The Environmental Impact Of Decreasing Bee Populations

As a species, human beings are beginning to wake up to the importance of insects to our planet and our ecosystem. And most importantly, people are gradually leaning that bees, in particular, are vital to the human race and our world. But why are bee populations decreasing?

Reports of bees dying off are becoming more and more frequent, and a lot more alarming in recent years. Bees are an important part of global food production, so for them to die out would be a huge problem. This is why pest control experts like Catch-it in East London, when carrying out stinging insect pest control, will typically just relocate bees’ nests, and not exterminate them.

Distribution maps of bees are showing major decrease in the range of bees covering the planet, and in some places they are completely extinct. There are more and more reports of widespread die-offs, with honeybee hives being abandoned after colony-collapse disorder. But why are the bees dying, and what will the consequences be?

A diet without any bee related, insect-pollinated food would be short on a lot of nutrients, and make life pretty boring. And there are some reasons for why this may become an issue in the future.

Worldwide, there is less land available to support the bees. Farmland is being stripped of everything but the crops that will make the cash, so there is no flowery food for bees. In many developed countries there’s just nowhere left for bees to go.

Another problem is that honeybee diseases are spreading. Hives are being shipped all over the world, and stowaway bacteria, fungi and parasites go with them. These diseases lead to colony-collapse disorder.

Intensive farming using fungicides herbicides and pesticides has also affected the bees. At certain doses, particular pesticides can be incredibly harmful to honeybees, even causing death.

A combination of all of these problems are causing a worldwide loss of bees. More and more studies are being done so that we can save the honeybee from going completely extinct. A lot of what is to blame will remain a mystery, but if we can change some of the problems then the honeybee can be saved.

The Effects Of Pesticides On Bees Worldwide

A particular pesticide group called neonicotinoid (NNI) has made its way onto crops worldwide. Whilst these pesticides protect the crops, and are most commonly used on rape seed, the impact of them may be affecting the bees. Pest control should be for pests, and bees are far from it.

When these chemicals are applied to crops, they are absorbed into the plant, making everything including the pollen and nectar poisonous to insects. However scientists have said the NNI have had a great environmental impact on plants and animals.

The loss of bees is potentially damaging to the agriculture because of the role they play in pollinating our plants. The chemical NNI was being used a lot in the 2000s, but the EU banned it from April 2013. Whilst Britain comply with this ruling, they don’t agree with the science behind the problem.

Concern has been mainly focused at the honeybee because their population has declined by around 25% in the last few years. Numerous studies have directly linked bee death to the use of NNI. Loss of habitat and changing land can also be attributed to the bee population decreasing.

Researchers claim that neonicotinoids interfere with a bee’s brain, which limits their ability to learn and remember what food they should be eating. The pesticide has been linked to a sort of bee epilepsy, and breeding activity has also been reduced.

Critics have claimed that a ban on the use of NNI would put crops at risk and harm the economy. Chemical firms think it is unnecessary, and they don’t want to lose out on profits.

In light of the government not being too keen on the ban of these bee-killing pesticides, who knows what legislation may come into play over the next few years. One thing is for sure, bees need to be protected and saved.

Gardeners, Pay Attention – Neglect of Tree Pruning Task May Prove Costly Later On

Tree pruning is a job to which home gardeners rarely give any attention until some mishap occurs or neglect has resulted in serious damage.

With trees the most valuable asset of the garden such indifference is inexcusable. It may involve a considerable expenditure which could easily have been avoided.

Why It Is Important

In order for the relationship between human and trees to coexist smoothly, tree pruning is necessary. It is also a part of taking care of a tree so that the tree will be healthy and achieve its optimum yield.

Basically, you don’t go about pruning your tree just because you feel like you want to do it. Many experts believe there’s a right time to prune a tree.

Such practice includes cutting of dead branches or overgrown branches that cause risks to human lives. It is also a good way to beautify your garden, as you will be able to shape or direct the growth of a tree.

Newly planted trees needed special attention to make them grow into what the gardener visualized when they were set out. This applies particularly to the smaller sizes chosen primarily for their low cost. With the dormant season a good time for pruning, it behooves the gardener to spend at least a few minutes in studying their development.

The most important decision to be made concerns the height of the trunk from the soil level to the lowest limb. As a rule, eight feet is the minimum branching height but, depending on the kind of tree, it could be several feet more. Eventually, all branches below that height must be removed. They are removed over a period of years, beginning with the lowest one.

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Crown Development

Once the desired trunk height has been achieved, the crown development becomes very important.

Unless the ultimate goal is a rather tall tree, the reader may have to be removed after enough branches have formed to provide a good round crown in which the branches radiating from the center are well spaced so that none interferes with any other. The branches also must stand well apart on the trunk to give them strength.

Furthermore, most trees are improved if the side branches are cut back to a third of their length when they measure five to six feet in height. This encourages the development of secondary branches, which not only give the crown increased density but distribute the weight and strain more evenly.

Some trees endure severe topping quite well, among them the buttonwoods, Carolina poplar, some maples and certain willows. Municipal trees in small parks often are treated that way to make them conform to the allotted space, but it robs them of their natural grace. This invariably should be followed by severe thinning of the many shoots that emerge near each cut.

Reveals Faults

Established trees should be put under close scrutiny after the leaves have fallen. At that time the branch skeleton stands out clearly against the sky and reveals faults that have developed.

Some trees are inclined to develop a great many slender branches, among them the sugar maple. Early reduction to half of their number, or even less, increase the spacing and forces the food into the remaining ones, with the result that they gain in girth and provide a better basis for a strong and attractive tree. If this is done while the tree is still relatively young, virtually no disturbance is caused to the balance between roots and top.