A.B's Plot

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Australian Beekeeper, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Hi Guys and Gals,
    I have been reading the forums here for a couple of months and have finally decided to become a member.

    A bit about us:
    My partner and I have recently begun building our future home and permaculture will be a large part of our landscape design. We currently live in a VERY small rental and do as much as we can in pots etc. I grew up on quite a bit of land though and we always collected water, raised stock and grew a lot of our fruit and veg. I can not wait to get back to it!

    Goals:
    I keep and propagate stingless native bee hives and will have lots of hives on the property. I also keep quite a few honey bee hives though only a few will be kept on our plot (Most of these I actually keep on my parents and friends properties).

    We would like to grow almost all of our veg and a great deal of our fruit.

    We will have a section of native garden at the front of the block. This will provide habitat for native animals and almost all plants will be flowering species for the bees.

    We will keep a few chickens.

    Save as much water as possible.

    There will be a pond for biodiversity etc.

    There will be a single garage workshop/shed somewhere up the back. We will have another smaller water tank that fills from this roof.

    Solar system. My brother can help us with this ;)

    The plot:
    I have attached a little sketch up drawing showing the site, topography of the land and North. The block is situated 40km south of Brisbane. The house position is set due to other compromises so we will just make the best that we can of it.

    The site is a corner block that slopes down on the diagonal and faces East (again on the diagonal). This was a preference for my native bees :) They love/need the morning sun.

    Across the road on both sides is native bushland reserve full of flowering gums and wattles, perfect forage for the bees and a great scene to look at. The road only needs to be used by 4 properties despite being in a semi suburban area due to the bushland reserve/creek wrapping around the bottom of the block.

    There are no trees on the block and the soil is 1m or sandy loam fill on top of moderately reactive clay.

    Annual rainfall 1113mm on average.

    The houses roof water is collected in a 31500L water tank.

    There is a home sewage treatment plant that has an underground leach field. We cannot plant a great deal above this, the current plan is a native grass area / long lawn (I want clover but that pretty much guarantees stings on what will probably be the only open area). The leach field is in the south east corner of the block.

    So far:
    Not heaps that we can do before building is finished (once it's started). So far we have gotten approval to remove the hoop pine street trees and have since replaced them with the local small flowering gum (Eucalyptus Curtisii). This will prevent future shade and debris problems from the pines and gives and the mass flowers of this species gives the street trees a double use. I also have a collection of plants ready to go as soon as we can start planting. I will update this thread as we go along :)

    Thank you for reading.
    Dan

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    I should add that the plot is 2270 square meters (just over 1/2 acre). Not heaps and we lose some to the leach field and possible future shed.
     
  3. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Knocked up a couple of new hives this week.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Thanks for sharing, it looks like a great block Dan.

    Have looked into Bee's but I think I need a bit more knowledge to consider keeping them, so keen to see your updates. Those hives look great BTW :y:
     
  5. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Thank you for the kind words :) If you want pollination but are not too concerned about honey then native bees are pretty forgiving and would be a great place to start :y:
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Did I miss whereabouts you are?

    How did you go with your Tetragonula during the heatwave?
     
  7. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Hi S.O.P, sorry added it to my info now. I am at Greenbank, south Brisbane. No issues here but heard others had a few losses. My Tetragonula hives are reclaimed pallets doubled up so they are pretty well insulated. I did have a takeover of a weak hive though (I only know because the hive changed species!)
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Cool. I'm in north Brisbane in the MBRC.

    On ANBees? Lots of debate, temperature logging, and other advanced techniques on keeping. What I can gather is stepping up to at least 40mm is the way to go, and pick a timber that has a Class 1 outside rating. Dry split separators and inspection panels are something I need to get on to.

    I've had some weak hive losses as when I get them they are busted up usually. 2 going ok, 1 log and 1 box that was taken over by the same species during the interim stage.
     
  9. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Nice work with your hives :y:
    Yeah takeovers are almost a positive, we get left with a strong, successful hive haha :) I have actually done a few splits with no brood (they were soft splits that never really took) and each time a takeover of the separated hive saved it.

    I have tried to get on ANbees but I can not get my yahoo login to work. It just constantly asks me to sign in. I need to have another look as it sounds like a great resource and place to talk native bees

    Regarding moving forward with your hives, I did some drawings up for Tim Heard recently that will no doubt be on his site soon. You probably already have a clear idea what you are going to do with you anti slump bars and inspection panels but if not they will give you his ideas on them ;)
     
  10. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Bob Luttrell is the guy that is pushing the limits on hive design. Youtube "dry split separators", he has a few videos up including safer robbing of the hive.

