Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Primroses and Celandines at Heyshott

Primrose, Primula vulgaris
We created one of the biggest bonfires of the season at Heyshott escarpment today as we were burning a lot of rotten wood cut down many years ago. The cleared area is looking very impressive and we hope the female Duke of Burgundy butterflies will fly down from the chalk pits through the gaps into our new area. Primroses are already in flower on the slopes and along the path at the bottom of the hill, so plenty of potential egg laying sites.
female Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
"Males have distinctive long antennae, which are easy to spot with a little practice and some species also have bright yellow faces. They also have a rounded tip to the abdomen (especially when viewed from underneath). They sit lazily on flowers and don't collect pollen. The time of year can also be helpful - males become common in late summer and autumn. 
Females have less pronounced antennae, often with a visible 'elbow'. They have a pointed tip to the abdomen (where the sting comes out)."

Honey bee, Apis mellifera on Lesser Celandine
Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria
Neil at work
Primrose, Primula vulgaris
bank of Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria
bank of Primrose, Primula vulgaris

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