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    Thanks for that Terry.

    More info on Heliotropium arborescens here:



    I always try to give my Butterflies alternatives to the Home made nectar mix, they also have lantana camara flowers and I add Soy Sauce to make sure they get amaino acids and salts to help the males fertility. Changing the nectar mix helps, sometimes using fruit sugar, somtimes brown, sometimes Honey sometimes white sugar. I suspect that just like us they must like some variety. A good natural source of nectar comes from Heliotropium arborescens and many breeders of tropical butterflies think it makes the stock healthier, I don’t know if thats true but my butterflies like it.



    As their leaflet says

    Bees play a vital role of pollination in New Zealand agriculture and horticulture industries and in our home gardens. Roughly one third of what we eat is pollinated by bees. Without bees we would not be able to grow a wide range of food including apples, pears, stone fruit, cucumbers, kiwifruit, berry fruit and even clover.

    In New Zealand wild bee colonies can not exist, long term, because of varroa mite. Bees need our managed care for their survival but chemical resistant varroa strains are emerging around the globe, including New Zealand.

    Colony Collapse Disorder is mysteriously killing bees world wide. In 2008 nearly half of Italy’s 50 million bees died. In USA up to 50% of honey bees have died due to Colony Collapse Disorder.

    This is interesting, as monoculture will also affect other pollinators such as Butterflies:

    A study published in 2010 found that bees that were fed pollen from a variety of different plant species showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single species. Bees fed pollen from five species had higher levels of glucose oxidase than bees fed pollen from one species, even if the pollen had a higher protein content. The authors hypothesised that CCD may be linked to a loss of plant diversity.

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