“Answer to vanishing bees?”


Saving the Honeybee as Nature would have it!

Honeybees have been telling us the answer for thousands of years in “why” they swarm and “where”

they settle, unfortunately man could not see it, the answer was in front of them, invisible, but in front of them.

The answer is now below and very clear.

An HOLISTIC Way in Saving The “Honeybee”

International Bee Research Association (IBRA) Conference held at the University Of Worcester on the 29th January 2011.

My name is John Harding, I have kept, researched, experimented, observed and used logic and common sense in trying to keep as much to nature as possible while keeping honeybees. During the last 30 years I have invented bee equipment that does bare my name.
“I have not used sugar or chemicals for the past 18 years, due to the first approved licensed chemical treatments killing a percentage of my queens“.
I hoped that one day I would find a natural remedy for the parasitic mite Varroa. This, I have now done.
Explanation
We know that honeybees have been on this planet for 100 to 200 million years depending which book you read, so honeybees have evolved with planet earth. This has brought with it changing climates, polarity change, a change in continents with moving earth plates and a change in flora. In all that time honeybees have been dealing with disease, mites, intruders and any other alien insect or animal, even man.
Habitat
During this time, their home has been in hollow trees, caves or covered protected position so they may get away from draughts, rain or severe weather to build their amazing honeycomb nest that is kept to an accurate temperature +or-1 degree to raise their numbers required for survival both in summer and winter.
Mankind
Thousands of years ago man found honey. Due to the honeybees perilous home positions being high in a cave or high up in a tree, man decided to re-home the honeybee into logs, boxes, skeps and then beehives so as to make it easier to harvest honey. A form of domestication.

Has Man made a difference?………………..NO!
Except for realising a unique space (Langstroth) that honeybees respect, meaning we as beekeepers can inspect our colonies with frames rather than killing off the bees, that were kept in a skep, then held over a sulphur pit to kill the bees just to get the honey. This observation only happened 150 years ago. Queen excluders were also invented.

Are there any other major discoveries?………………..YES!
Eddie Woods (a BBC sound engineer) discovered 60 years ago inside the honeybee nest that vibration levels was measured between 190 hertz and 250 hertz during normal conditions however when swarming this vibration went up to 300 hertz.
Was any scientific work carried out at the time or later?……………….NO!
If it had we could be further along the path of understanding the honeybee better. Beekeeping today is much the same as it was in the beginning except of course the Langstroth frame space, the Bee Dance (Von Frisch) and Queen excluder.
Have Beekeeping books changed?……………………NO!
The amount of knowledge we have gained about the mysterious honeybee, it always seems to be much the same, repetition, but more in depth, more of a scientific language.
Can we still learn from the honeybee?………………..YES!…………….HOW?
Using observation, common sense and logic and asking “What do honeybees really want?”.

Honeybees did not ask to be put into a log, skep, box or beehive.

However, while in our care, we, as beekeepers, should give them and treat them as if they were in a wild state of nature.

Healthy honey bees

We know they want and use vibration.(Woods)
We know they will respect a unique space.(Langstroth)
We know they use electromagnetic north/south in honeycomb building and in flight.
We know with a strong colony, disease and varroa can be kept to a minimum.
We also know with a colony of strength our rewards of honey is greater.

So! What do honeybees really want?………..VIBRATION!


How is this vibration generated and used?
At the moment by the honeybees themselves, they use this to communicate, to ward off predators and to keep their micro existent climate to a perfect temperature of 96 degrees farhrenheit plus or minus 1 degree when rearing brood (young larvae), but is this amount of vibration sufficient? Unfortunately NO!

Can it be found elsewhere?…………YES!………………….Within Planet Earth (NASA)
Planet earth has evolved, so trees, animals, plants, fish, birds and insects has evolved with it and so too, honeybees, evolving with planet earth. Which is why honeybees not only need a high vibration of 250hertz to sustain their micro-environment but actively look for it when swarming.

How could man know this?
You cannot see, feel, touch or sense this low vibration but honeybees can.


Planet earth vibrates an energy constantly at 7.83 hertz (NASA) unless disturbed.

Honeybees use vibration to get their micro-climate between 190 hertz & 250 hertz (Woods).

