hot, hot, hot, here in West Tennessee.  My nematodes also arrived, and I am watering the ground beneath my hive patio before I put them on the ground.  Hope they lived through the shipping in this hot weather.  I looked at them under high magnification and can just make out masses of them in the gel packs.  But I can’t tell if they are moving . . . They are very tiny and hairlike.

Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.  I like that the mostest.

Small Hive Beetle help

SMALL HIVE BEETLE EMERGENCY INFORMATION !!!!
This information needs to get out there to the bee community as soon as possible.  I am posting this in the midst of doing my own control measures right now.

I am a hobbyist beekeeper, have been keeping hives since about 2008.  I started with one hive and in four years they multiplied to six.  I did have hive beetles here and there, but did the hive bottom and top traps which kept them (I thought) in control.

This year I had to go on vacation and before leaving I did the normal honey thing and put an extra empty super just below the uncapped filled one because I didn’t have time to do anything else before leaving town.  I did this on all the hives, even the ones that were splits from the spring.  I was worried about swarming and them running out of room to store honey.  I assumed the uncapped would be capped when I got back in a week, and I could just take it off the hives.

Soo . . . I got back, checked the hives, and several of them had very little bees coming and going.  One hive swarmed (JULY), and this alarmed me also.  Several days later one of the strongest hives had HERDS of bees on the front hanging off of it.  I thought maybe they might just be that way because in the heat, (we’ve had a drought and over 100 degree temps), they were just hot.

My husband said they were also going to swarm, so I got into my suit early in the morning and started opening hives.  I found that every hive was overcome and slimed with beetles, larvae, and I only had one queened hive left out of five.

One hive had ten forlorned bees in it, some beetles, ants, cockroaches, and the beginning of moths.

The second had 50 or so bees in it, and lots of beetles.

The third was FULL of larvae, beetles, and a handfull of bees.

The fourth had no bees and was full of larvae and beetles

And the fifth and remaining hive had bees on the front, beetles and larvae inside, and was slimed  just like the rest.  However, it had a queen and the bees were pretty strong.

THE NASTY CLEAN UP (EQUIPMENT AND PROCESS)
I started with the most infested, and when I pulled out the beetle oil trap that was underneath, I swear there was a layer of beetle larvae two inches thick, which I poured into hot soapy water to kill them. I also knocked any stray beetles into this and put the lid on each time in between checking to see if anyone crawling out needed to be smashed.  It was midmorning, and the temps were in the 100 plus degrees.  Hot, hot, hot, work.

I also used a modified vacuum cleaner  which my husband made up to suck up all the beetles that tried to get away. This works VERY well by the way.  The nozzle was made about 1/2 inch in diameter with an adaptor.  Shoo the bees away with your hand before aiming, not the nozzle (grin)  The vacuum works GOOD.

RESCUING THE LAST HIVE
I then got a fresh hive body, fresh frames, and one fresh super with fresh frames in it, set it next to that hive of the hive that had a queen left and lots of bees. I brushed as many bees into this hive, trying not to brush beetles into it (an almost losing battle), and with a large and small empty totes ready with hot soapy water in them.  I scraped the ruined comb and as much of the larvae and beetles into the smaller one, and then put the frames into the larger one and covered it with lids as I worked.

I cleaned out beneath the infested hive and then put it also into the tote when I got all the bees moved into the new one.  The I moved the whole mess away from the area and placed the new clean hive with bees back in the original place.

PUTTING IT ALL BACK IN PLACE
I cleaned the old hive bottom beetle trap, replaced it with fresh oil.  That night I researched like a mad person about what causes what again.  I found a bunch of new information on the life cycle of these nasty beetles, and it gave me a start on how to go about what I needed to do to start over again.

GO TO THIS LINK PLEASE.  I am telling you Mr. Freeman and his beetle trap website http://www.freemanbeetletrap.com/menu_page  has one answer that make a bunch of sense, and that IS.  Bees can herd beetles and contain them to a point they can’t get on the honey and lay eggs so much.  His trap has no ledges for beetles to hide on or in, and this helps the bees to get at them, knocking them into the oil of the trap.  I have a beetle trap, but it has ledges on it.  I ordered one today for my remaining hive.  He called me back and spoke with me extensively, and was really great in answering all my questions about his trap and any other beetle information.

