tger greenhaddock: Birds and the Bees

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Birds and the Bees

The Haddock house seems to have become a bit of a wildlife reserve of late. We have Mason Bees in the roof (as we did last year) and on the south side of the house we have 2 separate Bumble Bee nests in the ventilation gaps in the outside brickwork. In one of the ventilation gaps on the west side we have a Wasp nest, and on the north side a Hornet nest. So we shouldn’t have any pollination issues in the garden.

Before anyone freaks, the Mason Bees are solitary bees (they don’t swarm) and die off at about this time of year. They are not a problem. Bumble Bees are harmless as I regularly demonstrate with catching them with my hands. Hornets are good natured if you don’t upset them (not actually sure what does upset them though) and they are a protected species in Germany. Wasps will become a problem later in the summer when we dine on the patio, but Mrs H and the Juniorette know to stay calm around annoying Wasps, and then let me deal with them.

A couple of days ago I found a Vole outside our cellar steps, and a few weeks ago a Lizard (see photo) took up residence there for a while. We have a bird problem in our living room. Great Tits keep coming in through one window trying to take a shortcut to the bird feeder located on the patio. Unfortunately they keep on stunning themselves by flying into closed windows once inside the house. Our tomcat then pounces on them and eats them, feathers, bones and all. I guess its nature’s way of weaning out the dumb and unlucky ones – shame though.

We of course still get the half eaten, mangled and injured birds and mice that the cats bring home regularly. But so far this year they haven’t brought back any frogs or toads, and the time will soon come when our girl cat Minnie will start bringing home butterflies.

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Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Well looking on the brighter side of things, is at least the bees are still alive in your neck of the woods!

I wish for them to be relocated to a better spot where they can reproduce and populate the masses back...

but it looks like an interesting place to be during the evening!

June 17, 2007 4:11 AM  
Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Bees and wasps are not much of a problem if you aren't allergic to their stings and stay calm. Hornets, however, make me nervous. Luckily, we don't see them much around our neck of the woods.

Dale is getting too old to catch birds, but still manages to bring home a mouse, once in a while.

June 17, 2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger Beaman said...

I have never tried to hold a bumble bee and can't say I ever wish to.
Sounds like a cats paradise. My two cats are close to getting a frog or two these days

June 17, 2007 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Nan said...

I didn't know there was lizards in Germany - so close to where I am. You make me want to move even further north - the only thing that can make me wish that is creepy crawlers.

June 17, 2007 11:38 PM  
Blogger swenglishexpat said...

So I'm not the only Dr Doolittle with snakes falling on my head and snails "racing" up the outside walls. You have quite a zoo there!

June 17, 2007 11:51 PM  
Blogger Beaman said...

P.s. I've tagged you for a meme. :p

June 18, 2007 12:45 PM  
Blogger Haddock said...

ET - Yeah its a bit worrying about all the bees that are disappearing. I wonder what they know that we don't :)

CS - Lucky none of the Haddocks are allergic to stings. Must admit Hornets are pretty big up close and must give one helluva sting!

Beaman - I really like bumble bees for some reason. Our Tomcat mainly brings back the birds & mice. Our girl cat seems to prefer the butterflies! :)

Nan - Its the first lizard I've seen here. Perhaps it was just here on holiday! :)

Swenglishexpat - The snake incident was bizarre. It was great that you got pictures of it. This reminds me that the Juniorette and I are planning to go snake hunting some time this summer :)

Beaman - I'm not a meme type person, but I think I'll do this one :)

June 18, 2007 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

"Great Tits keep coming in through one window..."

I'm not going to touch that one with a ten foot pole. Oh how I wanna, though! :D

Yes, yes... I acknowledge pointing that phrase out probably makes me the lowest common element of your readership. What can I say? It's a thankless job but someone's gotta do it.

p.s. You get points in my book for knowing what a 'Vole' is.

June 19, 2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Shiney said...

Hornets: It does take a bit to get them annoyed but if you really want to see what happens then try strimming the entrance hole of the nest, that should wind them up a bit. If that fails then attack the nest with a chainsaw and then run. Don't look back, don't stop and don't jump into water as they'll wait.

June 19, 2007 9:57 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Hello mate!

It was nice to bump in to Bob and his wife, I too wondered why he had not been blogging.

How is the garden coming?

June 20, 2007 12:33 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Wow, that's a lot of animals. We've got just tons of birds this year, as well as lots of bumblebees, butterflies, mice and a hedgehog. No wasps yet, thank goodness since they're so annoying. Last year we had a couple of tiny little newts in our pond/fountain thingie, I wonder if they'll come back this year

June 20, 2007 7:52 AM  
Blogger Ex-Shammickite said...

Your place sounds like quite a wildlife reserve!! Maybe you should make a documentary about it all.... a la David Attenborough??

June 20, 2007 2:12 PM  

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