Insects 2022. Where are they?

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

  1. Nikolaos

    Nikolaos Total Gardener

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    This is my 6th year gardening with butterflies and other pollinators in mind and has been the lowest in terms of both butterfly numbers and species diversity, which is a tad disheartening. :sad: Only two species are here in higher numbers, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. But all other insects seem to be doing great, I very rarely have a week go by without a new species appearing in the garden! Hoverflies and wasps are doing particularly well this year and I've had some sort of tiny bees on my scabious. The only positives with the butterflies is that I've had a new species visit (Ringlet, which takes me up to 18 different species) and had a third Small Copper visit, they seem to find Hemp Agrimony irresistible! :)

    Had a couple of Pipistrelle bats visit my front garden for the first time ever recently and they're revisiting occasionally! Taking that as another sign that small insects are doing well here! :biggrin:

    Nick
     
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    • Clueless 1 v2

      Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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      No shortage of insects in my garden this year. They were late showing up but they're here now. I can't name any species because I'm not up on all that, but I've seen all sorts of bees, hover flies, months and butterflies, and grass hoppers. We always see bats in the evening and this summer is no exception. My nasturtium is riddled with caterpillars, which I just left to get on with it, on the basis that the nasturtiums are growing faster than the caterpillars can eat them.

      There's tonnes of light pollution here. Quite apart from all the houses, we have LED street lights, plenty of traffic, and a massive chemical works just down the road that illuminates the area for miles.

      I have no doubt that light pollution has its adverse effects, but I'm not convinced that LED street lights are that significant to wildlife.

      I'm reminded of a study quite a few years ago now where some researchers concluded that insects had declined because there were fewer splattered ones on car windscreens, without taking into account that modern cars are much more aerodynamic than older cars, so a month for example in the path of an older car would splat on the windscreen, the air currents generated by a newer car would just carry it straight over the top. I'm not suggesting that all is well in nature. I just think that some of the studies that get published are not well thought through, and unfortunately often have the detrimental effect of giving ammo to those that do deny the facts, by giving those people a seemingly legitimate excuse to point to flawed science.
       
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      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        We still have plenty of insects although I think our butterfly population may be lower than normal - apart from the whites. Bees are plentiful and wasps are here in swarms. The wasps don't bother us at all. we have a lot of watering bowls for them and we leave all our windfall fruit on the ground for them - literally hundreds of apples and pears and a fair amount of plums. The golden plums are finished and they have cleared the dozens of fallen ones. The black plums are just starting and they have ripened about a month earlier than usual.

        I don't remember ever having seen grasshoppers in the garden.

        Blackfly on the beans are getting much fewer with the regular blasting off by hose. I don't think the ants that nest under the bean plants are too happy with me. Elsewhere in the garden we have dozens of noticeable ant nests (don't know how many we don't notice) including the large one in the front lawn that has been there well over 50 years which I carefully mow around each time. We have only been here 50 years so they have first settlers' rights. :heehee:
         
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        • groundbeetle

          groundbeetle Gardener

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          That is what I noticed too, the bees and hoverflies were late showing up except for the odd bee visiting my nasturtiums, but are all here now, enjoying most of my various flowers, everything from Agastache, Chamomile, Erigeron karvinskianus to Verbena bonariensis and both the wild Violas and the cultivars (they do seem to prefer the wild Violas to the cultivars). My nasturtiums are getting a smaller second wind, they flowered a lot very early, produced lots of seeds, and then I cut them back and they are re-growing and making more flowers.

          I just went out in the rain and got some photographs of some of the Violas. The smaller wild Violas are thriving in all the rain, and the bees seem to like them. (I need to learn to take better photographs, my photographs never do justice to the colours of flowers).



          543CA055-57C7-4F20-B37A-5E7A9D04871A.jpegE6344A2D-E77E-45A3-A62A-8FC92DB4FD6A.jpegC65B918F-50EA-4E3E-A1F8-F6EC7BD6F52A.jpeg
           
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            Last edited: Aug 17, 2022 at 1:27 PM
          • john558

            john558 Total Gardener

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            I planted Hollyhocks this year for the Bees, ok the leaves get rust but the Bees don't mind.
             
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            • Logan

              Logan Total Gardener

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              I've had a lot of bumblebees and honey bees on the lavenders and other plants. Seen a hummingbird hawk moth just now and a few weeks ago. Not a lot of butterflies but occasionally I've seen one of those very small blue ones. Also small brown ones but don't know the name and a few white ones but not so many, also hover flies.
               
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                Last edited: Aug 17, 2022 at 8:24 PM
              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                Lots of bees and few hoverflies.
                 
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                • Upsydaisy

                  Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                  All our visitors were late in arriving this year but they're all here now. The garden is buzzing!!:biggrin:

                  The bats are back and very active at dusk.:)
                   
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                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                    We have been visited by more butterflies this year than in the past, maybe it's the hot weather. Had Red Admirals flying in, I love the way they glide - their flight is very distinctive.
                     
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