Underestimating the ladybug

why i grow a food forest not a orchard. its more like a wild forest except i pick what i put in there. its not only fruit i put in either. mix of nuts, mecidinals, bee/ pollinator friendly flowers, fruit and fruiting/ herbal groundcovers and mushrooms all on what was once a acre of useless lawn. must of got my inspiration from my 1/8th Micmac. :wink:

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@BlueBerry

We need to consider to the dandelion honey tastes like the dandelion where it is grown. I certainly see your point to. If you were making mead or soda pop you wouldn’t mind a bit. Like one of my friends told me you know the difference in my cooking and eating honey. They are both delicious and I’m thankful for anything.

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ive heard black locust honey is one of the best. im planting several ive grown from seed. great nitrogen fixers.

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@auburn great topic and I apologize it’s my fault completely we are a long way from ladybugs now.

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its all good. its very enlightening.

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No problem. I am enjoying reading all the post and they are for the most part related to the topic.

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Yes black locusts flowers, honey, seed and really young pods can be eaten. By the way everything else is poison

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also planted several siberian pea shrub for the same reasons. theyre planted near my chicken run so they should help supplement thier feed in the fall. great bee trees!

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Duct tape seems like an easy solution to the ant problem. How long does it stay sticky?

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I got so confused when everyone on here was very upset about the “murder” hornets and acting like they care about bees :rofl: These guys do not seem affected by herbicides or incesticides that everyone swears by so its basically what america needs to keep pollinating?

We finally imported our pesticide resistant pollinator, i will take those over the drone pollinators that we in america already have patents for for sure.

I keep all my perennial stems up all winter so the ladybugs have places to lay eggs and keep a nice assortment of small twigs in spots for them as well. This also leaves space for green lacewings

@Auburn I love you gave nature the chance, So many people swear it would be impossible. This last year watching people run away and wildlife take back over right away was one of the few positive experiences for me for the whole year.

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Sure dandelion honey may not be to everyone’s taste, yet it is the first flower source for our bees in the spring.

I do not keep the dandelions for the honey but for the bees. Also, dandelion is not the sole source it becomes mixed with willow, maple, and a little later on apples, pin cherries, saskatoon berries, choke cherries, high bush cranberries, wild raspberries, gooseberries, hazelnuts and on and on. It would be very hard up here to have a honey crop based solely on dandelions. My lawn maybe full of them but the rest of our wild bush is not.

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i got the bees covered here from mid april to sept… i have bumbles out in 50’s in spring and early fall. my everbearing raspberries are full of them right until the 1st killing frosts. have found them frozen on the canes in late sept- early oct.

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I’m in agreement.

The bees need to eat. And at 58 degrees, there is no nectar available in the fruit blooms, but there is on the orchard floor…the dandelions.

I have eaten pure dandelion honey. Fine for baking gingerbread, but not to just eat by the spoonfull. But, the problem is one frame of dandelion honey can ruin the saleability of 100 gallons of blackberry or tulip poplar or clover honey…as the honey becomes mixed in extraction.

Anyone that has bees learns to like dandelions…even if not the honey!

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I’m skeptical how you actually achieved success with ladybugs. I tried that method, and the aphid population just got bigger and bigger, with a handful of ladybugs here and there. It was July and my beans still had not produced, and then a neighbor came over and commented “you should be getting beans by now, we’ve been getting them since May”. That’s when I got out the Sevin spray and knocked out the aphids. Within a week I started getting so much beans I had to give them away. So how am I supposed to believe that ladybugs work?

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It seems to keep the ants off for about 2 weeks before replacing it.

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Thanks

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There are many natural predators of aphids.
But they need aphids to eat !
Pesticides. Will kill the aphids , then the predators have nothing to eat. So not so many predators left, requiring more spraying.
To encourage more beneficial predators. Some aphids need to be maintained in what is called “banker plants“ a reservoir of food for the predators.keeping many flowers blooming all year to feed the many beneficial species that feed on them while also controlling pests . Syrphid flys ,predatory wasps, and so many others are attracted to and need flowers.
Insecticide sprays and a well mowed lawn often leaves little of the benifiials
I have drastically reduced my mowing . Allowing native flowers a place to be as habitats. Planting other things that bloom good.
Started paying attention to how much more alive things are that are not mowed short. Tolerating some pest damage to have a healthier ecosystem. Few major pest problems , at least nothing I can’t accept… Each year is different. What I can say is my orchard
Garden woods is alive.! Healthy.
It’s not a short mowed yard (that is basically a biological desert )
It’s alive!
As @disc4tw said above (“ nature’s critters will keep most pests in balance if you just provide the right environment for the beneficials to survive.

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Sourwood honey- yum. Hard to find.

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It’s easier than I thought it would be to get a few like sourwood, orange blossom, tupelo and so on but it’s now like many things very expensive. The difficult ones are sunflower, soybeans, canola aka rape, blackberry, apple, cherry and so on. Amazon has half a dozen or more speciality honeys but they cost $15 - $40 per pound. Like construction supplies everything has got expensive. As one of the old timers said everything is up but wages. Like I have always said self sufficiency is important.

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During the years I had lots of bees and sold honey and had pollination contracts…I got to taste a number of specialty honeys. But, sourwood proved elusive…I got it at one beeyard one season despite having hundreds of Oxydendrum Arboreum trees in flight range. Pastures and clovers also in flight range.

If I go to the NC mountains in summer…I buy some sourwood honey.

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