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Offline Roger Parsons  
#21 Posted : 02 May 2020 11:25:18(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

The holly flowers have all gone, helped on their way by wind and rain, so the bees are back in force on the ceanothus

Photo Sat 2/5/20

So why did they desert the ceanothus temporarily? Surely they don't have a hive memory of how long each flower species lasts, and switched to the holly while it was still there? The sensible alternative is that the holly must have been putting out some signal (UV colour? scent?) which was more powerful than the ceanothus, or possibly the holly had a better nectar yield.

It's all down to the nectar production - bee behaviour is rational-ish. Plants evolve to attract both facultative and obligative pollinators. Honeybees will tackle almost any flower, but flowers will have co-evolved to particular species, not necessarily Apis mellifera. The original co-evolution will have set the blueprint matching the daily rhythm of the particular pollinator of preference. Honeybees just go where the nectar is flowing.

Also - just to complicate things, bees don't only want nectar for energy but pollen as a protein source for their grubs. Look at your holly flowers. "Male holly flowers have four yellow stamens extending from the center of the flower. By contrast, each female bloom has a green ovary (that is, a green "bump" in the center of its bloom)." Have a look - pollen could be what they are after.

R

 

 

 

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  
#22 Posted : 02 May 2020 18:59:56(UTC)
DEW

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

 

Also - just to complicate things, bees don't only want nectar for energy but pollen as a protein source for their grubs. Look at your holly flowers. "Male holly flowers have four yellow stamens extending from the center of the flower. By contrast, each female bloom has a green ovary (that is, a green "bump" in the center of its bloom)." Have a look - pollen could be what they are after.

My holly tree is undoubtedly male, I'd already seen the anthers and noted the lack of berries every year. Since all the blossom has blown off, observations of pollen collecting will have to wait. But as you will see in the photo, plenty of pollen is being collected from the ceanothus.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#23 Posted : 02 May 2020 19:58:17(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

My holly tree is undoubtedly male, I'd already seen the anthers and noted the lack of berries every year. Since all the blossom has blown off, observations of pollen collecting will have to wait. But as you will see in the photo, plenty of pollen is being collected from the ceanothus.

That makes sense to me, DEW. Check the colour chart to ID other pollens. Ceanothus you know.

http://www.sheffieldbeekeepers.org.uk/tools/pollen-chart/

Broadly speaking pollen collection is indicative of queen laying and brood rearing. Nectar collection is related to nectar yield. Both are stored in the brood area for ready availability.

Roger

 

 

SHOW EXTERNAL IMAGES

Edited by user 02 May 2020 20:09:58(UTC)  | Reason: typo

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  
#24 Posted : 17 May 2020 19:47:32(UTC)
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Plant of the day for bees was cotoneaster. Minuscule flowers but the whole bush buzzing,

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#25 Posted : 17 May 2020 20:44:16(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

Plant of the day for bees was cotoneaster. Minuscule flowers but the whole bush buzzing,

Treat of our weekend was a number of young grasshopper instars noted in the garden.  Probably Common Field Grasshopper.

https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/grasshoppers-and-crickets

See:

https://www.orthoptera.org.uk/about_orthoptera

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 DEW  
#26 Posted : 22 May 2020 05:51:26(UTC)
DEW

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Scientists have observed for the first time bumble bees tricking plants into flowering early.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-52759704/how-bumble-bees-trick-plants-into-flowering-early

Looks a bit speculative to me, at least as presented here.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#27 Posted : 22 May 2020 07:56:47(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Look out for Tree Bees: Black bee with white tail and ginger "rucksack". Good information on them here, DEW. R.

https://scottishbeekeepe...e%20Tree%20Bumblebee.pdf

R

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  
#28 Posted : 22 May 2020 09:33:30(UTC)
DEW

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post
Look out for Tree Bees: Black bee with white tail and ginger "rucksack". Good information on them here, DEW. R.

https://scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/images/education/Introducing%20the%20Tree%20Bumblebee.pdf

R

My 'bible' on bumblebees is the Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland, M Edwards and M Jenner, Ocelli, 2005 (my edition, later revised) 0-9549713-0-2 which is interesting for comparison in that in 2005 there was no common name for this bee, and the distribution was confined to the three most SE-ly 100km squares in the UK (i.e. nowhere NW of a line approx Bournemouth - Norwich) - the link above shows it a present in almost all of England except Cornwall, but not yet in more than the fringes of Wales and Scotland. Obviously a recent addition to the British bee list.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline DEW  
#29 Posted : 05 June 2020 09:13:39(UTC)
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Bee division of labour this morning - honeybees on campanula, large (buff-tailed) bumbles on foxgloves, and small black bumbles could be the tree bees above?) on the wineberry (=Japanese raspberry).

I've learnt that there are 2 citycentre hives in a garden about 300yds away so I suspect that most of the honeybees I see come from there. These bees have a lot of lime trees available as a base, but otherwise the honey must be an interesting mix of nectar from different garden flowers

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#30 Posted : 05 June 2020 09:44:53(UTC)
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Morning David. If you have any in your garden check the colour of the pollen in their "pollen baskets". It's not an exact science, but may offer interesting possibilities.

