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Offline DEW  
#761 Posted : 27 July 2021 09:40:06(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

We have an amazing display of hollyhocks this year, and until a couple of days ago all were still upright. Now I've had to go round with the twine.


A couple of observations on bees and hollyhocks (a) bees prefer those closest in colour to red (b) there are fewer bees visiting this year than usual and although the flowers were always more popular with bumbles, honey bees are all but absent this year. (This may be a function of where hives are being kept, of course)


But the fennel is proving very popular with hoverflies, though not bees.

I love these grey skies ... God cannot see what you are doing (The poet Stephen Mallarme on a visit to London)
Offline NMA  
#762 Posted : 27 July 2021 10:15:59(UTC)
NMA

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Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,404
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Location: South Dorset

Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post


We have an amazing display of hollyhocks this year, and until a couple of days ago all were still upright. Now I've had to go round with the twine.


A couple of observations on bees and hollyhocks (a) bees prefer those closest in colour to red (b) there are fewer bees visiting this year than usual and although the flowers were always more popular with bumbles, honey bees are all but absent this year. (This may be a function of where hives are being kept, of course)


But the fennel is proving very popular with hoverflies, though not bees.



My borage is late this year from self sown stock but bees love the blue flowers. Fennel is a popular plant with hoverflies of which there are many this year as indeed bumble bees in various kinds. But honeybees are noticeable by their absence this year. A plus of the damp weather is the general verdant/odoriferousness of the garden which encourages me to give this summer an 8/10 up to now for gardening.


Not gardening but sea related. Whitebait (young herring or sprats), a staple part of bass and mackerel diets are completely absent this year off Dorset. Whether that's a result of the long cold spring or a worrying crash in herring/sprat stocks, or even something else I have no idea. It's noticeable off the South Coast in general from other anecdotal reports.

Offline Roger Parsons  
#763 Posted : 27 July 2021 10:27:37(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: NMA Go to Quoted Post


My borage is late this year from self sown stock but bees love the blue flowers. Fennel is a popular plant with hoverflies of which there are many this year as indeed bumble bees in various kinds. But honeybees are noticeable by their absence this year. A plus of the damp weather is the general verdant/odoriferousness of the garden which encourages me to give this summer an 8/10 up to now for gardening.


Not gardening but sea related. Whitebait (young herring or sprats), a staple part of bass and mackerel diets are completely absent this year off Dorset. Whether that's a result of the long cold spring or a worrying crash in herring/sprat stocks, or even something else I have no idea. It's noticeable off the South Coast in general from other anecdotal reports.



Colour [as perceived by bee eyes] is a significant attractant, but bees are totally red-blind. Also, bees make informed decisions.  They can tell when flowers are secreting nectar. Scout bees are constantly monitoring this and reporting the information back to their colony. Foraging workers will act on this information and go to the specified location. Periodicity of nectar production varies between species and conditions.


What garden flowers look like in bee vision [left] compared to humans [right]:


https://www.jolyon.co.uk/2020/07/garden-flowers-in-bee-vision/


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  
#764 Posted : 27 July 2021 20:37:41(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

I knew that bee colours were different to human ones, but not the detail. It would be interesting to see my hollyhocks in bee vision, but what I saw was a definite order of preference [Red, pink, maroon] > white > [cream, pinkish-yellow]. It is of course possible that the red group were producing more nectar; pollen amounts appear similar.

I love these grey skies ... God cannot see what you are doing (The poet Stephen Mallarme on a visit to London)
Offline Roger Parsons  
#765 Posted : 27 July 2021 20:50:19(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post


I knew that bee colours were different to human ones, but not the detail. It would be interesting to see my hollyhocks in bee vision, but what I saw was a definite order of preference [Red, pink, maroon] > white > [cream, pinkish-yellow]. It is of course possible that the red group were producing more nectar; pollen amounts appear similar.



Exactly, David - only the Bees can't appreciate red!


You may also have noticed in the bee vision pictures that the "this way" nectar guide markings on petals show up more obviously.


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 Roger Parsons  
#766 Posted : 30 July 2021 07:01:39(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

A few more interesting links on bees, conservation and related issues. Enjoy.

