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Archive for December, 2010

Protecting your health with “purple fruits”

Posted by blueberrytalk on December 8, 2010

Ground-breaking research from Professor Douglas Kell, published in the journal Archives of Toxicology, has found that the majority of debilitating illnesses are in part caused by poorly-bound iron which causes the production of dangerous toxins that can react with the components of living systems.

These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of many kinds in different parts of the body.

In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to take on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly.

Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of chelators, as is green tea, with purple fruits considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively.

However, despite conflicting reports, the widely-publicised benefits of red wine seem to work in a different way, and have no similar benefits, Professor Kell’s paper noted.

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Nests for leafcutter bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on December 5, 2010

Elderberry nests for Leafcutters

Plants that have a soft pith in their stems provide a natural nest site for Leafcutter bees. We have helped the bees by drilling out the soft pith of Elderberry branches. The Elderberry nests will be set out in a box where cocoons will be released this spring. We hope to gather more cocoons for next year. Some Leafcutter bees already make cocoons in the nests we place out for Mason bees.

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Incubating leafcutter bee cocoons

Posted by blueberrytalk on December 5, 2010

Leafcutter bees have been increasing in our farming area. The problem is that a lot of their lifespan follows the blueberry pollination season. Incubating leafcutter coccons is a big business in Alberta where the leafcutter’s lifespan is timed with the alfalfa pollination.  They have been used in New Brunswick on lowbush blueberries.

We hope to give the cocoons in the box below a warmer environment in the spring to produce bees earlier in the season. The cocoons outside the box are the control group to find out the natural time for leafcutter bees to emerge from their cocoons.

leafcutter bee cocoons

UPDATE: On April 1 the cocoons in the box were brought in the house for incubation. On May 3 the first male emerged. He was able to squeeze through the wire!

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