Bee-aware and Bee-wear! Why you should know about the “Plight of the honeybee”

Honey Bees have been a staple of suburban gardens for lifetimes on lifetimes, always buzzing around and never really bothering anyone until being bothered themselves. At this point in time, the honey bee is integral to the survival of our agricultural system, and they are slowly but surely dying off.

honeybee-honeycomb-macro_26201_990x742In a 2013 Time Magazine cover article titled “A World Without Bees” Journalist Bryan Walsh delved into the heart of the issues commonly referred to as the “Plight of the Honeybee”
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The first line of the feature read, “You can thank the Apis Mellifera, better known as the Western honeybee, for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of food you’ll eat today.”

Yes the western honeybee is one of the most important animals in the production of the produce that we consume every single day.

Walsh added later, “Honeybees — which pollinate crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers — are the “glue that holds our agricultural system together,” as the journalist Hannah Nordhaus put it in her 2011 book The Beekeeper’s Lament. (In fact, nearly 70% off all crops that are grown today require pollination.) But that glue is failing. Bee hives are dying off or disappearing thanks to a still-unsolved malady called colony collapse disorder (CCD), so much so that commercial beekeepers are being pushed out of the business.”

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CCD is based on multiple factors, most are cause by human influence, these are:

  • Pesticides that human’s spray on our crops.
  • Biological Threats like the Varroa mite are killing off colonies directly and spreading deadly diseases.
  • Over-production of commodity crops such as wheat and corn that provide no pollen for honey bees and therefore they are literally starving to death.

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The population decrease is so profound in some areas that places that were considered honey bee hotbeds like Iowa, has lost 70% of its population over 6 years. (from 2006-2012)

During that same time period, California, lost nearly half of its honey bee population. And from 2010-2015, the United States has lost 30% of its total honeybee population, and bee colonies are now no longer existent.

Canada is not immune to the problem either, but there are many great organizations fighting to save the bees, including Bees Are Life, which is based right in Toronto. We plan to team up with them in the near future.

Our Bee dress is meant to raise awareness around the plight of the honey bee and hopefully work towards changing it to a more hopeful, rebounding, and rising in population, flight of the honey bee.

Check out the beautiful dress below and pre order soon on our website.

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FTD – For The Dads – Devin’s Top 5 Beers for St. Paddy’s Day

st-patricks-daySt. Paddy’s is just one of those holidays that really needs to happen on a Friday or Saturday… Don’t ya agree! Well we’re all adults here, so let’s cut to the chase. There’s nothing like an ice cold beer, (or glass of wine, if you’re classy) after a long day with the kids. For me, considering I don’t have kids, let’s call it a long day with my dog, who whines and needs to go outside far too much, and is afraid of the rain, and snow, anyways.


Sometimes you just need a cold one to take the edge off and properly relax. So in the spirit of St. Paddy’s day. Here are my Top 5 Beer choices. We get a little classy, we get a little sassy, and we’re always tasty.

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Budweiser

Ahh, the old classic, the King, as they say. I once heard a comedian say that he doesn’t drink Heneiken, because when you’re at a bar and have had a few too many. “Heneiken” is just too difficult to articulate, so, that’s where Budweiser comes in. Whether you’ve had 2, or 20. You can always say, “Bud”. It’s perfect for St. Paddy’s as it couples a decent flavour at a great price point. But watch out, because Bud is brewed with rice, instead of wheat, the next day headaches are killer… Of course, a trade off most of us are always wiling to make.

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Sleeman Clear 2.0

Maybe not what you thought was coming, but definitely an option. I’m a fan of strong, crisp beers, but if you’re looking keep the pounds down and not feel bloated from a night of increased hydration, this is by far the best low-calorie option. It still maintains that crisp Sleeman taste, without making you feel like a hot air balloon. I’ve heard many guys say that they don’t want to touch these types of beers, but listen, it does the same job, and if you feel cleaner doing it, then jump right into it. After all, they all taste the same after a while anyways…

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Coors Banquet

I guess we can call this the College Beer. There’s just something about Coors Banquet that makes me feel nostalgic, and it is the only beer that I prefer in a can. Call me crazy but I’m not a fan of Coors Light, but the Banquet understands me. It’s golden can, and even more golden taste, make me feel like I’m in Los Angeles watching the Kings beat the Capitals (true story), or I’m back at home, in my childhood bedroom with my mini-fridge stacked with little golden babies. Plus, I personally think it tastes great, and a good can option is always better than a bottle when travelling.

