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Silence of the Bees


knocker

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Posted
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France
  • Weather Preferences: Continental type climate with lots of sunshine with occasional storm
  • Location: Mostly Watford but 3 months of the year at Capestang 34310, France

    They have been on the decline for some years now, though some more enlightened people are making efforts to improve their foraging areas.

     

    Let's face the rest of our food depends pretty much on them.

     

    Today I saw carpenter bee in our garden - I have a wood store for the fire there so this is a likely habitat.

     

    http://www.planetepassion.eu/WILDLIFE-IN-FRANCE/Carpenter-bee-France.html

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Our garden here has been full of bees...All we can do is make sure that our gardens contain plenty of nectar-bearing flowers...

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Is this a new horror film??? After silence of lambs of course.

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    Posted
  • Location: NE of Kendal 215m asl
  • Location: NE of Kendal 215m asl

    Not a lot of bees around here, I would have thought this weather would have brought them out. Flowers that are usually buzzing are quiet. Hopefully they are just catching up from the cold spring.

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    And in Canada.

     

    Bees dying by the millions

     

    ELMWOOD - Local beekeepers are finding millions of their bees dead just after corn was planted here in the last few weeks. Dave Schuit, who has a honey operation in Elmwood, lost 600 hives, a total of 37 million bees.

     

    “Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,†Schuit said. He and many others, including the European Union, are pointing the finger at a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. used in planting corn and some other crops. The European Union just recently voted to ban these insecticides for two years, beginning December 1, 2013, to be able to study how it relates to the large bee kill they are experiencing there also.

     

    Local grower Nathan Carey from the Neustadt, and National Farmers Union Local 344 member, says he noticed this spring the lack of bees and bumblebees on his farm. He believes that there is a strong connection between the insecticide use and the death of pollinators.

     

    http://www.thepost.on.ca/2013/06/19/bees-dying-by-the-millions

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    It all seems a bit out-of-kilter around here. I've seen plenty of bees, not a single wasp and quite a few crane flies; and you can't blame insecticides for the early appearance of crane flies...

     

    Could we still be feeling knock-on effects from last year's peculiar spring and summer, as well as this year's very cold spring?

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    Posted
  • Location: inter drumlin South Tyrone Blackwater river valley surrounded by the last last ice age...
  • Weather Preferences: jack frost
  • Location: inter drumlin South Tyrone Blackwater river valley surrounded by the last last ice age...

    one simple way to help native bees is to stop the wanton assault on their most important food providing plant .. namely IVY . Flowering throughout the autumn it is the fuel for winter survival . Even the National Trust has been killing the ivy on their trees .

    I am surrounded by ivy I have protected and by thousands of native bees .. my world is a-buzz   but a mile away the trees are bare and there is silence. no poisons required !

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    Posted
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire
  • Location: Coalpit Heath, South Gloucestershire

    I moved house last year. My new garden was a weedy quagmire, but it meant that I could plant it out from scratch. It was lovely to be able to pick and choose plants that would attract insects and the garden is now buzzing. The hoverflies are loving the escallonia and the lovely big fat bees can't seem to get enough of the foxgloves and nasturtiums in particular.

    It just feels so right to be sharing the garden with these lovely creatures.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Australia
  • Weather Preferences: Hot and dry or cold and snowy, but please not mild and rainy!
  • Location: Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Australia

    It all seems a bit out-of-kilter around here. I've seen plenty of bees, not a single wasp and quite a few crane flies; and you can't blame insecticides for the early appearance of crane flies...

     

    Could we still be feeling knock-on effects from last year's peculiar spring and summer, as well as this year's very cold spring?

     

    We've had far far less wasps than last year. Last year they kept coming inside everytime I openned the window I'd be catching and putting out 4-5 a day. This year I think I have put out 4-5 in total. However only slightly fewer bees I would estimate.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    We've had far far less wasps than last year. 

     

    Interesting article associated with that too:

     

     

    It’s picnic season – but there are no wasps to be seen
     
    The absence of wasps this year is due to the weather, but should we be pleased or sorry they're gone?
     
    Come the autumn, apple orchards may well be strewn with rotting fruit, buzzed over by hoards of wasps  One of this newspaper’s classic missives to the editor was printed in these pages yesterday. “Sir – Where have all the wasps gone? I don’t miss them. Steve Hale, Chilton, Oxfordshire.†Since then, readers have reported that wasps are at large in Ripponden, Warnham and Stevenage. There are also a few knocking about in Wales, I can confirm, but the cohorts of little onyx and gold warriors are thinner in the air than usual.
     
    The cause is the weather, of course. This year’s fruit crop was running about eight weeks late when that ferocious winter-spring finally slackened its grip in late May. Warmer temperatures recently have reduced the deficit to three or four weeks. And the good news – if you like wasps – is that the harvest is going to be a rich one, as long as there is no drought this month or next. (It seems unlikely, but even King Canute would purse his lips before betting against our climate.) Come September, the orchards may well be strewn with putrefying fruit, buzzed over by hoards of ministering wasps.
     
    For those who feel that twitching, cursing and flapping an impotent hand over the picnic in the hope of seeing off a venom-tailed marauder is an essential part of the Great British Summer, the thought of jam today, wasps tomorrow may be little compensation. But would anyone really miss wasps if they buzzed off? “The Wasp and all his family/I look upon as a major calamity,†wrote Ogden Nash, adding that he distrusted the creature’s “waspitalityâ€. From childhood, we are taught to shun and fear them, and though there is something comically ludicrous about five or six feet of human fleeing two or three centimetres of wasp, that sting is no joke.
     
