Garden Pests thrive in Lockdown

Whilst relaxing in our garden the other day, enjoying the fine spring weather, Lesley commented that how clean the air was, how blue the sky and how the quiet it was other than the sounds of the many varieties of birds that were visiting to taunt us with their freedom.  We also noticed how many bees there seemed to be buzzing around all parts of the garden.  At first this seems encouraging because in February, I read an article headed “Bumblebees’ decline points to mass extinction”.  The study it referred to stated that in Europe, bees are 17 percent less plentiful than they were in the early 20th century – this being due to global warming, over-farming, over-maintenance and the use of insecticides.  But thanks to the local Council not maintaining our local parks and road verges, our garden is bee central.

I didn’t know but there are 24 species of bumblebees in the UK, the most common of which are the tree bumblebee, the red tailed bumblebee, the white tailed bumblebee, the common carder bee, the Mason bee and the Mining bee.  Have you, like me, spotted a hole in your lawn surrounded by a volcano of excavated earth? Yes? Well this is probably the work of a mining bee, a solitary species which nests in the ground.  I have only just patched my lawn with grass seed to cover such holes so Miner Bee better watch out.  Whilst watching out for miner bee, Lesley noticed a steady stream of bees hovering around our gable wall.  We then noticed them nonchalantly buzzing in an out of our airbricks.  This apparently is the Mason Bee, another solitary species that nests in walls and cavities.

You see my dilemma.  Clearly I don’t want my lawn ruined or bees in my wall cavities.  (I once had rats in my cavities and that was a bad experience, let me tell you.) So how do I dissuade them and get them to buzz off without killing them? Because it’s clear to me they need to be made an example of; otherwise where will it end?  Our squirrels have already taken over the bird feeder and are helping the bees dig holes in the lawn.  And they’ve turned my borders into a horse chestnut plantation.   I now read that moles are now getting braver and venturing further into grass verges and gardens, herds of marauding goats are taking over Welsh seaside towns, deer are roaming the roads in Japanese cities in search of food, similarly wild boars in Spain,  pumas in Santiago, Chile, and bears in Canadian towns.   Lockdown is making wildlife a bit too cocky for my liking. Am I getting paranoid?

Maybe things are not too bad after all – I think I’ve just seen the Lesser Spotted Bin Man and the Great Crested Postman.

Author: Paul

I am a retired, married bloke, dad and grandad - growing old with attitude.

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