Honeybees are placed by man in a beehive where man wants it, if the beehive is positioned on 7.83 hertz  (where the bees do  not want it.-editor’s note)

the following will no doubt happen.


Honeybees will now have to work 31.9 times greater to get to their normal vibration levels of between 190 hertz and 250 hertz (Woods) just to stand still.

“I have reason to believe this weakens them, their immune system and defense mechanism then becoming an easy target for any alien predators like Varroa“.
Now, not being able to cope, over-stressed, disorder with eventual collapse, dying or disappearance is inevitable.


However, in many cases, they swarm prematurely leaving behind a weak colony that will inevitably perish! (Poor queen cells resulting in small and weak virgin queens that may or may not get mated and still being overrun with varroa).
Does planet earth vibrate an energy to the higher level of 250htz?…………..YES!


Transmitted upwards through underground rivers and called Geopathic Stress Lines.
These rivers are everywhere around the planet, like, i.e.; blood vessels in our own body. Remember it has taken 4 billion years to get to where we are today.

Everything has evolved together, for a reason, to be where it is and why it is there. The climate, planet earth and logic has dictated that over millions of years.
Where does the higher earth vibration energy come from and how?
Planet earths normal vibration energy of 7.83 hertz gets interrupted by hollow chambers of running water/fluid creating friction allowing oscillation to resonate to become an Electromagnetic Wave Vibration Energy which will increase it up to and above 250 hertz.

Sound familiar? (The same vibration that honeybees require in the nest)

The rivers/lines of fluid are normally very close to each other varies in-depth and only being up to 4 feet wide, like a cobweb, zig zagging their way across the planet at depths of 200 feet or 300 feet creating vibration and rising upwards to the surface and skywards, creating an electromagnetic energy curtain that reaches to about 30,000 feet. (Birds use this curtain to migrate thousands of miles).

There are 14 rivers/lines in my 3 bed detached house and 80 foot garden, so they are not miles apart, but everywhere, in close proximity, around the planet.

What is the connection between the honeybee’s vibration 250 hertz and Earth’s vibration 250 hertz?
We know that honeybees maintain 250 hertz vibration within their nests (Woods).

It is just  a coincidence? Logically, bees are drawn to planet earth 250 hertz vibration energy when they swarm.
Honeybees have “evolved” together with planet earth over millions of years, being drawn to the higher earth vibration energy, which is compatible to their own, giving honeybees less work to do, in getting to their optimum vibration within their micro-existent environment.


Honeybees need this higher vibration energy so they work 31.9 times less.


Then are able to deal with any unwelcome intruders, like the Varroa mite, hence why honeybees are drawn to it in various ways.


Are other species/organisms attracted to the higher vibration?…………..YES!
All Honeybees, Wasps, bumble bees, Ants, Cats, Oak Trees and much, much more are all attracted to and found above earths higher vibration energy. All organism are attracted to or repelled from these lines of high or low energy vibration.

Cats will always sleep on a vibration/energy line.


Are honeybees drawn to Planet Earth higher energy vibration?………….. YES!

Swarms

Yes, every time they swarm. Honeybees always settle above a 250 hertz energy line. This has been checked on every swarm collected, about 30, in the past 3 years. All wasps nest and bumble bee nest have chosen these energy lines when checked.

Bait hives

All bait hives placed above a line attracted a swarm.

Abandoned hives

Whenever I was called out to inspect abandoned hives there was always one beehive above a line. This was the only hive with bees in and thriving. The others had died.

Self – selection

Apiaries were left for 4 years to choose by for self-selection. After this time the only hives that survived, with little or no varroa were above a line, all the others had died.

The ones with little varroa were on metal stands. (Metal, see later). The hives on wooden stands had no varroa

Varroa resistant strain

In my early days of queen rearing, I too thought I varroa resistant strain only to find out every one that showed these qualities was above a line. I could not understand why they were so poor when moved to a new site, having shown perfect qualities when in the original site.(This was before I knew about the lines).

Any beekeeper that thinks he/she has a Varroa resistant strain. I can guarantee will always be above a line.


