Tag Archives: Beehive

Prunus japonica

Botanical Name ; Prunus japonica
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Cerasus japonica – (Thunb.)Loisel.

Common Names : Korean cherry, Flowering almond or Oriental bush cherry,

Habitat :  Prunus japonica is  native range extends from Central China through to the Korean peninsula. P. maximowiczii, the Miyama cherry is also often referred to as Korean cherry.Found in woodlands in mountain valleys. Forest on mountain slopes, thickets and sunny mountain slopes at elevations of 100 – 200 metres.

The plant thrives on well-drained and moist loamy soil and prefers little shade or no shade at all. The plant prefers some lime in the soil but not too much. It is mostly found at woodlands or sunny places.

The shrub reaches 1.5 m by 1.5 m. Its flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. The plant blossoms in May. Its fruit reaches about 14 mm and has an agreeably sweet flavor, therefore it is used in making pies, but its taste is quite sour, reminiscent of that of Sour cherry.

Every fruit has one seed. The plant usually grows from seed but can also be multiplied by cutting for layering.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is subject to die-back. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The Korean cherry is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety. The sub-species P. japonica nakai. (Lév.)Rehd., which comes from Manchuria, has larger plum-like fruits up to 50mm in diameter. This species is closely related to P. glandulosa. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged.

Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Medical interestAlthough this is not yet scientifically established, the species is thought[by whom?] to contain amygdalin and prunasin, as is the case at all the other members of the genus Prunus. These chemical compounds break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid, an extremely poisonous substance that when taken in very small amount can stimulate respiration and improve digestion.

The kernel of Prunus japonica is highly versatile: it is deobstruent, aperient, demulcent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, hypotensive, ophthalmic and lenitive. It can also be prescribed for internal use in treating dry constipation, oedema or post-traumatic insomnia. Other part of the plant is also used, but more rarely. For instance, the root acts against constipation, child fever, pinworms and teeth problems

Other uses:  The leaves of this plant procure a green dye, while the fruit procures a greenish to grayish dye.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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Bee Propolis

Honey bee on Geraldton Wax Flower, NSW, AustraliaImage via Wikipedia

Other name: Propolis
Propolis is a resinous mixture that bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6.35 millimeters (0.3 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature. At lower temperatures it becomes hard and very brittle.


Propolis is a sticky resin that seeps from the buds of some trees and oozes from the bark of other trees, chiefly conifers. The bees gather propolis, sometimes called bee glue, and carry it home in their  pollen baskets.  They blend it with wax flakes secreted from special glands on their abdomens. Propolis is used to slickly line the interior of brood cells in preparation for the queen’s laying of eggs, a most important procedure.  With its antiseptic properties, this propolis lining insures a hospital-clean environment for the rearing of brood.

For centuries, beekeepers assumed that bees sealed the beehive with propolis to protect the colony from the elements, such as rain and cold winter drafts. However, 20th century research has revealed that bees not only survive, but also thrive, with increased ventilation during the winter months throughout most temperate regions of the world.

Propolis as hive sealing Propolis is now believed to do the following:

1.To reinforce the structural stability of the hive.

2.To reduce vibration

3.To make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances

4.To prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive

5.To prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, found its way into the hive and died there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odorless and harmless.

