Friends, I am so relieved when I survey my habitat surroundings and things are a little messy! When the yard, trees and shrubs are too tidy, I can’t help but worry.
I worry because there are many creatures that live in the shrubs, grass and trees and when things are manicured and groomed too much, our small Friends lose their habitats!
And it is not just the mowing and the trimming that I am talking about. I am worried about the use of pesticides to keep lawns greener than green! Is it really so bad for the grass to be dotted with dandelions and other interesting plants?
Did you know that more than fifty billion honeybees have died within the last year in the United States due to Colony Collapse Disorder?
Bees are social creatures but they are also very smart. When they become sick, they do not return to their colony so as not to infect the other bees. But when all the bees are sick and do not return the queen bee is left alone in the hive. She is then helpless and she too perishes.
But what is making our honeybees sick? I found the answers from our Friends at The Honeybee Conservancy.
A scientific study in 2005 showed that three-quarters of the 66 different pesticides found in one hive were toxic to bees. But even worse, the combination of the toxins increased the poison as much as by 1000 times. This same study found 121 different pesticides in 887 samples of bees, wax, pollen and hives. Scientists believe that pesticides are the reason for Colony Collapse Disorder.
The Honeybee Conservancy told me that our bees are harvesting pollen laced with lethal poison and feeding it to their young. Many of these systemic pesticides are from a family of highly toxic chemicals called neonicotinoids. Bees exposed to these chemicals exhibit symptoms similar to humans afflicted with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s.
Another thing that makes my fur stand up is mosquito fogging across municipalities. I am not a scientist as you know, I am Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger, but don’t you think if this poison cloud they disperse all over the land is killing mosquitoes, that it is also killing our honeybees, butterflies, fireflies and countless other beneficial insects? Don’t you think it is also harming our feral cousins, and quite honestly all creatures both big and small and humans too?
West Nile Virus is listed as a “rare disease” by the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. According to the Center for Disease Control in 2008 there were 1030 humans infected with West Nile Virus, 20 fatal cases, in the entire country. Each year 200,000 people are hospitalized for the flu and 36,000 of them die. There is not an epidemic of West Nile Virus in our country yet cities are spraying toxic pesticides all over the population and millions of people and animals are suffering from pesticide poisoning each year. Our health is put at a much higher risk of harm from mosquito fogging than it is from West Nile Virus.
Our Friend Tiny Timmy has been working super hard to let us know about the harmful chemicals in over the counter flea and tick medications for both cats and dogs. In addition to the chemicals well meaning pet parents place on their pets, there are all the other chemicals within and around your household that you may or may not think about being harmful to you and your pets!
Tiny Timmy told me that in the first study of its kind, the
Environmental Working Group found that:
“Just as children ingest pollutants in tap water, play on lawns with pesticide residues, or breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants, so do their pets. But with their compressed lifespan, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much more rapidly.”
Tiny Timmy has posted an Official List of Toxins Killing Animals. I urge you to take a look at this list to help protect you and your loved ones.
And while you are thinking about habitat safety, you might want to check out The Cat Fancier’s Association list of Plants that are Toxic to Cats.
Friends, I know this is a super serious topic.
On this beautiful Sunday I ask you to take a moment and think about your habitat and what you can do to help the honeybees and all living creatures both big and small. Here is what we are doing at my habitat.
~We do not spray our lawn and gardens~
~We are planting indigenous plants that beneficial insects like our honeybees need.
~We are letting parts of our yard go wild with wildflowers, shrubs, and grasses so wildlife can thrive
To learn more about what you can do go to The Honeybee Conservancy’s Act Now page.
Thank you for reading this extra serious and extra long post from me. Thank you for being my Friend. I would love to hear what you are doing to help out our honeybees and all living creatures both big and small.
Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday.