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The bees

Karloff

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Jun 5, 2015
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7,203
Haven't seen a single one so far this year despite glorious weather, despite having a garden with flowering rhodos and foxglove and other plants attractive to them. Are they dying off?

Butterflies too, a rare sight now - even the white. When i was a kid you would see them every day.

Ladybirds as well.
 


Calculusmadeeasy

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Apr 18, 2014
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I've seen two wasps. One was fairly angry. The other one sniffed some tip ex, and disappeared. Haven't found the carcass yet.

As kids, during the summer we'd fill jars with flowers and "catch" bees. It would probably result in angry SJW, animal rights groups, feminists and God knows what demanding a stiff prison sentences now of course, but back then the summer wasn't the summer if ye didn't catch a few bees.

I'd always let mine go, and watch them fly. Amazing creatures.


Deciphering the Mystery of Bee Flight | Caltech
 

Mitsui2

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Nov 13, 2009
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33,384
Haven't seen a single one so far this year despite glorious weather, despite having a garden with flowering rhodos and foxglove and other plants attractive to them. Are they dying off?

Butterflies too, a rare sight now - even the white. When i was a kid you would see them every day.

Ladybirds as well.
Noted a few bees in the garden in the past ten days or so, I'm glad to say - they cheer me up in a funny way, in that they say summer is coming no matter what the weather may suggest. We even had our first bumblebee stray into the house, which especially cheered me - I've had a soft spot for bumblebees ever since I was a kid. Mind you we also had our first p1ssed-off wasp in, and I confess I killed it immediately because the dog would have regarded it as a flying snack (a habit we can't rid him of) and I'd rather a dead wasp than a dog with a stung mouth.

The butterfly situation is a drag every summer nowadays, though - with very few exceptions, all I seem to see is cabbage whites eating our few brassicas. A great fall-off in variety since I was a boy. But at least I do see the whites - though none this year so far.

As regards ladybirds, last year - in our garden at least - was an absolutely bumper year for them, I'm very happy to say. They've always been up there with bumblebees in my ratings, and as a veg grower I welcome them even more.
 

Calculusmadeeasy

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Apr 18, 2014
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23,317
Noted a few bees in the garden in the past ten days or so, I'm glad to say - they cheer me up in a funny way, in that they say summer is coming no matter what the weather may suggest. We even had our first bumblebee stray into the house, which especially cheered me - I've had a soft spot for bumblebees ever since I was a kid. Mind you we also had our first p1ssed-off wasp in, and I confess I killed it immediately because I'm a fanny.

The butterfly situation is a drag every summer nowadays, though - with very few exceptions, all I seem to see is cabbage whites eating our few brassicas. A great fall-off in variety since I was a boy. But at least I do see the whites - though none this year so far.

As regards ladybirds, last year - in our garden at least - was an absolutely bumper year for them, I'm very happy to say. They've always been up there with bumblebees in my ratings, and as a veg grower I welcome them even more.
fixed that for yer slick.
 

Seanie Lemass

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Nov 26, 2010
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20,159
I've seen two wasps. One was fairly angry. The other one sniffed some tip ex, and disappeared. Haven't found the carcass yet.

As kids, during the summer we'd fill jars with flowers and "catch" bees. It would probably result in angry SJW, animal rights groups, feminists and God knows what demanding a stiff prison sentences now of course, but back then the summer wasn't the summer if ye didn't catch a few bees.

I'd always let mine go, and watch them fly. Amazing creatures.


Deciphering the Mystery of Bee Flight | Caltech

You are a fkn Monster. The Adolf Eichmann of the bee community. Bast@rd.
 

Calculusmadeeasy

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Apr 18, 2014
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23,317
I've been listening to Lyric Fm a lot lately, but I used to switch over to "Mooney goes Wild", especially when they had yer man, the Bee expert on it. Fascinating stuff.
 

JCR

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Jul 22, 2009
Messages
6,322
Haven't seen a single one so far this year despite glorious weather, despite having a garden with flowering rhodos and foxglove and other plants attractive to them. Are they dying off?

Butterflies too, a rare sight now - even the white. When i was a kid you would see them every day.

Ladybirds as well.
Well thats progress, as they used to say. Although I'm sure if you head to red neck Alabama or a lot of Ireland that idea still prevails.

I know one successful Irish entrepreneur who has made one fortune already on eco commerce, his next venture is very simple - breeding bees. I expect he will become a very rich man indeed. He doesn't expect any support from or within Ireland - and he won't need it.
 

