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Offline DEW  
#321 Posted : 14 July 2019 06:34:53(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Originally Posted by: Retron Go to Quoted Post

 

On the back, several feet in front of me, was written: "No mowing! No weeding! No feeding!". Notwithstanding the fact that aside from the odd thistle I've never weeded the lawn and I've certainly never fed it, they could have added more... "No wildlife! No flood prevention! No good!"

 

I've been straining to be tactful to some new neighbours who have completely paved their back garden. I suppose I could shop them to Southern Water as they've directed the run-off into the main drain and not the existing soakaway.

It was most foule weather ... and so we went into an alehouse - Samuel Pepys
Offline Northern Sky  
#322 Posted : 15 July 2019 12:29:11(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Posts: 3,690
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More from Dave Goulson and something that is new to me and absolutely shocking.  - http://www.pan-uk.org/pesticides-found-in-bee-friendly-plants/?fbclid=IwAR2vYqEVz95e-59-KUe92m2PPFvg4pNmTo6ApwJoVbYnFHIojnX_afRahok

Garden centres selling "bee friendly" plants that are soaked in pesticides. It's absolute madness

I bought some lavender plants earlier this year, all now in full flower and not a bee or butterfly on them. I'm presuming this is why?

Surely there should be a campaign to stop this?

I wonder how long the pesticides stay in the plant, will it become safe over time?

Offline Roger Parsons  
#323 Posted : 19 July 2019 10:15:35(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

I bought some lavender plants earlier this year, all now in full flower and not a bee or butterfly on them.

We were having tea the the garden of some old friends yesterday - he is warden of a major nature reserve and she has been promoting wildlife gardening for many years. Not a butterfly to be seen. They can't explain why and are still hoping for a late appearance. They are less than a mile from our simple garden with sightings such as Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady and several Bumblebee species. To look at their garden you would think it a perfect wildlife garden. I think you and Bert can extract some consolation from this story - sometimes it just happens like that despite one's best efforts - perhaps "due to circumstances beyond your control". Perhaps next week's projected hot days will kick start emergence once more.

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Northern Sky  
#324 Posted : 19 July 2019 16:10:28(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

 

We were having tea the the garden of some old friends yesterday - he is warden of a major nature reserve and she has been promoting wildlife gardening for many years. Not a butterfly to be seen. They can't explain why and are still hoping for a late appearance. They are less than a mile from our simple garden with sightings such as Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady and several Bumblebee species. To look at their garden you would think it a perfect wildlife garden. I think you and Bert can extract some consolation from this story - sometimes it just happens like that despite one's best efforts - perhaps "due to circumstances beyond your control". Perhaps next week's projected hot days will kick start emergence once more.

Roger

The thing is Roger we have butterflies and bees in the garden on other plants but not on the lavender. It's that which makes me suspicious.

I wonder if there has been other research with similar findings?

Offline Retron  
#325 Posted : 19 July 2019 17:24:28(UTC)
Retron

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Posts: 23,817
Location: Leysdown-on-Sea

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 The thing is Roger we have butterflies and bees in the garden on other plants but not on the lavender. It's that which makes me suspicious.

I wonder if there has been other research with similar findings?

A strange thing has happened in my garden, which might be related.

My garden was set up by my mum in the 1980s, although some of the plants therein are older than that (and older than me, for that matter). There are numerous roses, for example, which give off a lovely scent and, to a limited degree, attract insects (the sprawling fuschia my dad planted 15 years ago is more popular).

At the back, in the former veg patch, amidst the buttercups and nettles a single red rose has appeared - not from any of the neighbouring barren gardens, so perhaps from a seed dropped by a bird. It has no smell. It has no insects - they ignore it. It's almost as if it's plastic, but it's not - it's real, but odd.

I had a discussion with my elderly neighbour about this and she reckons it's the way the flowers are bred these days, designed for looks above all else. A mixture of breeding and chemicals - not very good for insects.

 

Edited by user 19 July 2019 17:26:25(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Roger Parsons  
#326 Posted : 19 July 2019 17:46:48(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

The thing is Roger we have butterflies and bees in the garden on other plants but not on the lavender. It's that which makes me suspicious.

