Jackie Dragon

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since Apr 17, 2020
Southern California Zone 9a, desert transition zone, Live Oaks are life savers
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Recent posts by Jackie Dragon

So... I get the basic idea of a trap out (thanks you tube), but don't really understand what the incentive is for the queen to move to the new brood box.
6 months ago

James Landreth wrote:Unfortunately moving them will almost certainly kill them. Even cutting out established hives often has high mortality. I would let them establish. Next year they will swarm into baited hives, especially if the hives are up high like strapped to a roof or tree.

Leaving them is not an option. They moved into an outdoor steam sauna at our retreat facility right next (2 feet away) to the entrance. If it were only an handful of people I'd leave them bee, but we have a hundreds of guests a year.

I've seen a handful of services that "move" hives? Are you saying that their success rate is low?
6 months ago
Hi Friends!

Title says it all. I had a hive move into my wall in the last week (about 7 days now). Some permie friends down the road have an empty top bar hive, set up with starter combs and rubbed down with beeswax and I'm really hoping this hive in my wall will move into some new digs!

Am I kidding myself? Once established will a colony ever move? How long does it take to "establish"?

They're really docile, so if we have to go in there and get them, we probably will. I'd love a less invasive solution (that doesn't include taking off siding).

6 months ago

Kai Walker wrote:

Caution: do not add Humus to the tree hole (backfill). The tree roots will never leave the hole!

Really? I've never heard anyone say this. What do you recommend? Native soil?
6 months ago

s. lowe wrote:Hmmm, well a hoop house that can clear trees AND withstand regular intense winds is not going to be cheap, and I'm not certain it would even be that effective against birds. I'd think that bird netting could be a cheaper and simpler option.
The other thing that my mind jumped to was understory shrubs that produce berries that birds might like more than the fruit on the trees. Not sure that's a thing but it might be an option.
For the wind break you.might consider making a mound to plant on to raise up the young trees and provide a minor wind break immediately a few feet above ground level. You might also consider adding several wind breaks instead of a single one so that they are more effective even when they are small

Can you plant Hardwoods on a Hugel? Any Longterm potential problems? Red Herring blackberries... that could be a thing.
6 months ago

S Bengi wrote:9A is super warm, so alot of 'regular" fruit trees will not produce. (apple, pear, quince, medlar, juneberry, plum, apricot, peach, cherry, hazelnut, walnut/pecan/etc,)
It isn't zone 10, so not tropical enough. But you can still get quite a few plants to still produce.

I have two apples, two plums, three cherries and a quince that are all producing right now. At 3200 feet out here we get an estimated 500 chill hours. Thank the stars! But I am planning to expand to less common fruits, 9a does freeze, so we are limited. So far stone fruits are doing great.
6 months ago
Hello Permie World.

I'm at an impasse with my orchard design. I currently live on a property with about 20 fruit trees, only 10 of which are in the ground, all of which are 2-3 years old. I live in the desert transition zone of east san diego county at about 3200 feet, zone 9a. The winds up here regularly get up to 20-25mph with gusts up to 40. We have one of the most diverse bird populations in the country, including flocks of starlings. Wind and birds are two major issues for cultivation. I've been in observation for about a year and it seems like the most intelligent thing to do is to build a massive hoop house for the orchard to act as wind break and bird protection.

From a design point of view that is what I least want to do. It seems antithetical aesthetically and make me feel like I'm somehow missing the point. However, I do want to obtain yield from these trees as I am part of the permanent culture.

There are hawks and owls all plentiful on the property, which do nothing to deter the sheer quantity of scrub jays, woodpeckers, thrashers, starlings, crows, etc, so it seems predator attraction is out of the picture. I'm planning to plant a windbreak of pine trees and on the west side of the property for long term windbreak. I suppose the hoop house can be short term (5-10 years) until the trees become fully mature, and then hope the yields are strong enough to give to both our community and the animal community.

I'm definitely looking for other perspective, questions I'm not asking or overlooking, or experiential feedback.
6 months ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:

The second natural solution is water - IF your climate/area is conducive... squirrels aren't much for swimming. A moat, redirected creek, or channel at least 4 feet wide would likely stymie the squirrels and make a lovely habitat for trout, catfish or whatever is natural in your area. Use of a plank/drawbrige would provide access to your "island(s)" or squirrel safe zones.

I came across this thread researching my squirrel problem, and a moat with a drawbridge just sounds like a win/win for everyone. For as wild as it sounds, it's rather brilliant and could lead to a whole slew of beneficial lifeforms and habitat. Any examples of this for inspiration?
6 months ago

L Allen wrote:I'm using a regular T5 fluorescent setup, much like this one. It use it for both seedling starts and for growing microgreens/shoots, and it works brilliantly. The fixture was recycled from an old reef tank setup. I've been keeping my eyes open for another fixture, since we love growing the shoots so much. Pea shoots in the middle of winter are a real treat.

Agreed .Good ol' 432w T5 can sprout a lot of seeds and fast. The generate enough heat to usually warrant not needing a seed pad, though my nights don't drop below 40. One caveat of LED is less heat... now if you don't need heat, well then, less footprint.
6 months ago
How big of leaf are we talking here? I think if your nitrogen and carbon ratios are on point in your compost system and you’re turning, leaf size shouldn’t matter much.

Another question is, how fast are you trying to compass? I think any size leave, with maybe the exception of a palm leaf, should be fine If you’re patient. I’m assuming you’re talking about something large like maple leaves. If I was hard-core serious about it, I’d gather leaves in the fall or spring, plan to find a way To dehydrate them in the summer with sun power and then have a stomping party.
6 months ago