Raindrops on Roses, and so are the Bees

Hello Bee Friends,

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my yard watching the flowers bloom in our incredibly hot weather. Usually June brings the “June Monsoons” (as I fondly call them) but this year is dry, dry, dry. We finally got rain late last night and it was so wonderful to hear the patter of raindrops all night.

Today, the bees are busy because my rose is emitting the most wonderful fragrance with its profusion of blooms.

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Bee on Rose (Jun 30 2015)

 

The Bachelor Buttons are flowering too, and they love them.

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Bee on Bachelor Buttons

 

I mentioned before that I’m letting a patch of clover grow in my back yard. This is what it looks like right now. There are always about five or seven bees flitting from flower to flower.

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Patch of Clover in the middle of my lawn

Bee on Clover (Jun 2015)

 

Between my rose in the front yard and the pretty patch of clover in the back, they are very happy bees.

And that makes me very happy too. Do you have happy bees in your yard?

Have a nice week, and as always,

Bee Nice to Bees!

 

 

 

 

 

Pesticide Use Poll has Disastrous Results

Hello Bee Friends,

Recently, on June 11th Calgary’s Global News conducted a poll asking its citizens if pesticide use should be increased to control weeds, specifically dandelions. The results were disastrous – for bees, birds, and other wildlife (not to mention people).  Here is the result of the poll. [1]

Pesticide-Use-Poll-Calgary

This is a complete flip from the similar poll conducted in May 2007. “In a Global CTV poll 71% of respondents voted no to the question “Should the City of Calgary increase its pesticides use to control our dandelion explosion?” 29% voted in favour.” [2]

So, what happened in the eight years since the last vote? Especially when the decline of Bees (and other important and essential wildlife) are so much in the news?

I can only imagine that the majority of people in Calgary have become so self-centered that a green sterile mono-culture grass lawn is more important than bees, their pet dogs and cats, their own children, and their own health. Green weed-free grass is more important than the fish that swim in the world-renowned Bow River, or the effects of run-off for every creature that depends on this source of water downstream. Grass weed-free boulevards and parks are more important than getting cancer [3]; more important than getting Parkinson’s [4]; and more important than potentially causing ADHD in children, and endocrine disorders in pregnant women, and brain cancer in children [5].

Pesticides are poisonous!!! That’s why they work!!! http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/warning.html says:

Warning on the Use of Chemicals

Pesticides are poisonous. Always read and carefully follow all precautions and safety recommendations given on the container label. Store all chemicals in the original labeled containers in a locked cabinet or shed, away from food or feeds, and out of the reach of children, unauthorized persons, pets, and livestock. Consult the pesticide label to determine active ingredients and signal words.

Pesticides applied in your home and landscape can move and contaminate creeks, lakes, and rivers.Confine chemicals to the property being treated and never allow them to get into drains or creeks. Avoid drift onto neighboring properties, especially gardens containing fruits or vegetables ready to be picked.

Do not place containers containing pesticide in the trash or pour pesticides down sink, toilet, or outside drains. Either use the pesticide according to the label until the container is empty, or take unwanted pesticides to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection site. Contact your county agricultural commissioner for additional information on safe container disposal and for the location of the Hazardous Waste Collection site nearest you. Dispose of empty containers by following label directions. Never reuse or burn the containers or dispose of them in such a manner that they may contaminate water supplies or natural waterways.”

When most other cities and provinces in Canada are implementing pesticide bans, Calgary takes two steps back (or ten?).

  • Even though twenty-two million Canadians (65% of all Canadians) are protected from exposure to cosmetic pesticides under comprehensive bans in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec (based on Statistics Canada’s 2011 census data) [6]. Ontarios’ ban covers “more than 250 previously sold chemical pesticide products” [7].
  • Even though Physicians [8] are very concerned about adverse health effects.
  • Even though The Canadian Cancer Society [9] warns against pesticides effect on health.

Bees cannot read warning signs!! Neither can birds. “Contact pesticides are usually sprayed on plants and can kill bees when they crawl over sprayed surfaces of plants or other media. Systemic pesticides, on the other hand, are usually incorporated into the soil or onto seeds and move up into the stem, leaves, nectar, and pollen of plants.” [10]

There are other, more friendly ways to control weeds: like… let them grow, or mow the grass more often.

I’m very sad today, my friends. 😦

Can we every really Save the Bees (or even humankind?)

Source: http://www.cbc.ca ot-dead-bees-070330.jpg [11]

Bee (as) Nice to Bees (as you can, because others just don’t care)

Sources:

[1] Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/2049574/should-calgary-increase-herbicide-use-to-control-dandelions-weeds/

[2] http://www.healthycalgary.ca/

[3] Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Specific Pesticide Exposures in Men: Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and Health Source: http://old.ecceterra.org/doc/captano_nov01.pdf

[4] If there is strong evidence that exposure to a pesticide causes Parkinson’s disease, cancer, other serious illness or negative environmental effects then regulatory action will be taken. Source: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/pesticides/health_effects.html

[5] http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/pesticides

[6] http://www.pesticidefreebc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=53&Itemid=72

[7] http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/pesticides/ontario-pesticide-ban-raises-bar-for-other-provinces/

[8] The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment,a non-profitable organization dedicated to environmental issues especially as they relate to human health, have campaigned on the hazards of lawn pesticides. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticides_in_Canada

[9] On April 3, 2008, the Canadian Cancer Society released opinion poll results conducted by Ipsos Reid, which established that a clear majority of residents in the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan want province-wide cosmetic lawn pesticide bans, and that the majority of respondents believe that cosmetic pesticides are a threat to their health. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticides_in_Canada

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees

[11] http://www.cbc.ca/polopoly_fs/1.2283994.1383188771!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_300/ot-dead-bees-070330.jpg

How to Make a Baby Bee

Hello Bee Friends,

Last week, I shared a video on baby bees emerging from their larval stage. This week, we take a step back. This amazing video shows how solitary bees make baby bees, how the mom bee carefully makes the nests and patiently fills it with lots of essential food (pollen) for the babies.

Please share this incredible video with your friends (and watch “The Solitary Bees” again on Vimeo here).

Have a great week!

Bee Nice to Bees! 😀