Welcome or not?

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David Dickinson

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Welcome or not?
« on: September 23, 2017, 04:45:37 PM »
This bee has set up his territory in my garden and is extremely effective at driving away all other insects from his chosen plants. I say "his" because I have read that male Carpenter bees have this habit. Does anybody recognise this species?

Patrolling a stretch of around 10m, buzzing back and forth non-stop, he dive-bombs any other insect which tries to feed on the plants in his range, Even insects more than triple his size like the black Carpenter bee. Other bees, butterflies, wasps etc. too. Preferred tactic is to scoot back and forth, hover about a foot away from anything he spots and then dive in knocking the other off the flower. The insect is then chased away. He has a very loud buzz, disproportionate to his size. I wonder if I would have more butterflies visiting if he weren't around?

I spent some time this morning filming him in action but don't think I can attach videos to postings. Or can I?
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 10:46:53 PM »
There's no straight forward way to post a video. Ive found instructions for how to add a YouTube video so I'll try it out when I get back to Greece and my PC.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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Alisdair

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 07:51:42 AM »
A couple of years ago I did put a short video on YouTube (about a stand at the Chelsea show) and then on this forum posted the link to it, so that people could click through to it.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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JTh

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 08:42:23 AM »
Are you sure it`s  not an ordinary honey bee?  It certainly does not look like any carpenter bee I have seen. If it's a single specimen with behavioural problems, I wouldn'y worry, they don't live that long; working bees have a life span of five to six weeks during the  active season
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

David Dickinson

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 02:22:03 AM »
Hi JTH,

I can see why you might think it is an ordinary honey bee from the last picture I posted. Here are 2 photos that I took today while the bee was taking a well earned rest and having a feed. If it is a honey bee that is a little deranged, that would be good, as once it dies the other insects will be able to come back.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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John J

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 01:54:08 PM »
Perhaps one for the entomologists. Beneficial or not? Do I leave it or squash it?
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Umbrian

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 09:04:49 AM »
Interesting John - can't wait to see what it is ....and hope you don't have to squash it!
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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JTh

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 03:35:00 PM »
I wonder if it is a caterpillar of a cabbage butterfly? They don't spin a cocoon, but some silky 'threads' to attach themselves to the leaves, I think I can see a few strands.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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John J

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2018, 06:16:14 AM »
I think you are right, Jorun, thanks. It is attached by threads on both sides. OK, it can stay.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 10:19:15 AM »
What is it actually attached to, John?
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 03:28:48 PM »
It's tucked into an Aloe arborescens, Alisdair.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2018, 08:50:34 AM »
Good protection for it
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 08:04:33 PM »
A couple of months ago I and a friend, Marianne Merki, had a short discussion about praying mantis after finding one on a plant in a nursery we were visiting. Today she sent me some photos of a cocoon she had found on one of her own plants and had kept an eye on. They show several youngsters emerging and taking their first steps into the unknown.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 06:47:47 AM »
When the hunter becomes the hunted. I spotted this lizard with a mantis in its mouth but by the time I had dashed indoors to get my camera it had released it for some reason. The mantis then headed for a bunch of discarded dry flowers waiting to be disposed of, I assume to attempt to hide, while the lizard remained frozen, possibly due to my presence.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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JTh

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Re: Welcome or not?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 06:52:37 PM »
This is a visitor which is definitely welcome. It always amazes me how quickly the tortoises are moving, I just managed to get a quick snap before it disappeared under a large oregano outside the kitchen door, it's probably still there. I believe it is a Testudo graeca, it was fairly lage but in good shape.


P4149387-Edit.jpg Visiting tortoise
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.