On 28th September we received six packages of 140 Bubus bubalus and 2 lots of 1000 vacca from Creation Care , South. Australia. These were delivered to our new breeders who have housed them in their “Farmer Nurseries” where they will be fed dung until they have bred and buried eggs.
The bubalus generally feed until early January and then die. Hopefully the next generation will hatch next Spring and will have multiplied to numbers big enough for a paddock release. However, as we have seen this year, Mother Nature still has the upper hand and possibly because of the unseasonably cold wet winter/spring we have had no beetles hatch at all yet this spring. Even Greg Dalton has had very limited hatchings and has not been able to supply all the beetles we had ordered. He says in this case the beetles may hatch a year later after a 2 year diapause (beetle hibernation).
The 2 lots of vacca are being fed for about a month in enclosures to ensure egg burial then they will be paddock released with plenty of dung nearby so they remain in an area close by.
Due to the lack of new beetles available and the poor hatching this season we are trying to get an extension for our project so that we can get more beetles next spring.
Darren Grigg has completed the video he started at the Greg Dalton Workshop with footage of the newly arrived beetles being delivered to their new homes. This will soon be posted on the Mitta Valley Landcare website.
Karen Maroney organized for us to present a Webinar on dung beetles to a group called “The Rural Woman” and this too will soon be posted on the website.