[NetBehaviour] Fwd: Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Mez Breeze netwurker at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 02:22:50 CET 2019

On Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 8:02 PM Helen Varley Jamieson <
helen at creative-catalyst.com> wrote:

> that is very inspiring, mez!

Thank you Helen! :)

when i'm living in new zealand i have a small inner city garden which with
> a little work is very productive & a nice place for many insects & birds,


but in germany i'm limited to the balcony. i've had an "insect hotel" on it
> for a couple of years but no insects have shown any interest in it yet.

...where is the insect hotel placed? Sometimes too much or little sun can
effect them depending on season?

we do get bees,


> mostly bumble bees, & various other insects but really not very many at
> all. i grow many herbs including those you mention, flowers & some vegies,
> but if you have any good tips for helping insect life on a balcony, please
> tell!
You could go for an actual home-made bee attractant like is shown here
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl0o2aytaFE>, though I've never tried it.
I'd also be careful where you source your plants/seeds too - heritage and
local varieties suited [native] to your region/season could help, and make
sure to always go true organic [as opposed to greenwashed
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwashing> organic] that haven't been
artificially boosted with all types of chemical crud. And never use
pesticides/herbicides - use companion planting methods
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companion_planting> + seaweed/kelp solution
as tonic + good compost [do you have an in-home composting setup
for your apartment? Homemade is the best, and it stops vegie/fruit scraps
going to landfill.]

And it does sound like you're doing all the right things - I'd suggest
keeping up planting anything with a blue/purple flowers:

*"According to Bee Culture <http://www.beeculture.com/bees-see-matters/>,
the most likely colors to attract bees are purple, violet and blue.*

*A study of nine bumblebee colonies in Germany found that those who favored
purple blooms were greatly rewarded for their preference.*

*“In the area we studied, violet flowers produced the most nectar – far
more than the next most rewarding flower color (blue),” Dr. Nigel Raine
from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences told
“Inexperienced bees are known to have strong color preferences, so we
investigated whether the bumblebee colonies with a stronger preference for
violet flowers foraged more successfully in their local flora.”*

*Raine found that the bumblebees developed their favorite color over time,
corresponding with the most nectar-rich flowers."* [From:

> a great resource - new zealand specific but with a lot that's relevant to
> elsewhere - is the nz organic magazine, https://organicnz.org.nz/. i'm
> biased because my sister is the editor, but really it's a fantastic
> magazine & is not only about organics but also about soil & wider
> environmental issues from industiral farming to helpful information for
> home gardeners wanting to be more organic & insect friendly. you can
> subscribe to a digital issue or get the hardcopy delivered anywhere in the
> world.

Fantastic, and thx for the heads up about it.

> it's a dire situation but all of these small things we do ourselves do
> make a difference!

They absolutely do. Even things like having a in-house/apartment composter,
or even keeping insect-friendly plants, even one plant will help! I'm a
massive fan of the idea that everyone can do *something* to
help/contribute, even tiny contributions is better than none as you say. It
all adds up.


| mezbreezedesign.com
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