Feral Colonies

They have not been killed off by Varroa, it was an assumption, not scientific. Beekeepers are to blame by putting hives in the wrong place where they die out with Varroa, so no swarms or feral colonies. The swarms that are successful in becoming feral colonies are still out there surviving. Reduced in numbers, yes, due to beekeepers, but they are always found above a line sometimes two lines crossing. This begs another question of why do they prefer two lines crossing if at all? which I cannot answer. I used science and lab conditions to find out these answers.These feral colonies should never be moved unless insisted upon by the homeowner. They will die if moved or taken, then put in the wrong position by man inevitable overdosed by Varroa. We are killing them thinking we are saving them.

Sheffield University

I was invited by Ricarda Kather to explain my hypothesis, while there I checked their apiary without any prior knowledge not knowing which was the best or worst beehive as all looked identical. These I believe were used for Varroa hygiene. I found the two best beehives that gave the best hygienic results. These were above a line.

Observations.

Hygienic behaviour

My apiaries have not changed during my beekeeping so observations have been made pre-lines, for queen rearing selection. During all these years Cleanliness, Varroa Resistance, Hygiene and Grooming have always been noticed to be far better than others within the same apiary not realising they were on a line.

Honeybees can deal with Varroa when above a line.

Honey yield

When above a GS line the honey yield is always 2 or 3 times greater.

Queens

These colonies have tended to supersede and not swarm. Clearly they are in the right place so why swarm unless congested?

This does beg the question

“Is swarming induced by man?” being put in the wrong place by man.

How long have honeybees been trying to tell us by swarming that we don’t like it here but would like to be over there where we settle?
Case studies that will cost you nothing.

Case study 1 (within the same apiary)
Take 2 hives of similar size and queen (“A/B“), both infected with Varroa, place “A” above a line, place “B” away from the line.
Hive A; within 6 to 8 weeks this hive will have very little Varroa or none at all and thriving requiring supers.
Hive B; after 6 to 8 weeks will still be heavily infected with Varroa and much weaker.
Next season reverse these same two hives (if B is still alive) You will observe B becomes Varroa free and A is infected with Varroa.

If you can use 2 apiaries within the same year, but far enough apart, the above exchange can be done after 3 months.

Case study 2 (within the same apiary)

Take 2 hives of similar size and queen (“C/D”), both infested with Varroa, place “C” above a line, place “D” away from the line.
Hive C; within 6 to 8 weeks this hive will have very little or no Varroa (above as A).
Hive D will be as B, heavily infected with Varroa.
After 3 months change over the queens from C and D, becoming CD and DC. CD; You would imagine CD would improve D to be Varroa free, not so, it carries on being infected with Varroa. DC; Is still Varroa free.“I have used these case studies on countless occasions, with many infected hives, and the results always being the same”
Conclusion for both case studies……….
It is not strain or queen quality but the positioning of the beehive,  over an electromagnetic Geopathic Stress Line that vibrates energy at 250 hertz.

Electromagnetic Geopathic Stress Lines once found can be verified by using a simple compass, it will show a few degrees disparity from normal.

Metal negatively affect bees

Metal structures under the beehive seem to influence these energy vibrations so it is not advisable to use metal stands or put beehives above a metal structure such as a metal structure building. Metal above the nest appears okay.

I have been asked what about the metal Varroa screens below the hive, will that effect it? 

No! You will now not need it, because you wont have Varroa!

Another question. Is it the honeybees dealing with Varroa or Varroa not liking the higher vibration?

Phase two:
“This is where I need a Large Company (with an interest in Keeping Honeybees Alive or Organic Honey), University or Chemical Company for funding to help with Scientific Acclamation, Manufacturing a hand-held device, deal with media and promotions etc“.

There will always be questions, especially to a way forward. I have the answer for that to! This is just one very important question answered to stop honeybees dying.


A HOLISTIC Way in Saving The “Honeybee”

(IBRA)VARROA-STILL A PROBLEM IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

NOT FOR ME OR OTHERS THAT ARE USING MY HYPOTHESIS! (Harding)


However, that is until it is scientifically proved then IBRA may or may not sanction my hypothesis, you will have to draw on your own conclusions. 

I invite modern research to confirm my hypothesis.


John Harding

(I am not a writer or scientist, just a passionate beekeeper that does not want his bees to die!)


