Thursday, July 21, 2011

Save the Honeybees and Your Libraries!

I am sad that our library got the ax and this is the first week of the new cut-back schedule, which means no more wonderful Wednesdays for me as the library is now closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Bees aren't the only things that are vanishing in this country! Our libraries are facing Library Collapse Disorder, and we need to recognize the importance of libraries. Help the cause here!
So now, about Vanishing of the Bees, which I finally did get to watch. This one was better than Colony. It looks like it is pesticides that are the problem folks. Scary, but something I've instinctively felt all along. It's not your cell phones, as much as I'd like to blame it on those blasted things. I did like that this documentary offered some tips at the end on what the ordinary person can do to help this problem, rather than just sort of leaving you with a feeling of despair. There is also a website that you can check out. Some things that you can start doing today are:

1. Stop using pesticides! Find natural ways to combat pests, like encouraging predatory insects. Using pesticides is only a temporary solution anyway. Those bugs are going to come back, and they are going to be bigger and badder next time to fend off your sprays. In the meantime, you've also killed off all beneficial bugs who could combat those pests.
2. Buy organic! If you aren't buying organic food, you are encouraging the use of pesticides. If organic isn't available or if you think it's too expensive... (see next tip below.)
3. Grow your own organic garden! Even if you don't grow vegetables, plant a some kind of garden that will produce flowers and provide food for the bees. Sunflowers are a favorite amongst bees.
4. Keep your own organic hive! Don't feed your bees junk food (sugar syrup) and don't treat them with chemicals. Help them to build up immunity and diversify the gene pool. A good book the check out is Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture. The more people who keep bees in their backyards, the better chance we have at saving the honey bees... and ourselves.
5. Call a beekeeper when you encounter a swarm! Do not kill them!! I see ads on Craigslist quite often for people who will come to your home and capture the swarm. Check your phonebook. Check online. Commercial beekeepers may be too busy to bother, but backyard hobbyists and such are usually more than willing to pick up some freebees!

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