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Pollinating Insects

Posted 15/06/2022 - 17:02 Link
Locally (Southend-on-Sea) we have noticed a distinct lack of bees and other pollinators. I just wondered what the situation is in other parts of the country. Our Hebe shrub has just come into flower and is normally humming with bees at this time of year. So far not a single bee in sight!!

Posted 15/06/2022 - 17:10 - Helpful Comment Link
Here in Worcestershire (well in my little garden) there are some wasps and bees but not in any real quantity as yet - my Raspberries haven't really got going properly yet, when they do that is when I usually notice a good amount. It may be a little early for Ladybirds and Butterflies (?) but there are very few of these around so far. There is a large number of birds of various types queuing up to ruin my Strawberries before they have even ripened though
Posted 15/06/2022 - 18:04 - Helpful Comment Link
Plenty of bees in my garden (South Dorset). Butterflies are turning up on their usual schedule. Bee flies arrived at their normal time in April/May. Hover flies are doing their usual thing. And there are ants all over the place.

Posted 15/06/2022 - 18:13 - Helpful Comment Link
Had loads of bees for 4 weeks or so here in Gloucestershire

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Posted 15/06/2022 - 19:13 - Helpful Comment Link
We have gradually seen an increase in bees from a relatively slow start this year, but same last year, not as many as a few years ago.
I'm in Plymouth and yesterday saw for the first time in the UK a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in the garden, but swmbo scared it away before I got the camera out.
In the following are Honey bees I think, sadly no detail in the eyes
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Posted 16/06/2022 - 12:29 - Helpful Comment Link
In my part of sunny Surrey the scarcity of most types of pollinators is rather disturbing. And this in an area that can be described as rural to semi-rural.
My wife, a keen gardener, goes to some length to cultivate an insect friendly environment. This year we have seen one Red Admiral, two small Tortoiseshell, a Painted Lady and the odd Orange Tips and Whites. There were/are a satisfactory number of assorted bumbles and Bee Flies though. The usual fair variety of hoverflies have yet to show up......The reason? - my pet theory is atmospheric pollution which is particularly bad in the south east.

Looking back through my photo files (Insects & Bugs) the decline seems to have started five or six years ago and is most definitely worsening.

Posted 16/06/2022 - 13:47 - Helpful Comment Link
It can be hard to distinguish between short term fluctuations and longer term trends. We used to have lots of starlings. Then they vanished. A few years ago they started to return. Now, starling families are a regular feature of spring and early summer. Similarly, greenfinches became scarce a few years ago but are now back on the bird feeder. In the meantime, herring gulls and magpies have been on the increase locally. And palmate newts have replaced frogs in the garden pond. Why? And what does it all mean? Who knows. But it does add variety to garden photography!

Posted 17/06/2022 - 01:24 - Helpful Comment Link
The lavender bushes are silent, when they should be elbow room only. The rambling roses are massed with flowers but I actually went out and counted SIX bees on the biggest one. The noise used to be astonishing. The farmers have been setting huge borders aside for pollinators with 'guaranteed' flower mixes and there's just the odd few visitors. And have you looked at the pavements where piles of ant spoil used to be commonplace? There are none. And activity in the bee hotels dotted around the house has been almost non-existent as well as many of the tubes from last year remaining sealed up. I dug some out and found piles of compressed pollen. The eggs have not even hatched.
On the other hand I went to a Wildlife Trust site yesterday (Harbury Spoil Banks, Warwickshire) where there were lots of butterflies - but even there, there very few bees.
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Posted 17/06/2022 - 10:07 - Helpful Comment Link
In my part of Surrey (Woking) we have very few bees this year (and thankfully no wasps). Not seen any butterflies yet. I have been turning parts of our garden into wild-flower havens, so hopefully they will return.

The mention above of Starlings is interesting as we have seen them in the garden in large numbers, for the first time since we moved here 16 years ago.

Our family of ring-necked Parakeets seem to have left for pastures new however. A shame as I enjoyed the colour they brought to the garden.
Posted 17/06/2022 - 19:09 - Helpful Comment Link
I had a visitor this morning. The A380 of the group - a bumblebee - came in to explore all the downstairs rooms for about 20 minutes before finding its way out again.

I haven't taken much notice of the bees in my garden but on a walk along the canal towpath yesterday there seemed to be lots visiting the bramble flowers there.

Posted 20/06/2022 - 13:54 Link
Thanks for all of the feedback re the insects. Be interesting to see if things improve as summer progresses

Posted 20/06/2022 - 15:26 - Helpful Comment Link
MHOL190246 wrote:
Thanks for all of the feedback re the insects. Be interesting to see if things improve as summer progresses


Since I wrote we have had a few very hot days. Two cabbage whites and I think a red admiral spotted.

Still no sign of the Parakeets
Posted 20/06/2022 - 15:39 - Helpful Comment Link
Privet hawk moth hiding behind foliage in the garden on Saturday. A monster of a pollinator (if indeed it does pollinate - it certainly feeds on nectar). Showing the full glory of its outstretched wings when I first saw it, but had folded its wings by the time I'd got a camera in hand... . Plenty of the expected butterflies (marbled white, meadow brown, small blue) seen during a butterfly hunt a couple of miles away last Friday.

Please form an orderly queue when you visit south Dorset to see the only butterflies in the country this year... .

Posted 21/06/2022 - 19:06 - Helpful Comment Link
Very few butterflies or bees in our Doncaster garden this year. However must be a few insects about as we have had quite a few Swifts circling above the garden, hardly saw any the last couple of years.

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Posted 24/06/2022 - 15:04 Link
I have just had some feedback from a friend in deepest rural Essex, who reports that there are plenty of pollinators about. According to him, the air in his location is pollution free, Coincidence or what??


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