The composition of propolis will vary from hive to hive, district to district, and from season to season. Normally it is dark brown in color, but it can be found in green, red, black and white hues, depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area. Honey bees are opportunists, and will gather what they need from available sources, and detailed analyses show that propolis chemical composition varies considerably from region to region, along with the vegetation. In northern temperate climates, for example, bees collect resins from trees, such as poplars and conifers (the biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects). Poplar resin is rich in flavanoids. “Typical” northern temperate propolis has approximately 50 constituents, primarily resins and vegetable balsams (50%), waxes (30%), essential oils (10%), and pollen (5%). In neotropical regions, in additional to a large variety of trees, bees may also gather resin from flowers in the genera Clusia and Dalechampia, which are the only known plant genera that produce floral resins to attract pollinators. Clusia resin contains polyprenylated benzophenones. In some areas of Chile, propolis contains viscidone, a terpene from Baccharis shrubs, and in Brazil, naphthoquinone epoxide has recently isolated from red propolis, and prenylated acids such as 4-hydroxy-3,5-diprenyl cinnamic acid have been documented[8]. An analysis of propolis from Henan, China found sinapic acid, isoferulic acid, caffeic acid and chrysin, with the first three compounds demonstrating anti-bacterial properties[9]. Occasionally worker bees will even gather various caulking compounds of human manufacture, when the usual sources are more difficult to obtain. The properties of the propolis depend on the exact sources used by each individual hive, therefore any potential medicinal properties that may be present in one hive’s propolis may be absent from another’s, and the distributors of propolis products cannot control such factors. This may account for the many and varied claims regarding medicinal properties, and the difficulty in replicating previous scientific studies investigating these claims. Even propolis samples taken from within a single colony can vary, making controlled clinical tests difficult, and the results of any given study cannot be reliably extrapolated to propolis samples from other areas.

Side Effects
Propolis shouldn’t be applied to the eye area. Repeated use of propolis may make people more prone to developing allergies.

Other uses
Propolis is used by certain music instrument makers to enhance the appearance of the wood grain. It is a component of some varnishes and was reportedly used.


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Living with Vision Loss > Getting Around

Not all people considered blind use a long white cane or dog guide. People who are visually impaired and do not use long canes or dog guides often rely on their remaining sight and auditory and tactile cues in their surroundings for orientation and travel.

How Can You Make It Easier To Move Around Your Home?..

1. Replace worn carpeting, and remove area rugs. Move electrical cords away from walkways.

2. Use nonskid products to clean and polish floors.

3. Use contrasting colors to make doors and stairs easier to see.

4.Move furniture out of the main traffic areas in your home, and keep desk chairs and table chairs pushed in.

5.Keep cabinet, closet, and room doors fully open or fully closed—not half open.
Make sure that lighting in hallways and stairwells is bright and even.

6.Use railings when climbing stairs.
7.Make it easy to locate electrical outlets and light switches, oven dials, hot pads, and doorknobs by using color contrasts.
Are You Concerned About Traveling Safely Outside Of Your Home?

Wear comfortable and supportive shoes.
Plan your route before you go. Identify landmarks that are easy for you to detect and use them as reference points.
Cross streets only at crosswalks. If you are uncertain about when it is safe to cross, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
When walking with another person, it may be helpful to hold onto his or her arm slightly above the elbow and walk about a half step behind. This will allow the person to guide you comfortably.

Dog Guides:……..CLICK & SEE

Dog guides are carefully trained service animals used as travel tools by people who are blind.

Dog guides and their masters undergo rigorous training to work safely and effectively as a team.
People who are blind are responsible for the health and well being of their dog guides at all times.
Dog guides should always be kept under control by their masters.
Dog guide users are trained to relieve their dogs regularly and to clean up after their dogs.
Dog guides work most effectively with persons who have very little vision. It is likely that most of the dog guide users you will meet are totally blind.
Dog guides move only in response to directions from their masters. They disobey commands only to avoid danger.
Concentration is essential when a person travels with a dog guide. Petting, feeding, or distracting a dog guide disrupts concentration and can cause serious danger.
Public and private organizations are required to admit dog guides and all service animals into their facilities.

Long Canes..…...CLICK & SEE

Some long canes are made of a single piece of metal, fiberglass, or similar lightweight conductive material. Other canes can fold or collapse like a telescope. Not all long canes are white; some are silver-grey.
People who are blind learn how to use and store their canes safely. It is their responsibility to do so at all times.
To assist a person using a long cane, always announce your presence and ask if your assistance is needed before reaching to help.
When guiding a person who uses a long cane, do not interfere with the arm used to hold the cane.
Always inform a person who is blind where you have stored his or her cane if it is necessary for you to take it for even a brief period of time.