Copyright John Harding 2009/10/11


If you feel the need to contact me then please do.

harding@clavies.freeserve.co.uk

07974121472 or 01384423557 (Stourbridge, West Mids).

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Resources

Images 1 & 2 courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library

Image 3  courtesy of  thegreenparent.com  http://goo.gl/LWbhJ

For more info

Advertisements

“2 Thumbs Up Award -757 Imperiled Species protected”


The “Two Thumbs Up Award”  goes to the Center of Biological Diversity and the the US Fish and Wildlife Service and an enlightened federal judge for helping save 757 threatened species. Thank you from Mother Nature and all of us at Nature’s Crusaders.

 

Court Approves Historic Agreement to Speed Endangered Species Act Protection for 757 Imperiled Species

Walrus, Wolverine, Albatross, Fisher, Mexican Gray Wolf, Sage Grouse,
Golden Trout Among Those Fast-tracked for Protection

TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal judge today approved a landmark legal agreement between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requiring the agency to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plants and animals to the federal endangered species list by 2018. The court also approved an agreement with another conservation group that it had previously blocked based on legal opposition from the Center.

“The court’s approval today will allow this historic agreement to move forward, speeding protection for as many as 757 of America’s most imperiled species,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center. “The historic agreement gives species like the Pacific walrus, American wolverine and California golden trout a shot at survival.”

The Center wrote scientific listing petitions and/or filed lawsuits to protect the 757 species as part of its decade-long campaign to safeguard 1,000 of America’s most imperiled, least protected species. Spanning every taxonomic group, the species protected by the agreement include 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 22 reptiles, 33 amphibians, 197 plants and 381 invertebrates.

“With approval of the agreement, species from across the nation will be protected,” said Greenwald. “Habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and other factors are pushing species toward extinction in all 50 states, and this agreement will help turn the tide.”

Individual species included in the agreement include the walrus, wolverine, Mexican gray wolf, New England cottontail rabbit, three species of sage grouse, scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (‘i‘iwi), California golden trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout — as well as 403 southeastern river-dependent species, 42 Great Basin springsnails and 32 Pacific Northwest mollusks.

The agreement, formalized today with the judge’s approval, was signed by the Center and the Fish and Wildlife Service on July 12. Already dozens of species have been proposed for listing, including the Miami blue butterfly, one of the rarest butterflies in the United States.

While the agreement encompasses nearly all the species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s official list of “candidates” for Endangered Species Act protection, two-thirds of the species in the agreement (499) are not on the list. This corresponds with the conclusion of numerous scientists and scientific societies that the extinction crisis is vastly greater than existing federal priority systems and budgets.

“The Endangered Species Act specifically allows scientists, conservationists and others to submit petitions to protect species,” said Greenwald. “These petitions play a critical role in identifying species in need and help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the ever-expanding task of protecting species threatened with extinction.”

The species in the agreement occur in all 50 states and several Pacific island territories. The top three states in the agreement are Alabama, Georgia and Florida, with 149, 121 and 115 species respectively. Hawaii has 70, Nevada 54, California 51, Washington 36, Arizona 31, Oregon 24, Texas 22 and New Mexico 18.

An interactive map and a full list of the 757 species broken down by state, taxonomy, name and schedule of protection are available here.

Highlighted species are below.

Species Highlights

American wolverine: A bear-like carnivore, the American wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family. It lives in mountainous areas of the West, where it depends on late-spring snowpacks for denning. The primary threats to its existence are shrinking snowpacks related to global warming, excessive trapping and harassment by snowmobiles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the wolverine as an endangered species in 1994. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Pacific walrus: A large, ice-loving, tusk-bearing pinniped, the Pacific walrus plays a major role in the culture and religion of many northern peoples. Like the polar bear, it is threatened by the rapid and accelerating loss of Arctic sea ice and oil drilling.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It was placed on the candidate list in 2011. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2017 and finalize the decision in 2018 if warranted.

Mexican gray wolf: Exterminated from, then reintroduced to the Southwest, the Mexican gray wolf lives in remote forests and mountains along the Arizona-New Mexico border. It is threatened by legal and illegal killing, which has hampered the federal recovery program, keeping the species down to 50 wild animals.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list it as an endangered species separate from other wolves in 2009. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted.