I wonder if there has been other research with similar findings?

I will see what I can discover, NS - but my mate is a horticulture wizard and does not give that explanation about his butterfly-free garden!

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Gandalf The White  
#327 Posted : 19 July 2019 21:27:28(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Apparently quite a serious loss of bees in parts of Russia

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49047402

 

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.2N 0.5E

Brexit: proof that you can fool people into making a stupid choice

Offline ARTzeman  
#328 Posted : 19 July 2019 21:43:42(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

I have an English Lavender planted 4 years ago. Plenty of insects Bees and Butterflies are visiting. It is well scented. Newer plants I expect are grown for larger blooms and not the scent it can give off. That certainly can explain fewer insects seen.

Some people walk in the rain.

Others just get wet.

Offline Northern Sky  
#329 Posted : 19 July 2019 22:03:54(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Posts: 3,690
Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: ARTzeman Go to Quoted Post

I have an English Lavender planted 4 years ago. Plenty of insects Bees and Butterflies are visiting. It is well scented. Newer plants I expect are grown for larger blooms and not the scent it can give off. That certainly can explain fewer insects seen.

Yes that's certainly possible. In terms of the pesticide question I've been looking at a few of Dave Goulson's tweets following the research and it seems there are many uncertainties regarding how long pesticides stay in plants and how this varies between plant varieties. At a guess Goulson thinks it could be up to two years but admits there is very little research in this area.

It seems strange the programmes such as Gardeners World, which has been really promoting wildlife friendly plants haven't (to my knowledge) mentioned Goulson's research, because if the practise is as widespread as suggested it has massive implications. I think I'll write to them.

Offline ARTzeman  
#330 Posted : 19 July 2019 22:12:58(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

Just as a reminder Big Butterfly Count started today until 11th August.  

Some people walk in the rain.

Others just get wet.

Offline Roger Parsons  
#331 Posted : 20 July 2019 05:29:53(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ARTzeman Go to Quoted Post

Just as a reminder Big Butterfly Count started today until 11th August.  

Thanks ART - for more info see Insect Experts thread. Butterfly Conservation has a very active weekend planned in the Lincolnshire Limewoods. I wonder it the same is true down your way?

https://butterfly-conservation.org/events?field_branches_target_id=110

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline Retron  
#332 Posted : 28 July 2019 14:49:21(UTC)
Retron

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Having been out in the garden (painting the games room / shed, as well as getting rid of some of the ever-present brambles), there were a couple of noteworthy sights:

* Lots of "gatekeeper" butterflies - half a dozen or more in sight at any one time. They seemed to be resting in the rambling box hedge that I have. There were also some "cabbage whites" and a couple of small grey/brown moths.
* Two dragonflies! I've never spotted them before in the local area and I was delighted to see them. They were in the vicinity of my pond, unsurprisingly, and I suspect the fact I've now got the only pond in the area has something to do with it.

I said before that the loss of ponds was regrettable - the elderly folks who had them in their gardens have largely died, then their bungalows get knocked down and replaced with two (or more) houses, attracting younger families who'd rather have an inflatable paddling pool than a pond.

The sterlisation of gardens over the past couple of decades is really quite alarming.

(Oh, there are some blackberries around as well. Unusual to see them in late July, I'd have thought, but they went down a treat!)

Offline Devonian  
#333 Posted : 28 July 2019 21:23:15(UTC)
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Location: East Dartmoor

Originally Posted by: Retron Go to Quoted Post

Having been out in the garden (painting the games room / shed, as well as getting rid of some of the ever-present brambles), there were a couple of noteworthy sights:

* Lots of "gatekeeper" butterflies - half a dozen or more in sight at any one time. They seemed to be resting in the rambling box hedge that I have. There were also some "cabbage whites" and a couple of small grey/brown moths.
* Two dragonflies! I've never spotted them before in the local area and I was delighted to see them. They were in the vicinity of my pond, unsurprisingly, and I suspect the fact I've now got the only pond in the area has something to do with it.