    When my brother put his four-year-old foot into a wasps’ nest, and got it stuck there – nest, foot and brother were all enmeshed in a woodpile – he was subject, according to family lore, to a near fatal attack. (Deaths by wasp stings are not unknown in Britain, running at one or two a year, and the number is expected to increase in line with rising allergy levels.) My brother, Alexander, is allergic to nothing, but he could not get away. The insects were an angry cloud around him. His screams brought my father to the rescue, and while no blame attaches either to the little boy playing at the end of the garden, or to the insects defending their shattered palace, I remember the anger on my father’s face as he killed the last attackers on the bathroom floor, a good 30 yards away from the nest.
    My biology teacher, Dr Aldiss, a wasp specialist, explained that a sting sends out a chemical signal to other fighters to sting in the same place. He also said that wasps are not keen on the colour black, for some reason: Goths beware, and Emos take care. Alexander was saved by a maternal sprint to the chemist, a dosing with antihistamine and a dousing in Calamine lotion.
     
    When we awoke the next morning we were mortal enemies of wasps. We accounted for dozens, perhaps hundreds over the years.
    We killed triumphantly, even inventively. (Hung near a nest, a jam-jar with holes in the lid, smeared inside with marmalade and half full of blended whisky, orange juice and water, became a death-pit.) We did not stop to think that all life is sacred, or consider Sir Francis Bacon’s maxim: “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.†We did not pause to think that as well as being superb scavengers, most wasps are parasitic and carnivorous: almost every insect species man regards as a pest is preyed upon or parasitised by wasps. In other words, nature intends that humans and wasps should be allies.
     
    Perhaps because they frighten us, they fascinate us. Their superbly menacing colour scheme we have borrowed for everything from hazard warnings to explosives. Their character, which we assume to be reactive, incisive, quick to action and possessed of a steely combativeness, gives us one of my favourite adjectives: waspish. Their coming makes some of us swear at them, and others study their drinks very carefully, because a sting in the gullet is supposed to be fatal, unless someone performs a tracheotomy with a picnic fork. But their going, their going gives us something blissful. That feeling of eating out in the heat of a real summer day, in good old Blighty, where there are no lions, tigers, bears or puff adders, and the nearest thing to a menace just flew off, in search of a pest to parasitise.

     

     

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/countryside/10154995/Its-picnic-season-but-there-are-no-wasps-to-be-seen.html

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    Posted
  • Location: west suffolk 12 metres asl
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms/squalls/hoar-frost/misty sunrises/
  • Location: west suffolk 12 metres asl

    I counted 30plus bees on one shrub in my garden, all of them were on it at the same time, but ive only seen two or three honey bees all year.

    Also found a white-tip bumble that could barely move, i put some honey on my finger and the bee lapped it up, after two minutes it flew away.

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    Posted
  • Location: NE of Kendal 215m asl
  • Location: NE of Kendal 215m asl

    Not a lot of bees around here, I would have thought this weather would have brought them out. Flowers that are usually buzzing are quiet. Hopefully they are just catching up from the cold spring.

     

    Well the bees have certainly caught up, lots of bumble and solitary bees buzzing around recently, they'll enjoy this coming heatwave. Don't think I've seen a butterfly yet though.  

     

    one simple way to help native bees is to stop the wanton assault on their most important food providing plant .. namely IVY . Flowering throughout the autumn it is the fuel for winter survival . Even the National Trust has been killing the ivy on their trees .

    I am surrounded by ivy I have protected and by thousands of native bees .. my world is a-buzz   but a mile away the trees are bare and there is silence. no poisons required !

     

    Here here! Last year a neighbour cut  the ivy growing up their trees right outside our front door, really wound me up, it's a great habitat and like you say provides food for bees and berries for the birds in the winter. Ivy will only take over a tree if it is already dying, they provide the structure for the ivy to climb up, the last thing they want to do is kill it!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Just had to let another bumble out the back door...

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Ain't seen many Wasps but certainly heard them scraping the reed fencing for pulp to build their nests with! Hadn't realised just what a good amplifier the reed tubes were until a searched out the first of the 'odd scraping noises' I heard in Early May!!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Ain't seen many Wasps but certainly heard them scraping the reed fencing for pulp to build their nests with! Hadn't realised just what a good amplifier the reed tubes were until a searched out the first of the 'odd scraping noises' I heard in Early May!!!

    I'm not sure that seen, or heard, any...Which, as I can't stand the wretched things, I'm more than happy about.Posted Image

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    Posted
  • Location: N.Bedfordshire, E.Northamptonshire
  • Weather Preferences: Cool not cold, warm not hot. No strong Wind.
  • Location: N.Bedfordshire, E.Northamptonshire

    Seeing plenty of bumble bees here, and like others, not seen a wasp so far this year and the crane flies have emerged here early too.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    I think Ivy is important for honey bees, it certain does help them in the autumn, I'm not sure about bumbles. But it really is but one strand in the web of (honey) bee life and probably all bees lives. Bees need spring flowers and, certainly for honey bees, dandelions and willow trees can make a spring (even a freezing on like the last one) bearable for them. Later in spring holly is surprisingly important and, in my part of Devon, most summer honey comes from bramble, clover and wood sage.

     

    Bees, like much of our world's life, face pressures imposed by us and imposed by 'nature'. If bees face a world with less forage and more harmful insecticides it can hardly help them.

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