Bee-eater is not to blame for decline in honey bees

October 27, 2015

times of malta

Monday, october 26, 2015

Bee-eater is not to blame for decline in honey bees

Sarah Carabott


The colourful bee-eater bird is gracing the Island in increasingly larger numbers, but despite its name It is not the main cause of a recent decline in the honey bee population.

The biggest klllers of honey bees are in fact pesticides and insecticides, sprayed in the open, according to environmentallst Alfred Baldacctilno. These substances, he said, were not only terminating bees but studies had shown that the affected bees were passing on the chemicals to the honey when they flew back to their beehives.

Mr Baldacchino was speaking to this newspaper followlng complalnts from some beekeepers that this species of bird was increasingly feeding off their bees.

The bee-eater has recently started extending its stay in Malta because although It has always been a protected species, it used to be one of the most sought after. Followlng harsher enforcement and greater awareness, it is no longer hunted, Mr Baldacchlno said.

But he defended the bee-eater, saying it did not just feed on bees but also ate other insects, including the oriental hornet, which recently drew fears in urban areas. And as part of the natural ecological cycle, it actually ate old or weak bees, freeing the colony of this burden.

This was reiterated by ornithologist Natalino Fenech, who said that according to Libyan studies, bee-eaters rendered a service to bees by catching the sick and elderly ones.

The study also showed that bee-eaters went instrumental in limiting the spread of some insect pests as well as reducing the spread of different types of wasps and beewolf.

Mr Fenech acknowledged there had been an increase in the number of bee-eaters spotted in Malta because they were no longer shot at and because populations in Sicily had grown.

He explained that the bee-eater fed on all flying insects – from bees to moths, beetles, butterflies, dragonflies and wasps. Photos taken by wildlife photographer Shuki Chefed this summer in Israel even shows a bee-eater trying to swallow a bat.

The biggest killers of honey bees are

in fact pesticides and insecticides

Still, it was not the only bird that ate bees – sparrows, starlings, several warblers as well as II-Merill, or blue rock thrush, did so too at certain times of the year.

Keepers who are worried about the bee-eaters feeding on some of their bees should avoid queening during peak migrations, from late March till mid-April, and in mid-September, he advised.

They should also avoid putting beehive boxes close to or under trees or overhead cables as bee-eaters like to pounce on flying insects from these perches.

Mr Baldacchino’s concern about pesticides was echoed by Michael Muscat, one of the 200 registered bee-keepers in Malta.

2015.10.26---Bee-eater-is-not-to-blame-for-decline-in-honey-bees---timesofmalta_Page_1Mr Muscat, who currently has about 70 colonies, said: “The biggest enemy of bees is the indiscriminate spraying of insecticides and pesticides, especially in the morning, at the peak of pollination.”

According to studies carried out abroad, pesticide and insecticide are the primary culprits of what is known as the colony collapse disorder, which is when the majority of worker bees in a colony abandon the hive because they get disorientated, leaving behind the brood (bee larvae) and stores.

Studies have also shown that neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide, significantly harms the colonies and is the major contributing factor to CCD.

There are other culprits apart from pesticides, although their contribution to bee decline is smaller.

The varroa destructor is a parasite mite that attacks honey bees. In 1992, its importation destroyed some three quarters of the colonies in Malta and Gozo. The bee-keepers have recovered since then.

Another culprit is the hornet, whose population recently exploded in some areas, Mr Muscat said. One particular colony in the Ta’ Xbiex was so severely depleted of foraging bees, because of the hornets, that the colony collapsed.

As for the bee-eater, Mr Muscat said he could not trace the decline of the bee population in some of his apiaries to the bird but he knew of other keepers who have been hit.

See also:

Bees alert: it’s goodbye honey

il-Qerd in-naħal… u n-naħal


Jay oatmon

To be truthful no one knows the reason for the bee decline – pesticides were not the cause previously (they were not used in the 1880’s or 1920’s) see below: –

http://news.natlonalgeographlc  …

“Today’s pollinator crisis, which has also hit Europe and now parts of Asia, is unprecedented. But honeybees  have done disappearing acts on and off for more than a century. posslbly since humans began domesticating them 4,500 years ago In Egypt.

In the United States, unexplained colony declines in the 1880s, the 1920s, and the 1980 & baffled farrners, and in 1995-1996 Pennsylvania keepers lost more than half of their colonies wtlhout a clear cause. The1980s and 19908 saw various new parasltes that hit bees hard;

Varoa and tracheal miles became major killers, and they continue to plague hives and keep beekeepers up at night.”

