SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges – that is one challenge per week for a whole year themed by month – are Qatar-specific and Qatar-relevant opportunities for all residents to take actions in personal life, work and within our communities.
Read the blog post on the October Theme – GARDENING
With healthy soils and proper plants in place, our gardens are starting to brim with life. It is now time to sit back and enjoy ‘Jurassic Park’ in our backyards. That’s surely a dream come true for many of us – to watch nature! In Doha! Without leaving our houses! This is a fun time to get the children out, too, to observe and play with the bugs and reap the many cognitive benefits as addressed in Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.
Fearless Gardening for climate action – Attracting bees, birds and beneficial bugs to our gardens to enjoy our green oasis.
Who has such a vision? Or determination? We do, and here is how beneficial bugs make our life easier by taking over many important tasks from pollination to pest control!
Perhaps calling microorganisms and insects ‘bugs’ may not sound like a compliment, but it is! So many little creatures are ‘knocking’ on our garden doors and want to move in and enjoy it as well. And we need them, too! There are a number of pesky bugs and a much larger number of beneficial bugs that are essential for maintaining balance in our newly created diverse ecosystems and urban oases. Fearless gardening for climate action is all about biological pest control, free of toxins and chemicals that would harm us directly, the plants in our garden or the food we grow in our gardens.
The most common beneficial insects we see in Doha, besides ants, are wild bees. These bees are non-aggressive. They are wild bees, not apiary or honey bees, and do not produce honey for harvesting. They frequently come, build a hive and really just mind their own business supporting themselves and pollinating all plants around us as an ecosystem service, free of charge to us. After 3 to 6 months the bees abandon their hive and move on to the next flowering tree and nectar supply. What remains is the decorative beehive sculpture in our yards or trees.
As long as the hive isn’t next to our doors that would affect us and bother or frighten the bees, please do not remove the bees, but watch and enjoy them! The long-term benefits (educational and pure fascination) of observing the wonders of nature from the convenience of our homes here in Qatar will most likely outweigh the ‘inconvenience’ of limited access to a corner of our backyards.
If, however, the beehive needs to be removed, please use a hose and water to deter the bees and make them move on without hurting them, or make a bonfire as they don’t like smoke.
Founder of Bu Saif Apiaries, Khalid Alsowaidi, is Qatar’s local bee expert. He is committed to bee education and creating local habitat for bees that is free of toxins and chemicals.
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