“Bees’ Needs” Week

This week 13th to 19th July is “Bees’ Need” Week. As bee keepers we are well aware of the problems that bees face, be they honey bees or bumble bees or any other sort of bees. The web site is well worth reading and if there is anybody you can pass it on to then so much the better.

Amongst items that are on the page are details of a FIT count. Sounds interesting. I had never heard of it and found that it is a “Flower-Insect Timed Count”. It involves watching a particular plant and counting the number of pollinators that visit. This may seem a trivial task but unless we know how we are influencing the natural environment we will never know whether we are doing the right thing.

Talking of the natural environment I was on the South Dorset Ridgeway when I saw the larva of a hawk Moth moving very fast along the path. On closer examination I saw that is was being carried by an ichneumon wasp and more specifically a Callajoppa exaltatoria. Now I am no expert on these creatures, in fact I cannot even pronounce their names, but there is an excellent guide here at the Natural History Museum. Just search for ichneumon wasps.

Ichneumon Wasp (Callajoppa exaltatoria) with Hawk Moth Larva
Callajoppa exaltatoria with HawkMoth Larva

I have received details of an interesting site which contains a lot of useful information. It is an Australian site so there are differences between bees here and there – apart from the fact it is their winter at the moment. Nevertheless it is well worth a read.

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