Edward Mallia

The fact that “pesticides were not the cause previously” does not meant that they cannot be an Important cause now. The data about the effects of neonicotinoids is pretty clear, clear enough to warrant a strong campaign against their use. This habit of looking for “the [one] reason” for any natural phenomenon has become a fool’s quest, much used by those interested mainly is avoiding any blame. We now know that effects on anlmal and plant communities are seldom single-cause alfalrs. If “pesticides were not the cause previously”, how would one account for the levels of glyphosate levels found in urine of subjects from aromd the EU? My level, from the-pesticide-free pastures of H’Attard, was the second highest found In EU wide samples.

Petar Pan

If the bee eater eats bees, it does not help the bees to multiply for surel

Manual Mangani

Not necessarily. If it subsists mainly on the older, weaker specimens, it could be helping the younger, healthier bees to thrive on more plentiful food sources.

Blinded by a pro-business vision – Alfred Baldacchino

June 21, 2015
 malta-todaySunday, 21 June 2015

Environment policy has been sacrificed in the name of short-sighted greed. Alfred E. Baldacchino, a former assistant director at the Environment Protection Directorate, outlines how this was achieved

interviewed by Raphael Vassallo

Evidence for this was provided by none other than the CEO of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) at a parliamentary committee meeting last Monday: when he candidly admitted that the report authorising the selection of Zonqor Point for this project did not include any input from the environment Protection Directorate (EPD).

Alfred E. Baldacchino was present for that meeting, as he has been present for practically every environmental challenge to face Malta in recent years. I meet the former EPD assistant director at his Attard residence, and find him still re-living the arguments of Monday’s animated meeting.

Before turning to his complaints about the site-selection process, let’s talk a little about the site itself. Zonqor Point. Protestors were indignant to hear the place referred to by defenders of the project as a ‘wasteland’ and ‘dumpsite’. What is the significance of this area for people like Baldacchino?


Alfred E. Baldacchino (Photo: Ray Attard)

“My comments on the use – or rather, abuse – of this area are mainly based on the negative social and environmental aspects of this project. Because you cannot focus only on the social or environmental aspects; they go hand in hand. One might also add commercial aspects… but not on their own. Unfortunately, however, during last Monday’s discussion the project was being looked at just from a commercial point of view. And this is an official view of the project, by the competent authority: MEPA, which is still the authority responsible for the environment. And although the commercial returns, on their own, may be good, one cannot just ignore the social and environmental aspects. Because obviously, such a project will have externalities: hidden costs which eventually society and the environment will have to pay. Both socially, and ecologically…

This “greed”, he adds, has completely eliminated all social and environmental considerations from a decision which was taken almost as an obsession to develop this area.

“I like to base my arguments on the electoral manifesto of ‘the movement’. I won’t call it a ‘party’, because in my opinion, presently, it would be an insult to the Labour Party and to the concept of socialism. This is not a socialist party. It is a movement… in fact, the government never refers to itself as socialist. To use an environmentalist analogy: this is a socialist party genetically modified into a far right, capitalist movement. This is shown by the various decisions being taken, and also by the help it gets from official entities which are supposed to be qualified and responsible for the management of social and environmental matters…”

continued in part 2 on:


Read the full interview in MaltaToday


Żonqor Point which spurred civil society to make an environmental and social point in the national interest.

Il-bexx kimiku, is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent – 1

May 11, 2015


Il-bexx kimiku, is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent – 1

it-Tn ejn, 11 ta’ Mejju, 2015

 Alfred E. Baldacchino

 Il-ħajja tal-bniedem illum hija maħkuma minn bexx bil-kimika li juntuża f’firxa wiesgħa. Wieħed mill-għanijiet ta’ dan il-bexx huwa biex jeqred ħxejjex u animali li l-bniedem iħoss li ma għandux bżonnhom, jew, li nkella jarahom li qed ifixkluh u jikkompetu miegħu għall-qligħ tal-flus. Waħda mill-kimika l-aktar li tintuża hija l-glyphosate u din ma toqgħodx tagħżel il-pjanti li sejra toqtol imma toqtol dawk li tolqot.

pic 5

Il-kimika glyphosate tinxtorob mill-weraq tal-pjanta u xi ftit mill-għeruq, u twassl biex teqred il-pjanta. Din tintuża fl-agrikultura, fl-ortikultura, fit-tkabbir tad-dwieli, u anki fit-tkabbar tas-siġar, kif ukoll fil-ġonna u anki fid-djar biex teqred dawk il-pjanti li jitqiesu bħala ‘ħżiena’. Tintuża wkoll biex tnixxef l-uċuh tar-raba’ qabel il-waqt biex il-ħsad ikun aħjar u hekk il-qligħ ikun akbar. Barra minn hekk din tintbexx mal-ġnub tat-toroq u fuq il-bankini fl-ibliet u anki f’xi mogħdijiet fil-kampanja.

