Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Of Bees, Mice & Woodpeckers
So, an eventful few days here. Yesterday, I was working at the computer (sending vital funds to middle son who is about to embark on his first house rent in London. Yikes) when a REALLY LOUD buzzing that could only be one thing came roaring towards me.
You may remember last year, and the year before that, that the bees like to move into our chimney pot at about this time of year. The first year they did it next door's workmen ran screaming for cover, leaving me grinning out in the open as the bees passed harmlessly overhead. Bees are at their most peaceful during and immediately after swarming because they feed up before leaving their old home and with their tummies full they don't feel like being aggressive.
This time, a dilemma. On the one hand, here I am half-way through internet banking at the crucial we will phone you with your one-time pass code to confirm your instructions stage, and I've already been here a while losing my sense of humour at how long the process takes, on the other, several hundred bees looking for a new home are baring down on the house and all the windows are open.
Extracting several hundred bees from the bathroom/ bedroom would have been annoying, on the other hand, spending any more time than absolutely necessary on internet banking sends me into a bad tempered spin for the rest of the day. I held my nerve, answered the phone for the code, inputted the code in the screen and calmly finished the payment. Then Poppy and I went outside into a storm of bees.
I was right- they eschewed the open windows and went instead for their favourite chimney pot. Clearly, the Queen had already made herself at home inside because the swarm was abating, settling into and onto the chimney brickwork which, for half an hour, became a moving, rippling, buzzing sea of golden brown bees.
We enjoyed the sight and sound for a while longer before going back in to text M who came back with Cool! We are an unusual family, I sometimes think. Let's just hope they don't find their way down the chimney again and out into our neighbour's kitchen, as happened last year. We had something similar with nesting Jackdaws and it can be a little unsettling :o)
The baby blue tits have hatched in two of the boxes. Supper was disturbed a couple of nights back by the most fearful hammering/ splintering noise. I thought, neighbours doing DIY, but when I went to explore I found a woodpecker attacking the nest box hole. Yikes! I know they can do this but have never experienced it here before. I shooed her away and listened for the small peeps of babies still inside. Mummy BT came back looking worried but when she went in I heard them, so all was OK.
I was woken at 6am the next morning with the same sound! Double yikes! I chased the woody off again and so far she hasn't returned. Plus we are now armed with metal plates for the holes.
The next drama was a beautiful metallic green Rose Chafer beetle attempting to fly in to the house yesterday afternoon, coming in dangerously close and noisy to Poppy's head. I NO'd! to Pop, who was poised, mid-leap ready to snap, she agreed, albeit crossly, and I shooshed the beetle back outside. Phew.
On a final nature-note, a couple of nights back I was in the kitchen when movement caught my eye on the path: a little woodmouse, helping to tidy up seeds dropped by the birds. She was there for ages.
It's all go here.