Bee Awareness

Last night Bob Hughes, long time beekeeper entertained our group taking about his passion for bees.  Bees are the primary pollinators for many of our important food crops and as a byproduct, excess honey can be gathered for human use.  Did you know that a colony – two of these boxes are home to 60-80,000 bees.  Beekeepers add extra boxes on top during the busy food collecting season.  Bees can generate about four pounds of honey on each frame or about 45 pound of excess honey.  Beekeepers must watch what’s happening in each hive or colony to make sure there’s enough room.  If it gets too crowded, a swarm will set off for a new dark location.  The swarm will rest on a tree while searcher bees go out looking for a new site and once located the swarm will follow.  Beekeepers like Bob get calls from frantic homeowners to deal with a swarm.   Bob suggested if you want to help out the bee population, you let dandelions grow in your lawn.   These are a bees favorite.  When asked, how can you be sure of the type of honey (clover, wildflower, orange blossom)?  Bob replied that bees don’t travel too far so if they’re close to a field growing a single type of flower, it’s surely that flower type.  Pollinating beekeepers move bee colonies at night and at least three miles away so they learn their new spot.   After an interesting Q & A, we had the opportunity to taste local honey and left with a new appreciation for the work of bees.

FullSizeRenderswarmframes

Advertisements

July 28th – Pollinators and why you should love bees

Bee-apisThis week our speaker is beekeeper Bob Hughes.  Bob has been keeping bee hives for over 35 years. He teaches a beginner beekeeping class at Rutgers University and is a hive inspector for the Department of Agriculture.  He’ll talk about beekeeping, honey and the concern of the decline of bees.  You’ll have an opportunity to taste honey produced by local bees.  Sure to be a fun time.  Bring your family, a chair, and bugspray to the fire pit at the Methodist Church on Conrow Road.  Action starts at 7:30pm.

July 21st – Healthy Lawns

Last nighbefore 9 signt was a great night for a campfire.  If you weren’t able to make it but want to know the secret Sal shared it’s to conduct a soil test of your lawn.  Our soils tend to be a little acidic so you might need to add lime.  Also, selecting a hardy drought tolerant grass like tall fescue (see the photo) will ensure that you’ve got a green lawn without constant watering.  The Delran Green Team is promoting water conservation.  You should be seeing signs like this around Delran.  If you do water your lawn, try to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon to maximize water getting to our lawn while minimizing loss due to evaporation.  If you decide not to water, your grass may turn brown but it’s still alive and will green right up with the next rain.

July 21 – Healthy Lawns

Does your lawn look like this?  Join us aroundbrown lawn the campfire on Tuesday at 7:30pm to hear how it’s possible to have a beautiful green lawn from Salvatore Mangiafico, a County Environmental and Resource Management Agent III (equivalent to Assistant Professor). He’s an expert in water resource protection, watershed management, and environmental conservation in Salem and Cumberland Counties.  But he’s making a trip to Burlington County.  He’ll provide good information on how best to water your lawn, maintenance  and New Jersey’s fertilizer ordinance.

Come out to the fire pit at 32 Conrow Road, United First Methodist Church.  Bring the family, a chair and bugspray.  Don’t forget the marshmallows.

Plant a Crape Myrtle

crepe myrtleOur Campfire speaker on July 14th, suggested that you consider planting  Crape Myrtles.  With hardier species and global warming, they do well in our climate.  Crape Myrtles range in sizes – miniature to over 20 feet tall.  The best part – unlike most flowering trees, Crape Myrtles bloom 90 to 120 days.   Here’s a list of  Crape Myrtle varieties and their characteristics.

July 14th Campfire – Trees

Here’s what  you missed.  Outreasure our trees tagsr speaker for July 14th was Barry Emens from Riverton.  He’s the Chairman of the Riverton Shade Tree Commission and has been on their board for 25 years.  He’s a member of the New Jersey Board of Certified Tree Experts and the New Jersey State Community Forestry Council.  He retired from the United States Department of Agriculture as the Director of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services focusing on Insects and Diseases.

The earlier rains came to an end, the campfire was lit, and the Delran Green Team was ready to introduce their first speaker in a series of Tuesday evening “campfire chats”. The Delran Green Team has selected speakers in a variety of topics intended to increase awareness. The first speaker was Barry Emens, A Riverton- based professional forestry consultant and residential Shade Tree Board Member. He spoke to the group on the Importance of Residential Tree Management.

Mr. Emens stressed the need for careful municipal planning. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission sells “Treasure our Trees” license plates. The purchase of these tags helps fund New Jersey’s Shade Tree and Community Forest Program which provides grant funding to municipalities to prepare a Community Forestry Plan. These plans help towns determine the health of the tree, when and where to prune, and which trees should be removed entirely.

He provided some good advice for tree selection and planting locations for residents. Consider the size and shape of the tree and the location it will be planted. Don’t plant a tree expected to grow over 50 feet near wires. A tree which grows very wide should be planted far from your house. Select new varieties that are insect and disease resistance, drought tolerant, and easy to maintain.

There’s a new Sweet Gum that doesn’t produce balls. Over-mulching is very common problem especially with landscapers. Piling up mulch on the trunk of the tree encourages the roots to grow up. This may look nice, but it prevents tree roots from proper breathing and induces insect infestations.

Emmons gave the group some good advice —”plan for 70 to 80 years in the future when considering a tree on a particular site”. He also recommended that you never plant a new tree in the same hole from which a tree was removed and when hiring someone to work on your trees, considering a tree expert, get three estimates, be sure the company is insured, and make sure they don’t use spikes to climb the tree.

July 14th – Campfire Program

oak treesOur speaker for July 14th is Barry Emens from Riverton.  He’s the Chairman of the Riverton Shade Tree Commission and has been on their board for 25 years.  He’s a member of the New Jersey Board of Certified Tree Experts and the New Jersey State Community Forestry Council.  He retired from the United States Department of Agriculture as the Director of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services focusing on Insects and Diseases.  Bring  your questions about trees and bugs to our campfire program on Tuesday July 14th at 7:30pm.

July Green Team Meeting

cropped-delrangt-logo-fb-cover.jpg

WHEN:  July 8th at 7pm

WHERE:  Delran Township Municipal Building

Agenda
• Review and approve June meeting minutes
• Finalize Summer Campfire program
• Finalize plans for the water conservation yard sign campaign
• Discuss seed packet promotion
• Discuss Health and Wellness programming
• Upcoming events
• Other business