Bee photo?

Bee?

I don’t know what species it is, I can’t get very good closeups with my phone but I think it’s a Bee, however it could be a hover fly? The back end of it doesn’t look fuzzy enough. But it has yellow and black bands on it. So does anyone know?

Whether bee or fly, at least its something that pollinates plants, and that’s what we need to protect in the world. Imagine a world without pollinating insects? There would be a lot less fruit and vegetables unless we were to hand pollinate or create machines that could do it. But we don’t need that. We need to protect what we already have! Banning pesticides that kill bees, like nicotioides. Farming responsibly and safely. Its a difficult balance. But we must make it happen.

Daliah?

Are they? I think they are. Seen by my friend during a walk. They were in a garden along the canal. These were such a bright colour she took a photo of them.

Flowers are wonderful thing, such amazing structures, with colours outside of the visible spectrum that attract insects to pollinate them. They sometimes use the ultraviolet end of the spectrum to show insects where their nectar is. The trouble with flowers like these is that there are so many petals that the insects can’t get at the nectar. The human intervention of breeding flowers could have a detrimental effect on insect life. There are plants that are advertised as bee friendly, but sometimes that’s all it is, an advert. Single flowered plants are probably best.

Garden today

Just when I think the plants can’t get bigger we get torrential rain and they grow! And it’s hot, they are happy.

I think our back yard is full. The hanging baskets are pulling the old fence down. But I turn round and my hubby has snuck an Ash tree in! I love it. I hope some of it survives into the autumn. I will continue to post pictures as it grows.

We even had three ripe blueberries today.

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Flower power

Took a few photos of wild flowers (or weeds) this morning. Things for bees to feed on. But I didn’t see any bees.

The city seems to be full of plants pushing themselves up through cracks in the pavement and along the kerbs of roads. I also saw that green areas which were once lawns now covered in wild grasses and flowers with just a meter round the edge cut back. I did notice that the local main road that was covered in wild flowers a couple of weeks ago have now been weedkiller. The worry is that any bees that sipped from them when they were sprayed will have been poisoned. Madness. I’d rather have weeds than dead bees.

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Weeds, flowers in the wrong place?

I went out to meet someone and saw a bank of weeds at the end of the carpark. There were some interesting flowers amongst the plants and the bees and hover flies were drinking at them. I recognised Himalayan balsam and Convolvulus, Dock weed and Teasle, Thistles and Ragweed (I think its called). I think it’s amazing how plants can push up through tarmac, live in walls, grow on cliff faces. Life will prevail!

Beehive project

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I started this month asking friends to share images that could be cropped into hexagonal shapes. Most of them have been added and I will share it next week. The idea was to have the selection finished by the end of July. I’m just hoping a couple more people come on board. I am a bit uncertain how good it will be to look at. But the individual images should work well together. Watch this space?

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Bees…

Apparently they are more and more at risk. Bees pollenate the vast majority of flowering plants on the Earth, and their counterparts including hoverflies are also under threat.

What with? Insecticides, that are used to control insect pests. These include Neonicotinoids that have been found to disorientated bees (as well as killing them) so they cannot find food.  Without them we would not have fruit and vegetables. But unfortunately big pharmaceutical companies keep wanting to sell insecticides. There have been court cases that stopped their use. But they fight back.

If only we could use non invasive alternatives. Biological treatments that would eat pests. Like nematode worms, for instance. The problem is humans need quick solutions to save crops from things like locusts. But I think we should use these things sparingly. There are many ecological and moral questions and problems. I hope we can sort it out.

Art idea

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What to do with our art group?¬† The other one I’m part of is doing a Cezanne project based on a still life. Each of us chooses a square (1 of 9) So I wondered if we could do the same in the other group? But we have decided to do hexagons and include our own ideas inside them. I’m looking forward to what people create. Then I will have to stitch them together, maybe in photoshop.

Doing art in lockdown has ket my mind on track. Being in groups of artists challenges me to do different things. It helps my practice, and helps me learn.