Paris has been a pesticide-free zone for 10 years. There are over 400 bee hives in the city.
It seems that these urban bees are very happy indeed. They have a far lower death-rate (3 – 5%) than their country cousins (30 – 40%). Their honey yield is almost double. Biodiversity also has a role to play – urban honey made in Paris contained more than 250 different pollens. Honey from the French countryside can contain as few as 15 or 20 pollens. Sweet stuff …
When living off the grid in the Klein Karoo on a part-time basis, this is non-negotiable. Yes – he’s my real cousin and and he’s married to Cathy. I’ll start at the (almost) beginning, a year ago. John writes:
“I’m constructing the super-insulated coolbox of all super-insulated coolboxes, ever, is that cool or what? This one should keep ice for a week in full Karoo sun. It’s all in the thermodynamics, or rather, the lack of ? Thermo’s will not Dynamic into my beer, is the plan, which is important after digging pipe trenches.
Whooo hooo, tank delivered, water reticulation plan designed, now I is a-shoppin’ for pipe fittings and valves and other farmer-type stuff ! Who wants to ride shotgun to the farm? No canopy … if no human comes, Ushki (the dog) gets it ! A free night at my 5 trillion star bush camp ? going going… ” I, for one, want the coolbox plans.
Spring fever? 2010’s Tree of the Year is the Fever Tree (Acacia Xanthophloea). It grows near stagnant water where malaria mosquitoes breed – hence the name. Fever trees occur in low-lying swampy areas, margins of lakes and pans and along river banks. They attract a lot of bird species which make their nests in them, especially weavers. Fever trees grow at a phenomenal rate making it a favourite choice. Due to the invasive root system it should not be planted near buildings or paving.”