About

This website serves to share the experiences I have through two of my hobbies, herpetology and bee keeping.  It is not just a way to share what I know and experience in these two areas but also a way of documenting the path I take and the animals I spend my time with.  I hope the information provided here is of use to readers and that the gecko and bee related products I offer to support these hobbies are of use and enjoyment to those who purchase them.

I have always been fascinated with insects and reptiles.  Growing up in Wisconsin, when I would go outside I would often find myself looking at the smaller animals on the ground and flying everywhere.  Some of my earliest outdoor memories are of searching the local creek for toads, tadpoles and crayfish.  As I became an older child my attention began to turn beyond just for animals and briefly capturing them and wanting to understand them.  Ants, in particular, fascinated me.  These tiny beings so alien in appearence who forage out on missions for some underground overlord known as the queen.  What a fascinating concept to spur a young imagination!  I simply had to learn more, and still remember the frustration of my parents the day I decided to dig a large hole in the background in a failed attempt at locating the queen of known ant colony.

Considering my past with herps and insects it didn't take much convincing when at 17 I was approached by  friend and asked if I wanted to go in on a group order for some Australian Water Dragons (Physignathus lesueurii).  I had enjoyed spending time with my friends modest herp collection so I was easily swayed to join the venture.  No better time than shortly before heading off to college!  Though my timing may not have been the best that trio of Australian Water Dragons were the beginning of what has so far been a 15 year endeavor.  In that time I have kept several varieties of herps, generally being more interested in smaller species such as geckos and mantella.   For the past five years I focused exclusivly on the species of New Caledonia of the Rhacodactylus genus.  I started with the popular crested gecko but now work primarily with R. Chahoua, R. Auriculatus and R. Lechianus.

Beekeeping did not start as early for me as herpetology.  Though I remained fascinated with insects, particularly superorganisms, they are not as easy to keep as reptiles for many living situations.  In 2009 I moved from Wisconsin to Philadelphia.  Unbeknowest to me a great move for me as a future beekeeper.  Earlier that same year the ordinance prohibiting beekeeping within the city of Philadelphia was lifted and the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild was formed.  Philadelphia has a great history in Beekeeping, particularly by home to Lorenzo Langstroth, the father of modern beekeeping.  All of this resulted in a pleathora of support and information within the Philadelphia area on beekeeping, particularly in urban areas.  With so much information about bees around me I decided that it was the perfect time to begin keeping bees, something I had interest in for quite some time but no real idea of where to begin or the physical space to do it.  In spring of 2011 I started my first 3 hives in a community garden in West Philadelphia and in 2012 expanded to private yard nearby.  Beekeeping has been a wonderful experience so far and I hope to share my faults, mistakes and successes to assist other new beekeepers and those simply curious about managing bees and the lives they live.

 

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