He also says dusting with powdered sugar enrages the bees so that they chase beetles into the oil.  Good point, and I did that also.  And yes, they did get mad at me for it.  (Dummies)

MY INFORMATION AND NEW DISCOVERIES
As we power washed the dirty frames and equipment, and attempted to kill the larvae and beetles, we discovered several things.

Bee hive frames getting ready for powerwash because of beetle contamination

Bee hive frames getting ready for powerwash because of beetle contamination

THEY ARE DASTARDLY HARD TO KILL.  
Some say use water and drown them.  I use HOT SOAPY WATER and drown them (it shocks them).  Some say use 50/50 bleach solution.  Yep, it works, but not totally in that concentration.  Some larvae still survived for some reason, so I used full strength on em.   I earlier tried several spray cleaners, and chemicals from my kitchen and bathroom cabinet and they just annoyed them.  The larvae I swear can SNORKLE!

MR FREEMAN IS MORE THAN RIGHT ABOUT CRACKS AND CREVICES THE BEETLES HIDE IN

THE GROOVE ALONG THE BOTTOM AND TOP OF THE FRAMES
As we cleaned the frames, we found larvae down inside the grooves of where the plastic foundation seated, both bottom and top.  Some were not big mature larvae either, and would be easy to miss on first glance.  There were bunches of them all along those grooves, and you might think you had a frame cleaned and then see them crawl out 2 minutes later.  They use these cracks to breed and hide from the bees when they are chased.

Hive beetle garage 2

Hive beetle garage

BOTH OPENING CRACKS WHERE THE FOUNDATION MEETS EITHER SIDE.  The bees had frantically tried to propolis (seal) all such cracks, and it was heavy here.

NAIL HOLES, AND PARTS WHERE JOINTS MEET  These are tiny, but each one has a place that a few beetles hide, and so do the larvae.

Bee hive frame dirty corner where hive beetles hide

Yet another dirty corner where they reproduce

MY RECOMMENDATION (which may not be expedient for commercial beekeepers at all)  Just examine ALL cracks there, in your hive body, and especially in the lid.  I have eliminated ALL inner covers, because they are just places for the beetles to hide from the bees.  But I am not an expert on this and it is only my personal decision born of paranoia.

I went to Walmart and got a large hot glue gun, long hot glue sticks (ten packages). We cleaned most of the nasties, propolis, extra wax, and bugs off the frames. Put a large piece of cardboard on the kitchen table and a spotlight. Then proceeded to hot glue every darned crack in the equipment and frames.

Tools set up to close cracks against hive beetles

Set up to close cracks against hive beetles

This takes a lot of time, but when you are through, you are eliminating places for any varmint to hide.  We filled all around the plastic frame foundation, both ends, top and bottom, nail holes, etc . . .  In the case of those plastic frames, filled all the casting holes on each end.

Hot glued hive frame corner

Bee hive frame corner after closing cracks with hot glue

NOTE ABOUT PLASTIC FRAMES:  
They don’t have cracks around the foundation part of the frame, but when I took them out of a beetle infested hive, each casting hole held not just several, but at least 15 beetles were hiding from the light.  I killed them with a five in one tool, sharp end wallowing it back and forth until they were crushed. But those are the holes that take the most hot glue to fill and sometimes you got to go over it several times to find all of the missed spots.

My husband and I are still in the process of doing this, and if I had know this before I put the hive back together, I’d have not put the frames in unglued and fixed.  Too late, they are building new comb on them right now and I am reluctant to disturb them, lest the queen get killed in the process.

He is now taking the foundation OUT of the frames  to clean them, then I scrape them and rinse.  The crack where it rests, top and bottom harbor larvae and beetles to the max. My husband is a gem of a man, and is doing the hardest work to clean up this mess.

PRESENT CONCLUSION
I’m telling you, I’m so mad at these bugs.  They eat baby bees and eggs, and you end up with no queen in the hive. Which is why I now have only one queened hive out of five.  I have extreme sympathy for the commercial beekeepers that did not see this coming. I thing someone needs to manufacture or invent some new equipment that has less crevices and cracks during this invasion. I am resolved that I will not give up beekeeping.

