Royal Paddocks Allotments website masthead
email icon

Any comments, ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website? Please email us.

Front 'Pollinators' Patch' bed, paths, roads, beebox and pigeons

Date posted: Tuesday 28th July 2020

Front 'Pollinators' Patch' bed, paths, roads, beebox and pigeons

The little front pollinator bed by the entrance is now bursting with plants attractive to pollinators and other insects and whenever I go in there are bees and butterflies foraging on the various flowers. Hindsight being a fine thing, I realise that the little eryngium at the back needs to be centre stage with lots of space around it, so there may be a relocation going on later in the year, along with some thinning out and cutting back.
Meanwhile, around the flowers, foraging, much activity around the bee posts and blatant scenes of mating – can anyone identify this mating pair, wasps, hoverflies, ichneumon wasps?

Do you know your crickets from your grasshoppers? Crickets and grasshoppers are charming insects to encounter during summer and autumn, but are similar looking species. Both species have different markings in shades of green and/or brown. Also, both species have powerful hind legs for jumping, although bush crickets are less athletic. A cricket’s antennae is always much longer than its body, whereas a grasshopper’s is always short. (nearbywild. org.uk)

This time of year is a lean time for bees, according to the beekeepers! Although there seem to be plenty of flowers around the main source of forage for honey bees is flowering trees – the fruit and lime blossom is now over so anything we can provide is welcome. And perhaps a surprising source of nectar is found in our allotment paths and roads – white clover, yarrow, mallow, poppies, daisies, dandelions and many other small flowered self-seeded plants provide additional forage and this year it’s more evident than ever.

With lockdown and a relaxing of strimming and slash and burn the paths and grassy areas are a great resource for our bees and insects – I hope that people will join up the dots and begin to value these lowly but attractive self-seeded ‘wildings’ and be a little less keen to cut and strim; likewise Richmond Council and their relentless war on wide grassy verges – leave them longer, cut less frequently after flowering and save time and money!

A splendid bee house on a plot, with several holes already sealed and ready for next year’s emerging new solitary bees. And the fig tree in our planters is obviously being sized up by the wood pigeons. Interesting BTO video about differentiating between stock doves, wood pigeons and feral pigeons (WWII heros!).