We had a fabulous afternoon with the Halifax and District Beekeepers Association on Sunday 23rd July – they made us so welcome! Phil Gee gave an excellent and thoroughly interesting talk on the history of beekeeping before we were given refreshments and then asked to dress in beekeeeping suits and gloves before Phil, Roger, Jackie and Jeff opened up the hives, each containing about 50,000 bees. We saw queen bees, industrious workers, drones, larva……and the bees behaved so well! A big thank you to the beekeepers – and to the bees!
On Saturday July 15th, 9 of us (and one dog) embarked upon this year’s Butterfly Count at Cromwell Bottom. The weather was a little unpromising but nevertheless our totals were not far below those of 2016. We also used the opportunity to look at some of the flora of the area – sadly the Grass Vetchling (Lathyrus nissolia) has now gone over and so we couldn’t witness this beautiful, delicate flower, but the Yellow Birdsnest (Hypopitys monotropa) was seen to be emerging which was some consolation!
As for the butterfly count, the following totals were recorded; figures in brackets refer to those taken last year:
Meadow Brown 5 (9)
Gatekeeper 8 (14)
Small Skipper 3 (0)
Large Skipper 1 (4)
Ringlet 14 (9)
Large White 5 (2)
Peacock 0 (1)
Speckled Wood 0 (2)
Green-veined White 0 (2)
Not a butterfly, but often included in butterfly counts – the Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena trifolii), resting on Knapweed
The number 13 may be unlucky for some, but last Saturday (8th July) 13 of us went on a glorious meander round the hay meadows which are being developed as foraging grounds for Twite above Baitings Dam, Ripponden. Once again, knowledge was shared, friends were made and picnics were eaten to the sound of buzzing bumblebees in the superb setting of Yorkshire in the sunshine. Sadly, no Twite joined us, but the flowers and insects made up for that!
Saw my first Clouded Yellow of the summer at Mayroyd yesterday