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Outdoors & Environment

Local Honey Yields Sweet Benefits

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AUBURN, Ala. — September is National Honey Month, and Alabama is home to more than 600 registered beekeepers. According to the Department of Agriculture and Industries, this number has fallen but still provides Alabama residents with a variety of options to obtain local honey. A Rise in Popularity Alabama Extension Regional Home Grounds Agent Dani Carroll said the rise in beekeeping ... Read More »

The Buzz on Backyard Beekeeping

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AUBURN, Ala. — Backyard beekeeping has caught the attention of homeowners and gardeners across the United States, following in the wake of the Green Revolution and Eat Local movements. With the colony collapse disasters in 2006 leaving honeybee populations at an all-time low, gardeners decided to take matters into their own hands by planting pollinator gardens and becoming backyard beekeepers. ... Read More »

Beating Fire Ants This Fall

Falling into fall sounds like a great idea — unless falling includes a run in with the Imported Fire Ant. Pest-proofing your home is a multi-step process that includes treating outdoor areas as well as indoor areas. The following five tips can help you and your family avoid unwanted visitors this fall. Fall is a great time to treat fire ... Read More »

Battling Invasive Plant Species

Invasive plant species are an increasing issue across the country–pushing out native flora and changing ecosystems. Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, an Alabama Extension invasive plant specialist a, says  invasive plant species’  should be taken seriously and can be battled with the proper information and techniques. “An invasive species is one that has become weedy and is displacing native plant species and changing ... Read More »

Tea Olives: A Staple for Southern Gardens

If you’re looking to add shrubs to your garden this fall, then it might be time to add tea olives to the mix. An Alabama Extension horticulture professional called tea olive shrubs (genus Osmanthus)  a classic staple of southern gardens. “Tea olives bring color and a sweet fragrance with its delicate blossoms,” said Mike McQueen, Alabama Extension Regional Horticulture Agent. ... Read More »

Steer Clear of Touch-Me-Nots

Auburn, AL –Southern summers are the annual itchy time for many folks that enjoy the outdoors. Good outdoorsmen know what to do if a snake is spotted and have plans in place for contact with an unhappy wild animal, but wildlife is only part of the issue to consider when spending time in the great outdoors. Poison ivy and poison oak ... Read More »

Be Smart about Water Moccasins and Other Water Snakes

cottonmouth

As people take to lakes and rivers to cool off from summer’s heat,  it’s possible they might see a snake in the water.  Not every snake you see swimming is a water moccasin.  Alabama has a number of non-venomous water snakes. There are ways to tell the difference, and Alabama Extension professionals have important information to keep you and yours safe ... Read More »

Increasing Sightings of Alligators Around Alabama

Alligators are showing up more frequently in central Alabama, further north than some people might expect them. The state’s largest reptile has been spotted near Woodland and  also near Alexander City. But an Alabama Extension professional said this is not surprising. Patrick Cook, a regional Alabama Extension agent, said that no alligator sightings have been reported in the Chilton County area yet ... Read More »

Alabama Birding Trails Perfect for Summer

AUBURN, Ala.–Summers in Alabama are known for their heat and humidity, but a lesser-known attribute is the great bird watching that can be done almost anywhere in the state. With eight geographic regions and 270 sites, the Alabama Birding Trails are ideal places to do all of your bird watching this summer. Whether it’s a random day trip or a ... Read More »

Raptors Soar Above Alabama

Alabama has a wide variety of birds of prey throughout the state. “We have a good diversity of raptors in Alabama,” said Dr. Mark Smith. These birds can be migratory, but most will be in Alabama year round.  With spring here, people are spending more time outdoors and as such will be more likely to see an array of wildlife. This ... Read More »