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    Beeswarm

    August is the first month of the "Beekeeping" Year

    What you need to know -- info from an ORSBA beekeeper

    August 12, 2017

    Thanks to Mike Standing, a local ORSBA beekeeper, for sharing this info.

    "As temps are on the increase, honey bees will swarm. Honey bees live in colonies. A swarm is a natural way that honey bees reproduce a new colony. When their current colony or home gets too small for them, they leave in a swarm to find a new place. What’s left in the old home is a brand new Queen and some younger workers to take care of the colony. The bees that left are now homeless! They are on the hunt for a new home. Sometimes they know where they are going. Most often they don’t quite know where their new home will be. While searching for their new home, sometimes they will land someplace to rest and regroup.

    The kinds of places they might land could be a branch from a tree, an overhang from a house, a streetlight, the side of a building, basically anywhere! When the honey bees left their old home, they stocked up all the honey they could carry in their honey sacs. They need this honey to help them get started in their new home. When the Bees are in this state they are non-aggressive! To fear them is only natural. It can be scary to look up and see a cloud of bees flying overhead... but do not worry. This is not a frenzy of bees on the war path out to attack everyone and everything in its path!

    The same goes if you are out for a walk and come upon a honey bee swarm that has landed someplace like a low hanging tree branch. Keep your distance; remember they are just resting until they can find a new home. Take all the pics you want, but don’t harass them! That’s a real good way to get stung!

    So what do you do if you come across a swarm? If you are in a highly populated area, the best thing to do is contact a local beekeeper by City to come and rescue the swarm."

    Source source Tag(s) honeybees
    Added about 1 month ago view
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    Fernhill-walkingtrail-20170514

    Natural Water Treatment in Western Washington County

    Fernhill Wetlands engineered from the water channel to the ground, up

    The restoration of Fernhill Wetlands has been a collaborative effort among the City of Forest Grove, Clean Water Services, and various engineering and design firms... built from the the water channel, up.

    When Clean Water Services (CWS), an Oregon utility, wanted to restore three former sewage lagoons associated with the Forest Grove Wastewater Treatment facility, they turned to Biohabitats to lead the design team. Though the ponds were occasionally visited for wildlife viewing, they held untapped ecological and recreational potential. Biohabitats’ design transformed the lagoons into a rich, 90-acre mosaic of riparian wetlands that provide natural wastewater treatment while also enhancing ecological function and recreational and educational opportunities along the Tualatin River floodplain.

    The restoration first involved draining the lagoons, drying more than 200,000 cubic yards of soil, and moving the soil to create precise contours and depths. Control structures were strategically placed to encourage the growth and establishment of 750,000 native wetland plants and 3.5 billion seeds that were planted for water quality and habitat. 180 logs and snags were anchored into place to provide wildlife habitat.

    The diverse habitats created by the restoration include open water, mudflat, emergent marsh, scrub-shrub, and upland areas that support wildlife. The enhanced habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds, has helped make the wetlands an important stopover site in the Pacific Flyway. Birds and wildlife have taken to the site, and human visitors are flocking to enjoy trail improvements, new outdoor classroom areas and views of the emerging wetlands.

    In terms of water quality, the wetlands reduce the temperature of the treated wastewater flowing into the Tualatin River, and serve to regenerate the complex systems of life and nutrients that exist in healthy waters. The treatment facility will treat 5-18 million gallons per day throughout the year. The project accommodates diurnal and seasonal variation in wetland system giving flexibility to provide important ecosystem functions. Wetland hydraulic control structures provide the CWS with the ability to manipulate water levels in the wetland cells to more closely mimic typical seasonal variations.

    By creating a wetland system that provides benefits in water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and education, CWS and Biohabitats are making a long-term investment in the health and resilience of the Tualatin River.

