Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monarch Butterflies polulation explosion

In the middle of August every year, monarchs in the eastern North America begin to pack up and head south for the winter.
Eventually they arrive in mexico in such numbers that they turn the trees and hillsides orange.
Butterfly Feeder

Caterpillars turn into butterflies quicker in warm weather, and the result is an extra generation of monarchs.
It is impossible to estimate numbers since there are so many.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where silk comes from

Silk comes from the silkworms, whose diets consist mainly of the leaves of the mulberry tree. In an effort to establish a thriving silk industry in England, James I issued an edict in 1608 encouraging the planting of the mulberry trees throughout the country. The venture proved unsuccessful, it is thought, because it was the black mulberry and not the whilte mulberry tree,eaten by the silkworms, that was planted. The white mulberry, it later turned out, struggled in England's damper climate.
Mulberry Tree

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Deal With Pests in Your Organic Garden

Author: Janet Ashby

Instead of automatically reaching for chemical pesticides when you see evidence of pests in your garden and on your plants think organic! Chemical pesticides will kill all the insects in your garden, even the beneficial ones and will contaminate the ground water. Find other ways to prevent pests from getting out of hand and reducing their number if they do.

Why should you use organic methods to combat pests rather than easily available pesticides? These chemical pesticides have been linked to many health problems and diseases including birth defects, cancer, infertility and many more. One of the problems is that pesticides sold for use at home are not tested as thoroughly as those used by commercial food growers as this is not a requirement of the law. As well as harming humans they also contaminate the soil in your garden and can be harmful to the beneficial visitors to your garden including honey bees, ladybugs, and butterflies which all eat pests.

One of the best defences against pests is to grow healthy plants in the first place. Weak and sickly plants are targeted by pests so make sure the conditions are right for the plants you are growing and keep them healthy by watering and fertilising adequately. Use natural composts and mulches rather than fertilisers high in nitrogen and do not let the plants sit in water or become too dry. Go into the garden regularly and remove weeds with a spade, hoe or your hands. Get close to the plants so you can spot any that are diseased early and can remove the infected parts before the disease spreads. Prune away the infected parts right to the main stem to prevent leaving a stub for the pests to re-enter.

Keep pests from having an easy time finding the plants they prefer by mixing different varieties of flowers, vegetables and other plants together. It is a good idea to plants some flowers among your vegetables to attract beneficial insects which feed on nectar. The larvae of insects such as lacewings and ladybugs feed on pests so it is a good idea to encourage them. Another good idea is to encourage wild birds that eat insects into your garden with a birdbath. A pond can lure toads and lizards to your garden where they may feast on any pests around.

If preventative measures have failed it is time to identify the pest and choose the best natural method to eradicate it. Find out which methods is best and use pepper sprays, soap sprays or Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a bacteria that can deal with leaf eaters such as caterpillars by interfering with their digestion. If possible remove any weak plants as these are the ones that pests will target.

As you can see it is not necessary to resort to chemical means to deal with pests in the garden although it is a little more work! Aim for a healthy garden with visiting wild life that will be able to resist pests and deal with any outbreaks quickly with methods that are safe for your garden, wildlife and your family.

About the Author:
For more information on all aspects of gardening visit Lawns and Gardens or read Planting a Vegetable Garden

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/gardening-articles/how-to-deal-with-pests-in-your-organic-garden-857362.html

Bio-Excelerator - Espoma 4 lb

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It''s True! There are Bugs in Your Bed

How To Get The Bed Bugs Out Of Your Clothes

Author: Judd Snell

Bed bugs have been exterminated from the US soil sometime in 1940's and the 1950's. The use of DDT has been succesful in eradicating these pests. However, international travelling and immigration have brought back to the US the exterminated, blook sucking pests. And establishments that are said to be the bed bugs exchange centers are: One, busses, two, trains, three, cabs, four, airplanes, and five, hotel rooms, six, motels and breakfast-inns. Don't you notice that the places where you can see bed bugs from and out of your clothes are transportation carriage and the place where travellers stay for the night? Right. Bed bugs are travellers and hitchhikers. You must know the ways on how to get the bed bugs out of your clothes when you get into these places.

