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.
In June 2015 I decided to start using a moth trap to see what night flying moths were frequenting our meadow and garden at night. The high cost of buying a trap (between £165 and £350), together with their relatively simple design, made me decide to build my own. There then followed much research on the Internet about the best type to build and this, together with suggestions and advice from the Yahoo UK Moths Forum and my own ideas, I decided to build a Skinner moth trap.
I will publish details of how I made the trap soon, but in the meantime here is a photograph of it. It is rather difficult to photograph so as to show the plastic sheets. I have used two conventional Skinner sloping sheets resting on two vertical short sheets each side of the opening (to help prevent captured moths escaping), and four vertical sheets (baffles) above the sloping sheets (two in each direction) to help guide flying moths into the trap. The bulb is a mercury vapour (MV) 125W used with ballast control gear and I have added a three-pin socket and on/off switch (left side of the trap in the photograph).
Whilst there are only 59 species of butterflies in Britain, there are about 2500 species of moths in Great Britain and Ireland. including about 1600 ‘micro’ moths. The majority of these fly at night but there are about 100 species of day flying moths. A day flying moth is one that usually flies in the daytime and doesn’t include night flying moths that may fly in the daytime because they have been disturbed, often for lengthy periods after being disturbed. Although there is no definite listing of day flying moths, they constitute about 132 species of the 800 species of ‘macro’ moths. Many of the ‘micro’ moths are day and night flyers and, as their name suggests, are usually very small and difficult to identify.
Agriphila Tristella (micro)
Broad-blotch Drill (micro)
Large Yellow Underwing
Shaded Broad Bar
Six Spot Burnet
Six Spot Burnets Mating
Yarrow Plumes Mating
These are day flying moths seen in our meadow that I haven’t been able to identify yet (click on image to enlarge it). If you know what they are, please tell me by sending an email to <firstname.lastname@example.org> or use the contact form on the home page (top left menu) - thanks.
Plume (9 July 2015)
Below are some of the day flying moths seen in our wild-flower meadow since 2012 (click on image to enlarge it).
I put the trap trap out for the first time during the night of 24/25 June. I placed it on a bench seat on the edge of our one acre wild-flower meadow (photographs on right) and switched it on about 11pm. When I checked it at 6.15am the following morning I found about 40 moths of 25 different species - not bad for a first attempt I thought.
I also put the trap out on the nights of 25, 26, 28 and 29 June in different places on our 2½ acres and each night, particularly 28 and 29 when I put the trap close to hedges and trees, caught more different species. I am encouraged by this early success with the trap, especially as it has only cost me £45 to build!
I have now started trying to identify the moths, but anticipate this is going to be difficult to start with as my experience of moth identification has so far been restricted to day flying moths.
* Night flying moth disturbed during the daytime.
Brown House Moth
Moth 1 (10 July 2015)
Moth 2 (10 July 2015)
Moth 10 (15 August 2015)
Moth 4 (12 August 2015)
Moth 8 (27 July 2015)
Moth 5 (19 July 2015)
Moth 3 (18 July 2015)
Moth 11 (21 August 2015)
Moth 6 (19 July 2015)
Moth 7 (27 July 2015)
Moth 9 (29 July 2015)