Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stinging tree.

 

During my time here I have experienced the severe pain this amazing tree dishes out. My first encounter was when I was removing the introduced tobacco bush, mistaking the sting tree leaf with the tobacco leaf. The deep stinging pain lasted for weeks and I tried every recommended remedy with none providing the relief I desperately needed. It was years later I discovered the hair removing wax strips proved effective.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/18/australias-stinging-trees-if-the-snakes-and-spiders-dont-get-you-the-plants-might

 

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Native bees.

The Problem: Herbicides and Pesticides

How does urban and agricultural weed and pest control impact bees? 

Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide used against pest insects. The chemical poisons the nervous system upon contact or ingestion resulting in death. This insecticide does not discriminate between pest species and vital pollinators such as honeybees and native bees and are extremely lethal to all.  Sub-lethal exposure results in behavioural disturbance and disorientation, which is ultimately fatal for beehives. Exposure to neonicotinoids reduces the capacity of the hive to establish new populations, meaning after their initial population decline from exposure, they struggle to re-establish their colony. Neonicotinoids are currently registered for use in Australia and are commonly used by farmers, growers and home gardeners.  The European Union has banned neonicotinoids in an attempt to protect bees from its devastating effects. 

Neonicotinoids are systemic, meaning they can be applied through sprays, seed treatment and soil application. This means buyers should be vigilant when purchasing seeds, seedlings and soil for their garden, not just rejecting neonicotinoids in sprays. Neonicotinoid seed coatings are commonly used in food production to protect farmers profits. Make sure to ask your local supplier if their seeds are free of treatment to ensure your food is giving bees the best chance of survival. 

Glyphosate is an herbicide commonly used by farmers, gardeners and in public areas such schools and golf courses, to kill weeds by preventing them from making vital proteins. It is the active ingredient in popular weed killer ‘RoundUp’ which is owned by Monsanto Bayer and is the world’s most popular weed killer. Its traces can now be detected in 70% of global hives. The herbicide is not directly lethal to bees, but instead indirectly interferes with many vital processes of the individual and hive. 

Glyphosate tampers with plants, including their pollen and nectar- which is bee food. This tampering affects the growth of micro-organisms in the bee’s gut. Weakening the gut micro biome makes bees more susceptible to opportunistic pathogens which can kill the individual.  Food that is feed to the bee’s larvae contaminated with glyphosate results in weaker larvae who are more susceptible to additional stressors. This results in a population decline, which is the global problem we are trying to prevent.

Large companies such as Monsanto Bayer and Syngenta use these insecticides and herbicides to increase their profit yields despite being lobbied and knowing the lethal effects on bees. Avoid supporting their products and sign our petitions to ban the use of Neonicotinoids and Glyphosate in Australia. 

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Worth a read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2020/sep/15/covid-farm-animals-and-pandemics-diseases-that-changed-the-world

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From The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/12/how-vaccine-hesitancy-could-undermine-australias-covid-response

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BEES.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-10/bee-taxonomy-in-australia-a-dying-art/12647676

Michael Batley holding a bee
Michael Batley of the Australian Museum is one of fewer than five bee taxonomists in Australia.(ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)

 

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Taxonomists are the “map makers of nature”, tasked with naming new plant and animal species, but it is a dying art.

Key points:

  • Taxonomy is the discipline of identifying and naming newly discovered animals or plants
  • There are only four bee taxonomists in Australia
  • Scientists estimate there are at least 1,000 Australian bee species yet to be discovered and named

For specialties like Australian bees there are just four taxonomists left, and no one to pass on their knowledge and skills to.

Michael Batley has been a bee taxonomist for the past 20 years and a volunteer with the Australian Museum.

In that time he has named 40 new species of bees.

Among his favourites are Leioproctus glendaeLeioproctus gibber and the Euryglossula scalaris which he discovered in the Northern Territory in 2016.

“I always find something new,” Mr Batley said.

“On an average bee-chasing trip I could find up to 100 specimens in a day to analyse.

“Not all will be new, unnamed species but they could be a new record, a new place the bee has been seen, or a male or female bee that hasn’t been seen before.”

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And we are still using Glyphosate in this Shire.

 


Environment

Rampant destruction of forests ‘will unleash more pandemics’

HIV spread from chimpanzees and gorillas that were slaughtered for bushmeat in west Africa.

HIV spread from chimpanzees and gorillas that were slaughtered for bushmeat in west Africa. Photograph: agefotostock/Alamy

Researchers to tell UN that loss of biodiversity enables rapid spread of new diseases from animals to humans

Robin McKieSun 30 Aug 2020 16.03 AEST

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Scientists are to warn world leaders that increasing numbers of deadly new pandemics will afflict the planet if levels of deforestation and biodiversity loss continue at their current catastrophic rates.

A UN summit on biodiversity, scheduled to be held in New York next month, will be told by conservationists and biologists there is now clear evidence of a strong link between environmental destruction and the increased emergence of deadly new diseases such as Covid-19.Cost of preventing next pandemic ‘equal to just 2% of Covid-19 economic damage’Read more

Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of farming and the building of mines in remote regions – as well as the exploitation of wild animals as sources of food, traditional medicines and exotic pets – are creating a “perfect storm” for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people, delegates will be told.Advertisement

Almost a third of all emerging diseases have originated through the process of land use change, it is claimed. As a result, five or six new epidemics a year could soon affect Earth’s population.

“There are now a who

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/30/rampant-destruction-of-forests-will-unleash-more-pandemics

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/28/despite-bats-being-critically-important-to-our-ecology-and-adorable-we-treat-them-with-disdain

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/29/taking-an-eraser-to-australias-wildlife-ad-blitz-planned-to-fight-environment-law

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Mount Everest.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/aug/25/we-knocked-the-bastard-off-rare-photographs-of-edmund-hillarys-everest-expedition

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BARTER.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/22/the-return-of-shell-money-png-revives-old-ways-after-covids-blow-to-economy

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Bayer.

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German drugs and pesticides group Bayer said on Thursday it will pay around $1.6 billion to settle the majority of U.S. claims involving its Essure birth-control device.

The agreement follows a $10.9 billion settlement in June of U.S. lawsuits claiming the company’s weedkiller Roundup caused cancer.

Bayer said the Essure settlement is for around 90% of the nearly 39,000 claims by women alleging injury from the devices and that it was in discussion with counsel for the remaining plaintiffs.

“There is no admission of wrongdoing or liability by Bayer in the settlement agreements,” Bayer said.

Women have claimed in lawsuits that the device, which is implanted in the fallopian tubes to permanently block the passage of eggs to the uterus, could pierce the tubes, and that the device’s metal parts could become dislodged and migrate to other parts of the body.

Bayer said in 2018 that it would phase out the birth control product in the United States, a decision which the company said was due to declining sales of the implantable device and not based on safety concerns.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan)

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