Il-glyphosate hija l-aktar erbiċida li tintuża madwar id-dinja, minħabba li kif jingħad din mhix tossika u ma għandiex impatti negattivi, u anki minħabba li ma tqumx ħafna flus.

Saħanstira l-kumpaniji kbar, bħal Monsanto, illum jagħmlu wkoll organiżmi ġenetikament modifikati (GMOs) biex meta dawn jitbexxu b’din il-kimika, dawn ma jmutux filwaqt li jinqerdu dawk il-pjanti ‘ħżiena’ li jkunu qed jikkompetu magħhom. 70% tal-qmuħ, 78% tal-qoton u 93% tas-sojja, huma modifikati ġenetikament biex jirreżistu din il-kimika li tintbexx fuqhom biex tħarishom minn insetti u minn pjanti oħra.

Wieħed mill-prodotti li jintuża biex jeqred il-pjanti u li fih din il-kimika glyphosate huwa r-Roundup li jitbexx madwar id-dinja kollha. Dan huwa meqjus, minn min jipproduċih mgħandniex xi ngħidu, bħala li kważi ma għandux impatti negattivi fuq il-bniedem. U din id-dikjarazzjoni ġiet milqugħa mill-Awtorità tal-Ħarsien tal-Ambjent Amerikana. Minħabba f’hekk ftit li xejn saru studji fl-Amerika biex jaraw kif din il-kimika qed taffettwa l-bniedem u l-ekosistema. Dan minbarra li kien hemm xi studji li ffalsifikaw ir-riżultalti biex din il-kimika ma tiħux isem ħażin. Ir-Roundup jista’ jinxtara mingħajr ebda xkiel minn fuq kull xkaffa ta’ kull ħanut tal-ġonna.

Tant ir-Roundup jintuża fl-agrikultura, li numru ta’ pjanti li jikbru fis-selvaġġ mgħadhomx jaqgħu vittma u jiġu meqruda għax dawn issaħħu kontra din il-kimika. ħMinbarra hekk, l-użu u l-impatti negattivi ta’ dan il-prodott qed iqajjem tħassib kbir fuq is-saħħa tal-bniedem u tal-ambjent naturali.

L-Agenzija Internazzjonali għar-Riċerka dwar il-Kankru (IARC) tal-Organizzazzjoni Dinjija tas-Saħħa (WHO) qalet li l-glyphosate, kimika ewlenija użata fir-Roundup, taraha bħala aktarx li tikkawża l-kankru fil-bniedem. Dan mill-ewwel ġie miċħud minn Monsanto li qalu li ma jafux kif l-IARC waslet f’din il-konkluzjoni.

Minbarra hekk, studji oħra tal-IARC fuq annimali jorbtu l-użu tal-glyphosate ma’ ‘sinjali mekknaniċi’ bħal ħsara fid-DNA fiċ-ċelloli tal-bniedem meta dan ikun mikxuf għal din il-kimika. Ma għandniex xi ngħidi li dan ukoll ġie miċhud bil-qawwa mill-kumpanija li tuża din il-kimika u li kull sena ddaħħal ’l fuq minn $16bn mill-bejgħ ta’ din il-kimika.

Rapporti tal-WHO jikxfu wkoll li din il-kimika nstabet fl-ikel, fl-ilma, u anki fl-arja wara li tkun ġiet imbexxa.

Numru ta’ pajjiżi Ewropej, bħall-Olanda, id-Danimarka u l-Isvejza, jew waqqfu jew ikkontrollaw sewwa l-użu ta’ din il-kimika minħabba l-periklu ta’ impatti negattivi fuq is-saħħa – u mhux il-kankru biss – problemi fil-kliwi, mard seliak, infjammazzjoni tal-kolon u awtiżmu, u saħansitra ulied immankati. Pariġi, Chicago u Vancouver ukoll ħadu passi simili fl-interess tas-soċjetà tagħhom.

