Organic Tick Repellant

Posted by & filed under Insects, Livestock.

Photos: Ingrid Pullen Late winter and early summer in the warm zones of Australia are deadly times of year for smaller farm animals, especially newborns, because of the deadly paralysis tick. Young cows up to 4 months, sheep, goats, geese, cats and dogs can all die from the powerful neurotoxin of the paralysis tick. People… Read more »

The Cranky Honey Bees of South America

Posted by & filed under Insects.

African honey bee and workers In 1978 something changed with honey bees in Colombia, South America. Beekeepers began to notice that their nice and well behaved European honey bees (Apis mellifera mellifera, Apis mellifera ligustica, Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera caucasica and the combinations between these species) started to have terrible mood swings! They… Read more »

Reducing Bug Pests with House Wrens

Posted by & filed under Insects.

by Richard Larson This house wren couple are not camera shy when they have young to feed! Often I inspect the produce in the garden and find I’m hard pressed to locate insect pests, yet these little 10 gram (0.35 ounce) songbirds will fly into the garden on seemingly endless trips and find insects to… Read more »

Honeybee Reproduction, Part II: Nutrition and Pheromones

Posted by & filed under Insects.

Note: If you haven’t already done so, you can read Part I here. Worker pupae Hold on to your hats, ‘cause this story contains awesome parenting, sexual suppression, and murderous rampages! A honeybee egg hatches after three days, and then emerges a tiny white larva that is completely helpless. It is meticulously cared for by… Read more »

Attracting Wild Animals for the Good of the Garden: Which, Why, and How

Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Insects, Working Animals.

A colony of bats in a mango tree Permaculture designs, especially on a large-scale, incorporate domesticated animals. For organic gardening, it just makes life a lot easier. Manure is key in growing anything. A timed circulation of grazing means the land gets cleared, fertilized and tilled by the animals’ natural patterns as opposed to the… Read more »

Honeybee Reproduction, Part I: The Promiscuous Queen Bee

Posted by & filed under Insects.

An old queen (as evidenced by her tattered wings) surrounded by her attendants Did you know that male honeybees have no father, but they do have a grandfather? That any fertilized egg can develop into a worker bee or a queen bee depending on what the hatched larva is fed? That bees feed their young… Read more »

Sara Lewis: The Loves and Lies of Fireflies (TED video)

Posted by & filed under Insects.

Biologist Sara Lewis has spent the past 20 years getting to the bottom of the magic and wonder of fireflies. In this charming talk, she tells us how and why the beetles produce their silent sparks, what happens when two fireflies have sex, and why one group of females is known as the firefly vampire…. Read more »

Dung Beetles – The Underground Army Enriching the Soil

Posted by & filed under Compost, Insects, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

This video gives an overview of the benefits of establishing and managing dung beetles. Dung beetles are fascinating insects, working tirelessly to bury dung around the country. One cow per day produces approximately 18kg of dung. These beetles process the dung by burying it deep into the soil and helping the plant roots to access… Read more »

The Hidden Horror of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Health & Disease, Insects, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Photo © Craig Mackintosh At PermaEthos we are working hard to get our first flagship farm profitable and already thinking about the next few farms. We are working to teach Permaculture to as many people as we can and spread as much knowledge as we can as fast as we can. One reason we are… Read more »

Preventing Colony Collapse Disorder

Posted by & filed under Insects.

It seems we are frantically seeking a reason and a solution to the infamous and mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder. Although the news makes you think that it’s a plague affecting all beekeepers, the reality shows otherwise. Organic beekeepers — you know, those who gently collaborate with bees — do not experience the same losses. Have… Read more »