Black-footed albatross: A large, dark-plumed seabird that lives in northwestern Hawaii, the black-footed albatross is threatened by longline swordfish fisheries, which kill it as bycatch.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list this albatross as an endangered species in 2004. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection, determine it does not qualify, or find that it is warranted but precluded for protection in 2011.

Rio Grande cutthroat trout: Characterized by deep crimson slashes on its throat — hence the name “cutthroat” — the Rio Grande cutthroat is New Mexico’s state fish. It formerly occurred throughout high-elevation streams in the Rio Grande Basin of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Logging, road building, grazing, pollution and exotic species have pushed it to the brink of extinction.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1998. It was placed on the candidate list in 2008. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

403 Southeast aquatic species: The southeastern United States contains the richest aquatic biodiversity in the nation, harboring 62 percent of the country’s fish species (493 species), 91 percent of its mussels (269 species) and 48 percent of its dragonflies and damselflies (241 species). Unfortunately the wholesale destruction, diversion, pollution and development of the Southeast’s rivers have made the region America’s aquatic extinction capital.

In 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity completed a 1,145-page, peer-reviewed petition to list 403 Southeast aquatic species as endangered, including the Florida sandhill crane, MacGillivray’s seaside sparrow, Alabama map turtle, Oklahoma salamander, West Virginia spring salamander, Tennessee cave salamander, Black Warrior waterdog, Cape Sable orchid, clam-shell orchid, Florida bog frog, Lower Florida Keys striped mud turtle, eastern black rail and streamside salamander.

Only 18 of Southeast aquatic species are on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 403 plants and animals in 2011.

Pacific fisher: A cat-like relative of minks and otters, the fisher is the only animal that regularly preys on porcupines. It lives in old-growth forests in California, Oregon and Washington, where it is threatened by logging.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the fisher as an endangered species in 2000. It was placed on the candidate list in 2004. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl: A tiny desert raptor, active in the daytime, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl lives in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. It is threatened by urban sprawl and nearly extirpated from Arizona.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1992. It was protected in 1997, then delisted on technical grounds in 2006. The Center repetitioned to protect it in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2011 and finalize the decision in 2012 if warranted.

42 Great Basin springsnails: Living in isolated springs of the Great Basin and Mojave deserts, springsnails play important ecological roles cycling nutrients, filtering water and providing food to other animals. Many are threatened by a Southern Nevada Water Authority plan to pump remote, desert groundwater to Las Vegas.

In 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list 42 springsnails as endangered species, including the duckwater pyrg, Big Warm Spring pyrg and Moapa pebblesnail. None are on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 42 species in 2011.

Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (Iiwi): This bright-red bird hovers like a hummingbird and has long been featured in the folklore and songs of native Hawaiians. It is threatened by climate change, which is causing mosquitoes that carry introduced diseases — including avian pox and malaria — to move into the honeycreeper’s higher-elevations refuges. It has been eliminated from low elevations on all islands by these diseases.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2010. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2016 and finalize the decision in 2017 if warranted.

Ashy storm petrel: A small, soot-colored seabird that lives off coastal waters from California to Baja, Mexico, the ashy storm petrel looks like it’s walking on the ocean surface when it feeds. It is threatened by warming oceans, sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Greater and Mono Basin sage grouse: Sage grouse are showy, ground-dwelling birds that perform elaborate mating dances, with males puffing up giant air sacks on their chests. The Mono Basin sage grouse lives in Nevada and California. The greater sage grouse lives throughout much of the Interior West. Both are threatened by oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing, development and off-road vehicles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the Mono Basin sage grouse as an endangered species in 2005. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

The greater sage grouse was petitioned for listing in 2002 and placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2015 and finalize the decision in 2016 if warranted.

Miami blue butterfly: An ethereal beauty native to South Florida and possibly the most endangered insect in the United States, the Miami blue

was thought extinct after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 but rediscovered in 1999. It is threatened by habitat loss and pesticide spraying.

It was petitioned for listing as an endangered species in 2000 and placed on the candidate list in 2005. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it on an emergency basis in 2011. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted. In August, the agency protected the butterfly on an emergency basis. 

