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No hum

(90 Posts)
FlicketyB Sat 13-Jul-13 21:17:51

It is high summer and the footpaths around our village are awash with wildflowers and grasses. In the past the footpaths would also be awash with all the insects darting among them and the mingled hum of flies and bees and other insects would fill the air. But this year I have noticed the hedgerows and footpaths are completely silent. No flies, no darting insects, no bees, no hum. Is this particular to South Oxfordshire or have other people noticed the Silent Summer?

Bags Sat 13-Jul-13 21:33:10

It is not silent here. We have the usual biting insects – midges and clegs – and my garden is buzzing and fluttering with bumble bees (several species), wasps, hoverflies, butterflies and other flies. However, I have missed the honeybees this year.

Ana Sat 13-Jul-13 22:33:08

I think everything's running late. We'll probably get the hum in August/September.

FlicketyB Sun 14-Jul-13 14:23:13

Bags How lucky you are! DH noticed this morning that there were no bees on our lavender hedge either, usually there are swarms of them.

Ana, I hope you are right and they will come later. I have noticed that the blackberries have flowered very late, especially the ones usually ripe to pick in late July/early August and our apple tree in the garden, which usually starts cropping at much the same time is only now having its 'June drop'

tanith Sun 14-Jul-13 14:47:50

No bees pollinating my runner beans either, I haven't seen many bees or ladybirds at all.. is it just sad or SCARY!!?

ninathenana Sun 14-Jul-13 15:18:04

DH got very nasty bite this morning from what he thinks was a hornets nest trying to clear the wilderness of a garden at DD's new house.
Cue swift trip to tesco pharmacy and swift phone call to letting agent !
Have had bees in our garden.

Sook Sun 14-Jul-13 15:45:33

Dragonflies were once pretty common visitors to our garden but I haven't seen one so far this Summer. I haven't spied one ladybird and only the odd Cabbage White butterfly has honoured us with a visit. There aren't many bees buzzing around either.

shysal Sun 14-Jul-13 16:28:02

Flickety, I also live in Oxfordshire (Wheatley), and have only in the last week or so, since the weather improved, begun to see all the usual insects and butterflies. I think everything is late this year.
I have an irrational fear of dragonflies, hate it when they clash wings, so am pleased to say that I don't see many.

grannyactivist Sun 14-Jul-13 16:33:28

There's plenty of humming in my garden and on the allotment.
I have dragonflies and damselflies hovering over the pond and have noticed more ladybirds about than is usual for this time of year - also there are lots of bees in my fruit cage. And that's even before my wildflower garden, especially planted to encourage bees, has a single flower. I do have stocks and sweet peas in flower though.
The brassicas have been protected from butterflies by an ingenious netting system, but at least one has got through because we've removed half a dozen caterpillars and there are lots of butterflies trying to work out an entry sytem. grin

gracesmum Sun 14-Jul-13 16:42:19

My climbing hydrangea was "ahum" with bumblebees the other day (alas not honey bees) and our garden furniture seems to hold a strange attraction for wasps. It is teak and they seem to crawl backwards leaving a damp patch (?) I can see no evidenc of a nest and there are only ever 3 or 4 at a time on it, so I am leaving them alone. But puzzled. The absence of insects - flies eyc I have put down to the increased use of insecticides by farmers. We have open countryside just behind us, an orchard/farmhouse garden and then the manor house grounds including a moat so I woud expect to see more. The buddleias are not yet in flower but when they are I expect/hope to see them alive with butterflies.

Aka Sun 14-Jul-13 16:57:40

Very few bees here either. Expected thm when the lavender opened but just the odd one. No ladybirds either. Echos of Rachel Carson? I hope not sad

Galen Sun 14-Jul-13 17:19:58

Plague of damsel flies and bumblebees + some solitary bees. Very few honey bees.

Galen Sun 14-Jul-13 17:20:37

Too many flies!

Ariadne Sun 14-Jul-13 17:22:23

Same here - bumble bees, ladybirds and other flying things, a few butterflies but no honeybees sad

annodomini Sun 14-Jul-13 17:46:13

Before the blossoms faded on my late-flowering rowan, it was covered in bees - I didn't look closely, but they certainly weren't bumble bees. Now the flies have arrived, but not in huge numbers. Plenty of moths come in at night.

Mamie Sun 14-Jul-13 17:48:25

Lots of hum here, bees, hornets (!) and cicadas.

Ella46 Sun 14-Jul-13 20:45:37

I've seen bees on my lavender this week, but not a lot of them.

Maniac Sun 14-Jul-13 21:13:41

Lots of bees in my garden .They particularly like the Honeysuckle and Hypericum

whenim64 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:26:34

My fading cotoneaster and pyracantha don't look very inviting now the flowers are going over, but they have been covered in bees. I thought someone must have installed a nearby hive, it's been that noisy.

FlicketyB Mon 15-Jul-13 13:22:13

It is very odd, no hum outside, but 10 days ago I poached some chicken and left it on the side to cool. Fortunately I covered it. Half an hour later I heard a very loud buzz from the kitchen and went in to find about 20 large flies buzzing around the (well covered) chicken.

Earlier today I got some prawns from the freezer and put them in a carefully covered bowl to defrost, nary a fly appeared, but I then got a chicken casserole out of the freezer, defrosted and heated it and left it on the side (covered) while I cooked some rice. Within minutes flies were swarming around it.

Granny23 Mon 15-Jul-13 15:09:52

We have been inundated with honey bees this year and also reckon someone must be keeping bees nearby. We used to see loads but our bee-keeping friend died and we have had only bumble bees visiting until this year.

Ella46 Mon 15-Jul-13 16:03:29

Flickety we once had a nest of large flies in our loft. They kept appearing in the rooms downstairs until we realised what was happening!

FlicketyB Mon 15-Jul-13 18:40:39

The curious thing is that as soon as the chicken was put in the fridge/put on a plate and eaten, the flies all disappeared out side again. Even the first lot, which I had sprayed with fly killer, as I said, all the food was covered. Not a single fly carcase in the kitchen even when they were buzzing and flying erratically, the way insecticide zapped flies do.

MrsJamJam Tue 16-Jul-13 06:49:16

Very few bees or butterflies here in our garden in north Devon. There was one lone bumble in the foxgloves last evening, and I spent an interested afternoon watching some leaf cutter bees busily setting up a nest in an abandoned flower pot. Must now be very careful to make sure no one tidies up said pot. Does anyone know how long the bees will take to hatch?

JessM Tue 16-Jul-13 07:11:51

Insects have very different life cycles e.g. bumble bees much more complex than flies. BB queens normally hibernate, then emerge on warm days in spring to find an old nest (mouse nest or something) to start a new colony. My garden is planted from scratch to feed bumble bees and other pollinators. Very slow start to the year. Few more about but well down on normal year. No wasps either - they eat caterpillars etc in spring and if no caterpillars they are affected I think.
it will be interesting to see whether it affects crops.