Bee hive with feeding pans

Last bee hive standing after 5 hives overcome by hive beetles

My last bee hive has no drawn foundation, but it has a queen, plenty of healthy bees, and all they have to do is fight off the beetles and store enough honey for winter.  Poor things.

ADDITIONAL NOTES, PARASITIC NEMATODES
I have also ordered 10,000 predatory nematodes, which are hive beetle larvae predators that negate needing poison, to apply
beneath the ground around my hive area.  I have been told they kill the larvae in a horrible way, which suits me to peeces.

Bee hive frames on table

Bee hive frames clean of hive beetle contamination

I am pressed for time and right now can’t post all the links, but search on small hive beetle, traps, solutions, information, etc. But I will tonite try to post this in as many places as possible.  There are SO many bee websites, blogs, and places online.

Bee hive boxes on flatbed

Bee hive brood boxes and supers that had been used before hive beetle contamination

We are inventing things and brainstorming existing traps and additional ideas as I speak, so take heart.  I think it’s the backyard beekeepers that have more time to do so.  We aren’t all scientists, but combining all the information everyone has helps to get solutions.   Good luck to all of you beekeepers out there and I’ll keep in touch if I or my hub invent something more that helps with the beetles.


UPDATE:  I have ordered my Freeman Beetle Trap, done dusted the bees with powdered sugar, been feeding them, and they seem to be in pretty decent shape.  Also ordered some nematodes, and am considering putting some of those CD case traps baited with roach bait under and around the ground way under the hive area.  The CD cases have openings that are way too small for a bee to enter, and I’ve heard they work good too.  (no poison IN the hive in other words)


UPDATE 2014:  See my other posts on what I did later on.

https://jewelant.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/small-hive-beetle-sweeper/

https://jewelant.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/hive-beetles-more-updates/


 

Cat Bath Curtain Tackle Attack number ONE & TWO

He will knock off all your shampoo, scare you out of your wits, and hang around for more action!

And then there is the second round . . .

If you got a cat that does that kind of stuff, let me know.

You can leave a comment at the bottom of the page.  

Natural Home Made Cat Food

THE FORBIDDEN WORLD OF  RAW MEAT

What did pets EAT before there was dry pet food?  I started reading about carnivorous cats several years ago.  It seems that cats are actually what is called “OBLIGATE CARNIVORES”.  Simply put, cats are animals that are designed by nature to eat prey meat only.  (Obligate, as in obligated to)

A Cats digestive system can process meat and animal carcasses, and it keeps them healthy because they are born able to digest it.  They do not digest vegetables, grain, and all those things that you might see them eat occasionally, such as grass.  But that’s another entire subject.

Picture of Grey Cat looking out back door

Dreaming of REAL prey . . .

Also, being a small feline, they are not designed to eat large prey, or large prey bones.  (in other words I would never give a cat a large chicken bone)  In their natural state out in the yard, they eat bugs, birds, small rodents, all with small flexible bones.  They normally consume the whole animal which gives them the internal organs, brain, bones, heart, etc.  So therefore they can’t live on just a chicken leg.  They have to have the bones, and the rest or they’ll be deficient in those nutrients and starve or be messed up.  You can’t give them just chopped meat if you want to feed them a meat diet.

So, your little house cat is no different than a lion, tiger, or any other wild cat in all these respects.

Now I know, you’re thinking that people have fed dried and canned cat food for all your life, and they seem to be completely healthy.  But think about that.  They get urinary problems, and dirty teeth and abscesses.  They get things like cancer, and other stuff, and when they get old they REALLY have problems.

Well, anyway, I thought so,until I remember all the cats that I had to get teeth cleaned, and my old cats that suffered, couldn’t eat, crap like that.  Regardless of whether all that is true or not, and me not being an expert cat dietitian, I was prompted by yet another set of event to investigate a home made cat food information.

