Bugs everywhere! The bug show in Newark last weekend was great, really friendly, not as large as some of the shows but more intimate and it was certainly packed with visitors from far and wide (see my Facebook page for photos). I got to see old friends from ‘up north’ who I haven’t seen for ages which was really nice. Well done to Warren Davis for organising the event.
I went crazy as usual and came home with an enormous amount of new stock. Some is yet to appear on my website but I’m actually doing surprisingly well and expect to have everything entered onto the website by the end of today. Some animals are for breeding rather than selling, I was given a Thai Red tarantula male to hopefully mate with my enormous female. I have them in the same tank but separated so that they can get used to each other. I’m plucking up the courage to introduce them and may do it this evening. I haven’t lost a male in ages so fingers crossed but I am worried about the size difference, she may see him as a snack (she has been well fed this week so hopefully not!).
I did try to stick to my shopping list at the show and I got a surprising number of animals that were on my list but I also picked up a few odd bits and pieces. I bought some Tunnel Web spiderlings (not something I have had before) but they are tiny and one seems to have escaped out of a small hole in the lid as it certainly wasn’t in there when I checked them at home. I bought two large non-tarantula spiders hoping that they might be pregnant as they were so fat. Unfortunately, since the show one has moulted and one has died (it just wasn’t right when I re-housed it, barely moving). Sadly, I won’t be getting any babies from them but you have to speculate to accumulate and keeping these oddities is all good experience for the next time!
Yet again I purchased some new giant millipedes, I have loads of millipedes now but they are just so cute and I love it when I can get them breeding. I’m doing really well but some species just don’t seem to reproduce whatever I do. I’m assuming they need set seasons, with the correct heat, humidity and light levels? Anyway, I will keep trying, I do seem to have spent most of this week in my bug room. Yesterday I had planned a day out at London Zoo with my hubby and great-nieces but the day didn’t go to plan. Firstly, we had a power cut, I was just trying to get my bugs sorted out when everything went off. I was not happy, I have never lived anywhere with so many power cuts, it is absolutely ridiculous. I actually have Southern Electric on speed dial (seriously). After the fault was fixed it was too late to set off up to London and it was still pouring with rain (as usual) so I carried on working for the morning and we went to the cinema in the afternoon. We saw Peter Rabbit, very funny but I would rather have been looking at the real animals in the zoo.
I’ve covered spiders and millipedes but I also bought as many different types of scorpions as I could find at the show. I really like scorpions (don’t shout at me if I admit that I think I actually prefer them to spiders). The price of scorpions is not cheap but again, I would love to get some babies, so it is hopefully worth the gamble. I picked out the big fat ones so fingers crossed but I am aware that scorpions, unlike spiders will eat and eat so it’s possible they are just fat!
The time is marching on so I need to speed up, a few bits and pieces that I wanted to say this week are as follows (everything else will have to wait until next week):
I set up a breeding tank for crickets recently and it has been so successful that I am going to set up a second one and I have now started selling tubs on my website. I spend so much money buying crickets from local stores (I won’t name them but the crickets are often half dead because they are generally dried up and have received no care whatsoever). There is no way that I can sort out the various sized crickets so they will have to be sold as ‘mixed’. I am trying to devise a ‘cricket sizer’ but I think it would take more time and energy than I have got at the moment.
I only realised recently that I am paying the top rate for using PayPal as my payment system on the website. The rate I am paying is 5.5%, I think this is extortionate so my daughter is looking at other payment suppliers. I will put out a little plea here, if you chose to pay via direct bank transfer when ordering, I don’t get charged a fee so please consider it! I do have a few customers that pay directly into my bank but at the moment it is sadly not that many. I did look at World Pay a few years ago but they really messed me around so I never actually got to the end of the signing up process.
I haven’t managed to get any more of my Ginny’s Jungle section of the website sorted out but I will do as soon as things settle down a bit and I do realise that there are now gaping holes in the ‘how I keep mine’ section on some of the animals. I am aware of it and will get it sorted eventually.
I’m still not sure about putting my minimum spend up to £20, rather than £15. I don’t want to put off any customers, especially some younger customers. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is something I can control on my website. I think it is a job for Super Simon, my web administrator. It would be good to have the option of switching it on at really busy times and then back down again when I’m not quite so busy. I just find that packing orders takes hours of my day, I need to find a way of simplifying things.
Thankfully I still have the help of my daughter at the moment but she will be working again next week when the schools go back. She is at this time out on errands. This morning she has walked Teddi, collected Privet, taken parcels to the post office and collected some more spiders from a local supplier (do I really need more spiders?).
Lastly, I got this email a few days
ago. I do get some odd emails from time to time, my hubby always says “what do
you expect in your business”, but I still can’t work out if this one is
serious. It is seriously bonkers but real or fake? It made me laugh.
We need to import some cheese from Europe, are you still producing it? If so, please contact us immediately.
Thanks for your support!
Photo this week: The wonderful moulted skin of the Red Fang spider that I purchased at the show and subsequently moulted.