Studju li sar fl-Arġentina jorbot l-użu ta’ din il-kimika ma’ impatti negattivi fuq il-kolonji tan-naħal u nsetti oħra. Fi New York għaqda mhux governattiva qed tifittex lill-Agenzija tal-Ħarsien tal-Ambjent talli mhux qed tieħu passi biex twaqqaf il-ħsara li l-glyphosate qed jagħmel lill-popolazzjoni tal-friefet.

Studju ieħor li sar mill-Università Nazzjonali ta’ Córdoba l-Arġentina, wieħed mill-pajjiżi fejn l-aktar li jkabbru sojja ġenetikament modifikata, jispjega kif 30% tal-imwiet fl-inħawi fejn hemm agrikultura intensiva, huma minħabba l-kankru, meta mqabbel ma’ 20% medja tal-pajjiż kollu. U ż-żieda ta’ dawn l-imwiet minħabba l-kankru hija marbuta mad-data ta’ meta beda jintuża l-glyphosate u kimiċi oħra fl-agrikultura.

Statistika mogħtija mis-Soċjetà Amerikana tal-Kankru turi li l-kankru żdied bi 80% mill-bidu tas-snin 70, is-snin meta l-kimika glyphosate tpoġġiet fuq is-suq.

Fl-2013 l-għaqda mhux governattiva Ewropea Friends of the Earth ħallset għall-studju f’laboratorju indipendenti fil-Ġermanja. Dan wera li fl-awrina ta’ nies minn 18-il pajjiż, medja ta’ 44% tal-kampjun, kellhom traċċi tal-glyphosate.

F’Malta, testijiet li saru mill-Friends of the Earth ta’ Malta, sabu li 90% tal-kampjun tal-awrina kien fiha traċċi tal-glyphosate – 9 minn kull 10 persuna studjati.


bexx ta’ kimika fl-urban f’Malta.

Studji xjentifici li dehru fil-Journal of interdisciplinary toxicology juru li l-glyphosate jista’ jkun il-kaġun ewlieni li jwassal għall-obeżità, u għall-awtiżmu, kif ukoll għall-infertilità, għall-mard u sofferenzi oħra bħall-Alzheimer, Parkinson, depressjoni u kankru.

Iż-żieda qawwija fl-użu ta’ din il-kimika bil-bexx fuq il-qmuħ fl-Amerika mxiet pass pass maż-żieda fil-każijiet ta’ dawk li jbgħatu bil-marda tas-seliak. Il-kawża ewlenija ta’ din il-marda tibda’ bl-ikel ta’ proteini gluten miċ-ċereali.


Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, li fih il-glyphosate. Ritratt: Studioshots/Alamy

Dan l-aħħar, studji oħra f’numru ta’ pajjiżi Ewropej, sabu traċċi tal-glyphosate f’firxa wiesgħa fl-ikel. U dan l-istudju sar fuq dawk li jgħixu fl-ibliet li mingħajr dubju ma kinux milquta bil-bexx ta’ din il-kimika, imma jieklu ikel li b’xi mod kellu x’jaqsam ma’ din il-kimika fit-tkabbir jew produzzjoni tiegħu. 44% tal-kampjun tal-awrina tagħhom kien fih ammont  ta’ din il-kimika.

Stima aktar friska tikxef li wieħed minn kull għoxrin persuna fl-Amerika ta’ Fuq u fl-Ewropa isofru mill-marda tas-seliak. Din il-marda qed tiżdied fl-Amerika u anki fl-Ewropa, fejn 5% tal-popolazzjoni isofru minnha.

L-glyphosate żdied ħafna min-ħabba l-użu f’firxa wiesgħa ta’ tipi ta’ Roundup, anki b’rabta ma’ ħxejjex ġenetikament modifikati. Tant li fl-Ewropa l-glyphosate huwa l-aktar kimika popolari li tintuża biex teqred il-pjanti. Ma jistax wieħed ma jinkwetax meta iqis li fl-2007 fl-Istati Uniti biss, l-ammont ta’ din il-kimika ntuża f’ammonti kbar: medja ta’ 83,000 tunnellata fil-qasam agrikolu; 3,000 tunnellati fil-ġonna tad-djar; u 6,500 tunnellata fl-industria, kummerċ u f’attività governattivi.