Life lessons from beekeepers – stop mowing the lawn, don't pave the driveway and get used to bugs in your salad
https://theconversation.com/life-lessons-from-beekeepers-stop-mowing-the-lawn-dont-pave-the-driveway-and-get-used-to-bugs-in-your-salad-164591



Why invertebrates should be included in animal welfare protections | New Scientist
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25133452-200-why-invertebrates-should-be-included-in-animal-welfare-protections/



Garden of weeds takes home gold at Royal Horticultural Society show
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/25/weed-thriller-garden-weeds-takes-home-gold-royal-horticultural/



Invasive species have cost UK at least £5bn since 1970s, study reveals | Invasive species | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/29/invasive-species-have-cost-the-uk-at-least-5bn-since-1970s-study-reveals-aoe




Roger

Edited by user 30 July 2021 07:03:27(UTC)  | Reason: +bold

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  
#767 Posted : 03 August 2021 20:18:05(UTC)
DEW

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Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,327
Man
Location: Chichester 12m. asl

French beans and Japanese raspberries in full flow

I love these grey skies ... God cannot see what you are doing (The poet Stephen Mallarme on a visit to London)
Offline Northern Sky  
#768 Posted : 05 August 2021 08:57:59(UTC)
Northern Sky

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 16/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 7,254
Location: Leeds W Yorks

After a couple of years on the waiting list we've managed to get an allotment! It was completely overgrown so I've strimmed it and covered with black membrane to leave over Winter. 


One section had been covered so I'm just starting to work on that and the soil looks very nice indeed. There's one or two things I can plant now and I'm starting with some potatoes which I hope will be ready for Christmas. 

Offline Roger Parsons  
#769 Posted : 10 August 2021 16:46:35(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 6,928
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

I was pleased to note 12 colonies of black garden ants having a "Flying Ant Day" today. Tuesday, 10th August.
The nests were glistening with a torrent of alates off on their nuptial flight at 17.00hrs.
https://www.nhm.ac.uk/di...warm-nuptial-flight.html
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 Bertwhistle  
#770 Posted : 13 August 2021 11:23:44(UTC)
Bertwhistle

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,619
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post
I was pleased to note 12 colonies of black garden ants having a "Flying Ant Day" today. Tuesday, 10th August.
The nests were glistening with a torrent of alates off on their nuptial flight at 17.00hrs.
https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/when-why-winged-ants-swarm-nuptial-flight.html
Roger


 


Hello Roger.


Our daschund has been busy licking the odd ant off of the patio slabs but when the fly day came he was overwhelmed and wouldn't go out, shaking on the doormat (pathetic)  leaving them to the mercy of the customary dozens of gulls.


On a bee note, the weather conditions have been ideal for perpetuating our flowering plants this year and we have many different bees and hoverflies busy in the petals. It's no doubt thanks to both these groups that our flowering veg is doing so well. As yet, barely any wasps though.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.
August 2020: best heatwave since '95
Offline Roger Parsons  
#771 Posted : 19 August 2021 09:07:49(UTC)
Roger Parsons

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 23/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 6,928
Man
Location: Lincolnshire

Here's a green idea....
"Cannabis plants with a street value of £1m have been found at a flooded property in Bury town centre. About 1,000 plants have been destroyed after they were discovered on Silver Street, Greater Manchester Police said."

Cannabis farm worth £1m found in Bury town centre
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-58267564




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 Caz  
#772 Posted : 22 August 2021 15:08:11(UTC)
Caz

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Joined: 28/10/2008(UTC)
Posts: 22,845
Woman
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

I usually grow a row of runner beans that get unruly, difficult to pick and produce far too many.  So this year I set just nine climbing French beans up three wigwams, to make them easy to pick.  


We’ve been harvesting them for a couple of weeks but today, I’ve supplied my sister with a bag full to freeze, have frozen some myself and supplied my neighbour, who pegs a bag on the fence, labelled ‘Wendy’s bean bag’. 


I’m actually getting a much better crop, possibly because I can see them all!  

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.
Join the fun and banter of the monthly CET competition. Discuss monthly temperatures and records.
Offline Lionel Hutz  
#773 Posted : 24 August 2021 14:25:49(UTC)
Lionel Hutz

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 05/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 5,233
Man
Ireland

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post


After a couple of years on the waiting list we've managed to get an allotment! It was completely overgrown so I've strimmed it and covered with black membrane to leave over Winter. 


