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How can we protect bees?

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Rosemary plant in the garden.

Considered the guardians of biodiversity and ecosystems, 84% of the world harvest for human consumption depends on bees or other pollinators, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Therefore, it is crucial and urgent to search, find and implement all the actions that are within our reach, we human beings and citizens to protect them. The collapse of bee colonies around the world is no mystery. Among the causes, phytosanitary treatments with pesticides such as neonicotinoids. The latter block the neural pathways of the bees’ central nervous system, leading to their disorientation and inability to feed. Banned in France since 2018, these “bee killers” are, however, regularly “temporarily” authorized, especially in beet fields. There is, of course, global warming and its drought, new viruses and pathogens, mites (varroa destructor), air pollution and habitat destruction by monocultures with an impoverished environment. As a result, without the action of pollinators, a third of flowering plants would stop producing seeds while half would suffer an 80% reduction in fertility, according to a study published in Sciences Advances in 2021.

Make noise in your garden!

To feed themselves, bees need nectar, pollen, and water. This is where we can all intervene, do everything possible to promote a favorable environment by planting flowers to meet your needs. It doesn’t matter if you have a windowsill, a balcony, a terrace or a garden. In the spring, the bees go out to look for food. Offer them “meals to go” by planting honey flowers, those that produce good amounts of nectar and quality pollen. Multiply varieties, taking care to stagger the flowering periods of different plantings (remember that late winter is the time to sow seeds for the floors spring and summer). Among the nasturtiums that are extremely easy to grow and come in many varieties, foxglove, poppies that bloom from early July to October, clematis, these highly floriferous climbing plants, lavender, crocus, cornflower, borage (blooms from early May to August September), calendula, daisy… Finally, the traditional geraniums that generally bloom from April to October, or even longer. All of these plants provide bees with a few safe months of pollen. A word of advice: growing from seed is the ideal method for creating bee-friendly habitats, veritable little meadows of wildflowers.

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Plant herbs!

Rosemary plant in the garden.

Rosemary plant in the garden – Source: spm

Did you know that rosemary, mint, and clover also attract bees? Fennel is also a good example because it produces both nectar and pollen. This is why the Pernod Ricard France group, since 2008, started growing fennel in Provence for its supply of anise. The company, in order to understand the benefits of these plantations on the local ecosystem, has partnered with the Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology. A thesis carried out since 2018 has shown the resulting richness in flower insects: 38 families of insects compared to 6 on average in a wheat field, including five bees! And this diversity of insects increases the yield of fennel! A lawn in your garden? Forget the lawnmower, leaving a part to grow longer to provide shelter for pollinators and a place to feed.

Don’t forget to water them

Bees also need drinking water. It’s a good idea to provide them with a safe water source, as they often drown in large bodies of water like swimming pools (which don’t contain the healthiest water for bees). Bees like flowing water because they are less likely to drown in it, why not set up a small water feature that has a gentle trickle or just a bird feeder with some floating objects, wood bark or corks , as a landing zone?

After the cover, the accommodation!

Bees have lost much of their natural habitat in the last fifty years. So why not give them one? There are several ways to create a bee hotel. With plastic bottles, the two ends of which are cut to create a cylinder and the edges are sanded smooth. Then just fill it with twigs and hollow stems. The bees do get quite deep into the stems, so use lengths of at least 10cm. Firmly fix the hotel to a wall or post, in full sun, facing south or southeast, at a minimum distance of 1.50 m from the ground. Once autumn arrives and before the low temperatures arrive, it will have to be moved to protect the bee eggs inside. A garden shed or, failing that, a dry place will do, before taking it out in March.

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Becoming a godmother or godfather of a hive is a good way to act concretely for the preservation of bees. Many beekeepers sponsor companies and individuals for one or more hives, or even multiple hives. In exchange, you will be able to benefit from a certain number of jars of honey, depending on the importance of the sponsorship of the hive. You will also be kept informed of the good health of your hive and its inhabitants. A great idea for a gift! You can also support projects that protect bees.

A beehive in your garden

A wooden bee hive in the garden.

A wooden bee hive in the garden – Source: spm

The fans play an important ecological role since they enrich the network of hives in the territory. If a few years ago it was a bit complicated to embark on the adventure, today there is no lack of information and the beekeeper apprentice can even train with professionals (see box). It is easy to create a small apiary in your garden as long as you respect the rules that provide for the respect of a minimum distance of 3 meters from neighboring houses. The hive will not require much time but above all regular monitoring.

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5 Wood Ash Fireplace Uses for Home and Garden

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burning wood in a fireplace

Do not throw the wood ashes from your fireplace, discover these cheap tips that will allow you to take advantage of them inside and outside your home, especially in your garden.

5 Wood Ash Fireplace Uses for Home and Garden

very few people know the unsuspected powers of wood ashesand know how to use them wisely, which is why most get rid of them as quickly as possible. If you just see a bunch of dust, other people are recycling it in more ways than one.. Here are different ways to recycle your fireplace ash.

burning wood in a fireplace

Wood burning in a fireplace. source: spm

  • Scrub and degrease dishes with wood ash.

your dishes are encrusted with grease stains or burnt food ? Don’t worry, because as long as you have a fireplace at home, your problem will be solved! In fact, collected wood ashes can degrease and clean your ceramic hob, pans, pots, dishes, etc. All you need to do is create a paste by mixing a few handfuls of ashes with a little water, spread the paste over dirty dishes, and scrub with a sponge until all residue is removed. Then all you have to do is rinse well. You will surely be surprised by the result obtained.

