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Archive for September, 2009

See the summary of this years Bombus hypnorum monitoring project over at BWARS.

Related post: Bombus hypnorum 2009.

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for it next year..

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In the UK and Europe, two species of solitary bees to look out for at this time of the year are Colletes halophilus and Colletes hederae.

The bee Colletes halophilus is found around the southern parts of North Sea coastal regions and has a preference for foraging at Sea Aster Aster tripolium flowers which are found on coastal saltmarshes. It nests along the sand dune-saltmarsh interface and can sometimes be found in large aggregations.

Slightly later, around mid September to October, Colletes hederae can be found in southern England where it is a recent colonist from Europe. As its name suggests, this bee is a specialist at feeding on the flowers of Ivy Hedera helix.

Further information, distribution maps and photos can be found at BWARS and Hymettus (pdf).

BWARS is running a mapping project for Colletes hederae so please report any sightings at the link above.

Colletes halophilus, Humber Estuary, UK, Sept 2009

Colletes halophilus, Humber Estuary, UK, Sept 2009

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Hundreds of species of insects which had been lost to science were rediscovered in the Natural History Museum as staff prepared for the grand opening of its new Darwin Centre.

The museum is to open a £78m building at its base in South Kensington to house the whole of its insect and plant collection in an eight-storey “cocoon”.

But in moving the 20 million species from dusty drawers to their brand new refrigerated home, scientists began to discover species of plants and insects that they had never seen before and some that had already gone extinct.

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Telegraph

Related post: The great museum move

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The countryside has been so ‘trashed’ by modern farming that the average garden now contains more wildlife than the same size plot of farmland, a leading plant expert has claimed.

Dr Ken Thompson – an expert in garden wildlife at Sheffield University – warned that huge swathes of rural Britain had been turned into ecological ‘deserts’ without weeds, wildflowers or insect life.

In contrast, Britain’s 16million gardens were home to an astonishingly rich diversity of plants, insects, mammals and birds, he said.

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Daily Mail

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