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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    Thanks :) I will. I have grapes and passionfruit along the back fences so thinking something different for the front. Haven't decided yet.

    The stamped bit wood is one of the boundary stakes put in by the surveyed when they first developed the blocks (used to show position of the boundary pegs) it has the lot number on it so just a bit of house history in the furniture (especially considering that once it was registered the actual street number was different then the lot number).
     
  2. koski

    koski New Member

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    Dan,
    Thanks for the description of your project. Sounds really exciting. I have an only remotely related question, but yours is the only forum I found in a search for an answer to the following question: I've heard of chickens being integrated with honey bee hives to eat hive beetle larvae. Do you have experience with this, and more specifically, do you know if ducks will perform the same service? I know ducks burrow their bills into the ground rather than scratch it up like chickens, and am trying to understand if duck foraging habits will also do the job. Thanks so much for any information you have....and best of luck.
     
  3. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Hi Koski
    First let me say that I have no experience doing this but I will give my thoughts :)

    The bad news is that if you have honeybees on the east coast you WILL see small hive beetle so good stuff looking for answers. The good news is that they won't really have any effect on a strong hive. The bees keep them at bay and although they will be present in the hive you won't get larvae (check in the the cracks such as around the frame tops etc to see the beetles). The beetles only seem to be a problem for weaker hives.

    For the majority of the time beetles and beetle larvae if present are inside the hives so the poultry wouldn't do a lot (even though they might like to). The beetles are very small and inconspicuous so I am not sure the chickens/ducks would see the incoming beetles either. The larvae do come out and fall to the ground before pupating which would be the chickens/ducks chance but that would mean being right in front of the hives entrance. You can get quieter bees but I don't think they could do that with mine without being harassed. The larvae drop and and then burrow down about 100mm, perhaps too much to be accidentally scratched up?

    In summary while I think SHB larvae would make great chicken/duck food, I don't think it is worthwhile or practical. It seems like one of those permaculture ideas that is ok only on the surface. To combat SHB keep hives in the sun, maintain strong colonies and use nuc hives and reduced entrances for weak/starter colonies.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. koski

    koski New Member

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    Dan, thanks so much for all your good advice. Yes we want these synergies of systems to work, but sometimes they just don't (as in when I hoped I could protect my plum trees from insect damage with ranging poultry....didn't help much. I really appreciate your perspective. I'm trying to find a solution for a household I'm designing for, and it's good to have another opinion as to whether integrating birds would help. Thanks again, and take care! -koski
     
  5. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    No worries Koski. All the best whatever path you take :)

    A couple of weeks back I threw around some sunflower seeds. They are flowering now. I am going to keep the seeds from the multi head plants and the rest will be chicken food. The builder has just finished doing the http drain field so i can now start on the chook pen :)
     
  6. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Things are moving along well. I have these growing around the block. Maybe Cape gooseberry? Not sure so put an id thread in the plant section.
    [​IMG]

    Bunch of sunflower seeds that a threw around a few weeks back have grown and are flowering too. Look great and have brought in the native bees. I went and found some more wild hives. They are in areas to be developed so will keep an eye on them.

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    And one of the bees up close :) needed some pics for my site so got the real camera out for a bit.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    That does look like a cape gooseberry Dan. Love the sunflowers mate, I have a few coming up in the old chook runs from their feed :y: They certainly brighten up the place. Cool shot of the bee mid flight, not easy to get :clap:
     
  8. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Really good shot of the bee. May I take a copy and print to hang on my photo board please? At home these guys are right into the bloodwood tree sap ooze that the trees are shedding by the gallon at the moment. I don't know how they use it because if you have ever tasted it, the tannins in it make it really, really astringent. We have several wild "hives" of them. The European honeybee has made a comeback here, my cucumbers were abuzz at 6.00 am here today.
     
  9. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Cheers guys
    Feel free :) if you want higher res let me know. Great to hear about your wild hives and your observations of them collecting resins. They use the resin as a building material in their hives. I am sure having honeypots made of such resins adds to the unique taste of the honey.
     
  10. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    maybe they are just going for the moisture itself?
     
  11. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Songbird there is a megalitre dam right beside it, so they are probably going for the resin and the sugar in the bloodwood kina. One tree in particular has stained an area about 3 metres across under it as the wound in the tree which the Greater and Squirrel Gliders keep open is quite high up and the wind blows it around and spreads it out before it gets to the deck. The sap must really be rising in this warm, humid weather as all the Pink Bloodwoods are weeping and oozing red gum at the moment.
     
  12. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    ah, ok. : ) interesting what the various critters can get up to. if i'd have stuck to my first inclinations many years ago i would have been an entomologist or some other biologist.
     
