More bees followed the first one out of the Lodge and carried out the same procedure before flying off and, sure enough, after about 20 minutes started returning laden with pollen. At first the bees were unsure how to re-enter the Lodge but eventually discovered that by pushing the lip on one of the two corners of the cover, they could gain entry. Thereafter they did this automatically each time they returned to the Lodge.
The live colony is contained in a clear plastic case that fits inside the Lodge, and enables the bees and nest to be seen when the Lodge cover is raised. When it first arrived the nest only occupied a small part of the case but within a short time it covered the whole of the case, indicating everything was working as it should. This was to be expected in view of the close availability of pollen from the flowers in the meadow and our garden.
The disappointment about the Brown Hairstreak is that I have not yet been able to find any eggs on the Blackthorn during the winter, despite marking the appropriate parts of the hedge when I trimmed it in the autumn to show me where to look, and carrying out several diligent searches in January and February. Perhaps I will be luckier in 2017?
I have seen lots of insects, spiders and other invertebrate in the meadow that I have never seen before and have derived a lot of pleasure and satisfaction in trying to photograph and identify them. I will put pictures of those I have identified on an ‘Insects’ web-page in the ‘Wild Life’ sub-menu of this website in due course, but in the meantime here are some pictures of some of the insects I have yet to identify. If you can identify any of them, please let me know (email@example.com) - thanks.