To Bee or not to Bee?

To Bee or not to Bee?

Happy Monday All!

Sorry about the little absence, my health was a bit dodgy, but I’m back now, so yay!

I spend a lot of time in my garden and I am lucky enough to have a lovely man (Flip) who makes it pretty for me. Thank you Flip! I often see lots of bees buzzing around the bushes such as the lavender, the buddleia and these cool bushes that I have no idea what they are. I really should look them up, remind me later people!

I took some photos and popped a picture of the honey bee I found on instagram (@jerra_writes also @chickenbeeblog), but then this really cool guy @richarddowlingwildlife informed me that it was actually a hoverfly.

Being curious of nature I asked him how to tell the difference and he said the easiest way to do this is to look at their eyes. Hoverflies have eyes on the top of their head (See picture below) and honey bees have eyes on the side of their heads (See picture below the other one).

A hoverfly in my garden
Honey bees having a conversation, probably about the weather if they’re British!

Can you see the difference? To me hoverflies look a little cross-eyed and confused!

I needed to know why they look so similar so I took a closer look and this is what I discovered. Hoverflies are copycats! They do something called Batesian mimicry which is where one animal, usually a harmless one, in this case the hoverfly who doesn’t have a stinger, mimics another one better equip to deal with predators. The pattern they adopted leads potential predators to believe they are bees who will sting them and taste revolting so they leave them alone. Pretty genius!

There are around 250 species of hoverfly in the UK, some of them mimic wasps, or bumblebees or even small slugs (What?). The hoverfly I met was a drone-fly, as they mimic honey bees.

I love bees, I have dreams of being an apiarist one day. I still welcome hoverflies into my garden, but I may point at them from time to time and scream ‘imposter’ but that’s my prerogative, being my garden and all.

Do you get bees or hoverflies in your garden?

See you soon!

The 30 Days Wild Challenge

The 30 Days Wild Challenge

Hey guys,

So today should be about journal prompts but I’ve decided to go with the 30 Day Challenge by Kent Wildlife Trust. It’s something I do every year and get a lot out of it so I thought you might like to join me?

It’s as simple as it sounds, you do something to benefit or increase your knowledge/enjoyment of your local wildlife every day for 30 days.

This could be something like feeding the birds, which is how I’ve kicked my challenge off, or learning to spot 5 new species of wildlife (including insects, let’s be all inclusive people!), going for a walk in the woods, feeding the ducks or planting some new flowers. As long as it’s about nature and wildlife you can do anything!

Bird feeders looking pretty darn full!

I would love to see your progress so stay in touch!

Enjoy!

30 Day ‘All The Small Things’ Challenge, you in?

30 Day ‘All The Small Things’ Challenge, you in?

The world is an odd place during a pandemic, everyone seems a little sadder and a little more fragile. It got me thinking, I realised that it’s not the big things I’ve been missing, it’s the small things. Smiling at people on the street. Telling random strangers that they look nice (I am a nightmare for this, if someone looks nice I HAVE to tell them). Hugging my friends. Lots of little things.

So I challenge you dear friends to find something small that you are grateful for, or something you are looking forward to doing each day, and record it in whatever fashion you like, even if it’s just in your head. For the next 30 days we are going to play ‘All the small things’. I’ve even set up a handy dandy sheet for you to fill in if you are so inclined, you can find that below.

So what do you say friends? You in? Meet back here in 30 days and let’s see what you’ve been excited about!

See you soon!

xx