Saturday, 11 July 2015

Goggle-eyed Mini Beast


This goggle-eyed critter was sitting on one of my LVTT corporate shirts (as supplied by our friend Leon) as it hung on the line the other day. It's a mayfly Ephemeroptera, but I don't know what species. I've seen the same or very similar before, on the banks of the Loire near Berthenay and I think they are not uncommon.
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Bee Nice to Bumbles: A recent study has confirmed what I and many others have thought for a while -- bumble bees are likely to be one of the earliest casualties of climate change. They are cool climate critters and don't seem to be adapting like other insects are by moving their ranges to higher altitudes or further north (they are almost exclusively a Northern Hemisphere group). More study needs to be done, but in the meantime, you can help by planting nectar rich flowers and setting aside an area which is left to get dry and grassy, or a stone wall that is a bit tumbledown. Bumble bees very commonly nest in abandoned small mammal nest holes in long grass or at the base of walls, so tolerate those voles and field mice in your garden. Remember, if you want tomatoes, aubergines, chillies, peppers, pumpkins and zucchinis you need bumble bees and their fuzzy buzzy pollination services, because honey bees use a different technique and can't effectively pollinate these plants. (In the Southern Hemisphere, you need to rely on other buzz pollinating solitary bees.)

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