Id-darba li jmiss nitkellmu fuq l-użu ta’ din il-kimika f’Malta.

Cooing, wooing and cackling

April 29, 2015

times of malta

Saturday, 2nd May, 2015

Cooing, wooing and cackling

Alfred E. Baldacchino

The spring hunting referendum has come and gone. Not so for the migrating turtle doves and quails on their way to their breeding grounds to ensure the survival of the species. No cooing, no going for them.

During the first three days of the spring open season for the killing of mature birds going to breed, I was tending my various wild plants that I propagate, appreciating and learning more about the miracles of nature, and to help with Malta’s biodiversity. Some were sprouting while others were strongly developing and striving to achieve their aims, in buds patiently waiting to flower and subsequently seed. Spring is in the air.

Sardinian Warblr by Aron Tanti

Male Sardinian Warbler – Photo by Aaron Tanti

Close by on an open perch, a male Sardinian Warbler in full breeding plumage, and in courtship display, sang its heart out. A male Spanish Sparrow was singing nearby too, proud that its mate was safely sitting on the nest brooding the eggs: shortly a proud father to be.

All of a sudden the sound of gun fire rang from across the nearby valley and adjacent fields shattering the scene: “die, die, die. This is the way I derive my pleasure… die, die, die.”

The Sardinian Warbler and the Spanish Sparrow stopped dead. I could almost feel them eyeing me out of the corner of their eyes. An exclamatory fearful look, as if asking: “is this the best that you humans can do to give a helping hand to the ecosystem? Is this the way to quench your pleasure by taking lives? Do you realise the difficulties birds face on their way to breed? Surely not the result of the reputed intelligence?”

Spanish Sparrow - Michael Sammut

Malta Spanish Sparrow – Photo Michael Sammut

I felt ashamed and ridiculed by two living species which many look upon as being inferior. But after a while both the male Sardinian Warbler and the Spanish Sparrow once again burst out in song. A song of thanksgiving to the Creator for helping them to live another day. Not like the turtle doves and the quails which fell victims to an uncontrolled urge. The harsh cries “die, die, die” rang again a number of times. The Spanish Sparrow and the Sardinian Warbler did not take any chances and disappeared in the bushes. True they were not turtle doves and quails but it did happen to cuckoos, a lapwing, kestrels and a Dutch teenager.

I could not but plunge in a pensive mood. Half of the electorate had understood the miracles of nature. They wanted to do their utmost to support nature and all its wonders. Not just for themselves but also for our children who lent the ecosystem to us. They wanted to protect, guard, enjoy and share nature with others, not through plundering it for personal reasons.

Turtle dove - Aron Tanti

The Maltese Government has taken a derogation from the EU Birds Directive to allow the spring shooting of 11,000 turtle doves on their way to their breeding grounds. Photo Aaron Tanti.

The other half were dead keen to continue taking lives for their personal pleasure. And the most worrying part of it all was that this half of the electorate were supported by the leaders of the two main political parties!

What for? Definitely not for the sake of birds, nor for the sake of bird-shooters themselves, neither for the sake of the environment or for the sake of the people. As soon as the battle cry was over (it was just a battle, and certainly not war), the Prime Minster immediately called upon the leaders of those who wanted to continue taking lives for pleasure during the breeding season. In no uncertain terms, these ‘yes’ crowd, were told that the electorate had given them the ‘last chance’ to behave, and if not it would be the end of their spring birds-shooting spree!

The naive voters admired such a noble stand. The non-gullible felt that this Pontius Pilate move, was more like the rubbing of backs and the sharing of spoils: one bagging the dead turtles doves and quails in spring; the other the votes in the referendum and the Local Council election. The number of shot turtle doves and quails will be given in the obligatory report to be forwarded to the EU according to the derogation taken by Government. The wooing had been consummated, like the lives of turtle doves and quails! That is what I call politics. The people and the environment will as usual be footing the cost of their losses.

Claude Pepper (1900-1989), US senator and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives said: “If more politicians in this country were thinking about the next generation instead of the next election, it might be better for the United States and the world.” The latest spring hunting referendum confirms this without a shadow of a doubt.

The cackling started as I was finalising this article. Following the shooting of a kestrel which fell in the middle of a school yard during the students’ break, the Prime Minister, as he previously warned, closed the spring shooting season three days before its official closure. Whether this is through conviction or through convenience, one has to wait the advent of next spring to see whether this was really the ‘last chance’.

