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Butterflies and Bees

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As mentioned on a previous blog I said I would post some photo’s of the butterflies in the garden.
There are plenty about, but not the variety, these shown and the odd Orange-Tip, Cabbage white and small Blue.
Loads of bees of various sorts. The small Carder bees have been about for ages and nesting in part of the roof.
The back grass, laughingly called a ‘lawn’ is actually mostly white clover and having got to the height to flower, it was covered in bees. Some needed to be cut and after the bees had gone to bed (!) I cut some of it and left some patches of flower so that they wouldn’t be confused when they appeared in the morning! The things I do for wildlife!

One I rescued from a bucket of water could be a Mining Bee or a Tree bee, not sure on which, looking a bit bedraggled and I sat it on a flower to dry out!

The Red-tailed Bumblebees are digging holes in what is probably the hardest part of the garden, grass and weed covered old gravel and dirt!

Butterflies everywhere!

Trying to clear patches of nettles, docks and weeds there are patches left all over the place! Just as you get to clearing them you come across a patch covered in caterpillars! These are either Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock or Red Admiral butterfly caterpillars, all of which love nettles!

But whatever flowers you have in the garden, they do like the Lavender, Buddleia and Cat-mint, what they really love is the wild stuff at the top of the field. The bed of Teasels got a bit battered by the wind but are still flowering.

Those and the huge Thistles that have been allowed to flower are favourites of the Bees, Hover-flies and Butterflies!

With all the best intentions for the butterflies they really need all the wild plants to lay eggs on, which is probably why we don’t have the variety of them. Can I set aside a bit to allow to go to weeds or would OH need to mow it?

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Comments

 

Its true. They need the native plants. Thats why I have my wildflower strip. The bees love the knapweed at the moment. You have loads of butterflies. Yesterday I saw one white and today I saw one tortoiseshell. Hardly any. But its early for Scotland.

17 Jul, 2017

 

Your photographs are brilliant - the detail is stunning ! I have buddleia at the bottom of the garden...I didn't realise it was a magnet for butterflies ! :)

17 Jul, 2017

 

Thanks Karen, I do have a 'wildflower' bit inside the front gate which has Tansy, Achillea, Lady's Bedstraw, Geranium, Leucanthemum and other bits in it, including the dreaded Bindweed and Ground Elder which I try to keep on top of, but not very successful. I do have Knapweed in the flower bed and plan to put that and Campions as well as others up on the field. I have about 200 Cowslips (no exaggeration) to go up there later. Your weather has been a bit murky lately I think, so you are probably right about it being early for them.

17 Jul, 2017

 

Hi New at this, Thanks for the compliment, you just don't see the ones that don't work - a blur of wings as it disappears, a bee's bottom disappearing into the flower and an empty space where something was honestly!
Yes, your Buddleia will be appreciated by the bees, hoverflies and butterflies. If you stick in 'bee bush' into your search bit you will come up with the Buddleia as well as other favourites.

17 Jul, 2017

 

Good photos. I hope you do decide to leave some wild areas for the insects. We don't get a good variety of them here these days but I'm pleased to know they are still around in your garden :)

18 Jul, 2017

 

Thanks Hywel, our garden probably consists of more 'wild' areas than maintained. The flower beds always seem full of weeds regardless of how often I try to keep on top of them. Sadly I look at a weed and think "that's pretty" and leave it, forgetting that weeds seed everywhere. The thistles up the field look spectacular when in flower, but then I forget to cut them off before the seed blows across everything else! Cutting down the Docks before they seeded AGAIN, I kept pressing OH to look out for Pheasant nests, just in case it was nesting in the bed of nettles and docks - always something to worry about disturbing, the Elder than had to come down in part as it was growing through the chicken run wire had a pigeon nest in (of course) so now is lop-sided as I hadn't the heart to remove it, not that we need MORE pigeons!

18 Jul, 2017

 

I don't need to worry about keeping any part of my garden wild, as my neighbour takes care of that for me! It's really overgrown, but I don't mind as it keeps the wildlife happy and my cats love it over there!

18 Jul, 2017

 

Wonderful pictures so many butterflies .

18 Jul, 2017

 

It's heartening to see all the butterflies in your garden. We have an 8ft hawthorn, alder & blackthorn hedge along the field side of our garden with nettles that tower above it on the other side, the headland all around the field is not cut so is full of all sorts. In the garden I have buddleias & bee friendly flowers, fennel that the hoverflies like etc but despite this I have seen very few butterflies, only a couple of gatekeepers & red admirals & small cabbage whites - no ladybirds either.
On the plus side I have lots of various bees, plentiful hoverflies & no white fly on the toms & just a few aphids on the roses.

21 Jul, 2017

 

That's great Lisa, you get the best of both worlds! You can keep you garden neat and know that the wildlife has a weedy patch.

Thank you Thrupennybit, not all my photo's are good, there's lots that end up in the bin! But the butterflies were amenable and caterpillars don't move fast!

It's strange Greenfinger that lots of people on here say they haven't seen many butterflies. Here in wilds of East Anglia everyone keeps saying what a good year it is for Butterflies! We have Hawthorn hedges too and I have never found caterpillars on it yet. When we were children we always found them, perhaps my eyesight was better or we are really losing the variety we had. Glad to hear that the farmers are leaving headlands to flourish, good for everything.

21 Jul, 2017

 

Well, I'm in Suffolk, E.Anglia, across the border from you & today I only saw one Gatekeeper which flew into the conservatory.
Did you see these DailyMail pics of the Ermine moth & the webs they make over hawthorn & blackthorn? Here's the link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195935/The-hungry-caterpillars-Thousands-moth-larvae-weave-giant-web-shrubbery-protect-importantly-food-predators.html

21 Jul, 2017

 

Thanks Greenfinger, I hadn't seen the paper but had a look at your link. I have actually seen a whole hedge of this a few years back not far from Norwich Airport, quite a spooky sight! Also remember one year in Cornwall all the vegetation was covered in caterpillars along the coastal walk which put everyone off, then there was the year of the millions of Ladybirds everywhere. Nature can over create sometimes.

22 Jul, 2017

 

You really have some great shots of the butterflies and I'm not so "lucky" as you are...Today I saw a lovely monarch and went out to try and get a pic...but he must have been newly hatched because he was moving so fast that I just couldn't catch up. I check out my milkweed patch every morning hoping to find a chrysalis. We don't have many butterflies this year, but compared to last year they seem to be on the rebound with the hot dry weather finally finding us. Not seeing as many beetles as in previous years... every thing's a cycle. makes you wonder though, when things change so drastically from year to year.

22 Jul, 2017

 

I think it was 2 years ago now that the sparrows & starlings were on the amber list there numbers had decreased alarmingly - down by 60%. Whilst we don't see the huge flocks anymore there numbers do seem to have increased somewhat over the last year or so.

23 Jul, 2017

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