  13. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Hello Songbird,
    my first University degree was in Biology, specialising in wildlife ecology in the 70's. I followed my dream as I was a nature freak from birth, a great pity that here at that time there were not many real, paying jobs except as lip service, mine site rehabilitation biologists and all the better jobs were taken up by experienced immigrant scientists mainly from Canada, US, Scotland, South Africa, Britain, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. I envy the employment choices of those graduates today where there are countless opportunities as the world becomes more environmentally conscious. I started out at the bottom end of the ladder as a cadet surveying macropod population dynamics in a fly-blown back block for lousy pay getting someone else's name on the paper I had done most the work for and had written. So, I had to get a real job where you get better pay to get on the capitalist ladder, only now can I go back and do freelance work for the money we should have been getting in the 70's. It is never too late to retrain and start a new career songbird. Doing the work where your passion lies is the key to happiness I reckon. It is interesting seeing my adult sons going through the same process now, the eldest started with a degree in Rural technology, worked in the Industry for a while and was not thrilled with modern, corporate Agriculture here in Australia and went back to Uni to complete an Environmental Science degree after He finally realised that was what he loved to do. He still calls me an "Old Hippy" though.
     
  14. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Songbird good thinking but in this case probably not. Native bees don't cool their hives down using water in the way that honey bees do and as a result need very little moisture.

    Some similar backrounds around these parts!
    I was zoology/ecology duel major. My main interest in those days was mygalomophae spiders (old world spiders - trapdoors/funnelwebs/tarantulas etc). I, like you, didn't see a career in research and went into education where I could still work in science and further the cause withouting having to volunteer, pay rent and live on noodles for years on end. Like you I wan't to go back to it and even have the project in mind but if it is not on my terms I am happy doing what I do :)
     
  15. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i don't ever see myself going back for another formal degree, as i like to study whatever catches my interests. i don't work any longer unless something comes along that fits perfectly with what i'm doing. gardening and permaculture type things fit very well. so really my job is as a seasonal unpaid gardener for most things, as i can grow a lot more food for the time and effort than i would make in a part-time minimum wage job.

    the techie stuff i do is for my own fun and to keep my mind working during the winter when i can't find something to read or some other project to work on. i did many many hours in techie stuff for the university when i was there and since i left i've not cared to get back into that rat race again.
     
  16. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Doing a little frame and nuc building ready for stock increases - all boxes are recycled timber.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Hi all :)
    Moved into the new house a little over a month ago, just got the net back.

    Have been planting lots of trees and doing a little earthworks. Also made the first few annual beds. Still have mulch to go down around the beds once I have done a few more and put in some water lines.
    [​IMG]

    Also moved a single honeybee nuc over to the house. I aim to turn this into 5 hives over the next year. That is all The honeybees I want at the house. The nuc is a bit weak so mucking around with a home made frame feeder for a bit of fun (I very much dislike normal frame feeders).
    [​IMG]

    Also received a T. hockingsi hive from Tim Heard for helping him with drawings for his book. My only Th hive at the moment so interested to see how they go :)

    Vetiver has grown heaps and is ready for splitting. Wait until spring SOP?
     
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  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    That's a good score. Did you happen to see anything else in the book? What's it shaping up to be?

    Bit slow on my bees this year, just did the one log split and it appears both sides have taken (the log recolonised) so that's a result. Tried a different method this time; after sunset and created a cage around the hives with a fruit fly cloth for a couple of days. The bees started decapitating themselves so that went but it did stop the SHB from getting in as I spotted some on the cloth. Just transferred the brood, nothing else too and no extra feeding just to see if it worked.

    [​IMG]

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  19. Australian Beekeeper

    Australian Beekeeper Junior Member

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    Yeah Tim gave me a look at the book and I'll say it is looking very good. From what I saw very thorough and much more in depth than Klumpp's (which is also worth a read). He openly admits he cannot write with the flaire of Klumpp but the info is good.

    Great work with your carbonaria. Your new hive looks interesting! What are separators?
     
  20. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Funnily enough, I just read an excerpt of Tim's book on ANBees, the Yahoo group, posted by himself.

    I received this hive box design from a local guy who has several hundred hives. It's a Brazilian design and I will butcher it myself to include local materials as per permaculture doctrine. The current separators are just some sort of flat cut timber, similar to a paddle-pop stick you could say. It has a forced tunnel entrance which I will change to bamboo, and change the separators to bamboo too. I have a acquaintance that has a mill that I may be able to get local species of timber from so I'll just choose a thickness, say 40mm, and work from there. The inspection panel is a tough one to do in a regenerative style so may lose out in that regard. The stainless steel vents also have to be bought. A dry split separator system may be ideal too.
     

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