Category: Insects

Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

by Fred Hoffman Nature wants to make your job as a gardener as easy as possible; but you have to help. So, let’s talk about putting in plants that attract the "good bugs", the crawling and flying creatures whose diet includes pests that are ravaging your garden plants. These beneficial predatory insects do not live on aphid steaks alone. They need other natural sources of food and shelter for their […]

Read More >

Organic Tick Repellant

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 can also suffer and be seriously effected if the ticks are not removed within a […]

Read More >

The Cranky Honey Bees of South America

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 began to sting repeatedly, and swarming and absconding (abandoning the hive) phenomena were too common […]

Read More >

Reducing Bug Pests with House Wrens

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 feed their young.

Read More >

Honeybee Reproduction, Part II: Nutrition and Pheromones

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 its older sisters, who feed it a protein rich substance called royal jelly, from a […]

Read More >

Let’s Invite Leaf Cutter Bees into Our Gardens

Africanized honey bee with the corbicula full of pollen Yummy, yummy! is the phrase that comes to our minds when remembering Winnie the Pooh eating all those pots of honey. Many of us may only have thought about honey bees for the first time when we were kids, thanks to that cute bear with the sweet tooth. Then we learned that we are not only indebted to honey bees for […]

Read More >

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

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 farmer’s sweat. Then, at some point, animals equate to food. The efficiency and logic are […]

Read More >

Honeybee Reproduction, Part I: The Promiscuous Queen Bee

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 a white, protein rich substance called “royal jelly” secreted from a gland in an adult […]

Read More >

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

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. (It’s not pretty.)

Read More >

Dung Beetles – The Underground Army Enriching the Soil

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 them directly. In a way they are also providing food for the earth worms.

Read More >

The Hidden Horror of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)

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 doing this is the true environmental catastrophes that are modern agriculture and modern home “lawn […]

Read More >

Preventing Colony Collapse Disorder

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 you ever wondered why? Jacqueline Freeman gives you 12 empowering tools to offer the best […]

Read More >