Posts Tagged: Christmas
In the year 2020, COVID chased us out of our work places and out of our fun places. So we dutifully covered our faces to cover all the bases, washed...
A honey bee buzzing in a patch of catmint. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary fluttering toward its host plant, passionflower vine. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis eating its prey, a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Christmas tree production is a big business that offers economic benefits and environmental impacts, reported Erin Blakemore in Popular Science.
Christmas trees' environmental tolls include fuel for helicopters to harvest and trucks to transport, but UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Lynn Wunderlich says fertilizer and pesticide use are the main culprits.
"There is pesticide use across the board," she said.
Christmas tree farmers can use integrated pest management tools to reduce pesticide use, including monitoring for pests and natural predators and selecting pest resistant trees, such as Nordmann and Turkish firs.
Glyphosate is used to manage weeds between seedlings and on the walkways between trees. Wunderlich said that since the herbicide is used in small quantities - and not on the trees themselves - consumers don't have to worry about herbicide residue in their homes.
Live Christmas trees benefit the environment by capturing carbon dioxide and storing it in their branches, roots and needles. Availability of the natural option also means fewer artificial trees are set up during the holidays.
"Artificial trees have major environmental impacts," Wunderlich said.
Since live tree impacts also stem from the distance consumers drive to purchase the trees, for the greenest tree possible, Wunderlich suggests getting to know your local tree farmer.
"Buy local, stay local," she said.
It's time to revisit the "Thirteen Bugs of Christmas!" Back in 2010, Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen (now emeritus) and yours truly of the...
"On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 5 golden bees." This is a cordovan bee; an image taken in a Vacaville, Calif., pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
"On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 11 queen bees piping." This image shows a queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
On the last few days of Year 2019, where do you find a foraging honey bee? Well, if the temperature soars to 50 or 55, you might see honey bees slip...
A honey bee heads for a winter flowering plant, Kniphofia, in Napa, on Saturday, Dec. 28. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Check out the pollen on the honey bee foraging on a red hot poker (genus Kniphofia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A clump of "red hot poker" or "Christmas cheer" (genus Kniphofia) brings winter cheer to a Napa vineyard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Move over, "Twelve Days of Christmas." It's time to revisit the "Thirteen Bugs of Christmas!" Back in 2010, Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen (now...
A golden bee, a Cordovan, sipping nectar on a lavender blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The varroa mite is a persistent pest of the honey bee. Here's a varroa mite on a worker bee in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)