Archive for May 10th, 2008

10th May 2008, Saturday

Red mason bees

For the last three years I have had a red mason bee Osmia rufa nest tube in our back-garden in Northiam, and it has been very successful. The nest boxes, purchased from the Oxford Bee Company, contain 100 cardboard tubes which the bees nest in. Here they store pollen in a series of clay-capped cells in the tubes. We got so many last year that I bought a second cylinder this year and both are well on the way to being 100% occupied. You can see the clay seals at the ends of some of the tubes signifying a complete row of occupied cells.

 Red mason bees

 These nest boxes, judging from the droppings on them, seem to have generated a bit of avian interest, and occasionally I find some of the tubes pulled out suggesting the birds have been after the contents. Read the rest of this entry »

10th May 2008, Saturday

Hairy monster

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Getting up close and personal to a male Pale Tussock moth is an interesting experience. This one was on my kitchen window in Rye today. The male’s comb-like antennae with their large surface area are highly sensitive to specific scents (pheromones) given off by females of the same species, whose antennae are much spindlier without the combs. In general, moth antennae vary greatly in form, but butterfly antennae are different again, being straight and stalk-like with broader spoon-shaped ends or ‘clubs’.

10th May 2008, Saturday

Sea Kale week

The coming week will be the best for seeing Sea Kale in bloom, with the enormous domes of white flowers dominating the shingle shoreline. So if you want to see or smell (of honey) this spectacle you know what to do… this photo was taken this morning (for photos of white flowers bright sun is useless, choose overcast or hazy sun and try to pick a calm day our weather station on the website will help).

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