Friday, 2 August 2013

AirSpace Yarden - Two Curious Insect Visitors

Sitting in the Yarden today, we were struck by two previously unseen (to us) insect visitors buzzing and fluttering around the pollen-rich plants.

First, this unusual bee which at first sight was pure black on the upper side of its abdomen, and pure yellow on its underside. It seems to bee living in our Bug Hotel - the Mini Beasts Wall which we introduced to attract insects.

Some research led us to its name - it's a Leafcutter Bee or Megachilidae and the yellow on its underneath is actuallly pollen which it keeps there as a pose to on the legs like the conventional bee. The Leafcutter name comes from their propensity for nesting material - our DogWood is full of neat circular holes) and it's solitary, making our Bug Hotel the perfect accommodation.

Our other insect attraction today was the Small White or Small Cabbage White, or Pieris rapae, characterised by a white upper and green underwing, and two small black dots on the upper centre of each wing. They are beautiful delicate little things, and loving our geraniums and salvias in particular.
It's funny that we probably curse the Small White when it's young, as it destroys our cabbages, kale, radishes and broccoli - yet marvel at the delicate beauty of the mature adult.

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