How Do I Prevent My Garden From Spreading Mosquito-Borne Diseases?

Is gardening fashion fanning ill health? Cairns City Council has increased on-the-spot fines for homeowners found to have mosquitoes breeding on their property to $400. John Pilspanen, of Queensland Health, says the disease will keep spreading until everyone takes the necessary precautions. Queensland Health is concerned about the increasing infection rate of the current dengue…

Honey Flora Report – June

Blue-banded bees are up early, busily pollinating our eggplants and tomatoes. Our potatoes and Phillip Island hibiscus are budding. Meanwhile our honeybees are zooming around gathering far and wide… AUSTRALIAN WILD PLANTS Broad-leaved Paperbark, Melaleuca quinquinervia Forest red gum, Eucalyptus tereticornis Spotted gum, Corymbia citriodora subsp. maculata (syn. C. maculata, Eucalyptus maculata) Brisbane wattle, black…

Hive Society! A Bee And Wasp Gallery

Gardens are full of surprises if you keep your eyes open – and have a camera handy. This autumn, flowering Pigeon peas proved irresistible to six different native bee species. What’s going on in your garden?

Native Bee Day

On Saturday I became the proud owner of a hive of native stingless bees, Trigona carbonaria. Damo had done some web-searching and found that Tim Heard, a CSIRO entomologist and native bee specialist, supplies colonies and his brother, Frank, makes specially designed hives for them. Stingless bees and honeybees happily co-exist. Happily Brisbane provides an…

Wynnum Honey Flora

Honeybee health A honeybee colony housed in an organic garden should radically improve pollination (and fruit set), but flowers in one backyard are insufficient to feed a strong colony of 30 – 80,000 honeybees. There’s no commercial horticulture or agriculture in or near the suburb, so the associated risk of pesticide poisoning is low. The…

Bee Day

It’s bee day. Damo has decided to keep honeybees and I’ve agreed to be his backup. I guess I’ll be a surrogate beekeeper. They’re just settling into their new home on our water tank.

A Beneficial Orgy

Sustainable gardens are safe havens for all sorts of activities, but I’ve never witnessed a scene like this. Last summer they did it amongst my pineapples. Last autumn they were hard at it in my sweet potatoes. This week it’s the cardamom that are the silent, involuntary witnesses. I can’t water these plants without wetting…

Mantis Mealtime

Hedge Grasshopper,  Valanga irregularis Brown Praying Mantis, Archimantis latistyla Observed whilst pruning native raspberries last Friday morning.The mantis ate the grasshopper’s thorax and abdomen but left the gut intact…nice to see biological control in action.

A Blot On The Landscape

In many ways SE Qld is Australia’s garden centre, propagating and supplying landscapers and nurseries throughout SE Australia. Despite this, many good nursery businesses in this region are suffering during the drought. Lost custom and level 5 watering restrictions are putting reputable people out of work, and businesses are closing down. Imagine you’re a professional…

Here Comes The Summer

I always loved that song by the Undertones, a track that just has to be played when summer comes… The Koels are back in town after a long break in Papua New Guinea, busily laying eggs in other birds nests – such tropical cuckoos. Wonder how long it will be before my friend Alan, of…