Ticks, Lime, and Bees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Central Alabama
    Posts
    26

    Default Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    I have ignored a massive tick problem this year. Mainly because I can't figure out what to do that's safe for bees. I've started a flock of Guineas for the future. But for now..... I have three children we are pulling ticks off of. I am wondering about lime. I also have a chigger problem under an oak where the kids play. If I sprinkle my problem areas with a dust of lime, where there are no blooms, will this kill my bees? I can't find concrete info regarding. So wondering what ya'll know.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Try dusting you & the kids ankles with powdered sulfur. Not sre about ticks but it will keep red bugs off so I bet it would work for ticks also. May be worth a try

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Meridian, MS USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Deep Woods Off works great. Is it harmful to humans? How harmful is West Nile and Lyme Disease?

    Chiggers are a terrible thing for kids (anyone) to get.

    I may die from deet, who knows.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
    Posts
    575

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Have not tried it but have read that ticks do not like citrus odors. Might try some lemon grass oil.
    Just some thoughts.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    I doubt that lime will hurt bees that contact it, but I don't know that. In order for it to harm the bees (even if it can), the bees would have to contact it, but bees seldom land on the ground so there is little worry.

    As for your children, consider permethrin treated clothes
    http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/permethrin
    I doubt that the recommended long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks will be an easy sell in Alabama in summer, but you might be able to convince your children to wear shoes and socks and the permethrin will provide a barrier the ticks won't cross.
    Bill

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Central Alabama
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Yes, these are both helpful avenues for occasional visiting. We live in the country. On about 6 acres. We are running in and out all day every day and also have 5 dogs and 6 cats. I am really in need of treating a large area. We were interested extra heavily with ticks this year. Chigger bites are harmless, but more uncomfortable than poison ivy in my opinion. Does anyone know if lime will kill the bees, even if it's spread where they are not typically feeding... That I'm aware of. But close by for sure.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Central Alabama
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    They do land in our grass when the clover is blooming, but that's not the case right now, so maybe....

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    By lime do you mean the ordinary calcium carbonate that is used to adjust the pH of the soil? Or hydrated lime, aka quick lime?

    If the first one, I don't think it will harm the bees as it is very commonly surface spread on ground here because our soil is very acid (low pH). So in order to grow good hay and corn you have to spread it, usually at least every other year. OTOH, despite needing to broadcast lime on any pretty much any ground you want to grow anything on, including established lawns, there's no evidence at all that it suppress ticks. Which here in upstate NY are huge problem because of the risk of getting Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases that our ticks carry. If it took simply liming to kill off, or even slightly reduce, the numbers of ticks we'd all be clamoring to have our land limed, every other day.

    Quick lime, however is not something that we use on the ground, so maybe we're talking about two different chemicals, that just have similar names, in different regions.

    (I thought this thread was going to about the risk of catching Lyme disease from ticks while tending bees. Ticks just love the places under hive stands. I've already had almost fifty tick bites this season, and caught anaplasmosis for a second time in two years.)

    I make people who come to my apiary wear long pants tucked into socks, not because I think the bees will misbehave around bare legs or ankles, but to keep my visitors from going home with ticks, and disease risks. People think the scary part of an apiary visit will be bees buzzing around - no it's the silent, sneaky, tiny, larval and nymph deer ticks that will harm them.
    Enj.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Central Alabama
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Around here we call it agricultural lime. And it is known for ph balance in soil. But also will repel insects and kill others. I've used it in the past to radicate fleas and chiggers, but that was pre-bees. I've found info that says for the garden and it won't kill bees, but never lists sources or actual information regarding why, and I've read articles that only report inconclusive. Lime put in an old sock and then beat on your shoes and ankles will prevent ticks from crawling up your legs while working on your bees. That I know for sure. I will say though, down here, I have more ticks when I have had more deer the season prior. The animals usually bring in the ticks. I would wander what animal is delivering ticks around your hives. I started a flock of Guineas to free range. Guineas love ticks. Maybe they could help out your apiary. If you aren't in the city.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    I have had over 100 ticks on me this yr, and they were all crawling not a single one imbedded and it's been that way every since I started eating garlic on pretty much a daily basis.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Medfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Number one thing I've found that keeps the numbers down is being sure you get all the leaf litter up in the fall (and rake it back from the used part of your property if you border on unmanaged woods/scrub). Worst year we've had by far was when we had a surprise October snowstorm before I had a chance to fully clean up the yard, and leaves sat there under the snow, the following year was horrendous. Also if you can control the mouse population, this seems to be the dominant vector for lyme carrying ticks (deer mice particularly, the ones with the white underbellies).

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Medfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Also, if you can do anything to lure opossums to your property, they will roam through your scrubbrush, picking up ticks and then cleaning themselves, eating the ticks in the process.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    I have found that I can mow everything I need to spray for ticks.Then I will spray.After mowing there will be nothing flowering and the bees will get nothing.No bees killed! Be sure not to spray nothing flowering

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clinton, TN
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Last year I had a terrible time with ticks on my 3 acres. Between my wife, son and I we probably pulled 60 embedded ticks and many more crawlers. I knew something had to be done and started planning it last fall. I got 6 guineas and 10 chickens. The guineas didn't work out and they were the biggest mistake I have made. The noise they made kept us up every night. 2 were eaten by predators, 1 was eaten by us, another I shot in the middle of the night in a blind rage with a shotgun during one of many noisy guinea call episodes (only animal I have ever killed purely out of anger). We still have one left his name is Winfred and he is a survivor. He doesn't make much noise by himself or he adapted after seeing the fate of his buddies I am not sure. The 10 chickens we started letting free range (during the day) with the 1 remaining guinea this spring and the effect of those 11 birds seems to have done the trick. We went from 60 ticks last year down to < 10 all year this year it was a huge remarkable difference. It could have been weather difference between this year and last had an impact also but all the chickens was the only thing I changed. I consider the tick problem we had pretty much solved by poultry in my case. The next thing I was going to try if the poultry hadn't worked out was a series of "tick tubes". Search for that on youtube you will be happy you did.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dawson Springs, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    Chickens and guineas have cut down the tick/chigger population on my farm by leaps and bounds. The woods that they don't go in are still loaded and any journey into them will have you coming in after you are done and doing a tick check.

    They are free range during the day and they can patrol all the yards/pastures they please, but at night they must be locked up due to predators and the like. As for the guineas and the noise, on the nights we forget to close the door to their pen, they let us know by squawking up a storm. But when the doors are closed and they are safe inside, they make virtually no noise at all during the night. Probably something to do with warning calls for predators and such. Our A-frame for them is 100 feet from the back porch.

    The upside and downside of free range birds on your lawn is the free fertilizer that they drop everywhere. The problem is they drop it everywhere and it usually ends up on your shoes.

    Also, ticks love tall grass that they can hide in and be protected by while they wait for targets to come by. Keeping the grass cut short around where your kids play will make a very noticeable difference.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Ticks, Lime, and Bees

    I have a yard that is a true tick machine. I now spray my shoes and pants legs each time. Not a tick since starting the spray.
    30 hives and counting...
    Huntsville, AL: Alabama's best kept secret

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