The “solar powered big belly bins” in the city centre are causing a buzz…. literally! A few days after a couple of local beekeepers collected a swarm from the bin, more bees were gathering.
Because the beekeepers were able to collect the swarm, the first ones must have been honeybees…. but I wasn’t willing to get close enough to get a clear photo on my phone to be able to identify these ones!
I’m not sure what the attraction is for the bees, unless it’s rubbish that has a sweet sugary content which drew them in. But whatever it is that made them pick that particular bin, they certainly seem to be making themselves at home!
Rather than a photo of something I’ve seen today, I thought I’d do a special post for every Saturday this month – a tip or suggestion for something wild.
Today’s tip came from a sight earlier in the week – I was walking along the path when I spotted a bee on the pavement in front of me. This tends to be a common sight, but up to now I didn’t understand why (or if there was anything we can do to actually help).
I did some research (well, I googled the question), and found an interesting article on the RSPB website, which explains that the bees can get exhausted as they fly around collecting pollen, and end up lying on the ground to rest. Of course this then means they’re at risk of being trodden on, so we can help them by supplying a small amount of sugar water to given them enough energy to fly away again.
The RSPB sugar water ‘recipe’ is to mix two tablespoons of white granulated sugar into one tablespoon of water. They recommend placing this in a small container (to avoid the risk of birds bathing in it) amongst the flowers that the bees are attracted to.
I found a bee on the front doorstep, lying on the ground obviously resting, so I added some sugar water to a milk carton lid (it was the only shallow container I could find!) next to the bee. To our amazement, we had a really clear view of the bee drinking the water, and after a few minutes it had enough strength to fly away.
My dad didn’t see the bee fly off, and started checking the ground to make sure it wasn’t still there!
Unfortunately we aren’t able to add a small container near the flowers, as I’m a bit concerned that the birds would end up drinking it (or the badgers would just barge through and tip it all out), but we’re keeping an eye out for any more exhausted bees that we can help!
I was hoping to be able to spot some birds in the garden, but they had other ideas. I did however manage to spot this insect (I’m pretty sure it’s a bee, but it was moving a little too quickly for easy identification!), which seemed to be keen on these flowers in particular.
No, this wasn’t taken in a garden – this particular plant is growing near a retaining wall quite close to the road. A favourite with the bees, I was able to catch a photo of two bees gathering the nectar – all the other bees were moving too quickly!
Although you can buy Blackberry plants from garden centres, they grow readily in the wild: the side of the lane was full of the thorny stems and flowers, with plenty of bees gathering nectar.
As I was taking photos, two passers-by stopped to look at the flowers. Commenting to each other on the abundance of “blossom” and bees, they then walked off. I do wonder if they’ll be back with a punnet once the blackberries are ripe!