Five weeks ago, I introduced you to the European carder wool bee and said, I was surprised by the angry-looking face.
This image is not perfect, but I like it very much.
Starting from last week Wednesday we had a few very summerly days. Blue sky, hot sun and temperatures around 30°C during the days. So, I took my camera and headed to the bloomy areas to chase butterflies. Every now and then, I saw a very angry-looking insect in strong yellow and black colors. It alerted me and caught my attention. I’ve never seen such an insect before. It reminded me to a wasp but it was way bigger: about 2 cm long and much fatter than a wasp. Also the face was broader and rounder then a wasps face. The biggest wasp here is a hornet. But, a hornet is colored very different. After studying several books to find out, what insect I found, I guess, I found it: Anthidium manicatum, commonly called the European wool carder bee (Große Wollbiene). One of the 524 bee species living in Germany.
The bees I know, are more brownish or black and not in such a bright yellow. The only insect I knew before in such an intense yellow is the wasp.
Just in case, someone knows it better, please drop me a line. I also have some more images 🙂
Last week I’ve read an article in a German political news magazine with very good reputation for publishing their reports from a very neutral point of view. They wrote about a research report, published recently by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). I already wrote here about the huge decrease in insects around. But, this report is specific to bees.
The EFSA report said, they now have an evidence for the suspicion verbalised in 2013, that pesticides and insecticides based on Neonicotinoides (named Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam which are used to safe seeds: i.e. rapeseeds) are an enormous danger for bees. Wild bees as well as domesticated bees.
According to experts, even tiniest doses of i.e. 4 billionth gram per bee is deadly. Weaker doses already endanger their ability to navigate, to learn, weaken the immune system and reduce the ability to fertilise.
Why do we need bees, one might say, combined with a statement about not eating honey. But, bees are much more important than for producing honey: without bees we won’t get much food. Even in greenhouses bees are working hard to pollinate billions of blossoms each day. Not speaking about the huge industry like orchard growing i.e. apples, pears, plums, cherries and many other fruits. There’s a quote, four years after the bees, people extinct too. Although, this quote often is accredited to Albert Einstein, the real source is unknown. Even channels Darwin published a statement with a similar meaning. Nevertheless, the impact of the vanishing of bees will be huge.
Despite the European Union already restricted the allowed usage for these poisons (allowed only in greenhouses and of certain plants like winter grain), the restrictions are about to get tightened now.
This new report could be the final keystone to get these poisons forbidden. A very good new for the insects.
Our environment is already very seriously harmed. Help, to turn the clock backwards. Buy your food from local farmers, where you can ask them about their usage of poisons.
Last week I noticed a report saying biologists have discovered an enormous decrease in the amount of insects around over the last 25 years. They set up catches and caught insects over a certain time at the same places all over Europe. At the end of the catching period they weight the catch. Over the last 25 years they discovered, the catch shrink every year. Compared to the catch 25 years ago, they caught only 1/4 of the amount they caught 25 year ago. That’s a descent of 75%.
I believe this. When recalling the memories to my childhood, I remember very dirty front-screens of the cars after each longer trip in the countryside. Thousands of insect were smashed and have had to be removed. And nowadays? I’m still living in the same area, but I have to clean my front-screen only 2 or 3 time over the whole summer.
What does this mean? First of all, less food for the birds and other insectivores. But, it also means, there are less insects for pollination our food-plants. Over the next years we have to find a solution to bring back insects. This would also have an effect to the insectivores, especially the birds.
Don’t forget, not only the insects die. The vanishing of the local insects gives room for insects from other areas that don’t have enemies here but could endanger our health (think i.e. of the tiger mosquito bringing different kinds of dangerous illnesses).
So, don’t spray insecticides over your plants. Try to find natural ways to keep the unwanted insects away from your house and your garden. Give insectivores a home in your garden or near your house. Try to buy your food from farmers which avoid the usage of spraying insecticides (this is also a benefit for your own health because there is less poison to remove before you eat the food!)
This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “pure”.
Take care have a great weekend!
(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)