IF termites love Hugelbeds, then they are a great diversionary "crop" to keep them out of your building structures, hay etc.
IF termites love Hugelbeds, then I imagine that they would borrow in there and eat the wood. There are quite a few tons of wood in there so it would take them some time to consume it. And what do they turn wood into? Compost.
I remember the termite mounds in Africa. The termites harvest grasses and these huge mounds of compost are built up over decades. These trap moisture and nutrients and before you know it, you have trees growing on the mounds. The termites don't kill these trees and there seems to be some sort of symbiosis going on.
I strongly suspect that in a termite environment, a hugel bed may actually model a natural tree growing system, but in an accelerated way.
Just my thoughts.
I've noticed lots of ants in my hugelbeds, but not termites (not yet, at least). Termites are just doing their job of making the nutrients in the wood available to plant roots via all that termite poop. The problem comes in letting them know that while they are welcome in the hugelbed, they are not welcome in the house. I imagine you do the same things there as we do here to get that point across, making sure the house has no contact between bare earth and untreated wood. Wherever termites invade, it is possible because they manage to keep themselves from drying out. If the ground around the house dries out quickly after it rains and offers them no moist spots, then they can't get established in the wood of the house.
If your house is poorly protected, if it has the moisture that the termites need, then I don't think it matters if the house is 10 feet or 10 miles from the hugelbed, they will find a way to attack it.
Well let me start your answer with a question...."what species of termite is getting into houses (both wood and straw bail)?"
I kind'a need to know that to go into details of possible deterrents, as there are hundreds of species just in your area alone. For the most part just learn to live with them as pest control companies are a "con game" all onto themselves (was in the industry at one time and just could not take the deception.)
As for attracting them, you don't have to worry, they are there already, you just don't see them. So as John E. already noted, 10 m or 10 k, it doesn't really matter. I would also point out, as others have, that just about any composting organisms that moves into the core of your hugelkultur is a good thing. That is the beauty of this system, it is as close to "natural" whole system gardening as you can get.
Now all that said, we are here and don't know if you have some terrible aggressive tropical upper canopy species that could be an issue or what? I need to know the species you are dealing with to possibly give guidance or warning for some specific trait that your indigenous species may have that would not be conducive to having them around, but even where those species are, I don't believe that would effect me putting in a garden, just how I built my house, and managed my "pest control" issues.
Sorry I don't know the species, I think there is over 200 species or more - some bad - some not so bad. I think the best idea would be to build the beds at least 10 metres from the house - I like the idea that the beds could divert the termites away from the house. I've got a wattle that fell over - might chop that up & give it a go.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:In the northeastern US (Massachusetts), would you put in a hugelkultur bed in someone's house 3 meters from the house? If the argument "10 metersr 10 kilometers from your home" is true, does the last few meters really make any difference? woulddn't giving the termites a tastier, moister, wetter alternative actually increase your chances of being termite-free in the house? (The homeowner has never had termites, by the way, but has had a big log of somewhat rotting wood (sort of one point resting on the ground, the rest resting on a tree bough, for 1 1/2 years about 10 m from the house)
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