Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Happened to the Bees - Why Are the Bees Gone?

Einstein once said that if the bees were to die, we would die in three years. Well the bees are nearly gone now and that is a scary proposition indeed. Certainly, you have heard of the problems with Bee Hive Colonies Collapsing. Indeed, this larva virus has been going on for a while about 15 years and the last decade it has been getting more critical.

The bees are not the only species in trouble, for instance, we see issues with the Lobsters off Maine too where their body armor is having issues. This is most likely manmade pollution run-off, not good. The bees are said to pollinate 15 Billion Dollars a year in crops, although that estimate appears to be low, stated a member of the Online Think Tank.

What is killing all the bees; is it the African Bees that are moving in displacing and killing the American Honey Bees? On the African Bee question; I would say just by observation and logic that the answer is NO. Because the African bees came up from Mexico and there are still many bees in S. Texas and Southern CA, AZ. So maybe the opposite could save them, bringing in the African Bees. Or, maybe the Hurricanes allowed lots of bees to migrate much faster from Central America into the Midwest and north east?

We need to fix this problem, without causing another one, the eco-system and food chain is adaptable, but not on any immediate time scale. So, if things break down too fast, the chain is broken and humans should never forget they are part of it. One thing that concerns me is the "organic cleaners" produced to kill one-cell organisms and bacteria. They sell this stuff to clean windshields of cars, concrete, chicken coops, horse stables, etc.

The Bee is an engineering marvel from aerodynamics, shell and sensors on down. Its ability to work in teams and swarms is fascinating, but the larva are susceptible to foreign things that it has not evolved to fight off, it does not mean it can't, it just is going to take them some time, but they are out of time.

Then there are issues with vibrational energies and frequency waves on the lower end of the spectrum and electromagnetic energy of human power lines; think of all the cell phones and such? What if we built Faraday Cage houses around the beehives and see if they did better; that is one thought to test such a theory and see if this is the problem.

Solar flares might also be a problem? Maybe a thickened atmosphere, might assist them? Maybe the cloudy days along the coasts are assisting them in that regard and they are thriving there, but not elsewhere? Without knowing the exact cause, such as pollution, pesticides, solar flares or vibrational energy pollution then we cannot help our fellow species, the bees.

We need to find out what is hurting their immune system allowing this virus to kill their larva. Butterflies and Bees increase crop yields 30-60% depends on the type of crop. If we lose those yields and are busy growing our own fuel, then in the future humans might have to decide, do we eat or can we drive; ethanol VS food debate. Low crop yields due to low pollination is a critical issue.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Renewable Energy For Mauritius

The Mauritius government program of promoting the increased utilization of renewable energy sources like solar power and biomass was driven in part by the constant rise of petrol prices over the past few years. Also, government revenue that can be saved from reduced dependence on imported petrol could be put to better use in improving the social development programs in Mauritius. As opposed to just using the said funds to allow Middle-Eastern despots to continually build-up their own military might. Contributing further to the instability in the region.

Mauritius has been one of the major player in the sugarcane industry. Sugarcane are used to produce sugar by extracting juice from sugarcane. Aside from sugar, sugarcane could also be used in the production of alcohol or ethanol which is now being used as an altenative fuel for flex fuel cars. Parts of the sugarcane that's left over after sugar production is a good source of biomass that Mauritius has in abundance. By using this biomass as a "feed" for biogas digesters can provide 25% more energy than by burning the same biomass directly in an incinerator-type power plant.

Currently, 20% of Mauritius' electricity is generated from renewable biomass systems. Also the Mauritius government are finding ways to make photovoltaic/solar powered electricity production fiscally viable whether in large industrial installations or just small domestic set-ups used to meet typical household needs. A lot is riding on the success on this program because Mauritius doesn't have local petrol, and a 100% renewable energy source could allow the nation to develop without increasing the effects of global warming.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

How We Can Help Animals of the Wildlife During Winter

It's summer, and the wildlife is surely doing just fine this time of the year. But it's a totally different story during winter. Winter can be a difficult time for wildlife. The food supply of many animals disappears completely or is buried by snow. Animals survive winter in different ways. Some species migrate to warmer climes; others hibernate. But for those animals that struggle through it, winter can be a cold, miserable time, and many of them die unnecessarily.

The widespread destruction of hedges and woodland, the drainage of ponds and marshes, and the clearing of land in the country have altered animals' habitats, causing many of them to depend on backyards for food and shelter, especially in winter. Rather than rely on preservation groups to help the animals, there are simple things that everyone can do that will enable animals to survive winter. To be specific, there are two basic things we can provide to these animals during the harsh winter time: food and shelter.

Providing food:

Feeding birds is an easy way to help them through the winter. They will eat commercial bird seed or almost any type of table scraps. But once you begin feeding them, the birds will come to depend on the food you provide. Also, when you place food on the ground, be sure to leave it out in the open, away from cover where a cat may be lying in wait. Many smaller birds prefer to feed from bird tables. Nuts, raisins, fruit, and shredded coconut are highly nutritious for birds and are readily available in stores.

You should also provide the birds with fresh water, especially when their natural supplies are frozen. Fill a shallow bowl and place it near the bird table. If you have a birdbath, you can float a plastic ball in to keep the water from freezing.