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Miller Lite/MGD

Like I mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of light beer, thankfully, I am a fan of Lite beer, (see what I did there, spellcheck is saying it’s spelled wrong) Anyways, Miller Lite is finally in Canada, and that is great news for anyone who likes light beer with good taste. It goes down smooth and easy, and is incredibly affordable. You won’t know what hit you. An honourable mention must go out to it’s ancestor… MGD, those clear bottles, they are just beautiful. Aren’t they?

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Guiness

Well, it’s not St. Paddy’s without being genuinely Irish… and there is nothing more Irish, other than Potato’s, than Guiness. It is probably the only beer I’ve ever enjoyed that I cannot see through, and to honour its tradition, and to not hurt my pocket book, it is a St. Paddy’s only beverage. It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking on March 17th. You have to at least pour one of these out for ol’ St. Patrick!

This beerly beloved blog is brought to you by Wee Urban’s own, Devin Sarges. A constant supporter of the Toronto St. Pats/Maple Leafs – I know. I really do know.

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Outfitting the Kids: How Parents can save on School Clothes

Outfitting the Kids How Parents can Save on School Clothes

Between book bags, lunchboxes, shoes, and a nearly endless list of school and classroom supplies, back to school shopping can really add up. In addition to the initial costs, kids just keep growing, so school clothes typically have to be replenished throughout the year. Below are some easy ways parents can save on school clothes this year and get the best deals.

Shop Used

Shopping consignment shops or yard sales can help drastically reduce your bill, while still allowing you to get cute and high quality clothes. Consignment shopping has increased significantly in popularity, as families seek to save money and benefit the environment. If you are interested, there is likely a consignment shop in your area and there are also many reputable online shops that sell quality used clothing at a fraction of the cost of new.
Take Advantage of Coupons and Sales
Many stores offer deep discounts, online deals, and coupons to loyal customers. Take advantage of these sales and coupons. If you need coupons for a certain store and have already used yours, ask around with friends. Swapping coupons is a great way to help ensure everyone gets coupons they can best use. Don’t throw away unused coupons or go shopping at your favorite store without some on hand. The internet and social media have made coupon swapping even easier and more convenient. Sites like Discountrue also offer brand name discounts like kohls.com coupons and more.
Think Gender Neutral When Appropriate
If you have multiple children, hand-me-downs can be a huge help when it comes to saving money. Unfortunately, if you have children of the opposite gender, the opportunities to pass clothes down are much fewer. Think ahead and try to buy gender neutral when appropriate. Most clothing available is gendered one way of the other, but other items such as rain slickers, snow pants, and mud boots can easily be gender neutral and passed down from boy to girl or vice versa.
Make a List
Though typically thought of when going to the grocery store, making lists can be just as beneficial to the school shopper. It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of school supplies and clothes and over-buy on certain items while forgetting others. If you have children shopping with you, it can become a free-for-all as they toss things into the cart. Having a disciplined approach and a list that needs checked off can make shopping less chaotic and less expensive.

Back to school time is full of change, excitement, and apprehension for many kids and families. Trying to make school shopping fun and special for kids without breaking your wallet can be difficult, but not impossible. Keep your eyes open for deals and be creative with how and where you spend your money.

 

 

~ Brooke Chaplan ~

 

Another amazing article from Brooke, and at the best time possible! School on the horizon, everyone needs a deal!

Pregnant With Your First? 5 Ways to Prepare

Giving birth is no easy task, hence the term “labor”. The expectant mother has most likely read tons of material for preparing for the birth of their first child, but sometimes a quick checklist is the most helpful way to get ready for this life-changing event. Preparing ahead will help you feel more confident and in control. These five ways to prepare for your first can do just that.

