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Hello from Virginia, USA!


Green Bean
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Hi, all!

 

I'm brand new to this specific corner of the world of bugs, but interested in maybe keeping a beetle or two as pets. I say "this corner" because I do have regular contact with a different part of the class— earlier this year I decided to pursue a lifelong interest in bees and become a hobbyist beekeeper. Working with bees made me realize that I'm not actually afraid of bugs generally (still a little nervous about handling them bare-handed, but I think I'll get over that with time) and in fact find them pretty cool. My first colony of bees arrives later this week, but I decided that I'd also like to investigate other insect pets. Beetles appeal primarily because there are options that seem easy to keep healthy, and unlike bees, they can live in my house. (Or, they can live in my house without it being an enormous problem, I guess is more accurate.)

 

I have a lot of questions before I actually take the plunge and get a beetle-pal, so here I am! I'm also excited to see what all of you guys are up to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum, I hope you'll find what you need here! It's nice to see another person who's involved with bees. I've actually participated in numerous bee projects while I was an undergraduate. What else do you do or have you done with bees besides keeping them?

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Welcome to the forum, I hope you'll find what you need here! It's nice to see another person who's involved with bees. I've actually participated in numerous bee projects while I was an undergraduate. What else do you do or have you done with bees besides keeping them?

 

Just keeping them, really, and all the things involved with that! I've witnessed swarm captures and trap-outs, but never performed one myself. I'm very new to the hobby. Our local association is extremely active, and we have folks who breed queens (one of our members maintains two pure Russian lines) and participate in research studies. I'm just not quite there yet.

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It's really fun to participate in research projects and even conduct your own project! I was fortunate to be able to assist my Entomology professor and also given a chance to conduct my own research project. I'd highly suggest doing something of the sort since you'd be able to learn so much more!

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Welcome to the forum, I am new aswell even though i registered last year I didnt really get any beetles before this year, now waiting on a package of Megalorrhina harrisi. I hope you enjoy beetle breeding/keeping ^^

 

Oh man, those are really striking creatures. Good luck, and keep us updated on their progress!

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It's really fun to participate in research projects and even conduct your own project! I was fortunate to be able to assist my Entomology professor and also given a chance to conduct my own research project. I'd highly suggest doing something of the sort since you'd be able to learn so much more!

 

That's so neat— what kind of research was it?

 

Because our association is so well-connected, I likely will have an opportunity to participate in studies, and certainly perform some of my own on a less formal basis. (I don't have a background in sciences, but my sister, whom I live with, is a biologist/public health student.) There was actually an open invite for beekeepers to join in a big survey that involved outfitting hives with a special wifi-enabled scale, which would track the weight of the hive over time (this is a fairly reliable way to estimate basics like whether the bees are storing food, or raising a lot of brood). I decided not to participate this season, because it'll be my first and I didn't want to overcomplicate things. It's not uncommon for colonies to die, especially with inexperienced beeks.

 

Bees are really fascinating creatures, and I've found that I've learned a ton about our local environment in general just from preparing to keep them. For example, I have never been great at plant ID (mostly because I wasn't really paying attention; it was mostly miscellaneous green stuff to me), but I have learned the names of most common herbaceous plants, as well as their various attributes and bloom times. I've also been learning surprising details about common plants that I had never thought about— for example, holly bushes flower prolifically! The white or pink "petals" on dogwood trees are not actually petals, they are a type of modified leaf called bracts! Purple deadnettle has vibrantly red and orange pollen!

 

Our property is in a pretty large stand of forest (the forest is large, the property is a little over one acre), which limits foraging, so I've also been working on turning large parts of the yard into a kind of "bee buffet," stocked with flowering plants selected so that something is in bloom from April to October. As a result, I have learned so much about soil ecology, and am currently growing a crop of sweetclover and other nitrogen-fixing flowering legumes to use first as bee food, then as green manure to condition our very acidic, very clay-heavy soil.

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What part of Virginia? I'm in Manassas. Always happy to meet up with other bug fans if you are in the area.

 

Pewrune, when you say from, do you mean you are still in the area?

 

Oh that's nuts— I'm like 30 minutes down 234 south from Manassas. Good to know there are some kindred spirits around. If there are a couple of us in the area, maybe it would be worth it to do a group meetup sometime.

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