Oregon spotted frog: The Oregon spotted frog lives in wetlands from southernmost British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to northernmost California. It is threatened by habitat destruction and exotic species.

 

Press release provided by The Center for Biological Diversity http://goo.gl/DlFGk

Image courtesy of  http://goo.gl/bl00h

Image Ca. Golden trout courtesy of dfg.ca.gov http://goo.gl/1nNls

Image Pacific walrus courtesy of farnorthscience.com  http://goo.gl/P6MJE

Image Miami Blue butterfly courtesy of dep.state.fl.us  http://goo.gl/nTRNf

Image Oregon spotted frog courtesy of blm.gov  http://goo.gl/Cin8a

“Toads come on it’s spring!”


Spring has sprung across most of the USA  now and flowers are everywhere. My roses abound after the freeze gave them a rest this winter in the Tucson desert. So much beauty and so little time in the desert to enjoy spring.

Time to invite those frogs and toads to the party of insects beginning to emerge in and around your garden. In Tucson generally we see lots of Colorado river toad around monsoon time in the summer, but where it is cooler frogs and toads will be heard croaking through the spring and  summer into the fall.

Happy spring everyone. Remember to plant those flowers that the pollinators love to visit like the herbs, flowers, and flowering trees and bushes.

Gardening with the family helps the whole family and the planet.

Video courtesy of  youtube.com and  Cindy Hoffman of Defenders of Wildlife

Toads just love to eat plant-destroying insects, making them a great addition for any garden. In this video, Defenders’ Cindy Hoffman demonstrates how to attract these amazing amphibians to YOUR backyard.

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/gZJxPP

“Big defense = less growth”


A plant has a hard life
Often  attacked by a gobs of insects, birds and mammals. They have to develop an effective defense – spines, thorns, prickly leaf hairs or an arsenal of toxic chemical substances to fits the occasion.  A plant has to do what a plant has to do to make it in a cruel world.

What cost does the plant pay for having to put its energy into elaborate defense mechanisms?

Ecologists and plant biologists of the University of Zurich together with their American colleagues have now found out the price plants must pay for defending themselves.

Researchers used mutants of the same genotype of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and harvested a group of these plants at regular intervals to measure the amount of growth over the  plant’s life.

“Mutants with suppressed defense mechanisms showed an increased growth rate, but the faster growth the faster the aphids population reproduced. On the slow growing plants with intact defense mechanisms the  aphid population grow normally.

Natural resistance is often not compatible with fast growth. This finding is of great importance for agricultural crops: These crops have been selected for high yield and as a consequence have very low natural resistance to herbivores, consequentially requiring high input of insecticides.

“Growing crops more naturally is more conducive to healthier pest resistant plants and nutritious crops.” – Mother Nature

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/ihjtsP

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/gzAmQN

“Beetle Mania LAX-burn baby burn”


Los Angelus, California U.S. customs officials found some Khapra beetles, one of the world’s worst agricultural pests in a rice shipment that arrived at the LAX airport.

The rice was found in a box of food and personal effects being sent from one person to another, Mirza said.

The shipment was immediately quarantined and safeguarded and then destroyed under U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervision, Mirza said.

The Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), which originated in South Asia, is one of the world’s most destructive pests of grain products and seeds. It is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world. It is a pest of most stored grains and grain products but can also infest spices, gums, seeds, dried fruit and other dried plant and animal material. The larvae are responsible for most losses to stored products as adults feed very little. Khapra beetle is thought to have originated on the Indian sub-continent and the name is derived from the Indian word for brick, as the larvae can be found in the crevices between bricks in grain stores. Khapra beetle has a current distribution including South-East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and some European countries of the Mediterranean.

Agricultural specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection found an adult khapra beetle, eight larvae and a shed skin in a shipment of Indian rice from Saudi Arabia last week, spokesman Jaime Ruiz said.

Adult beetles are brownish and 2 to 3 millimetres long (08 -.12 inches). Immature larvae are up to 5 millimeters long and are covered in dense, reddish-brown hair. The eggs of the khapra beetle are cylindrical with one end more rounded and the other more pointed, about 0.7 mm long (.03 inches) and 0.25 mm (.98 inches) ( weighing about 0.02 mg(0000706 oz.). The pointy end has a number of spine-like projections.  The eggs are initially a milky white but over several hours turn a pale yellowish color

The khapra beetle, which is native to India and not currently established in the United States, is considered one of the most destructive pests of grain products and seeds.