They kept coming out with pet food recalls, and one day my cat Dicky just got sick and wouldn’t eat.  He hid upstairs, laid there for a week, and eventually got over it, but I found his cat food had a recall on it too late.  Something about MELAMINE powder in the food ingredients made in CHINA for gosh sake!  Well, now the Chinese are poisoning
my cat from across the ocean, and me all dependent on manufactured cat food.  (I thought)

I noticed that aside from that.  My cats would eat, (but not chew up) dry cat food. They always crunched once and swallowed it half whole.   I looked on the label.  It had a lot of grain in it.  I found out that the reason dry cat food has grain in it (corn and such), is that to make a dried little pebble which will store in a bag and not break up, you have to use something like flour or corn meal to be able to bake it into a kibble consistency, otherwise it will be sticky and not dried.

In other words, it has nothing to do with it being a good diet item for cats or dogs.  It’s a filler that makes a dry thing not sticky that they can store and sell.  Remember?  Cats don’t digest grain and cornmeal.  They just pass it through in the form of extra poop.

Have you ever chewed a piece of cat or dog food?  Well, it’s not what I’d call poison, so I tried it.  And found that contrary to what they tell you, which is that is CLEANS THEIR TEETH.  When you chew up cat or dog food, the dried kind, it sticks to your teeth, the grains of corn get all up in the base of each tooth, and GOOD LUCK getting it out without an ice pick!

Try it sometime.  It not only doesn’t clean your teeth or theirs, it gums them up until you’ll never get it off without industrial strength cleaner.  And not only that, but it is slimy, more so than normal human food of any kind.  I wouldn’t want my food like that.  It’s worse than some crackers.  I had never eaten anything that clung to my teeth quite like it.  (don’t get sick)

Now, right in the middle of all this research, I run across an article that says that carnivores are made to digest what are called “long chain amino acids” which is what raw meat contains.  (?)  And when you cook meat, (which is what we eat), it changes the amino acid formation to “short chain amino acids”, making the meat hard for a carnivore to digest.

Hey, go figure.  The cat food companies don’t ever focus on the fact that no feline animal, large or small, in the outdoors, eats any kind of cooked food whatsoever.  In fact the small ones will hunt down and eat exactly the same form of prey that a lion will.  And be perfectly healthy on a exclusive diet of it and nothing else but water. Most of which they get from their prey anyway.

MOISTURE, OR LACK OF MOISTURE IN DRY FOOD

Carnivores don’t eat dried food for the most part.  Prey is moist, and contains water.  They drink additional water too.  Now if your little house cat eats his dry food and doesn’t drink enough water, where do you suppose the water comes from to reconstitute his dried kibbles?  From his very own stomach and intestines, that’s where.

Now it just so happens that my cats don’t care for dried cat food with water on it pre-re-constituted.  They hate the taste.  So, if they don’t drink enought water to make up for it, then it gets sucked from their stomach and intestines.  How healthy is that?  Granted, they are used to eating dried food, and it smells fine to them when dry, but moistened and they turn up their noses at it.

How many kids have you seen that think fast food is great stuff?  If you grew up eating real vegetables and farm raised chickens, you would know the difference in taste.  But they didn’t, and so that’s what tastes right and delicious to them.  Cats are no different.  No choice, they’re hungry, that’s food, that’s it.

“Only the freshest, healthiest ingredients”, is the pet food companies refrain.  So, if they are using fresh ingredients, and then cooking the life out of it, then drying it, and then mixing it with a bunch of stuff that.  Heck they tell you not to overcook your own food.  They TELL you it’s not healthy to eat overly processed food.  What if you had to live on beef jerky and pemmican (Indian dried jerky with some fruit) all the time, how healthy do you think you would be?

The fact is that no matter how fresh a food is, when you process it, heat it, dry it, and mush it up with something a person or animal was never meant to assimilate or digest, then it just isn’t the best healthy food for your body.  You know yourself a piece of raw asparagus doesn’t even resemble a fresh steamed one, or pepper, or broccoli, or beans, or whatever.  Dried beef and chicken?  Who would even want that given the choice to have a fresh roasted one or a steak?

And there your cat is eating dried jerky food.  Hey, I’m no one to talk.  I fed my cats dry their whole lives, and not just one generation, but 5 cats in a row.  They all got inflamed gums and teeth that needed to be cleaned.  Every one of them.

