A bug survey, I thought. Or, at least an insect survey, for one of my #30DaysWild.
I thought this as I looked around my flowers on a sunny warm June morning, and couldn’t see a single bee. It’s early days yet, but I’m worried about the dearth of insects around. I know it means fewer bites and flying things at your barbecue, but I want the bugs to be fertilising my fruits. I want them to be feeding my birds and bats. Maybe that’s why there’s only one bat, admittedly on a flythrough at the same time each night.
My Bug Survey 2nd June 2020
I started at 11.30 on a warm sunny morning. I took my iPad for photos, and a magnifying glass in case any stood long enough for a good look.
There was absolutely nothing at the flowers on the upper level.
Halfway down the slope there were two honey bees visiting the pink geranium flowers. A little further down I investigated some angry buzzing near ground level and found what looked like two bumblebees having a fight. One was possibly a buff-tailed bumble bee, the other, on top of him had a very shiny thorax, and some similar markings on his abdomen. Reading up, this might be a cuckoo bee, which like to lay their eggs in bumblebee nests. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions.
At the bottom, in the wild patch, there was a reassuring hum from the tangled undergrowth on the north side (the sunny side). The bramble flowers are just opening, and a couple of bumblebees and three honeybees were paying them attention, and also the honeysuckle flowers. The rambling rose with flowers covering the whole of the back hedge and half the north side too, had a surprising number of honeybees for a semi-double flower. I reckoned there were about a dozen flying to and fro. There were also a couple of very interesting chaps with long legs and a slender body. I caught a photo just as he left the cream rose. It might be a type of stilt bug, according to my insect guide.
Down in the leaves in a corner something was moving. I had great difficulty working out what it was until I took a photo of a shield bug, grappling with another. Looking at the other photos, he might have been grappling two others!
I took a photos of a bumblebee resting on a crocosmia leaf, and found I’d snapped a lovely green beetle above him. The only beetle that looked like him in the book is of the order Oederamidae. So, green beetle it is. I also snapped a very shiny golden fly on a bramble shoot, and a mushroom, several days old and all on its own. I’ll get the mushroom book out another day.
bumble bee (Buff-tailed) c5
cuckoo bee (poos) 1
shield bug 3
stilt bug 1
green beetle 1
shiny fly 1 (although there were a few more flies about)
Tomorrow’s 30 Days Wild is a note at the end of the IWSG post.