  • Silver jewelry shine with wood ashes

nothing is worth the beauty of a silver jewel. Unfortunately, due to frequent use, it eventually gets boring over time. If you have antique heirloom silver jewelry, you’ve probably tried cleaning products that claim provide the perfect solution. However, you have probably realized that they are expensive, but mostly ineffective. Strange as it may seem, fireplace ashes can bring your jewelry back to life. Just lightly dampen a clean cloth with ashes, then rub your jewelry or silver utensils and you’re done.

wood ashes

Wood ashes. source: spm

  • Use wood ashes to absorb and neutralize bad odors in the house

Did you know that wood ashes are an excellent solution for absorb bad odors in the house ? To do this, simply fill a cup or bowl with it and place it in the back of your fridge, next to your cat’s litter box, or in a small smelly room. Just like baking soda or coffee grounds, the ashes neutralize unpleasant odors and your home will regain its freshness.

  • Remove dirt stains from windows with wood ashes

There is no need to spend your money buying window cleaners full of chemicals. It may be hard to believe, but the wood ash from your fireplace can remove dirt stains quickly and effectivelyas much as gummy residue left by stickers and labels. All you need is a damp cloth or newspaper. Just dip it in the ashes and scrub the windows, working in a circular motion until all stubborn stains are gone. Then wipe with a soft, dry cloth to complete cleaning of the glass surface.

Wash the windows

Wash the windows. source: spm

  • Use wood ashes to activate the composting process

Since wood ash is a substance of plant origin, it is full ofnutritional elements essentials that the soil needs to ensure optimal plant growth. In fact, fireplace ash is made up of about 10-25% calcium, 1-4% magnesium, 3-9% potassium, 14% silica and 1-2% phosphorus, it all depends on the type of wood burned. To do this, simply add a handful of ash to your outdoor compost pile and stir it around a bit for better distribution. You should also know that you should use the ashes of untreated wood; those of mineral coal are very toxic.

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Now that you know some household and garden uses for wood ash, all you have to do is collect it from the fireplace hearth and store it for later use as needed. It is natural, ecological and above all it allows you to save money.

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This trick saves fuel every time you drive and nobody thinks about it

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expensive fuel

expensive fuel

Expensive fuel – Source: spm

How to implement the “brake” trick?

According to experts, efficient and smart driving can save you a lot of money on fuel. Therefore, they often recommend avoiding sudden acceleration and braking and trying, as much as possible, to maintain a constant speed.

But what is this famous “brake” method that everyone is talking about right now? In fact, it emphasizes letting the vehicle roll by its own inertia: specifically, you have to take your foot off the accelerator and let the car roll in gear. Your foot must be on the brake pedal to make the necessary corrections to adapt your speed. In this way, progressive braking is achieved with less wear on both the gearbox and the clutch. Therefore, in addition to saving fuel, it also extends the useful life of these two fundamental elements of the car.

NB : the “brake” trick can reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption by up to 2%. Of course, make sure you always drive within the legal safety distance.

car brake

Car brake – Source: spm

Other tips to keep in mind to save on the price of fuel

In addition to using the engine brake, there are other very useful tricks to save up to 15% of fuel. One of the most relevant is, of course, avoiding stops and having a good cruising rhythm. Respecting the authorized maximum speed, you can even use fourth gear in the city. In gasoline-powered vehicles, the optimal time to change gear is between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm. According to the General Directorate of Roads and Land Transport, the optimal speed to save fuel is 90 km/h. From this speed, a vehicle traveling at 120 kilometers per hour can consume up to 30% more.

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To all this we must add the importance of avoiding sudden braking, acceleration and gear changes. To slow down, whenever possible, you should take your foot off the accelerator and use engine braking.

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4 easy ways to use CBD to improve your well-being

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Add CBD to your coffee

Add CBD to your coffee

Add CBD to your coffee

Adding CBD to your coffee – Source: spm

By adding CBD to your morning coffee, you will balance the energizing effects of caffeine. Cannabidiol actually complements the stimulant effects of caffeine, but it also reduces the jitters that caffeine can cause. To energize your morning, for example, you can squeeze a few drops of CBD oil into your cup.

Do you need CBD products to improve your well-being? Then, come see here to find a CBD wholesaler or reseller. Also keep in mind that CBD can act as a stimulant at lower doses and as a sedative at higher doses. So keep that in mind when choosing your CBD dosage.

Consume CBD before bed

Consume CBD before bed

Consume CBD before bed – Source: spm

In addition to helping to energize your morning, cannabidiol can help optimize your sleep. Studies show that CBD can treat insomnia and REM sleep behavior disorder. Other research also shows that this molecule can combat excessive sleepiness during the day.

If you often cannot fall asleep at night, you can consume a CBD-based product, such as CBD Sleep beads, before bed. This will allow you to relax and have a nice night. If you smoke regularly, you can take CBD cartridges to quickly benefit from the effects of this substance.

Take CBD after sports

CDB001

CBD after sport. source: spm

Cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why many athletes consume it after their sports sessions to reduce the effects of post-workout pain in their muscles. If you like to play sports, you can apply CBD products like CBD balms directly to the affected parts to soothe sore muscles.

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You can also benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of this substance by taking cannabidiol orally. Just remember that CBD can help you recover from your training sessions if sport is an essential part of your wellness routine.

Using CBD to relieve pain and stress

If you suffer from chronic pain, you can consume CBD to manage your pain. In fact, as mentioned above, this substance has anti-inflammatory properties that make it possible, for example, to treat peripheral neuropathic pain associated with allodynia. To take advantage of this action of cannabidiol, you can use CBD capsules to deliver constant doses as needed.

CBD also has properties that help with anxiety and stress. So, if you are often stressed, you can turn to this molecule to relieve your stress and improve your mood. As you can see, nowadays specialized brands offer a variety of CBD products and incorporating them into your wellness routine is very simple.

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