Category: Animals

Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian bee keeper.

Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian beekeeper One of Australia’s largest commercial honey bee pollinators says he has lost more than 500 hives since 2008 due to insecticide spray drift from cotton farms in the area – and has been relocating many of his bees to mitigate the risk. “To go out and see all your hives or your bees dead on the […]

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Attracting Bees to the Garden and Keeping Them There without a Hive

People are in the fight for the rights of bees these days. After a couple of award-winning documentaries (Vanishing of the Bees, Colony) and some real worry in the headlines, the masses have shown up, at least in spirit. The kings of agrochemicals are being badgered, outlawed, and lampooned around every turnover of borders, all in the name of bees. Now, we mustn’t pretend like there are no other voices […]

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Manuka Honey’s Healing Power: Exclusive Property or One of Many?

Manuka honey is well-known for its health benefits (see for example 1).Though famous as a product from New Zealand, the results of recent studies (2) show that the Australian variety is just as potent as its New Zealand cousin. But how does this affect the global honey market? And is it even appropriate, from a permaculture perspective, to place such importance on ‘manuka’ as oppose to other honeys? What is […]

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Integrating Beekeeping with Permaculture

Insects and wildlife are an important part of a permaculture design. Without them your design will not be complete, the forces will not be in balance like the Jedi without Darth Wader. Bees particularly have outputs we all can enjoy, even some vegans are bending the rules for honey and I am sure cavemen were enjoying the honey during palaeontologic times, you know what I mean bullet proof coffee lovers. […]

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Aquaponics Green House

My aquaponics system is the heartbeat of my hoop house. I created this system as an experiment which has been going on for over 2 years now with minimal intervention. I built this system to provide water to my soil in the hoop house. It used to get really dry since I rarely ever water it myself. I don’t like watering anything unnaturally (with my water hose). I only do […]

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How Sustainable Are Chickens?

Chickens are amazing animals: laying an egg almost every day just so I can dip my toast in that deep orange yolk. Chickens are a gateway animal that most people start with on the journey to becoming more sustainable. Chickens are so flexible in the way they are raised and fed. This makes them the perfect starter livestock. There’s a chicken for every person. With so many breeds to choose […]

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A Rare Example of Mutualism Between Humans and Free-living Wild Animal

A new study confirms the existence of mutual partnership between humans and a free living bird species. When the honey-hunters of the Yao tribe call for the greater honeyguides, the bird recognizes, understands and responds to the hunters call and leads them to honey in the forest. Collaboration among different plant and animal species for mutual benefit is a known phenomenon. The mutualism between oxpecker – a kind of bird […]

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Raising Rabbits: My Source of Manure

I love raising rabbits, mainly because of rabbit pellets also known as rabbit manure. When people ask me why I raise rabbits they expect me to say meat, pets or fur. When I say manure I really surprise them. I do love my rabbits and I love their meat, but rabbit pellets are invaluable. If you work on a small homestead rabbits might be a great livestock option. I first […]

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Are Bugs More Nutritious Than Meat?

A new research study shows that eating edible insects could provide as much or even more iron and other micro-nutrients as consuming beef. A large percentage of the world’s population consumes meat. Unfortunately, meat production is taxing the planet, with its demand for substantially large amount of water and energy, in addition to contributing to environmental pollution. The look-out for an effective alternative is on and many sustainability researchers are […]

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BeeConnected: Linking Farmers and Beekeepers to Save Bees in the UK

In the UK, bees contribute largely to food production as they pollinate major commercial crops and trees as well as produce honey; a staple for breakfast in many homes. According to a study by researchers at the University of Reading, Bees contribute £651 million annually to the UK economy. However, the bee population is declining at an alarming rate; they are reports of some species already becoming extinct. The reason […]

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The Use of Ducks in Rice Fields in the Control of Weed and Pest

The Use of Ducks in Rice Fields in the Control of Weed and Pest

Various communities have used ducks and geese as a weed and pest control strategy. Indeed, there exist studies that have been conducted looking into the efficiency of the strategy in terms of yield, weed control and also pest control. Ducks and geese offer an organic method of controlling pests and weeds. Ducks have a high affinity of consuming seeds made by weeds, snails, a variety of bugs and also the […]

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Early Morning Cow Routines

Every morning the first thing we do is look after our animals. The cow routines are particularly involved. The cows stay in the cattle yard overnight, and in the morning their manure is collected for the biodigester (to make biogas). It is shovelled into several buckets, to make up the 30kg we need every day. The cows are then fed and the milkers are milked. After eating and being milked, […]

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