Karloff

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Jun 5, 2015
Messages
7,203
Noted a few bees in the garden in the past ten days or so, I'm glad to say - they cheer me up in a funny way, in that they say summer is coming no matter what the weather may suggest. We even had our first bumblebee stray into the house, which especially cheered me - I've had a soft spot for bumblebees ever since I was a kid. Mind you we also had our first p1ssed-off wasp in, and I confess I killed it immediately because the dog would have regarded it as a flying snack (a habit we can't rid him of) and I'd rather a dead wasp than a dog with a stung mouth.

The butterfly situation is a drag every summer nowadays, though - with very few exceptions, all I seem to see is cabbage whites eating our few brassicas. A great fall-off in variety since I was a boy. But at least I do see the whites - though none this year so far.

As regards ladybirds, last year - in our garden at least - was an absolutely bumper year for them, I'm very happy to say. They've always been up there with bumblebees in my ratings, and as a veg grower I welcome them even more.
I am going to grow a little cabbage JUST to try and attract them. I am also going to make a concrete water feature to encourage damselflies - my favourite insect, the choppers of the insect world.

The insect world is so interesting and mysterious, a garden no matter how colourful is just lifeless without insect life.

Calculusmadeeasy said:
As kids, during the summer we'd fill jars with flowers and "catch" bees. It would probably result in angry SJW, animal rights groups, feminists and God knows what demanding a stiff prison sentences now of course, but back then the summer wasn't the summer if ye didn't catch a few bees.
I caught them too when a child, feel a little guilty about it now - i was like the Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the bee world - sure i would let them go in the end but i never realised that holding them even for an hour might be a death sentence anyway. Perhaps folk should discourage their kids from this practice.
 

Mitsui2

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Nov 13, 2009
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33,384
I caught them too when a child, feel a little guilty about it now - i was like the Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the bee world - sure i would let them go in the end but i never realised that holding them even for an hour might be a death sentence anyway. Perhaps folk should discourage their kids from this practice.
I suspect that, if kids do it at all these days, it's in virtual form in some game on their smartphones.

So a case of "alas, but not quite entirely alas."
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Jun 30, 2015
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No
Amazing little buggers alright the bees. I've noticed the paucity of bees and butterflies in recent summers but have always assumed that with weird weather patterns their carrying on their being would wax and wane with the El Nino effect and all sorts of other cross dynamics.

Attended a village fair last year where the local beekeepers association had a stall where they could show you a hive in operation with a clever glass panel so you could see what the lads were up to at any given time. It was interesting. Apparently the 'scout' bees would come back to the hive and repeatedly move back and forward in a certain direction relative to the position of the sun to point out to the other worker bees where there was a handy load of pollen to be found.

Like little satnavs for the rest of the colony. Clever little fellows.

For those who like bees and a bit of literature your man Sean Borodale who won the TS Eliot prize back in 2012 wrote a beautiful poetry-journal on the journey from setting up a hive to going through the season with them. It is really one of the most interesting ideas and beautifully executed that I have come across in poetry.

From '18th June The Works'

'Long iron clouds,
because weather has importance, laws of conduct.
Stowing the world under rain
not yet heavy enough to fall.

The box is flooding with arrivals:
a weight measurable by thickenings of sound.

Experiment with this
In terms of how its heard: up close, ear pressed
right to the jacket, shoulder-blade-thin panel back ...'

The book is called 'Bee Journal' and is a lovely read somewhere between a narrative of the first time keeping a hive and hoping for the honey and observations of the life cycle of the colony.

‘All day they have dragged in jewel-pins of nectar’.
 
Last edited:

raspberry tea

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Oct 27, 2015
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1,811
Haven't seen a single one so far this year despite glorious weather, despite having a garden with flowering rhodos and foxglove and other plants attractive to them. Are they dying off?

Butterflies too, a rare sight now - even the white. When i was a kid you would see them every day.

Ladybirds as well.
Im a beekeeper,and i have been at it since 2014,i love it,but its not just monsanto pestecides that is killing bees,its mowing our lawns,cutting so called weeds out of our lawns,not letting anything grow,having pebble front ''lawns'' with no life in it...
I don't know why we are not so suprised,we manicure our lawns to within an inch of their life,mowing all the dandelions and buttercups,and cowslips that tend to grow in the grass when it gets a bit long...This is what will have the bees out and strong and healthy...Luckily there is a plum and apple tree in the back garden,a raspberry bush and gooseberry bushes,and blackcurrant bushes,which tend to grow on their own with no help off of monsanto...Another problem is people still use ''ROUND UP'' - you know monstanto pestecides?They should be banned,it doesnt just hurt butterflies,it hurts bees,and other forms of life,if you want to get rid of slugs,all you have to do is put out plenty of birdseed where the slugs are,and the birds will eat them up gladly,or pour alcohol on them,thats all they need,not this monsanto which kills everything in sight...Even in your tea there is monsanto,its sprayed on your tea leaves,then the tea leaves are dried and you add hot water to it....It comes from the people that brought the world agent orange,so in essence wha you are drinking is monsanto in a cup of tea,that's why i only buy organic tea from a reputable source...At the moment im only drinking organic raspberry tea,and it is refreshing,i don't need to be pumped full of caffine anymore....Monsanto is an anagram of ''My Satan'' - Mon = my,and Santo = satan...These people are demonic,all they care about is profit over loss,who cares if the bees die,like we can eat our money... :)
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Jun 30, 2015
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No
Never could understand this thing of houses in the city requiring a postage stamp front and back lawn.

