Monday, 6 June 2011

I Bee Mystified

Spring advances with birds hatching and fledging all over the place. My personal highlight today was the first little ringed plover chicks I have seen this year. It was also good to see the lapwing chick near the Tern hide still growing and the oystercatcher chicks further up the lake doing likewise. The woods are crowded with family parties of great spotted woodpecker, great and blue tit and somewhere, hopefully the lesser spotted woodpeckers, last seen as large nestlings a few days ago, surely they will have fledged successfully.

Today also saw the arrival of two mares and two foals to graze the western shore of Ibsley Water, a few more should arrive over the next few days.

Following yesterday's work party on which we cleared the sides of the Rockford path and pulled Himalayan balsam along the Dockens Water, there was one outstanding job to do. On the Rockford path we found that there were bees on one of the benches. At the time I thought there was a small nest in the post supporting the bench, there were about a hundred bees gathered under the seat. Today we went to put a sign warning of the bees and I took a closer look, it was obvious there was no nest, the bees were being attracted by something under the bench. There were both worker females and males, or drones and I could not see why they were there. There are some small patches of white on the wood, but the bees did not seem to be especially interested in them. I am mystified, so if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.

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