    What's changed then from the OATH? What was your addition or did you do the modelling?
     
  11. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Naa I just did the modelling (as best I could, not my day job haha). OATH is mostly unchanged but I had thought you meant anti slump bars. I will check out Bobs video :y: Haven't seen much of his stuff, no doubt because i'm not on ANbees!
     
  12. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Here is the plan so far. If anybody has any advice please give it :) I hate wasting the home sewerage treatment plant drain field so will if possible keep a chicken tractor on that area. If that is a no go (I need to research this) then I will keep the honey bee hives there. The stingless bee hives will be everywhere throughout the garden, they don't need the access and work that the honey bees do.

    I am undecided on where the workshop will go but possibly up the back on the uphill side of the drain field orientated east/west along the fence and facing the road. It would be a one garage workshop and I could possibly have access from the road on that side if needed.

    Another part of me says maybe I don't need one just yet. My parents live close by and have an amazing workshop that I still keep most of my tools in and do most of my work in. hmmmm.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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  14. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Really really like the suggestion S.O.P
    And thank you for the supporting literature. Good reading and really gives weight to the suggestion :y: It is going in the plan in some way.

    My only concern is the length of the roots. If not an issue I would like it on the far third of the leachfield. If it was an issue I could plant it on the downhill side of the field before the fruit trees.
     
  15. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Length of the roots how? Competition with trees or blocking the field? I'd cover it, but propagate the first third every 4 months by digging it up entirely and then replacing with new tillers where they were removed. Income stream right there, or gifts.


    Didn't see a nursery in your plan either, you need one.
     
  16. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    My main fear would be roots getting into and blocking the pipes. I don't know enough about the drain field or how it is constructed at this stage (it is just the regulation one required by council in my area) but will learn more when I meet with the installer. I would love to be able to plant something like the vetiver on top.Definitely need a nursery and something that I had overlooked.
     
  17. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Well my plans have all gone through council. Not happy. The drain field has to be a lot larger than originally thought. Here it is.
    [​IMG]

    Going to try and make the best of a bad situation... Flat open space for the honeybee hives and will definitely have chickens and grow a mulch crop on this area. I will talk to the plumber in person and see what he thinks is possible. By email they just give the old 'lawn only' as it is the safe answer for them to give.

    In truth it doesn't impact too greatly on the original plans. I will just have smaller fruit trees and a banana circle on the downhill side of the field to prevent roots making it to the field. I will also grow my vines (grapes/passionfruit and maybe kiwis) trellised up against the fence nearest the fields at the back due to the comparatively smaller root systems.

    Trying not to let it bother me too much - still lots we can accomplish on the site.
     
  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Wow, talk about failsafes, there goes your yard! I suppose that's the only leachfield they approve? For example, Paul Truong of Vetiver fame has provided all the variables for treatment through the grass. At least you get a resource off of it. Our septic leach has one of the world's largest bamboo species on it, I doubt that is a good thing.

    Time for a tiny house...

    Hang on, it's just undersurface irrigation? Vetiver won't search for the dripper holes if you dont plant it on them and it is a "grass cover". Still seems excessively large.
     
  19. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    I have seen the bamboo in your thread. I wonder if it isn't a good alternative. Bamboo does have quite shallow roots doesn't it?

    Yeah I know! Ridiculously large for what it needs to do, especially considering this is completely treated/sterilized water. Reasons given are that there is clay too near the surface (between 600 and 1000mm down) and the number of technically habitable rooms (house is set in stone, my partners domain and the reason why I can do whatever I like outside). As the land is is less than an acre council will only approve sub surface irrigation. There is a drain field system that takes up 2/3rd the space but it is more expensive and above it is less usable so the trade off isn't really worth it. This is what we have to go with for now, we will revisit it in the future - when funds allow and once council catches up with the times (long shot..).

    I thought that about the vetiver too :) it is a grass... so is bamboo :)
    Still, I'll see what they say. If vetiver or a smaller bamboo is a no go then I'll look into some of the tall native grasses. It is inconvenient but I will not let the space be wasted. Could even put a little temporary shade house on there as a nursery.

    so then would have:
    Bees
    Chickens
    Nursery
    Mulch crop

    Should still be able to fit in quite a few fruit trees and a decent vege garden around the rest of the property - the dark black outer line is the fence :y:
     
  20. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    "Trees cause erosion" - Drainage expert.

    That's what you will get when you talk about alternatives.
     

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