Wasp statistics

April Sampson-Kelly askpv at ozemail.com.au
Sun Sep 28 19:59:46 EDT 1997

In permaculture we look for several elements to meet the needs of another,
we would design to use more than just one species of wasp.  And indeed more
than just wasps.
We would consider several approaches (bacillus, attracting small birds to
eat the caterpillars,
planting distractants for the caterpillars and then simply feeding the lot
to our chickens - the distractant plants
we use here are mono cropped cabbage in the open as opposed to camouflaged
cabbages with insect repellent plants 
around them.  I also keep some weeds that they adore and some weeds that
the predatory insects adore. 
In permaculture we also recognise that elements work at least two ways, you
controlling caterpillars  but what is controlling the wasp?  Do your wasps
also kill
bees that are essential pollinators for many human-food plants.

we try to seek more than one solution and even though it may appear a quick
fix, we never
forget the power of observation, we watch that quick fix to monitor the
long term effects,
the new balance, as you mentioned.

For building up the wasps, observe their habitat and habits, what are they
drinking, what do they
like to grow on etc.  They may even be territorial (?)

you wrote: I've seen many requests and responses for information on
> quick fixes.  Though this isn't counter to organic gardening, it does
> tend to sidetrack the ecosystem side a bit. 

When we are aiming to work with the nature of things and not against them
(another principle of permacultre)
then we have to recognise that the nature of human beings is to cry for
help, to seek quick fix solutions 
from our peers, this keeps us talking to each other.  and the mailing list
would die if it weren't for daily problems,
Yes, we all recognise the big picture - but there is much credit to those
who are struggling with little pieces.  
Every little effort counts.  
I am grateful not to have to learn all the little things myself.  I am
grateful for the shower of 
tiny pieces of information that fall my way which  sometimes turn out to be
vital piece in a giant jigsaw.

April Sampson-Kelly  askpv at ozemail.com.au
My space can make this world a better place

> From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <london at sunsite.unc.edu>
> To: permaculture at listserv.oit.unc.edu
> Subject: Wasp statistics
> Date: Saturday, September 27, 1997 2:24 PM
> This isn't necessarily permaculture related but it is so beautifully
> written I thought I'd share it with you all.  LL.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: 26 Sep 1997 23:12:54 -0400
> From: Jack Dingler <jdingler at onramp.net>
> To: garden-ecosystems at sunsite.unc.edu
> Subject: Wasp statistics and Re: generalizations
> I've only recently discovered this newsgroup.  It was suggested on
> rec.gardens.edibles as an organic ng.  After reading a weeks worth of
> articles from it, I don't think so.  I have also seen very little
> reference to ecosystems.  I am interested in both of these topics and
> was hoping for some new information.
> Like Mr. Hulet, I've seen many requests and responses for information on
> quick fixes.  Though this isn't counter to organic gardening, it does
> tend to sidetrack the ecosystem side a bit.  In my limited understanding
> of ecosystems, checks and balances are paramount to a healthy
> ecosystem.  By using a quick fix, these balances are distorted and the
> system can be expected to take some time to recover to a new balance. 
> This new balance may or may not have desirable consequences.
> I had hoped that this ng would address the issues as they relate to
> gardening, so far I haven't seen much that relates to this.  Certainly
> these quick fixes, like using pesticides and radical changes in soil
> chemistry, have little to do with establishing a garden with a healthy
> ecosystem.
> Most of what I used to know about gardening, I learned from my
> grandfather.  He always had a few acres planted somewhere and gave away
> countless bushels of produce to everyone he knew.  From him I learned
> the proper proportions of high strength fertilizers to use.  I learned
> to cover everything but the flowers with chlordane dust.  I learned to
> diagnose plant illness.  I learned to kill everything near the garden
> that moved under it's own power, except his bees of course.
> Two decades later, I'm learning a different approach.  I've gardened for
> two years now in small plots around my house.  I've used no artificial
> fertilizers and no pesticides.  I've lost crops and learned lessons.  As
> my gardens have grown and my perennials have begun to flourish, I've
> noticed changes in my local ecosystem.  There is a balance coming into
> play.  As a result, I have more insects and arachnids in my yard than
> I've seen anywhere in the city.  I'm also getting more out of my
> gardens.  I'm getting bigger and better vegetables and more of them.  I
> lose some vegetables but gardeners who believe in pesticides do to. 
> What has surprised me, is that my losses are small and short term, while
> pesticide approach tends to incur larger losses more often.  I don't
> believe this is an accident.  I believe anyone can have similar
> results.  But our phobias of bugs tend to get in the way.
> I'm running out of time to write this post so there isn't much more
> rambling room, so I'd like to spawn an ecosystem discussion. :)
> Anyone have any good data on the number of paper wasps needed to keep an
> area essentially caterpillar free?  I have three large nests with two
> species near my yard.  With a total of approximately 50 wasps.  Since
> the nests became well established, I have not seen but a few
> caterpillars and the damage to my lettuce and cabbage has been
> negligible.  I am also interested in information on how I might increase
> their numbers earlier in the season so that my spring losses are
> smaller.
> Thanks in advance...
> -- 
> *    Jack Dingler     * Zone 8
> * jdingler at onramp.net * 
> *    Probably not     * 
> *    your opinion     *
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