Busy busy busy

Sorry I have not posted anything for a while I am just so busy clearing two new allotment plots , dismantling two rotten old sheds etc.  Its harvest time which means wines, cider, jams,chutneys to make.

The Queen from the mating hive has been introduced to a queenless nuc so hopefully they will be ok for next season.

I also have a bumper crop of honey so I will take some of it and leave some for the bees.

I have seen for the first time a clouded yellow butterfly on the plot.

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Queen mating hive success

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The queen mating nuc I made a couple of months ago and then added a Queen cell to has produced a fully mated queen.

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She is a lovely dark queen which has now been marked and added to a queenless nuc hive.

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from next year i will be selling locally raised and mated queens.

Colletes similis , solitary bee (St Davids, Wales)

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A medium-small species rather resembling C. fodiens in the field. Females have a much darker first tergite without the long hairs and extensive markings of fodiens, and the face is less densely-haired. Marginatus females are smaller and darker-looking with the face even less dense haired than similis.

C. similis is a southern species (extending north to Lancashire), fairly frequent in some districts but decidedly scarce in others. It uses quite a broad range of habitats, including coastal dunes, vegetated shingle, soft-rock cliffs, heathland and chalk grassland. There is a heavy reliance on brownfield sites in some areas (often occurring alongside C. daviesanus).

Pollen is obtained mainly from Asteraceae, though other flowers such as umbellifers are used as nectar sources. Nesting occurs in small aggregations and it does not seem to often attain the abundance of species such as fodiens and daviesanus. Adults fly from June till September.

Adder (St davids , Wales)

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Not an insect but a rare find these days , an Adder.

Adders are the only venomous snakes found in Britain, although they are absent from Ireland. They use their venom to immobilise prey such as lizards, amphibians, nestlings and small mammals. After striking their prey, they leave the venom to take effect before following the victim’s scent to find the body. Although an adder’s venom poses little danger to a healthy adult human, the bite is very painful and requires urgent medical attention. Adders are the most northerly distributed snake and the only species found inside the Arctic circle.

Emperor Moth Caterpillar (st Davids, Wales)

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Emperor Moth ,Saturnia pavonia
Wingspan 40-60 mm.

The spectacular Emperor moth is Britain’s only resident member of the Saturniidae family. It is reasonably common over much of Britain, occupying moorland and open country.

The males, which have bright orange hindwings, fly during the daytime in search of the greyer females, which fly at night. Both sexes are on the wing in April and May.

The fully grown caterpillar is green with black hoops containing yellow wart-like spots, and feeds on moorland plants such as heather (Calluna) and bramble (Rubus).

 

 

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This is what the caterpillar will look like as a moth

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