“It is endemic to several countries and the reason it is very dangerous is that its life cycle is very long and it goes into all kinds of food grains,” Naveeda Mirza, agriculture program manager for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told Reuters.

“It has several dormant stages. It can go dormant for a long time and then become active again. Its very very hard to get rid of and that’s why it’s very dangerous,” Mirza said. “It is one of the top 10 most dangerous pests not established here.”   Discovered in the US in 1946, Known to infest warehouses and food processing plants and can infest any structure and prospers in pantries, closets, garages, laundry rooms, and basements where wheat, grain, cereal, barley and rice are stored. Khapra beetles thrive on pet food, grass seed, bird seed and in areas with large Pecan, Walnut, Acorn and other nut trees

Life Cycle and Habits of Khapra Beetle: Larva begin to feed as soon as they find food and will continue for a month. They will then pupate into adults and begin mating and laying eggs. The stages from Larva to adult usually last two to three months, though it is not uncommon to last three to four months. Khapra beetles multiply at an increased rate if food supplies are in abundant. In the average home, infestation is usually limited to a few rooms.

Khapra Beetle Control Measures: Discard any food item suspected of harboring larval or adults. Empty cabinets and treat with Neem herbal spray in all cracks and crevices where adults like to lay eggs. This spray will break the cycle by killing off emerging larva which will be hatching from eggs that have been laid undetected or hidden from view.

 

The khapra beetle can also survive for long periods of time without food and is resistant to insecticides and fumigants.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture website, in 1953 an extensive infestation of khapra beetle was found in California, prompting a massive eradication effort.

Earlier this year, border protection officials in Detroit found a khapra beetle in a shipment of tile from China.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://yhoo.it/e2RRsg

Excerpts courtesy of beetle http://bit.ly/id1H4o

 

Image (adult khapra beetle)  courtesy of  http://bit.ly/f7JqBa

Image (adult and larvae) courtesy of  http://bit.ly/gJOTM9

 

“Could farming or ranching butterflies save species?”


How can you farm  or ranch butterflies?  Planting, trying to round them up like cattle can be tricky.  Butterfly farming could hold the key to survival of many endangered species around the world.

Common Blue Morpho

In the wild, butterflies may expect to enjoy a 2 percent survival rate between ova and adult. The 98% that perish along the way may be devoured by prey, succumb to virus or diseases or not be able subsist if the climatic conditions (drought, wind, temperatures changes, fires) are not right. A successful farmer can increase the survival rate of these delicate, spectacular creatures from 2% to as high as 90 percent.

Saving endangered butterflies – maybe you could help?

First method -butterfly farming

Decide the section land/garden to raise the butterflies on.
Find someone to train you and your friends in how to manage of a variety of butterfly species. Farms may take various shapes, and farming is done in different ways, but all
Need a protected enclosure to protect the stock with adequate climate control
Wild stock must be introduced periodically to avoid inbreeding.

Second way – Butterfly open-ranching on the insect’s natural habitat

Native wild free ranging adults can be used.
The butterflies will feed and lay eggs in gardens planted on the edge of existing forest.
This method is preferable for several reasons:

Emerald green butterfly

It provides constant genetic variability
The butterflies’ native forest habitat is preserved.
Local ranchers/citizens become protectors of the forest as the source of their livelihoods.

There are challenges to raising these delicate endangered exotic butterflies from an assortment of diseases, viruses and starvation. When rearing just a few or thousands of larvae, cleanliness and attention to details are key to a successful butterfly breeding operation.
From egg through the fifth instar the young caterpillars continue to eat and grow. Then they will crawl up on a branch, a leaf or the top of their cage to spin their cocoon (pupate).
The pupae will be carefully removed daily by the farmer to be sure of the age of the pupae. It is in this stage butterflies may be sold and shipped to buyers. The pupa should not be more than three day´s old before it is shipped.
Maybe you could become a butterfly rancher in your area.