Fjuri indiġeni Maltin 6 – Għajn is-serduq

April 13, 2015


It-Tnejn 13 ta’ April, 2015

Għajn is-serduq

Alfred E. Baldacchino

Waħda mill-fjuri indiġeni tal-gżejjer Maltijn hija għajn is-serduq. Din il-fjura tagħmel parti mill-familja Ranunculaceae.

Għajn is-serduq ma tinstabx tikber biss fil-gżejjer Maltin, imma tikber ukoll fin-nofsinhar tal-Ewropa madwar il-Mediterran, kif ukoll fl-Afrika ta’ Fuq u anki fil-gżejjer Azores, Madejra u Kanarji.

Għajn is-serduq tikber fi rqajja ta’ ħamrija viċin l-għelieqi, u anki xi kultant tinstab fix-xagħri. Hija twarrad bejn Jannar u Mejju.

Din il-fjura indiġena hija pjanta li tmut għalkollox fi tmiem l-istaġun wara li tkun għamlet il-fjur u żerrgħet. Fil-ħarifa terġa tikber miż-żerriegħa li tkun għamlet fir-rebbiegħa.

Il-pjanta tikber fuq magħseb dritt li jkollu bħal raddi dritti matulu u li jista’ jogħla sa 45 ċm, għalkemm pjanti żgħar ikunu fihom biss 4 ċm.

Il-weraq fin ta’ lewn aħdar sabiħ, ikunu maqtugħa qishom f’4 jew 5 swaba’ dritti u ġejjin għall-ponta. Kull saba’ ikun 1 mm wiesa’. Il-weraq li jikbru fuq in-naħa t’isfel tal-pjanta jkollhom għonq żgħir li jaqbad mal-magħseb, filwaqt li dawk tan-naħa ta’ fuq ma jkollhomx dan l-għonq.

ghajn is-serduq 3

Il-fjura ta’ għajn is-serduq. Jidher ukoll buttun u anki l-weraq fini aħdar sabiħ.

Il-fjura ta’ għajn is-serduq ikollha kemm-il parti raġel kif ukoll il-parti mara. Hija tikber waħeda dritta fit-tarf tal-fergħa fuq għonq żgħir. Il-buttun ikun imħares minn kalċi (calyx) li ta’ spiss ikun maqsum f’ħames għatjiet (sepals). Dawn ikunu ta’ lewn kannella ħamrani. Il-fjura li tiftaħ mill-blanzun, ikun fiha bejn 10 sa 20 mm fil-fetħa tagħha, u jkollha bejn 5 sa 8 petali ta’ lewn aħmar dagħmi. Dawn il-petali jkunu darba u nofs itwal milli wiesgħa, bl-aktar parti wiesgħa ’l fuq minn nofs il-petala, u b’dabra sewda fejn il-petali jingħaqdu ma’ xulxin.

Meta l-fjura tiddakkar, jiġifieri l-għabra tad-dakra mill-parti tal-fjura raġel tasal għand il-parti mara tal-fjura, jingħata bidu għaż-żerriegħa. Iż-żerriegħa tkun ta’ lewn ħadrani li jiskura, miġbura f’forma ta’ għanqud fuq għonq twil bejn 3 sa 4 mm.

ghajn is-serduq żerriegha

L-għanqud taż-żerriegħa ta’ għajn is-serduq fuq għonq qasir.

Għajn is-serduq, flimkien ma’ fjuri slavaġġ oħra, ngħidu aħna bħan-narċis, kienet tinqata’ bil-bosta biex tinbiegħ matul it-toroq qrib il-kampanja. Minħabba li għajn is-serduq hija pjanta li tmut wara li twarrad u żerrgħa, il-fjuri li kienu jinqatghu ma kinux jitħallew jagħmlu u jxerrdu ż-żerriegħa biex minnhom jwelldu pjanti oħra fil-ħarifa ta’ wara. Dan wassal biex għajn is-serduq illum hija rari ħafna. Tant li llum hija mħarsa bil-liġi u ma tistax tinqata’ jew issirilha xi ħsara. Minkejja dan qed isir aktar rari minn sena għall-oħra, minħabba l-qerda tal-ambjent fejn tikber.