You cannot get bed bugs out of your clothes simply by avoiding the mentioned hotspots. These places are unavoidable. They are part of our lives. But if you want to keep your house clean and free from bed bugs infestation, check out these Tips on How to Get the Bed bugs Out of Your Clothes. Simple Tips on How to Get the Bed Bugs Out of Your Clothes. In a hotel, you can get bed bugs out of your clothes if you shake off your clean and used clothes for bed bugs the night before you check out. Having bed bugs in your things or clothes does not mean that you are filthy and stinking. Bed bugs do not stay on a certain area or place because it is clean or filthy. They stay in a place because they are attracted to carbon monoxide, of which humans exhale, and they feed on human blood.

To get the bed bugs out of your clothes, you must make sure that the suitcase on which you will encase it is bed bugs free. Even if you shake your clothes just to get bed bugs out of your clothes, it won't do good since the very suitcase that will carry your clothes with has bed bugs inside. The night before you leave your hotel, remove any items that you have and the clothes inside your suitcase. Buy a water based insect killer and spray on the insecticide around the suitcase. Don't spray on inside. Then place your belongings and other items inside a clean, dry, bath tub. Bed bugs don't like ceramics and marbles much, so they won't be present anywhere near the tub. However, all the wood furniture near your bed are undoubtedly infested. Surer way to get bed bugs out of your clothes is to have your clothes, clean and used, to the laundry. Ask the laundryman to soak it in warm water for twenty minutes. Clinging nymps on your used clothes, especially the clothes you used on bed, will die when soaked in warm water.

You can get bed bugs out of your clothes if you will resist the urge to sleep on the bed before you leave. The bed bugs may cling onto your sleeves as its last shot to draw blood from you and stay there before you leave. When you get home, remove all your clothing, and even socks, and soak them in warm water for twenty minutes. Do this immediately to avoid speading bed bugs around your house in case a female bed bug hitched at your collar or sleeve. A single female bed bug lays 300 eggs. And adult bed bugs can last for eighteen months even without feeding. You might think that following the tips abovementioned will make you look like a person sufferring from obsessive compulsive. This is untrue. This is the best measure to do to avoid having your house getting infested with these nasty bugs. They are very hard to terminate once they invade your household. The best remedy for a bed bug infested home is to throw away every furniture around and abandon the place for three years. So which is easier and better to do? Prevent the bed bugs from coming your house or exterminate them instead?

About the Author:

Find tips about bug guide and cinch bugs at the About Animals website.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/pets-articles/how-to-get-the-bed-bugs-out-of-your-clothes--799599.html

Bed Bugs

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to be a Beekeeper - the Bee in Spring

Author: Chris Haycock

As the days get longer with the onset of spring, the mass of bees clinging to the combs start to feel the slight increase in temperature, and the cluster begins to move. Those bees on the outside of the cluster move into the warmer centre of the group, and those on the inside start to move to the outside, making their way to venture out into the world again.

The beekeeper, who should by now be watching for signs of activity, will be pleased to see these first emissaries coming out of the hive. First one or two, then a few, then many will find their way out. They don't go far, or stay out for very long initially. Just re-aquainting themselves with their surroundings, and gathering strength before getting back to the daily grind withing a few days. Gathering food for the hive.

At this time the Queen is stirring, she produces a pheromone which tells the hive that breeding time has started again. General activity then spreads throughout the hive. Now the Queen will start moving in a small circle to begin with, going from cell to cell. Examining each one, and when satisfied laying an egg in it. These eggs are looked after by "nurse" bees, who lavish care and attention on them. After three days the eggs hatch, and the resulting grub is is fed by the nurses for five days on honey and pollen collected from flowers the previous season, and stored for the purpose.The cell is then sealed with wax, and kept warm by the nurse bees until, after a week, a perfect fully formed new bee emerges. Ready to involve themselves in the increasingly busy life of the colony. In the meantime the Queen has enlarged her brood, moving onto fresh combs. Now, with new bees being produced constantly, the population is growing at a great rate.

