Gardening with Nature
The return to Volunteerism – the ‘new environmentalist’, young or old, is looking for good causes to create a healthy future for generations to come. All over the world people are stepping up to create a livable future through environmental movements and becoming Earth Guardians advocating zero waste, upcycling, re-commerce and conscious consumption. Recycling isn’t new but expectations are. A world-wide shift is zeroing in on the need for sustainable solutions:
- 500 million plastic straws are discarded daily – bans on plastic are sweeping the world
- Food is the largest waste in landfills – one solution is to make compost – this will reduce household waste by almost 40%.
- Composting is the new ‘recycling’ making healthy food to help Mother Earth survive and thrive!
Some American teens are even selecting schools based on sustainability!
Silence of the Insects – 56 years ago Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” warned of bird die-offs from the aerial spraying of pesticides as an environmental crisis. Today a new biocrisis is emerging – the population of flying insects has declined by 75% in the past 30 years. The UN warns 40% of pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction. We can help by planting an insect garden, letting a small part of your garden go wild, adding a pond and/or compost heap to offer additional habitats and being mindful about pesticide use.
- Bees have been around since the Jurassic Period, evolving alongside flowers.
- Honey bees are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.
- 1 bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day.
- Bees pollinate about 90% of the world’s nutrition supply.
- A female worker bee has lots of different jobs to do. She will be a housekeeper, a nurse and a builder all in one lifetime! The worker builds comb cells out of beeswax and helps to fill them with honey.
- Colonies are made of a queen bee (which can live for several years), worker bees (females, which make up the majority of the hive), and drones (males, whose sole purpose is to mate with the queen).
- In the highly organized society of the hive, worker bees have specific roles, such as guard, nurse, forager, housekeeper, or undertaker.
- The honey bee’s wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz
- An average worker bee flies approximately 100 kilometers per day.
- One kilogram of honey requires over 160000 kilometers of flying and visits to about two million flowers.
Bees communicate the location of food sources by performing special dances on the surface of the comb.
- The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
- Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
- Eating local honey can fend off allergies.
- Honey bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinators help grow our food, keep our flowers blooming and make our lands healthy.
- We will have farm fresh honey for sale this month!
As mentioned last month the United Nations warns that 40% of pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction.