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Latest UN Report, honeybees at the water tank, swifts and get a room

Date posted: Wednesday 8th May 2019

Latest UN Report, honeybees at the water tank, swifts and get a room

We’re planning a forum about wildlife gardening in July, to focus on topics including single and tubular petal flowers to attract bees and other beneficial insects, soil enrichment, rain water harvesting, growing flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs and providing water sources, such as a pond for wildlife. Apparently purple lamium is a top favourite for bees and another good plant is borage. My next door plot neighbour has a fine plant and I love this shot of Matt cycling past it!

For the past couple of weeks honeybees have been using the blanket weed pulled out of the tank to drink from. Jon, beekeeper says that they take minuscule sips – once they locate a source of accessible water they tend to keep returning to it. When they first started drinking from the blanket weed several drowned, but now a wooden ‘raft’ has been put into the water and possibly the bees have learned how to avoid coming to harm, as recently there are no more bodies in the water. I may make a ‘raft’ of corks to help the insects stay afloat.

The swifts are back! A sudden avian screaming high above and there were the familiar scimitar dark shapes sweeping through the air – it’s the most joyous sound as it’s a real harbinger of summer to come. Walking back along Church Grove Walk the horse chestnut blossom was blowing down to the wet path, strewing it like bridal confetti, a whirling snow of petals..

The recently published research by the UN Global Assessment Report about species and ecosystems loss, climate change and land degradation is shocking but predictable. From Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ on ecologists and natural scientists have been raising concerns, and we’ve probably all noticed the reduction of insect, bird and invertebrate numbers – that conversation about how car windscreens after a drive would have been covered in insect corpses when we were kids and now perhaps one or two… So to hear the swifts return with their ecstatic cries was a real natural high!

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