Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/8/2017

If you've read the news in the last few years you've likely heard about the alarming decline of the bee population. In our daily lives, most of us think of bees only when they're buzzing uncomfortably close to our picnic table. What we don't often realize is the vital role that bees play in pollenating our food supply.

Large farms throughout the country (and throughout the world) hire beekeepers to bring in their colonies for pollination. Without those bees there would be a drastic drop in food production. While drops in bee populations are naturally occurring and fluctuate from year to year, recent years have seen some of the worst declines to date.

Starting to feel bad about swatting at the bees in your backyard?

First you should understand that these declines aren't your fault because you've killed a few bees in your life. Among the stresses that the bee population faces are viruses, mites, climate change, and habitat reduction. It would take a massive culture shift to address all of those issues. But, there are a few things you can do right in your backyard that will lend a small hand in helping out your local bee population.

Know your bees (and what's not a bee)

Many people treat bees, wasps and hornets as interchangeable. Bees are fuzzy pollinators that can sting only once. Common bees include honey bees, bumble bees, and carpenter bees.

Wasps are not fuzzy, and therefore not as effective as pollinators. They prey on insects and can be more aggressive than bees. The only wasps that sting are females, but they can sting multiple times.

Hornets are a sub-species of wasp native to North America. They too can sting multiple times and are known for being the most aggressive of the three. Again, they are not the most effective pollinators.

Bees, wasps, and your backyard

If you've noticed an uptick in the number of bees or wasps on you property it's not necessarily a bad thing. If their numbers are low and you're not concerned about anyone's safety you may decide to leave them be. The bees and wasps will help you by pollinating your flowers, eating surplus insects, and leaving you well alone.

Some ways you can keep your backyard bees healthy include not using pesticides on your lawn or garden. You could also plant more flowers and let your wildflowers grow freely to provide an extra nectar source for the local bees.

Too much of a good thing

If the bees in your yard have grown high in number, are becoming aggressive, or you are worried for the safety of your family (bee sting allergies can be life-threatening) then it might be time to take action.

To avoid becoming part of the problem of declining populations, call in a professional. Some pest control companies still use killing the bees as a solution. But there are companies that are more proactive and attempt to coax away bees and relocate them. Seek out no-kill pest control companies for help.

Your local beekeeper is also an unexpendable resource when it comes to learning what to do about bees. Many beekeepers will even relocate the bees to commercial honey-making hives.

With a bit of research and careful behavior, cohabiting with bees can be beneficial for us and for the little bugs that make our honey.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 3/20/2016

Did you know that according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 84 percent of all fire deaths occur in the home?  Fires and burns continue to be a major cause of unintentional injury deaths at home. Statistics show that having working smoke detectors in use can more than double one’s chance of surviving a fire. Here are some alarm safety tips: Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Make sure to have smoke alarms outside of sleeping areas. Do not install smoke alarms near windows or doors that could interfere with their operation. Test your smoke alarms monthly. Change the smoke alarm's batteries twice a year or when you hear the chirping noise that indicates a low battery. Do not remove batteries from a smoke alarm. Vacuum and clean around smoke alarms to remove dust and debris. Replace your smoke alarm every ten years. Plan and practice an escape route so everyone in your family knows what to do in case of an emergency.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/3/2016

There are several items that will make your life a bit easier if you have a toddler. These items are easily found at a pharmacy, hardware store, and safety supply store as well as online. This list will help you be prepared and breathe easy once you are settled in to your new home or apartment. Feel free to print and use this list to help you with your new home safety check. • Safety plugs or outlet covers or place furniture in front of outlets • Secure furniture that may topple to the wall • Install a toilet seat lock • Cordless window coverings • Install window guards and stops • Move furniture away from windows and screens • Nonslip pads in the tub • Soft cover for the bathtub spout and knobs • Secure oven door with lock latch • Stove guard blocks for knobs and burners • Any fireplace items must be placed out of reach • Childproof locks on cabinets • Nonslip pads under rugs • Remove toxic household plants





Posted by Kathy Foran on 5/18/2014

Bringing home baby can be stressful but making sure your home is safe for baby is a part of being a new parent. You may think that there isn't much a newborn can do or get into but before you know it your tiny little baby will be toddling around and getting into everything. Here are some quick baby proofing tips to get you started: -Check the crib slats and make sure they are no further than 2 3/8th inches apart. -No soft bedding, blankets or toys in the cribs which can cause suffocation. -Remove hanging cords and secure them from window blinds and treatments. -Plug all electrical outlets. -Set the water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. -Install locking lids on all toilets. -Store poisons, including medications in a high cabinet. All medications and toxic chemicals should also have safety lids. -Use foam corners to soften all the hard and sharp corners of tables, the hearth etc. -Install baby proof locks on drawers and cabinets. -Door locks and hinge protectors are also good ideas for doors to rooms and closets. These are just a few tips for baby proofing your home. You can find more information on how to keep kids safe from the American Academy of Pediatrics at HealthyChildren.org.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 3/17/2013

If you were to guess which area in your home poses the most safety hazards, what would be your answer?  The kitchen?  The basement? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized. More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet. By taking some simple steps in your own bathroom, you can cut the risk of serious injury to yourself and your loves ones dramatically.

  • Install support railings right outside of your tub.
  • Put down an anti-slippage mat on the floor of your tub.
  • Take extra care when using electrical outlets in your bathroom. Install a hand towel holder next to outlets, and get in the habit of making sure your hands are dried before plugging and unplugging electrical devices.
  • Be sure that bathroom rugs around your toilet and sink have excellent anti-slip capabilities, and replace your rugs when they become worn.
After following these steps, re-evaluate your bathroom. Can you find anything else that may pose a danger?