Tag Archives: insect life


The apparently vacant stump showed a flurry of activity this afternoon…


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adventures in beekeeping

Honeybee working hollyhock with lots of pollen

Fuzzy as kittens!

I escaped the city for a few summers to work at a bee farm, some time ago. In the Honey House I delighted in watching individual bees, fuzzy and wide-eyed as kittens. As one would come trundling along the narrow path of a board edge, I would lower my face to her level at the end of her path. She would stop short and sit back on her haunches to study the new development.  After a pause, recognition would dawn and she would turn tail and flee, scurrying back the way she came.

They always seemed to be able to make out the monstrously large face of another being in my features. I was surprised that they related to their fellow creatures in a way that I haven’t noticed in other insects like moths, flies, or mosquitoes. Maybe it’s the social animal coming out in them?

Winged Creatures

This afternoon in the back yard I looked up to see the sky filled with a huge (for here – 50+) flock of gulls! Prepping to migrate? No scavenging apparent – they’re all wheeling around, staying airborne. The flock slowly drifts off SE…

Meanwhile on the ground, and equally rare, is a flock of winged ants(?), milling about on the walk, surrounded by a host of wingless ant attendants… or predators – they are hauling off the occasional winged corpse. This happened once or twice earlier this summer, too – we watched, fascinated, as a host of winged creatures were escorted out of the ant-home entrance (in that case, a crack in a stump) by agitated ants. Eventually flying off, looking like tree fluff on the rise – a halo of fast-beating wings surrounding each in the sunlight.

Our backyard hollyhocks were humming with activity this sunny August afternoon! There must be a hive within 3 miles of our place – maybe from the Nature Centre, just down the river. Someone did the waggle dance about our place!

Honeybee on Hollyhock