 

Follow a Schedule of Prenatal Visits

Make a doctor’s appointment with your OB-GYN or specialist as soon as you think you are pregnant. They will be able to confirm your pregnancy and check your health as you progress. Expect a schedule that begins with monthly check-ups and ends with weekly ones. The doctor will check the growth of the fetus and perform special tests that can detect problems like high -risk symptoms early. These visits are important to avoid any complications that may arise with your pregnancy. If you are having a high-risk pregnancy then visits with a maternal fetal specialist, like Dr. Gilbert Webb, are all the more important.

 

Pre-register and Practice Checking In

Most hospitals and birthing centers are more than happy to have expectant parents pre-register for the event. This allows them to take care of your paperwork and insurance matters in advance. It is a good time to also find out what you should do to have the new family member added to your health insurance policy. Ask for a tour of the birthing area and nursery. Ask about your options. Scope out parking and entrances. Pretend it is 3 a.m. and you have just arrived!

 

Stock up on Supplies

Cooking up a few meals for the freezer will save you and your family time and energy once baby is born. Heat-and-eat meals will allow you more time to rest and be with your baby. Don’t forget easy-to-grab non-perishable healthy snacks like granola bars and dried fruit.

This is also the time to decide whether you are going to breastfeed or put your baby on formula. If breastfeeding, purchase a couple of comfortable nursing bras and a breast pump. For formula feeding, get a case of formula and your choice of bottles. Disposable ones will make life easier in the beginning.

Stocking up on plenty of “incidentals” will cut down on errand-running after the baby arrives. Don’t forget maxi-pads, baby wipes, a gentle stool softener, and, of course, newborn diapers.

 

Recruiting Outside Help

Friends and family will be invaluable during those first few weeks of new parenthood. Now is the time to ask and recruit. Have a cleaning service come right before your due date. Bringing home the new baby to a clean and neat home will feel good. Enlist the cleaners on a temporary basis while you get established as a new mom. It may sound like splurging, but you will find that it’s worth it to save your own energy for being with the baby.

 

Planning Transportation

It’s never too soon to purchase and install a proper infant car seat. Hospitals won’t allow you to leave without one. If you must take a taxi, practice installing it in another car a few times. Make sure the car has gas, or if you are using a taxi service, decide on which one and have the number in a handy spot. Plan out the best route from home to hospital. Consider possible traffic jams at certain times of the day and any road construction that is in progress. Together with your partner, take a few practice runs.

Waking up at 2 a.m. with labor pains or having your water break while at work or lunch are not the times for packing your bag for a hospital stay. At least two weeks before your due date, pack up and put your bag in an easy-to-spot location. Pack a comfy gown and robe, slippers, and personal items you will need. Don’t forget a coming-home outfit for you and the baby.

These tips can help first-time mothers feel in control. And being in control can help you relax and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience,

 

 

A great guest blog from our friend Brooke Chaplan!

 

To contribute to Wee Urban’s Blog. Email devin@weeurban.com

 

6 Specialty Field Experts Every Family Should Have on their Contact List When Needed

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Another great guest blog from our friend Rachelle Wilber!

 

