After getting back from a run today, I went into our garage to cool down and my wife was on the exercise bike and saw something out of the corner of her eye. We both looked and saw this beautiful European Hornet (Vespa crabro) on a box, struggling to move. On closer inspection (and a check with some online sources) we came to the conclusion that this is probably a Queen – the size seemed right and there are 13 segments to her antennae and 7 body segments.
I gently picked her up on some paper and put her outside in the sun, but she could barely crawl. She flipped onto her back at one point and I almost had to help her back over. I’ve never performed first aid on a Hornet before and I wasn’t sure what to try and feed her…
Being vegan, we didn’t have any honey to hand, but we figured some sort of sugary liquid might work.. enter the Agave Nectar! We put a large drop close to her, but she couldn’t get to it and, by this point, was barely moving. I grabbed a feather that was close by and used the pointy end to move some of the Agave Nectar towards her gorgeous face – I got it as close as I could without it touching her. It seemed to work – she sensed it and managed the tiniest of head movements and stuck her mandibles into it.
For the next ten minutes or so, she gradually began to move more and more and really seemed to be enjoying the drink.
Finally, she had enough energy to move again and started cleaning her legs and wings…
She had a little scurry around and prepared for take off – she launched into the air and vanished over the fence.
So yea, that’s how to save a Hornet.
I found this poor little furry lump of gorgeousness looking very unhappy and hardly moving on the ground, so I gently slid a thin sliver of bark under those crazy legs and they managed to hang on.
I slowly lifted the Bee up onto our Buddleia and they just managed to crawl off. After a rest they started to have a drink…
That seemed to revive the little beast and and they became more active, crawling all over and drinking/eating more and more.
Twenty minutes later, off they flew!
I always enjoy a trip to Tyland Barn and usually come away with at least a couple of shots I like. This time was a short visit, but pleasant nonetheless. I was fortunate enough to have a very willing Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) land close to me and flit about for a few seconds.
This butterfly is often found basking on vegetation, or making short buzzing flights among tall grass stems. Despite its name, four skipper species found in the British Isles are the same size or smaller than the Small Skipper. The male is distinguished from the female by the sex brand on its forewings, which is a slightly curved line of specialised scent scales.
I love Summer, mainly because the bugs are out in force. Found this little fella in the front garden. Speckled Bush Crickets are amazing – this is a young one, not fully grown.
Went out late last night to see where our cat was – he was in the garage, chilling. As I walked through the door I noticed this Spider doing what Spiders do best – weaving some web magic around what-looks-like a Bee.
Bless – the first Grasshopper of 2013 has appeared in the garden. Well, the first I have seen anyway.
Found this little bundle of gorgeousness in the garden. He/She sat around and waited for me to get my camera. This species is often confused with Pyrausta purpuralis. Both can be bright purple with golden markings, especially when fresh, or brown with yellowish markings, especially when worn. The principal distinguishing feature is the arrangement of the postmedian markings on the forewing.
A Lesser House Fly (Fannia canicularis). Maybe.
This little dude landed on my arm and just wouldn’t leave – fortunately I already had my camera in hand as I was trying to photograph a flower. After some gentle coaxing it appeared that there was something wrong with his* left wing. Well, you can’t take a Hoverfly to the vet so I was just patient and let him clean, then clean some more, then re-clean his wing and rest up for a while. After a few minutes while I managed to carefully place him on the flower in the second photo and, after some pollen-based goodness, he was able to fly away. A happy ending!
*To sex a Hoverfly, look at the eyes. Generally the male has eyes that touch, the female has eyes that are further apart.