FINDING THE COMPLETE DIET ADDITIVES

Because of that, I decided to experiment.  Now I know that most people know the danger of salmonella, and germs that contaminated, uncooked meat has.  But I’ve gone my whole life not getting sick from meat, and the only time I got food poisoning was from restaurants.  Simple as that.  I don’t buy old meat.  I don’t cook slimy smelly anything.  I learned to buy good meat, and don’t worry about it.  So, I don’t worry too much about the cats because I decided I’d get the same fresh chicken I would buy for myself for this experiment.

Now, I also knew that meat alone does not a cat diet make.  Cats require calcium, taurine (from hearts), and iron (liver), and I located in addition, a company (one of many), that manufacture a powder that you mix with meat, water, salmon oil capsules, and egg yolk to make a complete meat diet that you can feed EXCLUSIVELY to cats and nothing else  needed for them to be healthy.

This company tested a large group of cats on an all meat diet for years, and found many things.  The main thing was that they were all, with few exceptions, exceptionally healthy and remained so for all their lives.  They also said that it cured many behavioural problems and attitudes in all of them.  Happy, healthy, lively, and all that.

So, half convinced, and wondering if this might help my aggressive cat, I ordered some powder, got some salmon oil caps, eggs, boned chicken thighs, and a thing of chicken livers.  I chopped (not too small, about one inch size bits)  two pounds of chicken thighs, 1/4 that amount of livers, added the salmon oil, and egg yolk.  I couldn’t find any heart, but that was in the powder.  I added the recommended amount of powder and cold water to mix.

Then I put about 1/4 cup in a bowl and set it on the floor next to the cat.  He did something that I’ve never seen him do before.  He took one claw, and used it to hook one piece of meat, and then spent the next few long minutes RELISHING his food.

When normally given dried food he ate like a chow hound and was through eating in 3 minutes.  And asked for more of it because he didn’t think he was full.  And wouldn’t settle down afterward.  Feeding time was asked for no less than two hours after feeding him with dried meat.

He chewed his raw meat completely before swallowing it, and when he was finished, he went to his cat tower, crawled up on top, and napped out for 4 hours!  He didn’t ask for more food, he didn’t pace around the house.   He was satisfied and napped out.  Simple as that.

Picture of a healthy white long haired cat

Laid up after a good raw meat meal

CONTINUING THE FEEDING OF MEAT

I decided to carry this to extremes.  I wanted to know if they were right about being able to feed a raw diet and NO other store bought food to a cat.  So I fed my cat this two times a day (normally with dried it was three) for over a month.  At the end of that time he was calmer, and yet more energetic when he was awake.  He no longer gobbled his food, but took his time like you would with a good steak.  He didn’t have to drink as much water, and his stools were looser, but less smelly.  His cat pan didn’t stink every time he took a dump.

What a revelation.  However, being short on time, I eventually backslid into giving him some dry cat food on the side for when I was out of raw.  Right now I’m feeding raw once a day at night to both my cats.  But you have to have the powder to be sure it’s complete and not deficient.  And that can be expensive.  My vet was diplomatically horrified when he learned about it.  But I would dare anyone to take a blood test and tell me my cat is unhealthy.  My eyes just don’t decieve me.

Hey, my cats react completely different when offered either kind of food.  Dried is just begged for.  MEAT is a scramble of cat yells and “give it to me NOW!”  My first cat did not grow up on raw meat, he ate it first when he was all grown up, and he still prefers it to dried every time.

So doing it myself and seeing the results in my own cats convinced me totally.  It is more trouble, but not if you make a batch and freeze it in parcels one months worth at a time.  And for me it cost more because I hate boning chicken and am not good at it.   (I might cut myself too)

You’ll find pros and cons and people for and against it, but for me it’s worth whatever risk they say comes along with it.  I got some powerfully healthy cats now.

Picture of cat stretching powerfully

I’ve got some powerfully healthy cats

Disclaimer:    I am not an expert cat dietitian.  The information in my post is only from my own experience in feeding this diet to my own animals.  I urge you to do the same as I did if you are considering this diet for your own animals.  Research, get on the net and explore and read many articles before trying it yourself.

Email me with any questions and I can send you links to sources for the powder which I mix with my cats food.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Yoga For The Rest Of Us, or Yowie Cat Yoga

Cat Yoga is latest thing in cat exercise. And my cat is a Yoga cat-fool.

