Our earlier lament about the butterflies that we have observed in and around Wye this year was not meant to imply that we had NO butterflies but simply that the conditions for their thriving are absent. Nevertheless these wondrous additions to our beautiful countryside have re-appeared. Some, we have failed to capture good images, such as the Common Blue, the Red Admiral and the Peacock.
Regular readers of WyeWeb will know that we have a fascination with moths and butterflies. This year has been particularly challenging for early species of our colourful friends – the cold spring, the heavy rains of late and, particularly, the strong winds may have been largely responsible. However, one local change we know for certain has decimated our local population of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae). This beautifully marked moth laid its eggs on ragwort which was very prolific in the wild land (Butt End) now transformed into the playing field of Wye Free School. Perhaps this insect and other butterflies that used Butt End as a bridge from the woodland to the town were not significant to the ecologists who reported to the school?
Of course, this is only to be aggregated with the decline already noted over the past decade: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/16/urban-butterfly-declines-69-compared-to-45-drop-countryside
Several years ago we reported and discussed the importance of a healthy bee population. Last year there were noises off left that suggested that the parasite that seemed to be responsible for so many deaths had been identified and methods of dealing with it established. I had got used to taking videos of bees that seemed to be lost, grounded and moving aimlessly in circles. Today I found another possible victim. It would be reassuring from local specialists that, indeed, this danger is past and that what I saw was an injured bee.