Minbarra dan, il-bdil mgħaġġel fil-klima mhu qed jgħin xejn lill-pjanti indiġeni Maltin. Fil-ħarifa tas-sena l-oħra (2014), nibbtu ż-żerriegħa ta’ għajn is-serduq fil-qsari li għandi. Imma wara li dawn kienu madwar 4 ċm tul, it-temperatura kesħet u għamel is-silġ, tant li dawn il-pjanti kollha mietu. U hekk ma rnexxilhomx jikbru, iwarrdu u jżerrgħu biex jgħatu ħajja għall-pjanti ġodda oħra s-sena ta’ wara. Dan qed ikompli jwassl biex din il-pjanta, bħal ħafna oħrajn, qed isiru aktar rari.

Dan biex ma nsemmux ukoll il-bexx bla kontrol li jsir, imħallas minn flus pubbliċi biex joqtol il-pjanti li jikbru fis-selvaġġ fl-ibliet u rħula Maltin.

B’dieqa ngħid li mhemmx biżżejjed għarfien u apprezzament, la mill-pubbliku inġenreali, u lanqas mill-awtoritajiet uffiċjali biex il-pjanti indiġeni Maltin ikunu mħarsa, mhux biss fuq il-karta, imma jkunu immaniġġati b’mod professjonali fl-ambjent naturali, kif pajjiżna huwa obbligat li jagħmel. U wisq nibża li għajn is-serduq tista’ tkun waħda mill-ewwel fjuri indiġeni Maltin li nibdew insibuha biss fil-kotba.

Isem Malti: Għajn is-serduq

Isem xjentifiku: Adonis microcarpa  

Isem Ingliż:  Small-fruit Pheasant’s-eye,  jew, Red Chamomile

magħseb – zokk ta’ pjanta, jew zokk prinċipali ta’ werqa.

buttun – kalċi (calyx) tal-fjura maqsum f’għatjiet (sepals) biex iħarsu l-blanzun.

radda (pl. raddi) – tinqiex bħal ma jħalli warajh il-moħriet (groove, furrow of a plough).

dagħmi – skur

ara wkoll:

Fjuri indigeni Maltin 5 – It-Tengħud tax-Xagħri

Fjuri indigeni Maltin 4 – It-Tengħud tas-siġra

Fjuri indigeni Maltin 3 –Il-Kappar

Fjuri indigeni Maltin 2 – Kromb il-Baħar

Fjuri indigeni Maltin 1 – Il-Ħannewija

Discovering wild flowers at Dingli


September 15, 2014


It-Tnejn, 15 ta’ Settembru, 2014


Alfred E. Baldacchino

Sa minn mindu nkunu żgħar nistudjaw, naħdmu u nistinkaw. Ikun ta’ sodisfazzjon kbir meta niksbu xi premju jew ċertifikat. Dan ngħożżuh, nuruh lill-ħaddieħor, u ndendluh ma’ xi ħajt fejn jidher u jista’ jarah kulħadd. Inkunu ferm kburin meta x-xogħol tagħna jkollu għarfien minn ħaddieħor. Minbarra li dan jagħtina sodisfazzjon, jgħinna biex dak li nkunu tgħallimna nkunu nistgħu nħaddmuh għal ġid tas-soċjetà.

Sa mill-iċken livell tal-iskola jixgħelu l-għajnejn meta l-għalliema jagħtu xi stilla għax-xogħol mirqum. U dan is-sodisfazzjoni jibqa’ tiela’ magħna fil-ħajja. Mhux biss ikun ta’ sodisfazzjon kbir għal dawk li jiksbuh, imma wkoll juri r-risponsabbiltà li għandna lejn is-socjetà, li tkun ukoll tat sehemha u l-għajnuna tagħha biex dak li jkun jasal biex ikun jista’ jakkwista dawn il-premjiiet u ċertifikati.

Imma b’dieqa kbira wieħed jara kif illum uħud ma għandhom l-ebda sodisfazzjon b’dawn il-premijiet jew ċertifikati u l-għarfien tax-xogħol tagħhom mis-soċjetà. Is-sodisfazzjoni personali jegħleb u jxejjen kull ħsieb soċjali. Ir-rgħiba tal-materjaliżmu li llum ħakmet il-ħajja ta’ kull jum f’kull qasam soċjali, twassal biex hemm minn juża’ it-tagħlim u l-esperjenzi tiegħu biex jaħtaf għalih mingħajr ebda ħsieb ta’ kif dan sejjer jgħin jew ixekkel lis-soċjetà. Mhux talli hekk, talli s-soċjetà tħallas hi parti mill-ispejjeż ta’ meta wħud jaħtfu għalihom biss.

