Chris Edwards

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since Aug 07, 2015
60+ years old, married, grown kids.
Bee keeping,.gearing up for retirement.
north central Alabama, USA
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Recent posts by Chris Edwards

Greetings Riley.
 First I would mention "Africanized Honey bees" ... do your own research.
Moving forward, purchase 4 full sized hives, usually one hive cheaper than two nucs.
Try to buy 4 additional dead outs, or 4 more  empty hives.
Enlist a beekeeper to help you make splits out of the 4 full sized hives, into 8 smaller hives.
www.beesource.com has a wealth of local info regarding laws, rules etc.
plenty of old stick in the muds, as well as wack-o tree huggers there on beesource.
Good luck! ... CE
3 years ago
Heather, your profile does not give your location, so please forgive me if my comments turn out to be geographically, or otherwise inappropriate..  I keep bees , apis mellifera (?) variants in Langstroth style hives, in north central Alabama, USA. By law, managed bees in Alabama, & in all other U.S.states except one (Minnesota?), are required to be kept in hive arrangements such that the individual combs can be removed & inspected. As I understand it, this is to help control bee diseases such as American foulbrood. If you do not plan, nor wish to  harvest honey or other products of the hive, may I suggest  encouraging Bumble bees?  You can even purchase commercially  produced bumble bee hives, for about the same cost as a "package" of honey bees, and avoid the often rancorous debate over the proper care and management of honey bees.
  I believe that Bumble bees are a much better pollinator, serving many plants that  honey bees can not, and, as long as their home is not  threatened, Bumbles I have seen are very docile creatures.  Good Luck, CE
4 years ago
Apparently I have sinned.
I decided to try growing my own table mushrooms. got some (innoculated?) wooden plugs from Ebay,, got distracted, put the whole , unopened bag in the fridge & forgot about it for 8 or 9 months.. cooler weather came along, more time available, tried growng shrooms on coffee grounds & in other pots on shredded cardboard.
I used msc plastic containers to hold the substrate. cleanliness is probably abominable, I just washed plastics , and the old styro ice chest that houses my "farm" in the kitchen sink, then rinsed with a bleach solution ( roughly 10%) . Since I only wanted a few mushrooms at a time, I used small individual containers ... cut off quart milk jug bottoms, individual serving yogurt cups, coffee "cans" ( they have a nice handle). plus, since one of the criteria for fruiting seems to be "(complete consumption of the substrate)" , the smaller packages should be ready to fruit rather quickly.
well I thought it looked like the first pot ( coffee grounds) was ready to fruit, I took it out of the ice chest, put it in a loose plastic bag, put it in the fridge for a day, then moved it to the ( east facing) window sill over the kitchen sink. took it out of the bag & waved it around 3x a day, then back in the bag.
then it looked like the substrate was drying out, it was shrinking away from the edges of the milk jug, so I started flicking a few drops of tap water onto it as I aired it 3x daily.. I did not see mushroom pins starting, but I did see patches of mold. ICK.
I checked the rest off my "farm" pots, looks like mold is every where. I dumped the contents of all the pots into the garden mulch bin.

Before I start over, how many "sins" can you spot in this story?
what is the "proper way" to sanitize mushroom growing equipment?
Thanks, CE
5 years ago
John, you did not mention size or health of the hive. I also would split up the hive to have as many opportunities for a successful mating, but I would be prepared to recombine so that the hive has numbers & resources enough to survive the winter. I would consider purchasing a mated queen, in view of how close you may ( or may not) be to the "end of the season". If you have capped queen cells, you are ,perhaps , 3 weeks from having a laying queen. Good luck ... CE
5 years ago
Greetings Brad ... I just attended the North American Truffle Growers association summer meeting as a guest.
One of the comments I picked up on was that there were 2 types of lime, one was "good" for truffles, the other was "not so much".
Other concerns were the ills of the various host trees. Hopefully Eastern Filbert blight will not be a problem in your area. Good Luck! CE
5 years ago