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 »

FoodWaterShelter Fast Fact: Recipes for Healthy, Happy Plants (Tanzania)

Posted by & filed under Compost, Insects, Soil Rehabilitation.

The spoils of Kesho Leo’s permaculture garden beds (Arusha, Tanzania) Healthy plants in healthy soil shouldn’t generally suffer from serious insect infestations or diseases (see here, here and here for more on this). So if you’re having severe problems with either, look for reasons that your plants may already be stressed, and therefore more vulnerable… Read more »

Open Source Beehives

Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Building, Community Projects, Insects.

We are all too familiar with the Colony Collapse Disorder afflicting our precious bees. So much needs to be done to educate the mass (and beekeepers) about what bees truly need. The Open Source Beehives project is another powerful initiative marrying traditional designs with high tech equipment to promote healthier beekeeping practices. They have designed… Read more »

Top Bar Beekeeping

Posted by & filed under Insects.

Martin O’Callaghan has been keeping bees for nearly 20 years and was up for sharing his experience with us on Top Bar  bee hives and more natural forms of beekeeping. He is passionate about natural beekeeping and runs the Urban Hive, a Melbourne-based business that builds and sells Top Bar and Warre bee hives and… Read more »

Women’s Collective in Mexico Works to Save Bee Species

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Insects.

A group of indigenous women are challenging ancient social norms in order to preserve an endangered species: the stingless bee known as Melipona Beecheii. Traditionally the prerogative of men in Mayan culture, beekeeping is providing this collective with a source of income and a reason to keep the species from going extinct.