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Good Medicinal Plants to Grow that Can Also Help Bee Populations

Good Medicinal Plants to Grow that Can Also Help Bee Populations

 

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Did you know that bees are responsible for pollinating more than 30% of the food that the world eats?  Not only that, but bee populations have been steadily decreasing at about 30% over the past decade as well.  While there are a lot of causes for this mass die-off, from genetically modified foods to pesticides and viruses, replacing what has been lost has been a challenge.  While some signs point to the stabilization of the rate of decline, we are at a precipitous point in our history as our future may very well hinge on whether or not bees thrive or start dying off again.

One of the best things that we can do to help bring back the bee population is to plant crops that attract them.  Not only that, but having bee-friendly plants on your property or homestead can also encourage the growth of your own crops as well.  Let’s take a look at a few plants that can be used to attract bees, and some of them are also good to have around for various reasons as well.

Sunflowers

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Sunflowers make an excellent addition to any yard or homestead not only because they look pretty, but because they are also nutritious.  The seeds can provide us with a healthy source of oil, as well as high levels of vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and numerous other compounds that help to boost our immune system, contribute to healthy circulation as well as the management of cholesterol.  These are just a few of many benefits associated with sunflowers, and if you live in a climate conducive to their growth, consider planting a row or two that you and the bees can both benefit from.

Lavender

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Lavender is a potent antiseptic and disinfectant as well as a great anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving agent.  It has been used for centuries to help alleviate respiratory problems, improve circulation, boost moods and calm the nervous system.  Lavender is also very easy to grow and care for, and having your own on hand can provide you with access to a wide-range of medicinal benefits over the course of time.

Oregano

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Believe it or not, bees love the smell of oregano, and oregano is an essential component of any good herb garden.  Aside from it’s flavor-enhancing properties, oregano is also a well-known antibiotic and anti-fungal agent, immune booster and anti-inflammatory agent.  Oregano is also linked to helping the body to fight various bacterial infections as well, particularly those that affect the upper-respiratory system.  These are just a few of many benefits associated with oregano, and it may be worth your while to do a little research and discover why this herb is so important to have on hand. 

Yarrow

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Yarrow has primarily been used over the years to treat things like colds, fevers as well as minor digestive problems.  In fact, remedies date back to more than a thousand years.  It has also been used in first aid as a way to stop bleeding by promoting clotting, and yarrow is considered to be an excellent source of nutrients that promote overall blood health.

Sage and Rosemary

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Sage and rosemary are closely-related and provide similar medicinal benefits in addition to attracting bees.  There are links between taking sage on a regular basis and improvements in memory and cognitive functioning.  Sage is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent as well as a powerful antioxidant.  It also doesn’t take a lot of sage to trigger positive responses in the body.  It is also known to soothe minor skin conditions as well as helping to strengthen the structural integrity of our bones. 

Rosemary is known to help to protect brain cells and regulate brain chemistry, works as an excellent anti-inflammatory and is even linked to slowing the progress of macular degeneration.  Combined, rosemary and sage not only provide you with a supply of delicious herbs for food, but incorporating them into your diet on a regular basis can have tremendous medicinal value as well.  Best of all, they are easy to grow and can thrive in diverse climates.

Learn more about how you can optimize your herb or flower garden in order to provide you with basic medicines as well as excellent flavors now as well as during a time when you will need to be as self-sufficient as possible.  There are literally dozens of other plants that you can grow to enhance nutrition, promote health and well-being and encourage bees to wander through your garden at the same time. 

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The Long History of the Trusted Utility Knife

The Long History of the Trusted Utility Knife

 

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Did you know that there have been variants to the modern utility knife since the early days of the Roman Empire?  Some believe that pocket knifes emerged before then as well.  This is a testament to the practicality and usefulness of this tool, and it also illustrates the importance of having one on hand at all times.

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Jack Knife

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The first known jack knife dates back to around 600BC, and the design hasn’t changed all that much since.  A thick and sturdy blade was anchored between two pieces of metal or wood that were riveted or welded together.  The blade was a few inches long, and could easily be stored in a pouch or pocket without harming the user.  However, they weren’t mass-produced and available to the general public until the 1600s.  A company in England is attributed to creating the “penny knife”, which was the first affordable utility knife that was a favorite among laborers and farmers. 

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Switch Blades and Butterflies

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Butterfly and switchblade knives started to make an appearance in the 1700s.  A French company is attributed to inventing the first butterfly knife early in the century.  It had a rudimentary design that is not fundamentally different to what we see today.  Two pieces of material encapsulate the blade which can be concealed easily and deployed quickly.  Switch blades were considered to be invented around the same time, but they weren’t mass-produced until the middle of the century in England.  It had a spring-loaded locking mechanism that was released by pressing a button. 

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The Modern Utility Knife

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The original utility knife was thought to be made near the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, and it included a rudimentary fork, spoon, pick and blade.  However, it looked more like a cheap can opener than anything else.  It is thought that the modern utility knife was built on the designs of the jack knife, butterfly and switchblade.  It wasn’t until the late 1890s when Swiss inventors came up with the knife that would become the gold-standard:  The Swiss Army Knife.

The Swiss Army Knife was made for soldiers who needed a foldable multi-tool that could serve as a can opener while including a special blade and screwdriver for taking apart their rifles.  The first Swiss Army Knife was born, and it was originally called the Soldier Knife.  It included a blade, screwdriver, can opener and reamer, which was a tool used for working with metal.  It also included sturdy grips made from polished oak. 

Design improvements by the end of the decade including incorporating a special spring mechanism that allowed more features to be installed on each knife.  The next thing to appear, in addition to the items listed above was a corkscrew and then a smaller cutting blade.  Later versions would add things like files, scissors, hooks, mini-saw blades and pliers.  Today, you can find more than a dozen different Swiss Army Knife products, including one that is almost 9 inches wide and includes 85 tools. 

This article isn’t intended to be a plug for the Swiss Army Knife, and there are many different brands on the market today to choose from.  However, it is undeniable that the Swiss did create one of the most practical and ubiquitous utilities that turned out to be a total game-changer.  More than 20 countries supply variants of the utility knife to their military forces, and NASA included the Swiss Army Knife in tool kits for astronauts. 

The utility knife is a staple for almost every prepper, those who love the outdoors, contractors and anyone else who wants access to a multi-tool that can be used right away for a million-and-one purposes.  Make sure that you don’t forget to include a good utility knife in your survival kit or bug out bag.  However, due to the fact that they are so popular, and many companies produce their own versions, it’s important that you test its quality and functionality before relying on it in the field.  However, once you get the right knife for your needs, it will definitely make life a lot easier now as well as in the midst of a survival situation. 

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