[permaculture] Sampling of bee and other pollinator sightingsthis year by list subscribers wherever you are.

John D'hondt dhondt at eircom.net
Sun May 6 18:13:25 EDT 2012


I'm glad that things look better for you than for us Ute. We won't even have 
any top fruit this year because the apples, pears and plums never set 
flowers. Probably because of the high NE winds and the unseasonal 
temperatures. We still had night frost last week. The trees are fully leafed 
out by now and no flowers or set fruit to be seen. Can't blame lack of 
pollinators for that.

And I am also hopefull since you had a feral beeswarm. We here have not seen 
a swarm like that in the last three years. I blame our local beekeepers for 
that who all practice queenless splitting to keep their emptying hives 
populated. They also get rid of drone cells because drones don't pay the 
rent according to them which means that quite a few mating flights of virgin 
queens end up infertile.
As to the bumble bees, I have only seen two species of the five we normally 
have with about 90% of them belonging to the one species.

How are your swallows doing?

John

> We have plenty of bumblebees feeding on all our flowering trees and shrubs 
> (soft
> fruit, top fruit, Eleagnus, willows etc.), social wasps, and a healthy 
> hive of
> bees - a feral swarm that moved into an old hive last year.
> Farming around us is grass-based cattle and sheep, no tillage.
> There is not much pesticide use, except some ignorant people spray 
> roadside
> margins, yards etc. and some farmers
> spray roundup prior to ploughing-up and re-seeding grassland. 
> Neonicotinoids
> are thankfully not an issue around us. The evidence that this class of
> pesticides is at least in part responsible for CCD is pretty damning 
> though.
>
> Ute in mid-West Ireland.
>
> Saturday, May 5, 2012, 11:38:15 PM, you wrote:
>
> JDh> I'd say about 20 % of the bumble bees we had last year at this time. 
> No
> JDh> honey bees at all and even wasps that seem to normally pollinate our 
> goose
> JDh> berries are extremely rare.
> JDh> That is not all. 5 days ago three (3) swallows arrived here out of 
> the 70 or
> JDh> so that left the farm last September. Four weeks late and no others 
> have
> JDh> come back so far.
> JDh> John in SW Ireland
>
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