    Source See also: http://fernhillwetlands.org/

    Source source Tag(s) water treatment, habitats, wastewater, biodiversity, drainage, riparian
    Added about 1 month ago view
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    Forest-city-china

    This city is being designed to scrub the air of pollution

    Liuzhou Forest City

    China's approach to reversing climate change is firm and innovative.

    Covering an area of approximately 175 hectares along the Liuzhou River, Forest City will have offices, houses, hotels, hospitals, and schools that will be entirely covered by a total of 40,000 trees and close to a million plants, including over 100 species. It will be connected to the main city of Liuzhou by a rail line with electrical train cars.

    This will also be the first urban settlement in China that will be able to "generate its own renewable energy, increase biodiversity, and effectively reduce urban air pollution—which is a major challenge for present-day China."

    Source source Tag(s) urban planning, city design, green
    Added 2 months ago view
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    Did-you-know-barberry

    Barberry and Ticks

    You might not want this deceptively attractive plant in your yard if you have dogs or cats.

    A study by University of Connecticut shows that areas with the presence of Berberis thunbergii are more likely to have Lyme disease-carrying ticks:

    Williams recites the numbers. ”When we measure the presence of ticks carrying the Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) we find 120 infected ticks where Barberry is not contained, 40 ticks per acre where Barberry is contained, and only 10 infected ticks where there is no Barberry.”

    Source source Tag(s) invasive species, gardening
    Added 3 months ago view
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    201704

    Climate change is real.

    Source source Tag(s) climate
    Added 4 months ago view
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    Windturbine

    Economical tax savings from ecological home improvements

    Use Energy Saver's reference list below to see if you are eligible for qualifying credits when filing IRS Tax Form 5695 with your taxes. Bonus points for having your receipts and manufacturer's certification statement on hand! Home Efficiency Improvements

    First-time claimers of the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit can get as much as $500 back for qualifying installations in 2016. Follow the links below to review specific requirements for each product. Remember that to claim the credit, all products must have been placed in service by December 31, 2016.

    Building Envelope Improvements

    -- Building Insulation -- Exterior Doors -- Roofs (metal and asphalt)

    Heating, Cooling and Water-Heating Equipment

    -- Furnaces -- Heat Pumps Water Heaters (non-solar)

    Home Renewable Energy Systems

    Thanks to the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, you can get a tax credit of 30 percent for the cost of adding these renewable energy technologies to your house:

    -- Fuel Cells -- Geothermal Heat Pumps Solar Photovoltaics -- Solar Water Heat -- Residential Wind Turbines

    Source source Tag(s) energy, efficiency, taxcredit, economical
    Added 6 months ago view
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    Piezoelectrics

    Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement Into electricity -- all at once

    Extracting energy from multiple sources could help power wearable technology.

    A perovskite solid-solution that exhibits tunable bandgaps in the visible light energy range is showing promising material for light absorption and conversion applications,(solar energy harvesting and light sensing).

    Such a common ABO3–type perovskite structure, most widely used for ferroelectrics and piezoelectrics, enables the same solid-solution material to be used for the simultaneous harvesting or sensing of solar, kinetic, and thermal energies.

    These results are considered to be a significant improvement compared to those of other compositions which could be used for the same applications. The results pave the way for the development of hybrid energy harvesters/sensors, which can convert multiple energy sources into electrical energy simultaneously in the same material.

    Source source Tag(s) solar, green tech, technology, smart materials, materials engineering
    Added 8 months ago view
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    Biofuel_algae

    Biofuel-producing algae can now be farmed 10x faster than before

    New process moderates temperature of grow environment

    When the microalgae is first seeded, it’s kept at 15 degrees celsius, which makes it a solution. When it’s heated by just 7 degrees, it becomes a gelatinous mixture in which microalgae grows in clusters 10x larger than in the regular medium. Finally, it’s cooled again for harvesting, at which point it turns back into a solution, which can be separated using gravity.

    See also: the study put out by Syracuse University

    Source source Tag(s) energy, biofuel
    Added 8 months ago view
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