Illum naraw li wħud jaslu wkoll biex jgħidu li l-kuxjenza hija xi ħaġa ta’ żmien il-bużnanna. Il-morali, il-professjonalità, it-teknika, mhumiex xejn ta’ xkiel għal min ikun irid jaħtaf għalih, u jimmina s-soċjetà u l-ambjent. Anzi… Meta naraw ix-xogħol ta’ Mikelangelo, seher li għamel  bit-tinqix tal-għodda li uża, mill-ewwel nifhmu li dan mhux biss kien ta’ sodifazzjon kbir għalih, imma anki għas-soċjetà kollha, tant li x-xogħol tiegħu huwa meqjus bħala wirt artistiku internazzjonali. Ma għandniex xi ngħidu dan ma jfisserx li ma kienx hemm ukoll is-sodisfazzjon finanzjarju, imma mhux talli s-soċjetà ma ħallset xejn, imma hi ukoll gawdiet minn dan ix-xogħol. Jekk mill-banda l-oħra naraw kif l-għodod li bihom Mikelangelo naqqax l-opri tiegħu setgħu jintużaw, kif ġieli ntużaw, biex dawn neħħew il-ħajja ta’ ħaddieħor, allura nifhmu mill-ewwel li minn użahom b’dan il-mod għamel dan għas-sodisfazzjon tiegħu biss, u s-soċjetà sofriet u ħallset.

Min iwettaq dan l-għemil eġoistiku ma tantx iħossu komdu. Dan mhux biss ma jkunx iridu xi premju jew ċertifikat għal xogħlu, imma lanqas ikun irid jissemma, anzi jagħmlu minn kollox biex jinħeba bil-mezzi kollha possibbli. Saħansitra hemm min jgħatti wiċċu biex ma jidhirx u biex is-soċjetà ma tarahx u ma tagħrfux. Iħoss li l-għemil tiegħu mhux xi wieħed li jista’ jiftaħar bih, jemmen jew ma jemminx fil-kuxjenza jew fil-morali.


Għall-għar kontribut lejn is-soċjetà u l-ambjent Malti.

Għalhekk għidt li tkun ta’ għajnuna kemm għas-soċjetà kif ukoll għall-ambjent li kieku jkun hemm premju li jingħata kull sena lil dik il-persuna, jew entità soċjali, kemm kummerċjali, politika, jew reliġjuża, li bl-għemil, deċiżżjonijiet jew għajnuna tagħha, is-soċjetà kif ukoll l-ambjent ikollhom iħallsu prezz qares meta dan l-għemil jiġi mwettaq u fejn is-soċjetà ma kellha l-ebda sehem f’din id-deċiżjoni. Jew is-soċjetà wriet it-tħassib u l-fehmiet tagħha u jew ma instemgħetx jew ġiet imwarba.

Minkejja li pajjiżna huwa żgħir huwa mżejjen u mogħni b’ambjenti ewlenin li wħud ma jinstabu mkien aktar fid-dinja. U s-soċjetà Maltija hija mfisqija u mkabbra u għandha rabta ma’ dan l-ambjent tagħna lkoll. Għandha wkoll karatteristiċi ewlenin. B’dieqa ta’ qalb wieħed jista’ jara kif għal dawn l-aħħar snin, dawn il-karatteristiċi Maltin bil-mod il-mod qed jitherrew, jitnaqqru, jitkissru u jitfarku. Mhux talli s-soċjetà jew l-ambjent mhux qed jistagħnew, imma saħansitra qed ikollhom iħallsu huma biex ħaddieħor ikun jista’ jistagħna hu.

Il-ġenerazzjonijiet ta’ għada li silfuna dawn il-gżejjer biex neħdulhom ħsiebhom għad ikun jridu jagħfu x’wassal biex huma sabu dan il-wirt mhux f’qagħda tajba daqs kemm kien meta għaddewh lilna. Naħseb li jkunu jridu jagħfu minn kien dak jew dik l-entità li waslet għal dan l-immanniġġar xejn professjonli. Dan il-premju fl-immanniġġar xejn professjonali jagħti ħjiel ta’ minn kellu din ir-responsabbiltà u ma ħaseb xejn fihom. Din hija l-ewwel sena li qed nissuġġerixxi dan il-premju. Inti għandek xi suġġerimenti?