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!

Books and Birthdays!

Books and Birthdays!

Hey guys

This year for my birthday I decided to ask for something a little different, I asked for people to get me their favourite book.

Why? Because not only do I get to read cool books I may not have thought about before but also you get to know the person giving you the book a little better.

Maybe you didn’t know they like horror? Or maybe you were surprised that they like romcoms? It gives you a little insight to that person and helps you to get to know them better.

This was my book haul!

I got ‘The Glass Castle’ from my friend Lindsay, ‘The Railway Children’ from my friend Tilly and the rest from my friend Hannah who wanted to give me her favourites from several genres. I felt both spoilt and utterly blessed to have such lovely friends.

You like this idea? Here is a handy dandy graphic for you to use on any social media platform you wish.

Let me know what you get!

Take care!

Xx

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

Wonderful Wednesday – Notre Dame Bees

Wonderful Wednesday – Notre Dame Bees

Did you know that the Notre Dame in Paris had a thriving colony of bees before the tragic fire of April 2019? Me neither! But it did! This wonderful colony took up residence there in 2013 and were looked after by apiarist (posh name for bee keeper) Nicolas Géant.

A honey bee I made friends with

It’s been hailed a miracle that the bees survived the toxic smoke and flames of the building, as it turns out the flames didn’t reach them and carbon dioxide makes the bees really sleepy, so they were just basically super chilled during the whole thing! Phew!

In times of crisis European bees gorge themselves on honey and prepare for war, when something like this occurs where carbon dioxide is present they will all snuggle around their queen to protect her. It’s like a fairy tale!

Sibyle Moulin has been looking after them since they decided to stay in the sacristy roof, she reports that they are thriving in the blackened building and carrying on as if nothing happened. Go bees!

Told you bees were cool!!

xx

Sources: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47995604 and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/31/they-survived-fire-and-lead-poisoning-so-what-happened-next-to-notre-dames-bees-aoe