I said before that the loss of ponds was regrettable - the elderly folks who had them in their gardens have largely died, then their bungalows get knocked down and replaced with two (or more) houses, attracting younger families who'd rather have an inflatable paddling pool than a pond.

The sterlisation of gardens over the past couple of decades is really quite alarming.

(Oh, there are some blackberries around as well. Unusual to see them in late July, I'd have thought, but they went down a treat!)

The spread of passably realistic plastic lawns/grass is what I notice. Plastic trees, birds and insects will be next - seriously, I really can imagine it happening in the future. Who needs the real thing when plastic is so little bother?

"In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way"

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Osborne, 22/12/18.

Offline Northern Sky  
#334 Posted : 28 July 2019 23:01:31(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Location: Leeds W Yorks

To add a little note of optimism to this thread. One of the things I have been greatly encouraged by is the way in which areas, managed in favourable ways, can very quickly attract large numbers of insects of many kinds. I've seen this in my own garden and in the areas I have helped to develop at school. We just need more people to do it and we might be on to something. 

 

Offline Roger Parsons  
#335 Posted : 29 July 2019 05:44:12(UTC)
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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

To add a little note of optimism to this thread. One of the things I have been greatly encouraged by is the way in which areas, managed in favourable ways, can very quickly attract large numbers of insects of many kinds. I've seen this in my own garden and in the areas I have helped to develop at school. We just need more people to do it and we might be on to something. 

Food plants and habitats. Repeat. Food plants and habitats.

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline four  
#336 Posted : 29 July 2019 20:47:45(UTC)
four

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Painted Ladies everywhere this evening, not seen any this year until today.

There was one year previously every clump of thistles was alive with them, it might have been 2003?

Warm summers are the key to insect numbers, they can multiply so quickly when it's not too cool as is the norm here for 9 months of the year.

Offline Northern Sky  
#337 Posted : 01 August 2019 22:19:01(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Joined: 16/08/2010(UTC)
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Location: Leeds W Yorks

I've seen more butterflies in the garden today than I have ever seen in the 14 years I've lived here - Peacock, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Cabbage White, Speckled Wood and Skipper. The first three kinds were loving the buddlia and I counted at least 8 at one time. Also loads of bees, hoverflies and flies of many kinds. It was partly sunny and around 22c. 

I can't explain the large numbers but it was great to see.

Offline Roger Parsons  
#338 Posted : 03 August 2019 03:30:39(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

I've seen more butterflies in the garden today than I have ever seen in the 14 years I've lived here - Peacock, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Cabbage White, Speckled Wood and Skipper. The first three kinds were loving the buddlia and I counted at least 8 at one time. Also loads of bees, hoverflies and flies of many kinds. It was partly sunny and around 22c. 

I can't explain the large numbers but it was great to see.

Painted Ladies doing well, NS. BBC story:

"Large clouds of painted lady butterflies are being spotted across the country - and experts believe we are seeing a mass emergence that happens every 10 years."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-49210010

"The public is being asked to submit butterfly sightings online to help Butterfly Conservation monitor numbers of this and other breeds."

Roger

Edited by user 03 August 2019 03:32:45(UTC)  | Reason: addition

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline DEW  
#339 Posted : 03 August 2019 05:46:51(UTC)
DEW

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I saw more grasshoppers around while out walking on Thursday, than I have for many years. A general observation? Or was I just lucky?

It was most foule weather ... and so we went into an alehouse - Samuel Pepys
Offline Roger Parsons  
#340 Posted : 03 August 2019 07:31:39(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

I saw more grasshoppers around while out walking on Thursday, than I have for many years. A general observation? Or was I just lucky?

I don't know yet, David - not had any data apart from a couple of enquiries about identifying grasshopper/cricket. I did find my first field grasshopper in the garden last month. I've had similar questions about hoverflies and horseflies - so people seem to be wondering about the wider issue. I'll keep an eye on it and ask the county recorder if I see him.

On 31st July 31,350 Swifts flew south over Gibraltar Point. They don't eat grasshoppers of course, but are a good indication of aerial insect populations, and they are making their typical seasonal departure.

 

Roger

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

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