Here’s some photos of him in action on an average day. Keep in mind,our routine to watch tv was that you had to kick the cat out of the chair each night before you could sit down to see the news. He was a SQUATTER of CHAIRS and a USURPER of THRONES.  But you gotta luv him, he’s kinda cute.

CatYoga1 Picture of cat doing yoga

Shall We Begin?

SHORT POME
He even gloated when we passed.
He reveled in the smell of our ____________
He coated the chair with a sheen of white hair
in revenge for us moving him out of his lair.
He would scrunch, stretch, twist, and contort
Until I decided he had invented a sport.

CatYoga2 Picture of cat doing yoga

Warm up gradually . . .

CatYoga3 Picture of cat doing yoga

Reverse Extension of the spine . . .

CatYoga4 Picture of cat doing yoga

Arms over your head, look cute, curve right . . .

CatYoga5 Picture of cat doing yoga

Roll to right side, deep breath, and relax . . .

CatYoga6 Picture of cat doing yoga

Back to left stretch paw, curl leg and tail . .

CatYoga7 Picture of cat doing yoga

Look for audience appreciation . . .

CatYoga8 Picture of cat doing yoga

Stretch paws to the sky . . .

CatYoga9 Picture of cat doing yoga

Breath, lick paw, wash face, continue . . .

CatYoga10 Picture of cat doing yoga

Stretch upper body and paws . . .

CatYoga11 Picture of cat doing yoga

Retire to beach towel and wait for fan mail . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AN ORPHAN IN THE BUSHES

My job was to trim shrubs behind a commercial building that day.  I arrived at daybreak, the sun was barely up and the night lights were still lit.  I took my first pictures of the day to record what the foliage looked like before I began to trim.

I got all my tools, the wheelbarrow, the bags, and started up the walk.  Soon I saw there was somebody keeping me company . . .

Kitten Yowie first meeting

I soon saw there was somebody keeping me company

The streak of white color dissapeared behind one of the rose bushes up against the building and I realized that it was a kitten. I got down on my knees to peer under the bush he was hiding in and stretched out my hand and called him.

He was a wild baby kitty, but not totally.  (Somebody had been feeding him at lunchtime.)  I ran back to the car and got part of my sandwich (the meat part), and ran back to feed him.  He ate it all, even a french fry.

Orphan kitty scared

He watched with suspicious curiosity

I started walking around to see what needed to be done to the flower beds.  The kitten watched all this with suspicious curiosity. Getting food every few minutes had him soon following me around asking for more.

Orphan kitty was friendly

He soon started following me around

I wasn’t surprised.  He had no Mommy anywhere that I could see.  I found out later a mother cat had been seen carrying him across the parking lot and dropped him off there never to return.  He was an ORPHAN BABY KITTYKAT.

Orphan kitty starved

He was starving …

He was starving, and looked better than he was because he was a long haired kitten, and the fur disguised the ribbyness of his tiny little body.

Orphan kitty purrson of importance

I could tell he was a Purrson of importance

But his personality told me he was a purrson of importance, sooo. . .    He came home in a cardboard box when I left the job two days later.

Orphan kitty first meeting with big cat

My other cat was not so sure about this newcomer

My other cat was not so sure about this newcomer.  He hissed a lot, and spit a lot, and cussed a lot.  Then he just left the room disgusted.

Orphan kitty in cage

I put him in a cage for his own safety

I put him in another room in a cage so that the big guy wouldn’t eat him.  A time out was needed before it was discovered that he was really a friend and not an intruder.

Orphan kitty making friends with big cat

At first, curiosity at a distance

He was allowed out only under supervision and then recaged at night.  More and more freedom as he was accepted.  At first it was just curiosity from a safe distance.  But in the end, after a few weeks, they became more and more friends . . .

Orphan kitty accepted at last

In the end they became friends

After a week of the big cat being pounced on, and the little cat getting smashed on, and a bunch of spats, there was a truce.  But in the end they got their act together and became companionable friends.

HiHowAreYa

 

Welcome to Jewelant’s Blog!  It’s a blog about all my interests and anything other interesting.  Got cats, videos, honey bee information, garden pictures, cartoons, militaria, antiques, chickens, and funny stuff. This blog has evolved to encompass hobbies I’m presently messing with, and things I have to do with, and, and, and, whatever pops up in the future.

 

 

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