Now that we are in the thick of the heat of summer, we do things a little differently here in Texas. Since August is National Picnic Month, our mind is automatically drawn to an evening picnic, post-sunset, when we won’t melt. Coincidently, August 6th is Wiggle Your Toes Day which has us envisioning a sunset picnic on the beach.
August 10th is National S’mores Day and what a perfect place to set up a small fire and roast some marshmallows to the sounds of the waves and the cool(ish) breeze of the ocean. S’mores have a vague history, but are first mentioned in print in 1927 as “Some Mores”. It all makes sense now! Making them is easy: sticks, marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers. Experts suggest a 6” distance from your fire to the marshmallow. Looking for a short how-to? Check out this clip out from the movie The Sandlot.
Bee aware of your surroundings.
Another day worth mentioning this month is August 19th, National Honey Bee Awareness Day. Here at Mosquito Joe, we practice Honey Bee Awareness daily. There is a lot of misinformation debated about out there and often pest control companies are lumped together regarding what they do and how they impact the bee population.
The future of the Honey Bee is something that has been a cause for concern for some time, particularly since 2006 when beekeepers reported losses of hives from 33 – 90%. Bees were leaving the hive and not returning leaving beekeepers baffled. The name given to this condition is CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) and the impact has declined since that time, but colonies are still weaker than ever. Unexplained colony declines have occurred before, in 1880, 1920, 1960 and 1995 for example. Many of these occurrences have been unexplained, while others seem to point to new parasites that impact the hive. However, scientists point out that there is no one cause to the decline, although they agree that a baseline cause could impact the bee’s immune system, rendering them susceptible to illness and disease.
A reduction of habitat and access to the best pollens also plays a role. As more and more land is destroyed, a bee’s access to a diverse plant habitat is reduced.
Pesticides are also a threat to the bee population. Specifically, the use of neonicotinoids, routinely used in the US on wheat and corn, soy and cotton crops, has impacted the bee population. A British study reported that “neonics” prevent bees from supplying their hives with enough food.
Bee-ing kind with Mosquito Joe.
At Mosquito Joe, we value bees and all pollinators and work hard to keep them as safe as possible. We never treat flowering plants, and use only garlic around any fruit tree or flowering plant that pollinators visit. We also monitor wind and won’t treat if the wind might cause drift. The advantage to treating the way we do, boots on the ground and personalized service to each client, is why we amend our service to fit the yard we are in. And of course, we never use neonics.
There are many organizations out there who are dedicated to raising funds for further research and protection of the Honey Bee. One great organization is The Honey Bee Conservancy. Check them out here for more information.
Finally, we should shout out the first week of August, National Simplify Your Life Week. Given everything we have going on, including work and preparations for hectic back-to-school time, we all need a reminder to slow things down and smell the roses. So go grab some s’mores supplies, leave your phones and computers behind, and take a trip to the beach to take in the sunset.