Monday, June 21, 2010

insect-plant interactions

I'm studying insect-plant interactions, or stalking bumblebees, and gradually getting better at photographing them. Found out that there is no need to climb into trees, as there is plenty of bumblebee-friendly stuff in the front gardens up and down the road. Which also made me realise that having an area with lots of very small gardens is good for biodiversity, as everybody has different preferences in what they plant (or allows to grow) in their garden.






(as always, click the images to see the large version - and a lot more detail on the bumblebees)

Also acquired an identification guide which is very handy, it's the
Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland
by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner
(Paperback - Sep 2009)
so I'm learning to read those colourful bar codes, although I understand that in some cases there are several possibilities. (These ambiguous cases, the authors assure me, can easily be distinguished by a closer look at the genitalia. But maybe I'll just live with the uncertainty!)

PS These and a few more of my recent photos can now also be found on flickr.

PPS A full-page article on bee research has appeared in the Guardian:
Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains

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