Roger

http://www.sheffieldbeek...g.uk/tools/pollen-chart/

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  
#31 Posted : 07 June 2020 09:47:00(UTC)
DEW

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Who needs flowers? Bumble bees very busy feeding on honeydew on hazel leaves - there is an excessive amount of honeydew this year. Also a few wasps, definitely wasps not hoverflies.


It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#32 Posted : 07 June 2020 10:20:28(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

Who needs flowers? Bumble bees very busy feeding on honeydew on hazel leaves - there is an excessive amount of honeydew this year. Also a few wasps, definitely wasps not hoverflies.


Bombus terrestris worker, DEW? Buff-tailed BB? Note the "buff ring" below the black ring of the tail.

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/white-tailed-bumblebees/buff-tailed-bumblebee/

Guide to common spp - click on name to get the photo:

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/bumblebee-species-guide/

 

R

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)

Online Rob K  
#33 Posted : 08 June 2020 09:59:13(UTC)
Rob K

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

Who needs flowers? Bumble bees very busy feeding on honeydew on hazel leaves - there is an excessive amount of honeydew this year. Also a few wasps, definitely wasps not hoverflies.


There's a house on the corner of my road that has a leafy hedge which I think is some variety of privet, and it is always swarming with bees even though there are no flowers on it. The leaves seem slightly sticky so I can only assume they are also feeding on honeydew?

 

On googling perhaps it is actually a type of laurel, as apparently some laurel leaves secrete nectar?

Edited by user 08 June 2020 10:02:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Yateley, NE Hampshire, 73m asl.
Offline Roger Parsons  
#34 Posted : 08 June 2020 10:13:33(UTC)
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Google Extra-floral nectary uk species... here's Laurel...
http://www.chelifer.com/?page_id=2438

Here's an impressive list of uk plants with nectar used by ants...

http://www.wbrc.org.uk/WORCRECD/32/Winnall_Rosemary--Ants_and_Extra-floral_.html


Roger

 

Edited by user 08 June 2020 10:15:40(UTC)  | Reason: + link

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  
#35 Posted : 08 June 2020 21:22:36(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

Google Extra-floral nectary uk species... here's Laurel...
http://www.chelifer.com/?page_id=2438

Here's an impressive list of uk plants with nectar used by ants...

http://www.wbrc.org.uk/WORCRECD/32/Winnall_Rosemary--Ants_and_Extra-floral_.html


Roger

 

The ants have been regular visitors to my hazel and its aphids for many years, not without subsidiary explorations through our back door nearby, but it's the first time I've seen bees on there. I'm fairly sure I've seen bees on laurel in the past.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline DEW  
#36 Posted : 11 July 2020 18:23:27(UTC)
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In the park this afternoon, watching flying ants emerge, when along came a wasp (probably the common wasp) and after it had sized up the situation grabbed a flying ant and zoomed off. Then it or another came back and repeated the act.

Not something I've seen before, but it's available on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKETMyPLe0Q

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline Roger Parsons  
#37 Posted : 11 July 2020 19:27:09(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

In the park this afternoon, watching flying ants emerge, when along came a wasp (probably the common wasp) and after it had sized up the situation grabbed a flying ant and zoomed off. Then it or another came back and repeated the act.

Not something I've seen before, but it's available on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKETMyPLe0Q

Excellent, DEW. I have seen swallow feeding frenzies over flying ants.

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 Devonian  
#38 Posted : 12 July 2020 07:24:37(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post

 

Excellent, DEW. I have seen swallow feeding frenzies over flying ants.

Roger

Good, swallows need help these days, ours are about 30% down, anecdote indicates we're not alone.Predation an increasing problem - what was once a novelty, the GsW, now a problem along with magpies.

I spoke to a nearby reserve manager about wood warblers - they've nearly vanished it seems . But, pied flycatchers, redstarts and others have done well.

Our house martins* are doing well too. We have, it's actually quite hard to tell for sure, at least a dozen active nests. What they feed chicks on isn't easy to see either but I did see a ladybird being feed to some chicks - I think there could be a glut of them too.

* many, most even, of the population around here live with us which is both good but a bit sad for those like them and wouldn't knock nests down,,,

Edited by user 12 July 2020 07:26:21(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"When it takes nearly 900,000 votes to elect one party’s MP, and just 26,000 for another, you know something is deeply wrong."

The electoral reform society, 14,12,19

Offline DEW  
#39 Posted : 12 July 2020 10:23:45(UTC)
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It always amazes me that swallows flying at speed and not actively chasing any particular insect can actually catch enough to live on. let alone feed chicks.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Offline The Beast from the East  
#40 Posted : 12 July 2020 17:01:46(UTC)
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Flying Ant day today here. Anyone else?

Like an alien invasion coming out of the ground. At least this time they didnt come out inside the garage like last year!

"We have some alternative facts for you"

Kelly-Ann Conway - special adviser to the President

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