Forum home Fruit & veg


pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,537
I spent yesterday afternoon, a hot and sunny day, counting the number of pollinating insects (or any other type of insect really) that were in my garden. Bee counts in single numbers after two hours.

I live in a national park, surrounded by grazing land, with no near neighbours who might be using insecticides, and I was horrified by the absence of honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, flies, aphids, ladybirds. 

Again this morning, knowing that nectar is available at different times of the day, I checked. The same absence of any insect life in the garden.

I have 16 apple trees and three pear trees in full bloom and I can’t see a single bee on any of them.

Please tell me how things stand in your area.


The Silent Spring?
BobTheGardenerPete.8Blue OnionJohn36linzijayne74Jason-3FireTulip18 8 votes
Normal numbers?
MuddyForkhogweedHostafan1Bee witchedAnniD[Deleted User]nutcutletBeaus MumPerkiSinging GardenerPapi JoDaisy33The_herpetologistAnna33Jules41Bright starraisingirlJoeX[Deleted User]Bijdezee 23 votes
Overrun by insects of all kinds?
DovefromaboveTopbirdBrickman0430SkandiaureliecelerierNollieJellyfire 7 votes
Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.


  • B3B3 Posts: 24,446
    A few more bees than usual. Somebody local must have a hive of black bees.
    Not overrun though. Haven't seen a ladybird yet
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,706
    Normal numbers?
    I've said "normal amounts"  as I can't see anything significantly more, or less than usual.
    I'll accept that my observations are far from scientific.
  • Overrun by insects of all kinds?
    The garden is full of insects here! We have a hive at the back of the garden and the bees are going crazy for the apple blossoms at the moment! I have also seen lots of bumblebees, wasps, flies, aphids and butterflies. But so far no ladybirds...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,817
    I don't know what normal is here yet but I have noticed a lack of insects, even on walkies in leafy lanes full of wildflowers.   We have ladybirds which hibernate in the window frames but  don't see them out in the garden.  No aphids on the roses.

    There must be some insects as some perisher's bitten me and the swallows and house martins are swooping but I've just picked a lettuce for lunch and would expect to be washing off heebie-jeebies.  Nairy a one.   I've seen about 3 butterflies.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    The Silent Spring?
    It depends where the benchmark is (I'm not just being pedantic). Are we talking 'normal' from pre-industrial revolution, pre-WWII, 1970s or over the last ten years or the last three? Each benchmark would give you wildly different results.

    During the last war domestic food production was ramped up so the island wouldn't starve - many mono-crops put in and hedging taken out, forests demolished for timber. The 1950s built on the idea of industrial farming and intro of pesticides. The 1970s (pre-pesticide/herbicide legislation) takes it to another level.  I think if we compared our insect life and bird life to, say, the 1880s we would be truly shocked.

    There is an argument that says the national parks are wildlife deserts.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Overrun by insects of all kinds?
    Since the sun came out last week, bit of an abundance here (in relative terms that is, nothing like the number of yesteryear if my memory serves me correctly). Plenty of bees, butterflies, ladybirds, beetles and all manor of flying little fly-ey things around the pond
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,537
    edited May 2018
    I meant normal as in normal for you, in your garden, in your day to day  experience. 

    What is normal is a very good question, but I wasn’t trying to trip anyone up. 

    I haven’t seen a single honey bee, bumblebee or fly this morning. I have seen one regular wasp and one tiny “wild” wasp. No greenfly on the roses. The sun is shining, it’s May. Normal for me this is not.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,116
    Normal numbers?
    Plenty of honey bees here .... we have 8 hives in the garden!
    Also lots of bumbles, queen wasps, butterflies (mostly orange tips and peacocks so far). No ladybirds yet.
    South East Scotland.
    Bee x
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737
    edited May 2018
    Overrun by insects of all kinds?
    Plenty of honey bees, bumbles and solitary bees, bee flies, queen wasps, Holly Blues, Orange tips, Peacocks and tortoiseshells, the first red damselfly of the season and a dragonfly larva in the pond yesterday (if that counts) as well as the usual pond skaters, small diving beetles, daphnae etc in the pond and a few aphids on the roses.  

    As others have said, no ladybirds yet although I saw a couple sunbathing during the last sunny spell a few weeks ago.  

    We're on the edge of Norwich, surrounded by suburban gardens and nature reserve marshes. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,546
    Normal numbers?
    I have said normal, as in normal for here in south Bucks. Maybe more than normal are the gigantic bumble bees we have had buzzing around for weeks 😊
Sign In or Register to comment.