Life happens, and you want your family to be prepared. When unexpected problems arise, it is nice to know exactly who to call to help you. It’s important to build good relationships with people who will assist you with short term notice. But exactly what kind of experts do you need? Here is a list of six experts to get on your contact list before you need them.
Lawyer
You just never know when you might need legal representation from an attorney, like St. Louis criminal defense lawyer Richard Lzano. Lawyers can handle everything from creating a will to defending you if wrongly accused of a crime and just about anything in between. Go ahead and get a good lawyer on your contact list. Let them assist you with creating legal documents for your family and create a good rapport with them when you really need help.
Financial Planner
When you have an income, you may need help managing it. A financial planner will help you make the most of your money by helping you save for large expenditures, your children’s education, and even retirement. As your income grows, a financial planner will help you get the most out of your investments. They might even be willing to help you out come tax season. You might think that you could do all this yourself, but the US News advises a financial planner because they can see your situation in an objective and unemotional way, which will help them advise you accurately.
Party Planner
You may not be in the habit of throwing lavish gatherings, but most people will put together the occasional bridal shower or graduation party. Having a party planner on your contacts list will help you make sure these events go off without a hitch. You don’t have to spend a fortune hiring a party planner if you have one that you use every time. They’re likely to offer discounts.
Computer Expert
Just about everyone owns a computer these days, but not everyone knows how to run every program they need to or how to fix the system if it malfunctions. Keep a computer expert on your speed dial for when you have a presentation due, and your printer just won’t communicate with your printer.
Babysitter
If you have kids, then there will be times that you need a little help. You might not think a qualified babysitter is important, but it does happen that you will need care unexpectedly when your usual caregivers – mom, neighbor, etc. – just aren’t available. When this happens, you need someone you can trust to call and know your kids are in good hands. Same concept applies for animal care.
Handy Man
If you own your own home, then a reliable handy man (or woman) is a must have. Windows will break, appliances can stop working, and drains do clog. Your family needs someone they can call to take care of problems like this. You will be less worried about who is in your home if it is the same person every time. A good handy man, much like a maintenance person at an apartment complex, will be knowledgeable about large appliance repair, electrical wiring, plumbing, and some carpentry.

 

– Rachelle Wilber

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

Infants and the Pool: Important Keys to Remember – GUEST BLOGGER POST

Infants and the Pool

If you are going to the pool, you want to be able to share that experience with your child. Babies can go in the water at any time, but you may want to wait until at least 6 weeks after the birth before going in water. After that, a pool in your own backyard or at a local health club can be a great place for you to bond with your child. As long as you take steps to keep your child protected from drowning or exposure to bacteria, cold temperatures or chemicals, playing around and swimming in the water can be a fun experience for both you and your child.

 

Sun and Water Protection

At an outdoor pool, keep your baby in a shaded spot, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Put your child in protective clothing such as pants, a collared shirt and a brimmed hat when you go outdoors. Also try to use an umbrella or a stroller to keep UV rays from reaching your child. Consult your pediatrician before putting sunblock on a child under 6 months old. If sunscreen is necessary, only use small amounts on your infant’s face and hand. After the age of 6 months, you can use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher on your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends putting sunscreen on a child 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Be careful when choosing a sunscreen. Broad spectrum sunscreens with zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide tend to be the safest for children, and sun blocks with DEET insect repellent are considered harmful.

When going to pool, check to make sure the water is safe for your baby. Try to avoid pools with cold temperatures below 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit, especially for really small babies. Also check to make sure that a pool doesn’t use high levels of chlorine, which could be harmful to an infant’s eyes or skin. Use your judgment. If you can smell chemicals when you enter a pool, or the water seems cold to you, it likely isn’t going to be healthy for your baby.

 

Trust of Water

According to Dr. William Sears of Parenting.com, you can help build water trust by taking baths with your child. Make baths fun and soothing by singing to your child or playing with toys in the tub. You may even want to breastfeed your child in the water. Once you work your way up to a pool, make sure to hold your child securely and maintain eye contact while moving around in the water.

You can make going to the pool a fun experience for your child by bringing toys and snacks. Easy snacks such as fruit, crackers, cereal, baby food and formula tend to be the easiest, depending on your child’s age. Bring bath toys, such as rubber ducks or action figures, to transition your child from the bathtub to pool. If you bring floaties or a baby raft when your child gets older, don’t count on these toys to keep your child safe. Make sure to watch your baby at all times.

 

Swimming Lessons

Making sure your child knows the basics of swimming at a young age can help promote water safety. A swim class can allow your baby to learn the basic motions of swimming early on in the developmental process. Companies such as Swim Jim, a swim center that offers swim lessons in Houston and New York, offer swim lessons for children as young as 8 weeks old. During swim lessons, make sure to be actively involved in teaching your child how to swim. Most classes for young children tend to incorporate games to make the lessons more interactive for youngsters. Don’t be tempted to dunk your child underwater, even for a few seconds. You baby could swallow water and run the risk of developing a bacterial infection. Give your little one encouragement when working on swimming to make it a positive experience. Try to start your baby off gradually with small increments of 10 to 20 minutes in the water before moving onto swim classes.

