Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Garden Bees, wasps & birds.

I've noticed quite a large increase of wasps this year compared to the last couple of years, we've even had to deal with a couple of nests already.
I have to admit wasps are not my favourite garden critter in fact it's fair to say I'm scared poopless of them. I used to have the same fear of Bees - an irrational fear after being stung by a wasp and reacting badly - but over the last few years I've worked really hard at getting over that fear. I can now say I actually like Bees and will happily get as close as possible to photograph them.
The wasp situation is a work in progress though, I was stung again last year several times after one holed up inside my jacket, I didn't know it was there until I felt movement. Complete fear washed over me the second I realised what it probably was and even though I removed the coat as slowly as I could the blasted thing kept stinging me - again I reacted badly to it.
I tolerate wasps now simply because I know they have their uses in the garden but I will still run a mile from them if they start buzzing about and the only way I can capture a picture of them is to hold the camera at arms length, hope it focuses, snap the picture and run.

Bees are a different story now though, I'll follow them around and have no fear of them at all now.

This one looks more like a hairy wasp to me, is there such a thing? Could it be a Honeybee?

White tailed Bumblebee?

The more I try to identify the bees the more confusing it gets, so because I'm really interested in finding out what they are I've asked the Bumblebee conservation trust to ID them for me.

I spotted a Yellow Wagtail in the garden this morning, the first time I've ever seen one. Mr TG said he saw it yesterday and I just happened to spot it through the bedroom window this morning sitting on the washing line. It flew down to the pond so I took my opportunity to run downstairs and grab my camera, I expected it to have flown off by the time I got back upstairs but there it was flitting about the pond.
The pictures aren't brilliant as I used a point and shoot zoomed in from a closed window - I didn't dare open it in case it flew off.


  1. That wasp photo is great especially as it's an arms length panic shot.

    How lovely to have a wagtail and as for bee identification I'm the same and them there are the cuckoo bees complicating things even further.

    1. I don't think I can express just how scared I was at that point Sue, if someone happened to be watching the whole thing they would probably have thought I was a mad woman. The stupid thing is that once I run I get even more scared of it because I've turned my back to it and can not longer see it lol. I so need to work on this fear.
      I was especially chuffed to see the Wagtail because I'd see the usual wagtail and the pied wagtail and I didn't even know a yellow one existed.
      I'll post the ID on the bees once I get it :)

    2. The strange thing if I remember rightly is that the grey one is just as yellow as the yellow one!

      I once stood on a wasps nest which wasn't pleasant but at least I didn't get an allergic reaction - although I understand that doesn't mean I wouldn't get one next time! Picking fruit can be hazardous on our plot as often the wasps get in first!

    3. I think you're correct Sue and I believe this one to actually be the Grey wagtail now rather than the Yellow variety :)
      Darned wasps :(

  2. Lovely photos - I love the little Wagtail. I don't like wasps at all, I'm afraid; if I have a weaker honeybee colony the wasps will rob out the hive and destroy everything. It really is a worry at this time of year.

    1. Do they really do that Wendy, blimey I never realised. More reason not to like them, they give me the shivers just thinking about them.


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