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April 2022 Newsletter

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Download this newsletter below:

9 Apr 2022 TPZN
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Hello from everyone at The Project Zen.


Last week I officially welcomed Alex to the team. He will be our Social Media Co-ordinator, he has been a volunteer for the last 6 months carrying out various tasks to help me get TPZ to this stage, for which I am very grateful.


He will be doing amongst other things, research and putting together the newsletter from now on, which I am looking forward to reading. This will give me more time to develop other areas of the business further.


A few of you were interested and kind enough to put yourselves forward to become volunteers for TPZ. I will be contacting you very soon now that everywhere is opened up regarding meeting up with people again. If you have changed your mind don’t worry – you can still enjoy the newsletter and other social media offerings.


Last week we delivered our first social enterprise session at Rosemount Community Centre. The sessions are to encourage people, that feel alone and or disconnected, to start meeting up with others again, maybe make some new friends and at the same time take part in some fun activities outside of the home. All our activities have a plant and/or health based core, and concentrate on enjoyment and relaxation to help all aspects of our mental health.


This week I will be delivering session 2 and adding a second venue, the Tilly Community Flat. I will keep you posted on this project, ‘Healthy Nature Healthy Us’.


So now for the newsletter – enjoy the read and don’t forget you are welcome to chat or discuss via e-mail or other social media, and also to suggest future topics.


Bees: Health and Decline

Bees are one of the most recognisable and beloved creatures we can find in our gardens. Colourful, and often fuzzy, they bob through the air from flower to flower, committed to their lifelong task of gathering pollen, which they use to feed their young and produce honey.


However, this long-term companion of ours is under threat, which is a very serious problem for everyone and everything on our planet.


Around 80% of European wildflowers need to be pollinated by insects. 20% of cultivated

land in Britain also requires insect pollination. Honey bees are believed to pollinate between 5 and 15% of these crops. So they are very busy keeping our plants and flowers going. Making sure they can flourish and create fruit. However, according to the British Bee Coalition 76% of plants preferred by bumblebees have declined in recent decades. It has affected the wildlife that relies on both the insects and the plants for food and shelter. A recent European Red List has shown that nearly 1 in 10 wild bees are facing extinction. They have also found three bumblebee species are now extinct.


A state of nature report from 2013 shows that more than half of the bee, butterfly and moth

species have declined in the last 50 years. With 52% of solitary bees also declining in number. I know that’s a lot of numbers and percentages, but at its heart it is a worrying reduction in the amount of insects that pollinate our plants, with bees in particular being at risk. Without bees, our very way of life is greatly at risk.


There are things we can do to try and help the situation. First off we can try to grow more

plants in our gardens to provide food for bees and other pollinators. Too many people are

turning their gardens into either well manicured short grass lawns with no flowers or concreting the whole thing over.


We could be trying to grow some herbs, fruit, and vegetables in our gardens. Not forgetting to plant shrubs and trees. We need to keep in mind plants that flower in early spring and autumn to give that much needed boost to our little helpers.


Also, we need to stop using chemical pesticides in our gardens. These harmful chemicals will

cause bees and insects to avoid the plants, or worse still they will poison them and potentially cause the whole hive to have a collapse, which will knock on to the whole local ecosystem.


Lastly, we can go the extra step and make a bee box. Spend a little time making an environment for solitary bees to live and thrive. We can achieve this by drilling holes in a log or simply bundle up lengths of bamboo. Next issue we will detail how to make a bee box in more depth.


Further Environmental Activism

If you’ve a mind, you can also contact local and national retailers to try to convince them to stop selling neonicotinoids that harm bees and other wildlife. Also, asking your local MP to back the ban on bee-harming pesticides is a good next step.


Honey: Curative Confection

Spread on toast, spooned into drinks, or added into cooking. Honey is one of the original sweet treats enjoyed by humanity.


The cultivation of bees and harvesting of honey is a very long-lived tradition. There are some cave paintings in Spain that show humans collecting honey 8000 years ago. And it’s not just us. There are plenty of wild animals that will risk the punishment of the guardian bees to grab a mouthful of its golden ambrosia.


Bees produce honey from floral nectar or from sweet secretions from other insects like honeydew, the sticky liquid secreted by aphids and some other insects. Honey bees then

store it within a wax construction known as honeycomb, while other species of bees actually create small pots from wax and resin to store their bounty in.


On top of it being an enjoyable treat to eat honey is very good for us as well. It contains mainly sugar but also has a mix of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc and antioxidants. We have used it as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and an antibacterial agent.


We have done research looking at using honey to help with a variety of different ailments. It

can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain types of honey can act as a reliable

cough suppressant. It has been observed relieving gastrointestinal tract conditions such

as diarrhoea from gastroenteritis. Studies have shown it can have antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti anxiety benefits and also potentially prevent memory disorders.


Medical grade honey has been used directly on wounds to help with healing burns.

Historically, the Egyptians used honey for fertility and now it has been shown to have the potential to help infertility and improve egg quality. In addition it is believed to be able to improve sperm count.


On a stranger note

The Greek historian Herodotus recorded, in the 4th century BCE* (before common era), that the Assyrians used to embalm their dead with honey. Alexander the Great’s body was also reportedly preserved in a honey-filled sarcophagus.


This process is known as mellification and has been reported throughout history as a way to

create a universal cure-all called the human mummy confection after a century of curing in the honey.


This somewhat gruesome process has no medical legitimacy but does pop up all over history. Chinese medical manuals in the 16th century discuss it, also reports of people in ancient Arabia performing the practice with monks and abbots from Burma doing it as well.


Thank you for being interested in TPZ and being part of the community.


Next time we will be sharing our new logo which will feature on all our social media platforms, freebies and website. It is currently a work in progress.


Have a safe and happy month and we will be in touch again soon.



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