NEW HOPE FOR HONEY CENTRE A HIVE OF ACTIVITY

Posted by on July 20, 2018 in Our Environment | 0 comments

NEW HOPE FOR HONEY CENTRE A HIVE OF ACTIVITY

Friday, 20 July 2018, 12:02 Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers inspects a beehive at Hope for Honeybees. KNYSNA NEWS – “The circle of life” and the “the results of divine intervention” is how Owen Williams of Honeychild Honey describes what he calls the privilege to work with Gift of the Givers in response to the Knysna fires of 2017 – which devastated the Cape honeybee populations between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder, director and chair of Gift of the Givers, was back in Knysna on Friday 6 July to attend the official opening of Hope for Honey’s Info and Education Centre in Rheenendal – just over a year since the fires. It was the culmination of a project spearheaded by Gift of the Givers through the experience and plan of action directed by Honeychild’s Owen Williams, Meagan Vermaas and Grant Livesey, who were tasked to formulate a disaster response to the destruction of the Cape honeybee and assist them in repopulating. In July last year, the fires destroyed hundreds of hives, and according to one scientist, more than 2.2-million bees died, says Williams. Bees ‘traumatised and hungry’ “The bees that survived were traumatised and hungry. They were in search of a hive and forage to survive. We only realised what we had to do following a chance meeting with Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, who overheard Grant speak about sugar. He came back to us and offered us resources, support, logistics, and all we had to do was come up with an action plan”. Backed by scientific data, three additional scientists and a pledge from Gift of the Givers, a plan was put in place and over the past year, major strides have been made in the world of the Cape honeybee. Zak Prins (Hope for Honeybees intern) was handed a certificate in beekeeping for beginners by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, alongside Owen Williams of Honeychild. Photos: Supplied “The involvement of Gift of the Givers attracted other role players who all contributed in the distribution of feeders, packs, pollen and nectar substitutes and other vital supplies. People all between Plett, Elandskraal, Brenton and Knysna worked together like bees in a hive – it was amazing. Under the banner of Hope for the Honeybees, we assisted beekeepers all across the province following the drought. So it was not just a temporary project, but something sustainable that would help for decades to come and can be implemented almost anywhere in the world. In this regard, Dr Sooliman asked us to do something with this, and that’s how we bore the idea of opening an information and education centre,” says Williams. Project attracts national award He attributes everything to Gift of the Givers and says it is humbling to see the project getting nominated for a national award, such as the recent SA Bee Industry Organisation, which recognised Hope for Honeybees in a prestigious award. “Dr Sooliman’s vision inspired other people and it is through this that we’ve made such large strides. And as you speak to me today, a swarm of bees is pollinating a blueberry orchard, on a farm that was devastated by the fires. And this farm was rebuilt after the fires by Gift of the Givers, and those bees were rescued by Gift of the...

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THERE IS LIFE BENEATH KNYSNA’S FAVOURITE PLAYGROUND

Posted by on July 19, 2018 in Our Environment | 0 comments

THERE IS LIFE BENEATH KNYSNA’S FAVOURITE PLAYGROUND

Thursday, 19 July 2018, 12:01 The Knysna seahorse needs no introduction. Photos: Supplied KNYSNA NEWS – SANParks is escalating the level of awareness initiatives concerning the Knysna estuary, a popular water playground for locals and visitors alike. Of the 249 national estuaries forming part of a study conducted by Jane Turpie and Barry Clarke (2007), the Knysna estuary was ranked above the St Lucia World Heritage Site in terms of biodiversity significance. This was determined by the number of its fish species, birds and botanical data. The estuary, in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), is home to 43% of South Africa’s plant and animal life, and contributes some 21.6% of the total economic value of the 249 national estuaries. “Estuaries are important nursery areas for juveniles, while adults also spend time in the estuaries feeding. Examples include spotted grunter, dusky kob, white steenbras, Cape stumpnose and leervis),” says SANParks marine ecologist Kyle Smith. They are under a range of pressures including changes to water inflow, pollution (plastics, fertiliser, organic) which can impact the health of the estuary, habitat quality and its suitability for fish and bait species. The Knysna estuary is also South Africa’s most important seagrass site with an estimated 355ha to 420ha of Cape dwarf eelgrass (Maree, 2000; Bandeira and Gell, 2003; CES, 2009). Both the Cape dwarf eelgrass (Short et al., 2007, 2011) and the fauna that it supports in Knysna are of very high conservation importance (Hodgson and Allanson, 2000; Russell et al., 2009), contributing to the estuary receiving the highest ranking in terms of its ecological importance. Dolphins can be seen frolicking in the Knysna estuary from time to time. Some challenges in managing the system, according to GRNP manager Paddy Gordon, include: • More work to ensure pollution stays away from the estuaries and the ocean. While the work of the Knysna Pollution Action carries on every week assessing all sources of pollution and any incidents that may negatively impact the bacteriological quality of the water, more must still be done. • More educational initiatives and a shared environmental education plan and resources. • More research projects are required to understand all aspects of the Knysna estuary which is the world’s one and only estuarine Hope Spot (conservation, tourism, skills, socioeconomic), declared by Dr Sylvia Earle in 2015. SANParks is requesting users of the estuary to exercise caution when using the estuary and note plant life and animals in the estuary. ‘We bring you the latest Knysna, Garden Route news’ Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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The Incredible Camouflage masters: Praying Mantis species

