school garden

school garden

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Just one more spider.......

Another cracking spider turned up in the greenhouse over the weekend. This one does bite. It is a False Black Widow spider which has now spread across much of Britain

This spider is recognised by the pale crescent on the abdomen. This female was also guarding a nest of eggs.  It was left in peace.  It has a place in the big picture.

Turning the attention to bees and bumble bees we have now identified 11 species in the school  garden. This delightful small bee is an Early Bee.  It is a male and told by the yellow tuft of hair on the face.

Bees play an important part in out lifestyles and need a lot of help at the moment.  Judging from the numbers of bees using the garden we are certainly doing our part.  Bees are found in all areas of the garden, the pond area, the flower beds and the vegetable beds.  However the Buff-tailed bumblebees are not playing the game!  They are feeding from the Broad Bean flowers but not actually pollinating them.  The picture below shows a bee piercing the flower at the base to get the pollen rather than crawl in and do what it should be doing. Close observation shows that it has already visited the flower below.  You can see where the bee has 'stabbed' the flower.  This results in the flower dropping off and no bean!

Elsewhere the Collared Dove family are rearing two chicks.  Not the most attractive of chicks but they will grow quickly and should fledge soon.  If they do not then they will fall out of the nest as it is no bigger that the top of a teacup

In the greenhouse the beautiful orange cactus flowers have appeared. Alas they only last one day to see one you will have to be quick.  One of the Pitcher plants had caught a large fly.  The sound of the buzzing insect could be heard as it tried to escape the clutches off the plant.  It cannot get out as there is nowhere inside the plant to grip on to and climb out and escape. As the fly tires it slips down into the base of the plant.  These plants feed on insects and need them to survive as they grow in areas where there are few nutrients.  It would have been wrong to intervene.

Gardening-wise a lot of tidying up was done.  It is the Open Day this Saturday and we are hoping that the weather will be kind and bring lots of visitors.  There will be several games and competitions in garden for children- and adults alike!  We need to keep raising money for our Jurassic Garden.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday

Finally another picture of the Echiums.  Wonderful towers of flowers.Covered in bees all day long it is a shame that once they have finished flowering they die.  Two years of effort but worth every minute of the wait

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