Monday, 29 April 2013

To bee or not to bee

The Safari is very relieved after the sensible EU vote to curtail the use of three Neonicotinoid pesticides this afternoon and go someway to helping the beleaguered bee populations. We actually don't thisnk they wnt far enough and will be interesting to see if our more than useless Environment Secretary ignores the decision in favour of his big business chums anyway.
We'd have liked the ban to last for three years not two as the half life of these chemicals in the soil where they remain active is three years, six might have been better the way they have been used willy-nilly over the last few years! But that's the price of 'cheap' food.
What we don't want to see happen is a cocktail of even more deadly chemicals developed to replace these, or have these dumped on the developing world 'to improve their agricultural output' pollinators no output!
Lets hope some proper independent science can find a sensible way forward and the big agrochemical corporations can develop more specifically targeted pesticides. We've gone as organic as we dare but still eat a fair proportion of 'normally' produced food. We don't want the return of Potato Blight or Ergot in to our crops and we don't want to lose significant volumes to the hungry insect hordes, a happy medium has to be found to ensure security of supply without decimating the ecosystem on which we all depend, farmers and politicians included.

Continuing the bee theme a Tawney Mining Bee on our neighbours dry stone bank where the other (unknown) mining bee species lives, not sure if we've seen one here before, don't think so.

All pollinators have an important role to play so wiping them out in the name of short-term financial gain has got to be just a bit stupid.

General conditions in the gardens because we saw a Blackbird desperately clinging to the sunny seed feeder like a Blue Tit this evening - can't say we've ever seen that before!
After work we called in at the entrance to the big hotel where a Wood Warbler had been seen first thing this morning. MMcG and PT where stood their lenses pointing at the trees in the corner. Appareently it was singing and showing quite well until PT arrived - we're saying nowt!
We stood there having a bit of banter about PT's enormous carbon footprint but the warbler didn't warble.
We could stay all afternoon so had to leave it and come back later. We did just that and within a couple of minutes of standing under the same trees it fired up, living up to the lovely sibilatrix part of its scientific name. Wood Warbler (155, MMLNR #102), not exactly on the nature reserve but just within our recording area centred on the mere. PS got some good view as it hopped around the canopy singing sporadically, we just couldn't quite pick it up and only saw little flits here and there through the tree top twigs.
Patch 2 was poor, beyond poor even; best wasan unidentified very distant skua.
Where to next? More Patch 2 dreams tomorrow, the wind should have dropped so what will be revealed - still waiting for that Whimbrel to fly past too.
In the meantime let us know what's shivering and trembling while it sings in your outback


Warren Baker said...

Wood Warbler - fantastic bird Davyman :-)

cliff said...

Dave - we had 3 Tawny Mining Bees in the garden yesterday, feeding on plum blossom & basking, they're 2 to 3 weeks later turning up than previous years.