Before raising the butterflies, make certain if your are using wild butterflies that you have the proper plants growing in abundance that the caterpillars normally feed on. Ask your local university entomology department or contact the Xerces Society or Nature’s Crusaders for assistance before getting your butterflies.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cpCnXs

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/bFE39h

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/9mVhU8

“Nature’s Gallery of blue wonders – really true blue” part 2″


Nature’s blue wonders

The biggest and the loudest animal alive today is the Blue Whale.

This giant Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus has a heart the size of a Volkswagon beetle car and weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kg). A full grown man could crawl through the aorta in this whale and its beating heart causes 14,00o

endangered blue whale

pounds (6,400 kg) of blood to circulate through its body. A adult man could crawl through the aorta (a major blood vessel).Endangered, this blue whale , the largest animal to ever live on Earth can grow to 94 feet (29 meters) in length and weigh more 174 tons, This baleen whale is a filter feeder. They live in family groups called pods.

Large Blues butterflies and red ants unusual partners for life.

As caterpillars the Big Blues Maculinea arion feed on wild thyme or marjoram flowers for the first few days to weeks of development. Once well fed, they drop to the ground and begin secreting sweet fluids to attract red ants Myrmica sabuleti. The ants carry the caterpillar back to their ant nest underground and stroked the caterpillar with its antennae.

Large Blue Butterfly

This stroking causes more sweet secretions to ooze from the caterpillar’s body to feed the ants. This process continues until the Large Blue raises its body half way off the ground. This signals the ants to stop feeding and carry the Large Blue to its winter resting quarters in the ants’ tunnel.

After hibernation is over in spring, the caterpillars will then begin to eat the red ant’s eggs and larvae for up to 3 weeks. It will then hang itself by its legs on the ant nest’s roof and spin a chrysalis around itself. The caterpillar will spend a further 3 weeks transforming into the Large Blue butterfly adult.

When it emerges as a butterfly, red ants will escort the newly emerged butterfly to the surface, taking it to a low plant or shrub nearby. The red ants will encircle the butterfly and ward off any predators that attempt to attack the butterfly as it dries out. After the butterfly is ready to fly away, the ants will return to their nest. For more unusual factoid about the Large Blue Butterflies click here.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Bluewhale.shtml

Excerpts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Blue_(butterfly)

Image courtesy of http://www.thetechherald.com/media/images/200922/800pxBlueWhaleWithCalf_1.jpg

Image courtesy of http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/06/090615185420-large.jpg

“Be a Dobson Fly 4 Halloween or next costume event”


The adult Dobson fly has a unique face that puts any zombie mask to shame. This critter may look like something from a horror movie, but they are beneficial insects.

Check out this illustration for unique costume possibilities for your next party or Halloween.

Mother Nature makes the best costumes or camophalage

Mother Nature makes the best costumes or camouflage

This image is the face of the Dobson fly magnified.

Dobson fly magnefied

Dobson fly head magnified

Both male and female of the eastern Dobson flies can reach lengths up to five inches (12.5 cm), measured from the tips of their pincers to the tips of their four wings, which, when not in use, are folded along the length of their walking -stick-like bodies. Their wingspans can be twice as long as their body length, and the wings themselves are densely lined with intersecting veins. Additionally, Dobson flies have segmented antennae similar to ants and wasps.

Found across the eastern side of North America east of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico near flowing streams where the larvae grow up. The hellgrammites are the larva and they live under stones or occasionally on snags where they feed on a variety of soft-bodied nymphs of insects like the net-spinning caddisflies and blackflies

The adults catch theri prey with the long pincers that extent out of its head. They are so strong if your finger or toe got pinched it might bleed.

Giant pinchers of Doson fly

Giant pincers of Doson fly

Dobson Fly adult

Dobson Fly adult

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dobsonfl

Excerpts courtesy of http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/eastern dobsonfly.htm

Image 1. (illustration) (left )courtesy of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Corydalus_cornutus_illustration.png

Image 2. (micrograph) (right) courtesy of http://i.livescience.com/images/ls_ugliest_dobsonfly_02.jpg

Image 3. (left) courtesy of http://lamar.colostate.edu/~secarney/AntCourse/133-BIG_Bug.jpg

Image 3. (right) courtesy of http://www.flytyingforum.com/uploads/gallery41c5ff989c417.jpg