Friday, 6 August 2010

A few more Butterflies, Bees and Other Creepy Crawlies

I sense a pattern forming here…

More Bees dying, not in copious amounts, but enough for me to wonder what's happening. They always seem to be the white tailed bumbles, I don't think I have yet seen a red tailed or other dying…

Dying on a Hollyhock leaf… its little body still lies there.

These two were 'asleep' on the Coneflower… I nudged them, but still very strange.

Happily, this one shows no sign of fatigue or dying.

Gatekeepers yet again… They must either follow me or wish to win the next series of 'America's Next Top Model'!


And as for that Meadowbrown Butterfly I promised I would catch… Well finally! It's a powerful flier, and likes to annoy the Gatekeepers.


The Crocosmia is beginning to flower and seems to be an attractive home to a number of different insects…

Shield bugs in different instar stages


And yep, more of those Gatekeepers!



To find out what the other residents are in the Crocosmia, you'll have to wait for another blog post!

10 comments:

ginny said...

hi Liz,
i reread you last post with your mention of bees dying. i noticed a bee yesterday on my agapanthus plant. it looked like it was sleeping so i carefully lifted it off and it was very dozy. i put it safely under a bush (away from prying cats eyes) and hoped for the best. it was still there much later. do you have a theory about what is happening? do they have a life span? i love bummbles and this is very sad to see.
on a happier note we have had gatekeepers visiting our garden too. my youngest is expert at identifying butterflies and doesn't even need her book most if the time. your photos as ever transpost me into your beautiful garden.
wishing you a lovely day
G x

Carol said...

There is poetry in some of your photos Liz. I love the movement in the backgrounds and the different perspectives of butterflies. Enjoy the weekend. ;>)

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz......is that pollen on the bees or mites?? I also wondered if someone has a nest in their garden and has used chemicals of some sort around that area, and it may have poisoned the bees??
All very worrying......I shall observe my bees this weekend.

Love the butterflies.....and as always your stunning photography........

BTW the shield bug looked like a mask......made me smile.

Have a peaceful weekend....

Kyna said...

Whaaaaat? That's weird about the bees O_O I've never seen that happening...makes me kind of sad :(
Bees are my homeys.

Liz said...

Hi Ginny,

All I can assume is there’s some sort of illness or they’re coming to the natural end of their life… Bumbles do die off, each year a queen sets up a nest and creates a little colony, towards the end of the season she changes her pheromones allowing males to be produced and the daughters to go off and start their own nests the next spring – she often does this at her own expense as the daughters turn on her.
Not all bumbles do this, so I am making an assumption here…

I think our Gatekeepers are breeding in the privet hedge, they are usually found flitting along it, guarding their territories. I’m glad you also have some, all Butterflies are so magical that a garden without them just isn’t a garden!!!

Have a great weekend, I hope the weather is kind to you :)

Liz said...

Hi Carol,

Thank you very much! I hope some of the images tell their own story, at least this is generally what I aim for… I hope you have a wonderful weekend too, I know I need the time to relax – weekends are far too precious.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I believe it’s pollen on the Bees backs, I haven’t seen any more mites on them since early spring when the ‘Queens’ were out looking to start new nests. Of course this isn’t to say their nests aren’t infected and the colonies are collapsing…

As for the poison – it’s a very real possibility… Bumbles often nest in the ground though, so perhaps someone found the nest when weeding?

Shield bugs are far too cute when they’re young… I know they’re pests but I just cannot bring myself to kill them. As adults they’re not so endearing but I guess all (most) wildlife is welcome here.

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

lol@ Bees being you Homeys. Excellent! In that case, they’re also my homeys too, I do love seeing them and do not look forward to winter because I miss their presence in the garden so much.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Liz. That is sad to see your bees dying. If it were not for the bumble bees there would be hardly any bees around my garden that are pollinating. Honeybees are so absent around here anymore that it is scary. Maybe some of your bees are just drunk on the pollen. Sometimes they appear to be sleeping.
Your pictures are just beautiful of the bees and butterflies.

Barbara said...

I love your photos and hope that your bees are just reaching the end of their natural life cycle. There also seems to be much less bee activity in my garden right now than there was in early spring. With the exception of the honey bees - plenty of them still around.