Badgers, foxes, rabbits, and deer can be fed from yards in more rural areas. Squirrels, too, often visit backyards to take food from bird tables.

Even if you do not have a yard, you can still help. Whenever you go for walks, take food with you. The animals will appreciate extra food during the winter.

Providing shelter:

In addition to providing food and water, you can also make your yard more welcoming to wildlife in a number of other ways. Large bird houses placed in high trees will provide roosts for owls and other birds. Undisturbed compost will provide a resting place for hibernating grass snakes, and a woodpile will provide a secure space for toads and many insects.

Check out this list of seventeen animals and what we can provide to each one of them during winter:

1. Bats - Bat boxes on the eaves of the house or in trees.

2. Blue jay - Fruit and mealworms.

3. Cardinals - Seeds and live bait.

4. Chipmunk - Seeds and nuts.

5. Common frog - Damp, undisturbed areas and ice-free pond.

6. Common toad - Dry, undisturbed vegetation.

7. Deer - Fresh hay in sack.

8. Fox - Table scraps and cat food.

9. Grass snake - Leaf litter and dry ditches.

10. Gray squirrel - Nuts and bird table food.

11. Ground feeding birds (magpies, starlings, blackbirds, and crows) - Household scraps such as cheese, pork rind, and fruit; fresh water daily, especially when natural supplies are frozen.

12. Lizards - Logs or stones where they can hibernate.

13. Owl - Large roosting box.

14. Perching birds (woodpeckers, sparrows, etc.) - Bird table with peanuts, sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, fruits, berries, and bread. If you have the time, you can make a bird cake from a mixture of flour, water, corn, millet, meal, nuts, and canary seed bound together with chicken grease and allowed to harden. It can then be broken into pieces and scattered on the lawn or strung up from the bird table.

15. Rabbits - Some winter vegetables left in the ground or fresh greens put out near gaps in the fence.

16. Raccoon - Daytime sleep sites such as holes under sheds.

17. Slow worm - Holes in ground and undisturbed areas of vegetation for hibernation.

One of the best ways to help attract birds and mammals to your backyard is to provide suitable roosting sites. You can buy or build birdhouses; their design and position will determine which species they attract. Some birds prefer open-fronted boxes. Smaller birds prefer the security of a box with a small hole, which may be lined with metal to discourage woodpeckers. Larger boxes may attract owls.

Fortunately for the animals out there in the wild that may be in distress during winter time, there are a lot of things we all can do to help them.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Water A Global Crisis

Fresh water is the most precious resource known to man - without it nothing can survive. For water is quite literally the source of life the reality is however, that we are facing a water crisis of gargantuan proportions. What we need is conservation on a global scale.

FACT: 12 per cent of the world's population uses some 85 per cent of the world's water!

As the earth continues to warm our polar ice caps will melt which will lead to rising sea levels and much of the worlds fresh water becoming saline and unfit for human consumption.

It may be hard for us in the developed world to grasp, but, only a mere 1 per cent of the world's freshwater is suitable for human consumption. 97.5 per cent of the world's water is saline!

Did You Know? The earth's oceans can retain 1000 times more heat than the atmosphere!

Water consumption has increased six fold over the past 100 years - more than double the rate of population growth however, water is not distributed evenly and 1 in 7 people across the globe have no access to freshwater and 2.5 billion people over 40 per cent of the population have no access to sanitation!

97 per cent of all available freshwater is stored deep underground in 'aquifers' and a third of the world's population depend on this 'groundwater' for their very survival, but the reality is that many of the world's natural aquifers are empty, in effect we are running a groundwater overdraft of some 200 billion cubic meters per year - this overdraft will, if current trends continue spiral exponentially as the effects of industrialization and demand continue to soar.

By 1995, a total of 80 countries, home to 40 per cent of the world's population encountered serious water shortages. By 2025 it is anticipated that over two-thirds of the world's population some 66 per cent will be facing severe water shortages and widespread drought. In the same time frame experts predict that our demands for water would have increased by a further 40 per cent!

FACT: Bottled water may seem like the ideal fashion accessory, BUT be warned, we cannot keep taking this valuable resource from our springs and glacial regions, bottle it in plastic! and ship it across the globe without it seriously jeopardizing both the environment and the 1 billion people who have NO water.

Easy Steps To Water Efficiency:

A shower a day can help you save on the amount of water that normally goes down the plug hole - baths use 80 litres of water whilst a 8 minute shower uses just 35!

Turn them off - leaving taps running whilst you are cleaning your teeth for example wastes 5 litres a minute.

Repair - dripping taps or leaky faucets can WASTE as much as 90 litres of water per week.

Don't waste it! - Collect water that normally goes down the plughole and water your plants!

Did You Know? One-third of the UK's domestic water is literally being flushed away! each flush uses 10 litres of water

FACT: Garden sprinklers use an almighty 1000 litres of water every hour.

Water - Water your plants in the evening - this way the plants get maximum benefit!

If you like a clean car - wash it by hand just think of the exercise!

Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load!

Install a low-flush toilet - or put a hippo in your cistern!

Don't waste time and money waiting for your tap water to go cold... use old bottles and keep them in the fridge.

Fit a water butt! Water your garden for FREE.