Silence of the bees

Dyson in new cut-through below hump

This post took a lot longer to create than normal since WordPress has changed it’s editing software and made it very difficult to justify text.  I still haven’t worked out how to centre captions either.  If I don’t get the hang of it soon I will seriously consider changing platforms.  I find it very frustrating, slower and annoying.

Mostly I’ve been working outside the last few weeks, doing a final cut round the paths in the tree field. We had a few nice warm days and I managed to cut a new path round the north side of the orchard, one below the hump that links up with the top loop, and one through the wych elm and ash that comes out on the main track opposite the existing cut way to the river fence on the south and east. I think that there are still a few potential paths that will enable greater flexibility in routes around the tree field.

Mulch Patch by pond loop

Rather than trying to rake up all the grass cuttings, which takes so long, I have just been scooping up the larger clumps and mulching round selected trees. Down in the bottom loop near the pond, there was a lot of soft growth to cut back and I decided to mulch an area in amongst the trees to maybe plant up next spring. It doesn’t seem that constructive, however it fills in a dog walk on a nice day.

Buff tip moth caterpillars on birch

I found a cluster of buff tip moth caterpillars that were feeding on a birch tree rather than an alder this year. Some had moved to an adjacent willow as well. Although they do strip the tree they are on pretty badly, I think it is late enough in the year that they don’t do too much damage. If every tree was covered I would start to worry, however it is pretty obvious that not many of the caterpillars survive at present, otherwise there would be far more moths around, so I am pretty happy to leave them be. Other wildlife of note is the sight of several toads outside as well as lots of frogs. I assume they are trying to find good hibernation spots.

The wild bramble patch at the corner of the river has tasty ripe berries on now. Not enough to make jam with, but I have put several small punnets in the freezer so far.

Wild bramble patch

As I was going round the new cut through below the hump, I noticed a hole in the grass nearby and several empty insect cases. I have now seen three such holes. There was another at the edge of the spruce patch which I found a few weeks ago, which still had several confused bumble bees scrambling about, and one down in the pond loop. I don’t know what animal has dug up the nests. Presumably it is something eating the immature bees in their cocoons. My best guesses are a stoat or a hedgehog, although I suppose it could also be birds such as crows. It may be a fox, I don’t suppose it is an otter. No sign of live bees near any of the nests now. At least it isn’t anything I can feel responsible for….just nature.

Dug up bumble bee nest

7 thoughts on “Silence of the bees

  1. A justified text is said to be harder for someone with dyslexia to read – perhaps you would therefore find it difficult to justify on another platform as well?

    Normally, I blog from the app on my phone which means somethings are easier to do. I came onto the website through my browser for the first time in years the other days and was amazed by how much it has changed since the days when I exclusively used the browser version. Still, the browser version also has its advantages.

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    1. I hadn’t heard that about dyslexia sufferers Helen. According to WP it’s more to do with justified text not displaying well in some platforms. I just like it to be neat! I mainly use my tablet, but through the browser (I don’t really understand all these apps!) which tends to be a bit slow but handy. I’m just a bit reluctant to take up changes I’m afraid.

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  2. Those brambles look so delicious! You can switch back to the Classic Editor quite easily if you want to. Just put a title in the new one, save the draft, go back to All Posts, and you can click Classic Editor under the draft. I figured this out right away because the new editor is terrible!

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  3. Thanks Suzanne, I’ll have to give that a go. I suppose to software-people the changes made sense, but I seem to miss the point.
    The bramble season here is quite late, and sometimes we don’t get the weather to enable good sweet berries, but this bush does tend to have a good flavour. I’ll probably regret leaving it when it takes over the tree field, but I do like bramble jam, crumble, cake, …..l

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  4. My sympathies re the wordpress changes, I too am struggling with them. When I looked up how to change back to classic editor it seemed to be only available if you have the business version which is quite expensive. I am attempting to learn the new version, but it is painful and slow.

    Very interesting about the dug up bumble bees nests, I had no idea about their vulnerability to being eaten. Ecology in action!

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      1. Ahh, yes! Since I posted that comment I did see when I was checking some of my old posts that you could use classic editor for redoing them and I have just checked a post I am currently writing, I started it in the blocky thingumybob and now can use the nice old one. Great stuff!!

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