Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Red Squirrels and Black Bees

Posted by Rosie

Autumn is the perfect time to see Red Squirrels. Eight out if 10 times that you drive down what we call our wooded lane at this time of year, I reckon you will see at least one of these gorgeous little creatures, feverishly dashing about in their quest to collect nuts to see them through the winter. Their colour varies considerably and although called red, many of the ones we see are almost black.

Black is the colour of another, apparently quite rare insect, that seems to be flourishing here - the European Black Bee or Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocapa violacea). All through the summer they have been buzzing around the herb garden particularly favouring the Clary Sage. Simon snapped these pictures when we were out enjoying the sunshine a few days ago. It is a large species of bee which makes it's nest in dead wood but it is not aggressive and rarely stings.

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