Within the hive, those bees whose job it is to produce wax from the building of new combs, have fed themselves from the stores of honey. They form into compact clusters, generating the high temperatures necessary for them to produce it. This wax is prepared in the mouth, then transferred to the "builders" to make the comb. The comb is an amazing piece of engineering, having the shape and form which gives the greatest possible strength, with the least expenditure of materials, time, and labour.

Other bees are the sanitation crew. Their job entails general cleaning of the hive. They remove the winters dead bees. Also any dead cells, which could be a cause of infection in the hive. The floor, which over the winter will have aquired a carpet of broken comb, pollen pellets, and dust, is swept. Ensuring that all is clean and infection free, ready for the new season ahead.

Still more "sentry" bees are employed around the entrance to the hive in order to ensure that only bees from their own hive are allowed entry. They will vigorously defend their hive against any attempt by robber bees, wasps, and any other would be thief to gain access to their colony and it's riches. Any beekeeper who has witnessed their sentries in action against marauders will know they will give their lives for the good of the hive, and they do.

After only about three or four weeks the hive is in full swing, and the beekeeper is looking forward to another prosperous summer.

About the Author:

Chris Haycock is a successful information publisher with many hobbies and interests. One such interest is the fascinating world of beekeeping. If you would like to find out more you should go to http://secretsofbeekeeping.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-and-family-articles/how-to-be-a-beekeeper-the-bee-in-spring-771674.html

Honey Bee Lure Kit 3-Kit

Monday, January 26, 2009

Naturally Say Goodbye to Garden Pests

It's an unavoidable fact that if left untended, for every flower and plant that adorns our gardens, a greater number of pests will also take root. The good news is that removing these scoundrels from infesting your vegetation does not need to rely on chemicals, nor should it. For each individual species of pest that shows up in your garden abode, there is a natural solution that is cheaper and most importantly, safer to use than pesticides.

Shockingly, North Americans use upwards of 130 million pounds of pesticide each year, both in their gardens and in their homes. This dwarfs the amount used by farmers by almost three times, and accounts for a high percentage of wildlife pest poisonings and contamination of surface water from pesticide use.

Cutting back on this problem requires educating gardeners and homeowners everywhere. Taking the initiative by spreading the word yourself can only help, and the best way to do that is to lead by example, and keep your own home pesticide free.

The following tips will help you keep your garden healthy and pest free without resorting to harmful pesticide use.

The most common problem gardeners will face is insect damage to their plants. With proper cultivation and gardening methods, this problem can be drastically reduced before having to resort to other methods. This means having well-prepared soil, adjusting the pH balance as needed, good drainage and air circulation.

As your garden continues to grow and take shape, remove and dispose immediately of any struggling plants. Be sure to keep your compost area for storing your weeds, discarded plants and compost well away from your main gardening area, as the compost heap will be sure to attract pests.

Keep your garden beds well mulched and top-dressed with compost to ensure healthy plant development. Ensure you're using clean mulch, bought from a reputable dealer or cultivated yourself.

Be sure to keep your garden area clear of debris and things that will attract insects. If you have fruit trees near your garden, be sure to dispose of any fallen fruit immediately. Spoiled pears or apples will attract all many of pests.

Seaweed fertilizer sprays are useful for strengthening soil and promoting plant growth. They contain helpful minerals and trace elements like iron, calcium, sulphur and magnesium.

Mix up your garden beds with a variety of plant types interspersed throughout. This makes it difficult for plant specific pests to propagate and spread throughout your garden bed.

If you've used your gardening implements on infected plants, be sure to sterilize them before using them on healthy plants.
The Practical Encyclopedia of Garden Pests and Diseases

Finally, you can call on the power of nature itself to help you in your fight using a natural product like neem oil. By attracting or purchasing insects which feast upon the particular pests bothering your plants, you can remove them in one fell swoop of natural selection. Praying Mantises, Hover Flies, Ladybugs, Chalcids, Brachonids, and if they don't frighten you, Wasps, are all insects which will help you battle common varieties of garden pests.

Having a healthy and beautiful garden should not be your number one priority, the health and safety of family should be. Thankfully it is not a choice of one or the other. By using any or all of the above tips, you can keep your garden looking great, and have no fear of your children playing near your plants. It's truly the best of both worlds.