Friday, March 16, 2012

Day #521 Bees and Firefighters

Two meetings this week -- and both were packed full of information. Tuesday evening was the monthly Gwinnett Beekeepers meeting, and the speaker was Dave Arnold, who’s an expert in landscape management with wildlife in mind.
Here are the plants he recommended for bees (and some for butterflies, too):
  • Button Bush
  • Snapdragons
  • Goldenrod
  • Aster
  • Alfalfa (let it bloom)
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Borage
  • Mint
  • Spanish Needle
I’d never heard of several of them, but I’m going to get out my books and catalogs.
How many of these are found in your yard?
Speaking of yards, Dave said that there are more than 45 million acres of lawn in the United States. Lawn -- pesticide and fertilizer-ridden, a veritable dessert for bees and other pollinators.
If you have that kind of dessert around your house, how about considering a change to a pollinator-friendly lot?
And then, Thursday evening, the Gwinnett County Citizens Fire Academy. Whew! This is going to be a busy twelve weeks. I’ll share some pictures with you when I do the ride-along, and when I try crawling through a “burning” building (fake smoke). That’s won’t be for another few weeks, though. We have to learn a lot of skills before they put us into those yellow suits.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about how I surprised the Fire Chief.
BEEattitude for Day #521:
       Blessed are those who do what they can to make the world a better place, for they shall benefit from a feeling of accomplishment.
The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.


Anonymous said...

Well our yard must be like Baskin-Robbins to the little fuzzies around here! And I can hardly wait to see the firefighter blogs/photos! Sounds like a great experience.

Fran Stewart said...

@ "Anonymous" -- Like Baskin-Robbins? Great visual image!

And I must admit, I'm feeling a bunch of fear about what we're going to be put through in this Fire Academy. But even more excitement about it.

AggiePete said...

How could my name have come up Anonymous? That is too weird .... anyway when I read where you were going through the academy all I could think of was "Backdraft" ... Lord, but I love that movie!!!

Fran Stewart said...

"Backdraft" scared the pee-turkey right out of me. Don't worry. They won't let us get into any dangerous situations.

Megan said...

Hi Fran,
Bought some delicious local Scottish heather honey from a farm shop today when I heard on the radio that most commercial honey has all the good stuff filtered out of it.How can that be? ( if you'll pardon the pun!) And why on earth would they want to do that? Don't think most people here know about it.
Good luck with the scary stuff, I am a certificated coward! though I know some people who think spending every day with 5/6 year olds like I did is scary.

Fran Stewart said...

Megan, the local honey is almost always better for us. Local honey is filtered slightly to get out the little bits of dead bee and lumps of pollen that come with honey harvesting. But commercial honey is often filtered excessively and heated (to make it easier to pour into the bottles).

Also, many commercial honeys are mixed with high fructose corn syrup -- because that makes the whole product cheaper to sell. Of course, it's not nearly as good for us. In the U.S., a lot of that syrup comes from China, which is one of the countries with the highest levels of pesticide use.

Even if we have to pay a bit more for local honey, it's well worth it in the long-run.

Fran Stewart said...

I should have mentioned, Megan, that I've blogged about the value of local honey several times.

Here are the links:

Day 274:

Day 428 (this one has even more information):

Hope this helps!