Ecology has high status in Montreuil sur Mer

Beekeeping and insects

The steadfast little town of Montreuil sur Mer is situated just a little south along the coastline from Calais. This settlement has always taken pride in its support of the maintenance of a fine living environment. It seems to set a standard for the simple quality of life as an example to the rest of France and the greater world beyond. The feeling in the town is a sort of ‘home from home’ that appeals to all people.

Montreuil-sur-Mer Should you ever visit Montreuil sur Mer, take a walk around the medieval ramparts associated with their Citadel. Take a look below to observe a 21st century local approach offering a solution to a contemporary world scale danger. The uninterrupted elevated circular stroll, embracing stunning countryside, will take about 30 minutes. Beekeeping and the preservation of insects represent Montreuil’s recent contribution to the fundamental essentials for the continuance of all life forms on our planet.

The expanding existence of beehives and insect cabins in this setting are there due to the sponsorship of the town’s local authority. The contribution that these tiny creatures make to the fine balance of nature is essential. In our modern world, their continued and fragile presence is constantly under threat. Few people ever really take notice of these small creatures and few people nowadays appreciate their essential importance.

Both bees and insects pollinate plant life to ensure the continuing existence of the food supply for all living creatures and especially for people. Pollination is the natural process where life is passed from one plant to the next to sustain a primary food chain. Bees and insects are the natural regulators. It is a process that all living creatures depend on. Albert Einstein once said that ‘Without their presence, humanity would last no more than four years’. The attempt to preserve the continuing existence of such tiny creatures in a modern, clinical and chemical world is locally promoted intensively by the town authorities in Montreuil.

Beehives Bees especially, pollinate more than a third of everything that is eaten. We as humans globally consume roughly 400 different types of plant life. More than 85 percent of them essentially depend on bees and other insects to pollinate them and ensure their continued reproduction. Most types of fruit, vegetables and nuts depend on the process. So does coffee, tea, rape seed and the cattle fodder that supports other food that we eat and drink. The global economic value of food pollination is estimated to be around 170 billion dollars.

There are about 25,000 different bee species across the world. They all contribute to the balance of nature and the food chain in their own special way. Modern life climate change and the agricultural use of chemicals and toxins threaten their existence. Montreuil sur Mer is doing its own little bit to publicise the dangers and protect the bee and insect colonies.

In March 2016, there was a survey of bees made by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It assessed all of the European wild bee species, all 1,965 of them. One in ten of these species face extinction due to modern practices and trends. In 2007, there was a major collapse of the honeybee population in the US. It seems it was due to parasites, viruses, poor nutrition and pesticides but the reasons are still not completely understood. In the USA, 40 percent of all surviving bee colonies are dying out each and every year.

Beehives In Britain, since the end of World War Two, 97 percent of wildflower meadows have just disappeared due to commercial interest. This has deprived the food chain of the pollination of vegetation and the honeybee population of their sustenance. Around the world, some 250 bee species are facing extinction.

The town Administration in Montreuil have passed a solid quantity of communal land to a Mr Lokaj. He is a local beekeeper and he has set up a large number of beehives below the town rampart walls. The idea is to provide a protected environment for bees to gather and increase in number. They will pollinate in increasing numbers to protect, very locally, the food chain process. The action sends a message to us all.

A certain Mr. John Muir is an influential member of the conservation movement. He is quoted as saying, ‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. We endanger bees at our peril’.

Other types of insects too, make their own contribution to the balance of nature. 1.5 million species of insects have so far been discovered and named throughout the world. This total continues to rise. Insects pollinate plant life as well and support themselves by eating food created by the bees. The world and the food chain continue to go round at the moment and depend on all other natural processes operating together.

Insect hotel Insects are also parasitic. They consume plant waste material, other creatures and general unwanted natural debris. Without them, the planet would become choked, strangled and destroyed. Insects need the protection of a healthy and natural environment to flourish and survive.

Along the walking pathways surrounding Montreuil sur Mer, the local officials have set up a number of ‘insect hotels’. Visitors will be able to find the ‘four star’ versions scattered along the route. The wooden shelters with their internal, vegetation based corridors provide the perfect environment for insects to survive in and multiply. Insect populations around the world are disappearing just as the bee population is due to contemporary environmental processes and current chemical difficulties.

A stroll along the stunning rampart walk at Montreuil will provide the visitor with a sort of wakeup call. It will be a reminder of the fragility of the essential balance of nature.

The town controllers at Montreuil have invested local money and much intellect and effort in a humble and very modest contribution to the preservation of nature’s way. When the summer comes, visit the elegant little town if you can and enjoy all of the Gallic experiences provided in the ‘high street’. Take a look as well though at all that goes on in nature behind the net curtains of a primeval environment. The micro life of the insect world is essential to our survival and could just disappear before we know it.

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Bob Lyons

Retired airline pilot and European explorer

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