Posted by on July 18, 2018 in Our Environment | 0 comments

The Incredible Camouflage masters: Praying Mantis species

Hilary Haarhoff’s friend, Phillipa de Zeeuw from Cowies Hill in Durban,  captured these amazing photographs of the Eyed-flower Mantid (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi) in her garden. Note the incredible camouflage of this creature.  It has a large body, 42mm, attractively mottled in pinks, browns or greens with prominent circular eye-like marking on each fore wing.  It has large lateral extensions on abdomen.  The wingless nymphs (shown in photos)  are spectacularly ornamented and striped with pink and green and carry the abdomen curled above the body.  This species mimics flowers and ambushes visiting insects.  When threatened nymphs can expand the raised abdomen to reveal a single dorsal eyespot.  It occurs on flowers and in vegetation, KZN to Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The pic below of the Giant Mantid or Common Green Mantid (Sphodromatis gastrica) nestling in a Natal Lavender tree was captured by my husband. It has a large body, length 55mm, robust and bright green, usually with a white spot near anterior corner of each fore wing.  Sides of abdomen may be mauve and yellow.  Females are  much fatter than males.This species is unusual that diet consists mainly of caterpillars. The normally occur on foliage of trees and shrubs in domestic gardens and a variety types of undisturbed vegetation.  One of the most common species in the region.   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Calitzdorp Succulent Show.

Posted by on July 13, 2018 in Events | 0 comments

Calitzdorp Succulent Show.

The Calitzdorp Succulent Show 2018 : See details of events, bookings etc. HOME  EVENTS  NEWS  PROJECTS GALLERIES CONTACT VETPLANT  > VETPLANTFEES 2018 Vetplantfees 2018 IMPORTANT INFORMATION OVERVIEW DATES/TIMES VENUE ACTIVITIES ADMISSION MASSIVE PLANT SALE RARE PLANT AUCTION EXPERT TALKS WORKSHOPS (NEW) VELDWALKS Trained Cape Nature guides will escort small groups of enthusiast on a 90-minute walk to Calitzdorp’s famous Jakkalskop where dozens of succulent plant varieties will be in flower. It is an experience not to be missed and have proven to be very popular with festivalgoers. DATES & TIMES Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 22 Sept 2018 – 10:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 22 Sept 2018 – 16:30 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 23 Sept 2018 – 09:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 23 Sept 2018 – 16:30 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 24 Sept 2018 – 09:00 Vetplantfees – Veld Walk – 24 Sept 2018 – 13:00 BOOKING & PAYMENT Booking and payment are essential as only 8 persons will be accommodated on each of the scheduled walks. The fee to join each walk is R150, payable in advance and non-refundable on cancellation. Veld Walks will open for booking and payment by 1 August 2018 on this website. WHERE TO MEET Each walk will depart from the main festival paypoint every day. IMPORTANT Participants should wear shoes suitable for walking in the veld and bring water, a hat and sun protection. BOOKING Booking will open by 1 August 2018 on this website. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS SATURDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 09:00 — 17:00 Plant & Art Exhibition, Vendor Sales, Children’s Activities, Food Vendors 10:00 – Veld Walk* >> More Info 11:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 12:00 – Workshop Container Gardening with Succulents* (Alison James) >> More Info 13:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 14:00 – Workshop* Details coming soon. 16:30 – Veld Walk >> More Info 18:00 – Dinner & Keynote Speech* Details coming soon. * Fees apply. Advance booking required. SUNDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 09:00 — 17:00 Plant & Art Exhibition, Vendor Sales, Children’s Activities, Food Vendors 09:00 – Veld Walk* >> More Info 11:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 12:00 – Workshop Container Gardening with Succulents* (Alison James) >> More Info 13:00 – Expert Talk Details coming soon. 14:00 – Workshop* Details coming soon. 15:00 – Rare Plant Auction Details coming soon. 16:30 – Veld Walk* >> More Info * Fees apply. Advance booking required Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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