We have feral chickens. They get into the seedlings unless we cage them and they scare the workers when they find them in the bushes. On the other hand, with the hens around, there are very few slugs and snails and most of them are under the pots where they can't get to them. Hens are territorial and they don't roam. Roosters are another story they crow at all hours of the day and night, they try to steal the harem from other roosters and they roam. They poop every where and they poop and eat at the same time. At night they will fly up into the trees to roost.
Yeah, we get most of our bee supplies from Mann Lake. A bee jacket with hood cost $59, hive tool $8 (J-tool are the best), smoker $33, Kitchen gloves work and are cheaper and easier to use sometimes than the leather gloves, beetle traps, MAQs, hive kits, extra supers, metal queen excluder, inner and outer covers and bottom boards. Then there are the supplies for the honey, jars, the extractor, buckets, honey filters, and someone needs to take the required food safety class in order to sell the honey and pay the taxes. Our hives are very old and some of the boxes have been repaired a few times, so we are replacing some of them now. Two covers were leaking badly from rot. The metal convers cost more than the wood covers. A couple of people in our group, repainted the hive boxes,and we have to do weed maintenance around the bee yard. We have had to requeen our hives when the queen died and also when we split the hives. That was $20 a queen. We have to keep some back up supers and parts since we cannot get things we need immediately unless we borrrow from other keepers. We are also changing the foundations in our frames now as we harvest. Most of the foundations are 4-5 years old. It cost about $900 for one of our beekeepers to outfit himself with a suit, smoker, gloves, hive tool and 4 starter hives. It has to be shipped and the shipping charges are high. Our last order took over a month to get here.
We have been lucky we have not had nosema or American foul brood. One of the people in our group has had to burn her colony and hives twice because of American foul brood, but she lives in a wet area which makes her hives more prone to the fungal disease. Our hives are located on a part of the island that is relatively dry and it gets a lot of sun and air.
We treat the hives just about every 4 months for varoa mites. We did find some mites in the drone larvae in November, but since we treat regularly we are not seeing as much deformed wings as when we did not treat on a schedule. Hive beetles are still a problem and we use multiple oil traps and sometimes we put the traps on multiple boxes. The beeyard is in a mulched area which makes it harder to manage since the mulch gives the beetles a nice place to incubate. One of the beekeepers is experimenting with the brawny towel but he said it can't be left in too long or the bees will eat too much of it. Usually we try to schedule a harvest, even if it is only a small one so that we don't have too much honey on the hives. We have access to a reefer, but it is harder for us to take the honey supers to a freezer to wait until we have a harvest and the honey takes a long time to thaw.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.