Latest posts by shell53

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Talkback: Leaf-cutter bees

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 10:38
A couple of years ago I had leaf-cutter bees in my back garden gate. I had never even heard of these bees and had to ask at a bee stall at the Cheshire Show. They kindly gave me much information, and I happily gave the bees a home for some time, until the gate was so rotten it had to be replaced. However, even though I hadn't seen a bee for some time, I actually kept the rotten gate very close to the new one until I was sure it was uninhabited. At the same time I had a bees nest in a bird box, very close by. It was fascinating to watch the nest grow outwards from the hole, creating a large canopy on the outside. They came and went for a couple of months, then just disappeared. After waiting, again to make sure they had left, I opened the birdbox, and the inside was a revelation. The honeycomb nest inside was a grey papery substance, with very defined chambers, and just so interesting. I gave it to a school to examine, and use perhaps in their lessons. I had another the following year in the fir tree by the kitchen door, but none so far this year,,,that I know of at least!

Talkback: Nettles, caterpillars and butterflies

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 09:32
About two years ago I was 'babysitting' two of my grand-daughters. I use the term lightly as they were about 13 and 17! However, I too, collected some caterpillars and put them in a big plastic tub, with the leaves they were on, and topped up regularly with the same. A short while later they turned into fully fledged butterflies, and I have some wonderful photo's of brand new ones on the girls' fingers, sun shining on them, and the new butterflies flying off to enjoy their new lives. It was a fascinating study, with the girls even getting up early every day to see if any more had hatched, no mean feat for two teenagers!!
I would recommend this project to anyone, with or without children!!

Talkback: Clover

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 11:17
Isn't life full of perspectives? This piece on seeing clover as a problem is seen from one point of view, but quite coincidently I sent for some clover seeds only yesterday.( to be sown in pots admittedly!) They remind me so much of my childhood, sitting in fields and gardens,making daisy chains, watching bees buzzing round clover-bobs, and my friends and I nibbling at the base of the petals which tasted of honey. Very evocative. So very much a case of one mans meat.....!!
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