One section had been covered so I'm just starting to work on that and the soil looks very nice indeed. There's one or two things I can plant now and I'm starting with some potatoes which I hope will be ready for Christmas. 



Are you going to grow them under cover? Even if you are, it's not at all easy to produce potatoes in the autumn. Apart from falling temperatures, the days are shortening and by late September, day length will be equivalent to late March. Even if you have them under cover, a severe frost could still do for them. I have heard of people doing it successfully but I would have thought it possible only in favoured areas. If you do make a go of it, please let me know how you did it as I would like to do it myself and have new potatoes for Christmas dinner some year! 


 

Lionel Hutz
Nr.Waterford , S E Ireland
68m ASL
Offline Bertwhistle  
#774 Posted : 24 August 2021 17:43:42(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,619
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post


I usually grow a row of runner beans that get unruly, difficult to pick and produce far too many.  So this year I set just nine climbing French beans up three wigwams, to make them easy to pick.  


We’ve been harvesting them for a couple of weeks but today, I’ve supplied my sister with a bag full to freeze, have frozen some myself and supplied my neighbour, who pegs a bag on the fence, labelled ‘Wendy’s bean bag’. 


I’m actually getting a much better crop, possibly because I can see them all!  



I think it's really great that there's wider benefit from your growing skills. Runners have caused us grief for some years, mostly due to blackfly and drought, but this year they are doing well. But we too have had the issue of nearly-none, then too many, then none again. But I'm hoping the crop will spread across the season this year.


 


Fingers crossed!

Bertie, Itchen Valley.
August 2020: best heatwave since '95
Offline Jiries  
#775 Posted : 25 August 2021 08:11:58(UTC)
Jiries

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Joined: 11/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 41,250
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Location: Galley Common, 130m.

Did not use the garden due to bad summer and many days was unusable.  My neigbboour flowers look very poor quality and not fully thick bloom as you expect in August peak.  Only few bloom well that grown next to the house wall as it warmer and sheltered.

Offline Caz  
#776 Posted : 25 August 2021 19:05:32(UTC)
Caz

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Joined: 28/10/2008(UTC)
Posts: 22,845
Woman
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands

Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post


 


I think it's really great that there's wider benefit from your growing skills. Runners have caused us grief for some years, mostly due to blackfly and drought, but this year they are doing well. But we too have had the issue of nearly-none, then too many, then none again. But I'm hoping the crop will spread across the season this year.


 


Fingers crossed!


Try French climbers for a change.  The variety I bought are Cobra and they produce lots of long tender beans quite quickly. I thought I’d left them too long as they were so big but I got a thumbs up from the neighbours. They freeze well too.  


Good luck with the runners. 

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.
Join the fun and banter of the monthly CET competition. Discuss monthly temperatures and records.
Offline Bertwhistle  
#777 Posted : 26 August 2021 12:30:04(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 6,619
Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post


Try French climbers for a change.  The variety I bought are Cobra and they produce lots of long tender beans quite quickly. I thought I’d left them too long as they were so big but I got a thumbs up from the neighbours. They freeze well too.  


Good luck with the runners. 



Thanks Caz. Actually I'm so excited to see clean green beans this year I'm harvesting them and cooking them straight away, but it is good to know the French beans freeze well, as I've wasted bumper crops in the past.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.
August 2020: best heatwave since '95
Offline ARTzeman  
#778 Posted : 26 August 2021 15:00:06(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

5 packs of Runner Beans sliced and parboiled. Cooled, then placed in Freezer.  Scarlet Runner has now been taken down.



Some people walk in the rain.
Others just get wet.
I Just Blow my horn or trumpet
Offline ARTzeman  
#779 Posted : 01 September 2021 14:06:26(UTC)
ARTzeman

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Location: Peasedown St John. N.E. Sommerset

Tomatoes are being harvested this week before the wind blows them from the plants.



Some people walk in the rain.
Others just get wet.
I Just Blow my horn or trumpet
Offline Jiries  
#780 Posted : 01 September 2021 18:39:39(UTC)
Jiries

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Joined: 11/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 41,250
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Location: Galley Common, 130m.

Originally Posted by: ARTzeman Go to Quoted Post


Tomatoes are being harvested this week before the wind blows them from the plants.



Are they growing well inside the green house I assumed?  Tomatoes hate cold and wet weather which I want to grow some when i get a green house.

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