Accessible Mass Transit.……..CLICK & SEE

Why Is Access to Mass Transit Important for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired?

Public transportation is a major key to independence, productivity, and community participation for people who are blind or severely visually impaired–most of whom are not able to drive a motor vehicle because of their visual impairment. Mass transit services such as buses, trains, or special paratransit vans are frequently the only options blind or visually impaired people have for traveling independently to school, work, health care facilities, shopping centers, and a host of other places in the community.
What Do People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Need to Access and Use Mass Transit?
People who are blind or visually impaired need to gather information about their physical surroundings and about the visible information that appears at transit stops, terminals, on transit vehicles, schedules, maps, and directories in order to use mass transit safely and effectively. Because of the visual nature of most transit information, people who are blind, severely visually impaired, or who have poor sight cannot use readily the wealth of information provided in mass transit environments for general information, wayfinding, and safety. For people who are blind or visually impaired, this visible information can be a barrier to using mass transit   barrier that can be addressed by providing information in ways that blind or visually impaired people can use.
What Kinds of Transit Information Present Barriers to People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired?
*Route, timetable, fare, and customer service brochures available only in print formats.
* Print or graphic messages on signs, monitors, or maps displayed in transit terminals, on transit vehicles, and inside transit vehicles.
*Bus stop locations that are not clearly marked, and bus stops whose placement varies within a transit system, that is, some bus stops are placed just before the corner, some are mid-block, and others are just beyond the corner.
*Ticket vending machines that have only visible or touch screen operation controls.
Safety or hazard signs and warnings that are only visibly displayed.

What Is Being Done to Improve Transit Accessibility for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired?
In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. This broad civil rights act bans discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications in the public and private sectors. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Justice have issued regulations implementing the ADA’s requirements for public and private transportation vehicles, facilities, and services. The ADA transit regulations are complex, addressing a wide range of areas including the design of transportation vehicles and facilities, paratransit services, training of transit staff, compliance requirements and timeframes, and a host of broad reaching issues.

It is important to note that transit agencies have unique obligations under the ADA as well as concurrent obligations under state and local statutes and codes. Transit agencies are advised to consult legal counsel for meeting Federal, state, and local requirements. The information contained in this fact sheet is not intended to address in whole or in part the obligations of transit agencies with regard to the ADA and other Federal, state, and local requirements. The Department of Transportation regulations for publicly operated mass transit are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR Parts 27, 37, 38).

In general terms, the ADA requires transportation systems to remove barriers to mass transit for persons who are blind or visually impaired, primarily by making visible information accessible and usable. The following list illustrates some of the ways that transit systems have begun to do so:

Providing large-print, high-contrast, and non-glare informational signs in terminals, at bus stops, and on transit vehicles.
Placing braille and tactile information regarding available service at consistent locations near the entrances to and within transit stations.
Installing a tactile domed high-contrast warning surface along platform edges.
Making stop announcements inside transit vehicles at main points along a bus or train route.
Providing external speakers that announce vehicle identification information.
Providing ticket vending machines with braille and large-print markings, or audible output devices.
Training transit personnel to meet the specific needs of persons with visual impairments who use public transportation.

What Does Innovation and Technology Hold in Store for Transit Accessibility?
In the years since the passage of the ADA, rapidly evolving technology has led to innovations that promise to enhance transit accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired. Computer screen interfaces are being developed that read aloud information displayed on video screen monitors, information kiosks with tactile maps that “talk” to those who seek information about the location of key places in transit stations, multimedia interactive software allows users to query a map to plan routes, and global positioning satellite (GPS) technology enables people to use a portable computer to monitor their progress as they travel from place to place.

This same GPS technology can be used to drive automatic digitized stop announcements and can be linked to external bus speakers that will announce vehicle identification information to those waiting at vehicle stops. And, infra-red signals and radio transmitters can be programmed to broadcast the visual messages displayed on print signs so signs can then be “heard” by people who use special voice output receivers.

Source   :/www.afb.org