US News The great plague: those who benefit from the bark beetle

14:55  21 october  2020
14:55  21 october  2020 Source:   dw.com

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Those people who could sent their families away from London during these months, but the poor had no recourse but to stay. In his diary, Samuel Pepys A song about the plague is still sung by children. ‘Ring-a-ring of roses‘ describes in great detail the symptoms of the plague and ends with ‘All fall down’.

The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality, or the Plague ) was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history.

The bark beetle eats its way through German forests. Tens of thousands of trees have to be felled. But where do you put it? In any case, the plague brought an order boom for the Bremen logistics company Brelog.

Provided by Deutsche Welle © picture-alliance / dpa / J. Stratenschulte Provided by Deutsche Welle

Brelog stands for Bremer Logistik. An abbreviation that was a natural choice when the forwarding company started up ten years ago. Arne Lücken is a managing partner. The bark beetle plague, he confirms, has opened an unexpected business niche for his company. "We have been active in the area of ​​logs, sawn timber in the export business for a long time. But yes, the bark beetle is one more thing!"

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Those who assessed whether someone had the plague or not, were called plague doctors. None of these were qualified physicians as most real doctors had fled the city for their own safety. However, their decision was final and would result in your home being chained shut from the outside and the

Bark Beetle Facts: Bark Beetle Identification, Damage and Treatment. It’s this layer that produces new cells that allow the trunk, branches and roots to increase in diameter each year. Because bark beetles generally go after weak trees, the trees don’t have much energy to fight off an infestation.

The forwarding company began with 15 employees and a turnover of 15 million euros. In the meantime, the boss has doubled his workforce; freight sales tripled. Also thanks to the bark beetle plague. But why is the damaged wood from German forests transported halfway around the world? "The Chinese order large quantities of bark beetle wood because it is cheap and use it in the construction industry as shuttering boards or for packaging."

Ein Harvester verlädt die Stämme in einen Container © Brelog A harvester loads the logs into a container

Almost a million tons of wood per year to China

The Bremen-based forwarding company sends 40,000 containers to China every year. 24 tons of wood, mostly spruce, fit into each container. Multi-axis machines, so-called harvesters, pack several logs with their powerful hydraulic grippers and push them into the twelve-meter-long containers, explains Markus Lange, who is responsible for operational business at Brelog. Loading takes place all over Germany. "Today in Bückeburg and Witzenhausen." The containers are loaded in the forest or on a paved road nearby. "A trucking company brings the containers to the port. There it is fumigated," explains Lange. Before the wood goes to China, the bark beetles have to be killed. "The fumigator fills the container with a corresponding poison that works for 24 hours." The container is then thoroughly ventilated and ready for loading on the ship.

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From 2000 to 2014, bark beetles destroyed large swaths of forests in the American West—and they're not done yet. This theory just so happens to also benefit loggers, who are more An adult mountain pine beetle lays her eggs under the bark . On her way, she disperses fungi that turn the trees' tissue

Bark beetles are currently responsible for killing an unprecedented number of trees in forests across Europe and North America. The bark beetle species is capable of killing large spruce populations in a short period of time. Credit: Rainer Simonis / Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald.

(Fast) fertig zum Abtransport: Mit Baumstämmen beladene Container © Brelog (Almost) ready for removal: Containers loaded with tree trunks

Arrived in China, random samples are taken. The wood from Germany must be free from bark beetles. Otherwise the Chinese would stop imports immediately, as they did with German pork when the first cases of African swine fever were discovered in Brandenburg. Markus Lange controls the long journey from his desk in Bremen and makes sure that the shipping documents are in order. "We have to inform the forest office beforehand how many containers will be loaded, we take care of the customs formalities and create the corresponding export accompanying document including a fumigation certificate."

More than just wood infested by bark beetles

Brelog, the Bremen-based freight forwarding company, organizes more than just wood exports to China. In China, says managing director Arne Lücken, a wealthy middle class has established itself; European branded items such as fashion items or food are in great demand. "I never thought that we would one day export oatmeal to China."

Trees in distress - forest damage continues to increase

 Trees in distress - forest damage continues to increase The condition of German forests has deteriorated further this year. "The situation in a large part of the forests in Germany is still catastrophic," says Larissa Schulz-Trieglaff, spokeswoman for the Association of Forest Owners' Associations (AGDW) in Berlin. © Swen Pförtner / dpa Dead spruce trees in the Harz Mountains.

The Great Plague was not an isolated event—40,000 Londoners had died of the plague in 1625—but it was the last and worst of the epidemics. From London the disease spread widely over the country, but from 1667 on there was no epidemic of plague in any part of England, though sporadic cases

The spruce bark beetle - which is known for ravaging Christmas Trees - was detected at a number of Warning issued after first outbreak in UK of spruce bark beetle that destroys woodland. It was detected at a number of unnamed locations in the Ashford area. People who supply conifer trees are

Nicht nur Holz, auch Tiefseekabel bringt die Firma Brelog auf den Weg - hier eine Lieferung für einen Kunden in Malaysia © Brelog The Brelog company does not just send wood, but also deep-sea cables - here a delivery for a customer in Malaysia

Recently, Arne Lücken reports, his forwarding company has taken deep-sea cables 400 kilometers in a row from the German submarine cable works in Nordenham shipped to Malaysia or hardwood, which was intended for a demagnetization system for warships in Lübeck, was imported from Surinam. Due to travel restrictions caused by corona, the demand for patio furniture has risen sharply. Brelog sources them mainly from Indonesia and Vietnam.

Other goods such as automobile parts or electronic equipment go to the Far East by rail. "There are now very good connections directly to Hamburg, Duisburg, and recently also to Nuremberg. There are also fixed timetables that did not exist before." A train takes three weeks to travel to China, ships take five weeks; however, sea transport is significantly cheaper. Which is why the wood infected by the bark beetle will continue to be transported to China by ship in the future. And that for a long time. The dry summers weaken the conifers and allow the bark beetle an easy game. Brelog at least benefits from it.

Author: Godehard Weyerer

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