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.

There Are Shocking Differences Between Raw Honey and the Processed Golden Honey Found in Grocery Retailers

Posted by & filed under Health & Disease, Insects.

There are well over 30 commercial producers of honey that have no traces of pollen and lack beneficial vitamins and enzymes among a host of other natural constituents which are removed due to pasteurization and processing. Most golden honey you see at your local grocery is dead and far from the health promoting powerhouse of… Read more »

Beekeeping – An Essential Part of Permaculture

Posted by & filed under Insects.

Beekeeping can be labour-intensive during certain times of the year. Working with bees requires a gentle touch and calm disposition. It also requires a basic understanding of the honey bees and their behaviour during the various seasons and during handling and moving. There are many varieties of bees, of which about 5% are more familiar… Read more »

Building an Insect Hotel

Posted by & filed under Insects.

by Bor Borren For the internship at PRI Zaytuna Farm, Australia (Winter 2013) each student has the mandate to carry out an independent project. I chose to make an ‘Insect Hotel’ or a ‘Bee Hotel’. This has been given a place on the border between the kitchen garden and the adjacent food forest. On the… Read more »