Insects 2022. Where are they?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Selleri, Jul 9, 2022.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    This morning I spent several hours in the garden, reading a book and watching the birds.

    Then it struck me- not a single butterfly. Last year we took photos of three Monarch butterflies on a Buddleia flower, now there are none.

    Last year I bought a book to identify the various butterflies we saw on our regular walk banked by hedges and lush meadows, yesterday we walked there and saw one white butterfly.

    Looking back to this summer, I have seen perhaps a couple of bumblebees, no bees and just some hoverflies.

    Something has definitely changed and I can't understand what. The weather has not been exceptional, we don't have any plant farming nearby, no heavy industry.

    What an earth is going on?
     
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    • Michael Hewett

      Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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      Come to think of it I haven't seen many butterflies here either :frown:
       
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      • mazambo

        mazambo Forever Learning

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        Envious there on the Monarch butterflies @Selleri but had a couple of visits of the hummingbird hawk moth, but yes i agree not seen many butterflies at all even the prolific whites, I've had a lot of bees, but one thing i dont see too much are earwigs but this year it seems every pot i move has loads of earwigs under it.
         
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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          I rarely see a butterfly and then not until my one and only Sedum blooms, which is a way off yet. Bumble bees are tiny this year and I haven't seen any honey bees from the hive in an oak tree close by. I've not seen many flies either which are usually pestering me in the garden at this time of year. The weather here this year has not been good so far, so that may have a bearing on the lack of insects.
           
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          • noisette47

            noisette47 Total Gardener

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            Answer: They've all emigrated! The buzzy year started here with a swarm of bees in a border shrub, happily removed by a local bee-keeper. More flies than I've ever seen before, which is lucky for the pollination of the paw-paw tree flowers. The usual hordes of paper wasps which are allowed to co-habit until all potential pests like greenfly and red spider mite have been consumed, then the most dangerous nests get 'dealt with'. Having known several people who had near misses with the Grim Reaper because of anaphylactic shock due to stings, there has to be a limit!
            The usual tussle with hornets for ownership of my fruit :gaah:
            Not just the small, pretty hummingbird hawk moths but a much larger version too, this year :wub2:
            The cossus cossus moths have been busy, too. They lay eggs at the base of young trees and the resulting larvae tunnel up the trunk to emerge from a branch tip 4 years later, by which time the tree is mostly dead. Unless I spot the holes in time and stuff a wire up the gallery until there's a squelch.
            A mini-invasion of strange, little black caterpillars in the house :hate-shocked: Coming from the attic, where they're fighting it out with the beam-eating beetles, no doubt :biggrin:
            Ants, millions of the little blighters!
            Anyone want to buy a house in SW France? :roflol:
             
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            • Upsydaisy

              Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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              We noticed it too, our Lavendars and Buddleias are extremely quiet this year.

              All we have in abundance is black/ greenfly!!

              Having said that we did get a a few Butterflies yesterday late afternoon but not bees etc.

              My sister ,who lives just down the road from us has bees nesting in 2 of her pots.
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                We have lots of butterflies in Guildford, many common ones like the Cabbage whites plus a bit rarer some Commas. There are lots of bees, hoverflies, dragonflies and blackfly. No wasps yet thank goodness. We had our first flying ant event last week which makes sitting outdoors unpleasant.
                 
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                • Upsydaisy

                  Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                  Seems you have them all John, could you share some please. :biggrin:

                  We have allotments behind us and normally have loads of butterflies.
                  Flying ants tend to fly around the end July down here.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Been seeing more butterflies in the last couple of weeks.
                    Bees of all kinds are in short supply, more flies recently as well which were missing.

                    Some flying ants but not seen lots yet but have heard they swarmed nearby last week.

                    I always think with this kind of thing that it is dependent on what happened last year, a good summer this year could help insects to breed and more can overwinter.
                     
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                    • shiney

                      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                      We are also happily invaded by the flying hordes (including blackfly :wallbanging:).

                      Butterflies - lots of Whites but also many Red Admirals and Peacocks (we keep a stinging nettle area for them to lay their eggs) with some Tortoiseshells and Painted Ladies.

                      Plenty of bees as we have a large variety of plants they adore (their current favourites are the four Veronicastrum plants we have, 6ft high and 5ft diameter) - and we provide drinking places for the bees (although the wasps use the drinking places more than the bees).

                      The wasps are good pollinators and don't bother us. Thousands (probably tens of thousands) of hoverflies which are also excellent pollinators. Yesterday we had three large dragonflies flying around us and our guests which amused all of us. No flying ants - yet - but we usually get lots of them as we have very many ant nests.
                       
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                      • Upsydaisy

                        Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                        We have a good range of flowers too and also have some fabulous cutting garden plots in the nearby allotments...makes no difference here. We also have the surrounding woods and lakes across the lane too. We do see plenty of dragonflies I'm happy to report.:dbgrtmb:
                         
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                        • strongylodon

                          strongylodon Old Member

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                          @Selleri I am intrigued, do you still have the Monarch photos? I wondered if they were Fritillaries as they are orange and black and Monarchs are not seen in the UK, nearest being Southern Spain and Canaries.
                           
                        • Victoria

                          Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                          We have lots of bees, including Carpenter, and wasps Not so many butterflies, whites and little brownish things. The ants are still here.
                           
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                          • Jasmine star

                            Jasmine star Super Gardener

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                            I thought the same thing a few weeks ago at home however the allotment is buzzing with both bees and butterfly's
                            Now my Beddleja and verbena have flowered the butterfly seem to be back.
                            Snails are still rife despite nothing for them :heehee:
                             
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                            • john558

                              john558 Total Gardener

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                              I have plenty of Ants, including the one that bit my leg:old:
                               
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