 

Pool Safety

According to the CDC, children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old have the highest risk of drowning, especially in backyard pools. To protect your child from getting into a pool unsupervised, install a 4-foot-tall fence around the perimeter of your pool, a self-latching gate and an underwater motion alarm. A pool cover can also help you to keep your child from being able to get into a pool when you aren’t around. Remove temptation for your child by taking toys out of the pool area when you’re not using it. If you have an inflatable pool, empty it out each time.

When you are in your backyard pool area, watch your child every moment and make sure your baby wears a well-fitting personal floatation device, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Before letting your child into a pool, it may be useful to learn CPR in case anything happens. When your child is old enough, go over important rules such as staying out of the water without adult supervision.

As long as you practice water safety, being in the pool with your baby can be a positive experience. It can allow you to develop a closer bond with your child and have a relaxing experience at the same time. By enrolling your child to swim lessons at an early age and encouraging the use of personal flotation devices, you can help your baby to enjoy and be safe in the water.

– Rachelle Wilber

 

 

Thank you Rachelle, if anyone else is interested in writing a guest blog for Wee Urban, please contact devin@weeurban.com

3 Key Ways Pets Influence Children

A Wee Urban Guest Blog from Melissa Stevens!

Raising a child may be the most fulfilling process a human can experience, but it is truly based on a bittersweet mixture of events and emotions. Of course, the bitter part emerges from all the worries and anxiety that being responsible for another (helpless) human being can cause. The sweet part comprises all the beautiful moments that make up parenthood. If a parent wants to make a child’s upbringing even more interesting and colorful, getting a pet is a fabulous way to do it. Pets affect children’s development in an extraordinarily beneficial way.

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Boosting Imagination

One of the most important things that should be encouraged while a child is growing is the development of imagination. The evolution of the cognitive part of the child’s brain should be boosted from the earliest age. Sure, reading stories and playing with your child will give incentive to the development of both kinesthetic and mental skills, but if you add a pet to this cognition-boost set, the outcome will be even better. You can introduce different pets to your child and encourage him or her to become interested in them, as well as develop a higher level of empathy. In addition, reading to them about animals will help bolster your child(ren)’s imagination even more. As they get older, they will develop a life-long, animal-friendly attitude.

Stronger Family Bonds

Many families have problems when it comes to spending time together, but a pet can turn the things upside down and give birth to a special bond within your family. Instead of staring at TV every night of the week, you could spend at least a couple of nights playing with the pet and teaching your child how to treat it in the best way. Also, such occasions are a great opportunity to create a sense of togetherness, and teach your child that many things can be done more easily if all the family members participate. It could be mere dog/cat brushing, but you could also be something more involved, like a flea and tick or cleaning up after the pet, to introduce your child(ren) to some less pleasant duties that come with pet owning.

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Pet-Related Duties For Better Working Habits

A child can be brought up in many ways and every mother develops and applies some special rules of her own. But making a pet become a part of your child’s life usually has one common effect in most of the pet-having families – they become organized in a better way. Smaller pets, like tortoises and budgies are not that demanding, so they could be very attractive first pets for the beginning of your child’s active pet-owning life. For starters, kids will learn to feed them on a regular basis and become aware that animals also need emotional approval from their owners. Perhaps once children learn those skills, they may be ready for a cat or a dog. That way they will be taught that a larger pet causes more responsibility, just as it is the case with real life.

It is clear that a great bond can be established between a pet and a child, but every parent should understand that only with their help will children be able to develop special feelings for pets, and learn how to behave towards pets (and people) in an appropriate way. A pet can be great fun for the entire family, but it also requires a lot of care and attention, just like a child.

Image source Pixabay.com

About author

Melissa Stevens is healthy lifestyle and environmentally friendly living enthusiast and huge animal lover! All relevant information for this article she got from experts from Stefmar. She is interested in practical solutions for simpler and more convenient life, and she likes sharing them with others. Thank you Melissa!