I'm lucky in that where I am there are loads of parks and a hundred yards down the road is a common where things just grow naturally and there is no landscaping. There are pathways to the bridge over the river and on to various other walking destinations. Just across the river from me is a designated sanctuary for birds and natural wildlife.

The dawn chorus is amazing. And these nights when I open a window I can hear an owl hooting across there.

Funnily enough (and it is not my doing) there is a strip of grass in front of the house and it is by far the most pointless piece of land in the area. All it is is employment for a gardener. There are some nice roses I suppose. But I prefer the wild land and its colours.

No one has explained to the cat that the land on the opposite bank is a sanctuary and I see him over there having crept across the footbridge prowling around in the high grass like a mini-lion. The birds over there are just laughing at him as he is black and white can be seen a mile off- not to mention the little bell that tinkles every time he moves.

Thick as a brick that cat.
 

johnnypockets

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Mar 30, 2010
Messages
15,188
I remember reading an article a few years ago that claimed the extinction of mankind would quickly follow the extinction of bees. Australia already have to import them due to the shortage. Pretty grim really.(could that be the perfect P.ie post? :lol:)
 

Mrs. Crotta Cliach

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Sep 17, 2011
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Have seen one bumble and killed 2 nasty, mean wasps. The Horse Chestnuts are in bloom. Most years the sound of the bees around them was almost deafening, but not this year or the last few years now.
 

Rural

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Apr 28, 2007
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27,932
I've seen a good few bees and there are a few large Bumbles who sometimes hit the kitchen window, there's a little thud and they fly off.

Most of the land we have is meadow and the wildlife and wild flowers there are beautiful, a pheasant has nested under some brambles in the field, she has 10 eggs which should be hatching soon.

Also, the rape that is planted behind the house seems to attract butterflies, it stinks though!
 

raspberry tea

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Oct 27, 2015
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Tis bloody brilliant no epi pen required.
Most people are not allergic to stings - although some people are,and for them it is very dangerous,but if you act calm and don't wave your arms about flailing or hit the bee off(as this can anger them) chances are they will not sting you...It's people who wear strong perfume or aftershave,people who flail their arms about announcing their presence that annoys bees,or (like me) nicking their honey :) Thats why i wear a bee suit i suppose,even then you cannot be assured of no stings...I got four on my first day of beekeeping,i took the suit off about half a mile away from where the bees were but some did still follow me....My advice is to keep calm ,and keep your distance if nessecary...The only way someone who is not allergic can die from a bee stings is if they get over 100 or a thousand...Then you can say goodnight and gasp your last breath....That's why its always good to have someone around or on call if you are out at the bees doing a bit of beekeeping....The honey is worth it,and helping the bee populations and our food growth is worth every risk if you ask me...We need to respect nature more,not fear it...
 

willow68

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Feb 8, 2012
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2,022
Have seen one bumble and killed 2 nasty, mean wasps. The Horse Chestnuts are in bloom. Most years the sound of the bees around them was almost deafening, but not this year or the last few years now.
Even wasps help as pollinators. This tine of year they really are not a problem and if you can stay calm you shouldn't need to kill them... I grow my own food in Kerry, in an organic garden. Plenty of wild flowers for caterpillars and larvae of all species. This year - and I am at it for 20 years, despite mild weather and plenty sunshine, I have not seen a single honeybee. Bumblebees and a few wasp queens excepted. My orchard used to be abuzz with life. Not anymore. I would say that we are in trouble indeed.
 

Calculusmadeeasy

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Apr 18, 2014
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I remember reading an article a few years ago that claimed the extinction of mankind would quickly follow the extinction of bees. Australia already have to import them due to the shortage. Pretty grim really.(could that be the perfect P.ie post? :lol:)
A tad hysterical, but insects, bacteria, viruses (or is it Virii?) and all the creeping things are vital cogs in the planet's machinery. If we suddenly vanished, flora and fauna would thrive. Take away the nasties, and the planet would die an agonising death.

There's an thread that disappeared ("zooed" perhaps) about the Zika virus being a result of scientician types fcking about with the genetics of Mossies. Ok, so it's "another" conspiracy theory, but it's an interesting one nonetheless.
 

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