This is a discussion on How to Get Started Growing Your Own Food within the Featured Topics forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; Originally Posted by Elvis Keeping a little bag of heirloom seeds isn't enough, you need things like fertilizer, pest controls, and basic tools if you ...
If you get to a point where pesticide is your only option then use it late in the day when the pollinators have gone to rest. Right now I'm trying to stay with the organic stuff.
I'm also focusing on personal pollinators. By that I mean mason bees and leafcutter bees. They only travel about 300 feet so basically they become your personal pollinators, if you can provide enough pollen to keep them fed.
inceptor , you got me to thinking...
A few weeks ago I was fed up with all the Carpenter Bees that were boring way too many holes in my deck joists around the house as well as the exposed beams in the garage and the rafters/purlins in the barn etc. They were everywhere. We've had Carpenter Bees every year since we've been at Slippy Lodge but this spring was out of control.
I had to make a decision and even though our garden was planted I felt like eliminating at least some of the Carpenter Bees was the right decision.
There are still a few flying around and so far our plants appear to be pollinating well but I'm a bit worried that I killed too many. Any suggestion that you've learned from the MG program?
We keep bees too. Not a lot of hassle if you are not interested in harvesting their honey. Sits right next to the garden... guess who gets pollinated first and most? And the honey is there if things go bad and you DO want it.
Last edited by StratMaster; 05-11-2019 at 08:55 PM.
"It Can't be fixed".
Some people have more knowledge in gardening than others, and some have none. If you never planted anything, I suggest starting small or even in containers, but do something. Arugula IS very easy to grow. The first crops may not be what you expect, but it does get better. Your garden soil will improve over the years if you take care of it. Also, if you have available area, planting some fruit trees would be nice, but they do take some years to produce well.
Tools can get expensive, but they don't need to be purchased all at once, and you can get them secondhand too.
While I started with 3 purchased Langstrom hives and nucs I've moved on to catching my own swarms using swarm traps and splitting hives. I've found that effective mite control is the trick to honeybee hive survival.
Our family makes mead and candles with the honey from the hives. Great presents for family and friends while maintaining a prep.
After the 1st year a good hive will make about 1 1/2 -2 gallons of honey and 1/2 lb of wax.
What I've found about Carpenter bees is not the damage they do but I've seen pictures of Woodpeckers tearing up a barn going after the Carpenter bees. My focus is on Mason Bees and Leafcutter Bees.
Honeybees, at least for me, require too much work maintaining them and their hive. The initial cost involved is also more than I want to spend. The cost for a starter colony alone is $250 here plus the hive and all the accessories needed. I attended our local beekeepers meeting a few weeks ago. After about 5 minutes I heard a story from an experienced beekeeper that had a new bee suit, didn't close it quite right and ended up in the emergency room. I love honey and buy it by the gallon locally. It's really good for my allergies, well except for this year. But I sure don't care to have a hive of my own. In Texas, honeybees are considered animals and are regulated as such. Not so for native bees.
If the Carpenter bees get to causing too much damage, then by all means do what you need to do. But you need to consider what pollinators you have and what you can attract. Mason bees and Leafcutter bees can be bought online to get you started there.
Most solitary bees live in the ground. Of those only Bumblebees are hive oriented.
In Texas, we have more than 1200 species of native bees. Most are solitary, meaning no hive. No hive to protect means you don't need protective gear and the risk of being stung is minimal. Think of solitary bees this way. Single mom's living in a condo that only want to have kids. Each bee can produce about 10-20 larvae during their 6 week lives. They only require care and maintenance twice a year, spring and fall.
I keep talking about Mason bees and Leafcutter bees because these I can have some control over. The other species, not so much. I can buy my first batch of each and the just harvest the larvae for next year.
There are many good video's on youtube and two good sources of supplies and information is Crown Bees out of Washington and Mason Bees for Sale out of Utah. Masonbeesforsale.com offers a great starter book online if you signup for his emails. Both have been pretty darn good to me providing information to me when I needed it.
The majority of the information I've gathered though is from a person from the Master Naturalist program and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Since then I've learned there are several people in the Master Naturalist program who have a lot of knowledge in this area. So I'm joining the Master Naturalist program. My wife is good with this and says it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.
I just did an online search for your area and found this.
I've read the article and it provides good info and links for more information.
Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book here but let me leave you with one more piece of info.
Honeybees are not native to the US. In leftest commie terms, they were forcibly enslaved by white guys and brought here from Europe. These white guys have kept the honeybees as slaves ever since. Maybe someone should bring this to AOC's attention and see what can be done about it.
rest in peace Corporal Bradley Coy 06/08/92-10/24/14
Rest in Peace Sgt Mackie. 10/19/19
Last edited by Annie; 05-15-2019 at 06:55 AM.