It’s Buzzing & Crawling at Yew View!

With the warm weather and then wet weather, Yew View was simply bursting with life this week. With so many insects around, I spent an hour with the macro lens, trying to capture some of the species around. I started at the bee hotels. The observation hotel is filling up nicely and its great to see the chambers being created by these red mason bees…

YewView Spring _-4908_lowRes19

YewView Spring _-4909_lowRes20Both bee hotel sites have been really busy over the last few weeks, showing how important these simple additions to the garden can be to a site.

YewView Spring _-4853_lowRes6 YewView Spring _-4851_lowRes5

I had a couple of other encounters here as well. Not only did there seem to be a large number of ants taking advantage of this area, but I managed to capture some images of this stunning jewel of an insect; the ruby-tailed wasp. This tiny wasp parasitises solitary bees, often the mason bees.

Once a female ruby-tailed wasp finds the nest of its host insect, it explores the entrance to ensure there is no bee inside.  Once it is sure the tube is clear, it reverses in, laying its eggs next to the host eggs. The wasp eggs hatch into larvae, which eat the newborn host species. The unsuspecting adult host returns to seal its nest hole, never knowing that the wasp’s egg is also inside. This is why this wasp is also known as a cuckoo wasp. The larva complete their development inside the nest and the adults emerge the following spring.

It is possibly the most stunning of insects I have photographed and only really appreciated through macro photography…

YewView Spring _-4895_lowRes16 YewView Spring _-4886_lowRes12 YewView Spring _-4880_lowRes10 YewView Spring _-4873_lowRes8 YewView Spring _-4884_lowRes11

There were also a number of tiny jumping spiders making the most of the nooks and crannies! They are only about 5mm in size.  I think this one is a zebra jumping spider. They are the most fantastic little guys to photograph as they will often turn and look right into the lens… I was captivated!

YewView Spring _-4891_lowRes14 YewView Spring _-4868_lowRes7 YewView Spring _-4846_lowRes4

There were also lots of bees, flies and hoverflies around. I am no export, but with some help from Twitter experts, I think I have identified these…

There are quite a number of these on site… I think they are Ashy Mining Bees

YewView Spring _-4900_lowRes17 YewView Spring _-4904_lowRes18

Lots of hoverflies making the most of the many nectar sources available.

YewView Spring _-4918_lowRes24 YewView Spring _-4921_lowRes25 YewView Spring _-4914_lowRes23

I also captured a couple more unusual species… this is a carpet beetle…

YewView Spring _-4910_lowRes21

and a yellow dung fly…

YewView Spring _-4924_lowRes26

Another iridescent insect… this tiny beetle, which I think is a green dock beetle.

YewView Spring _-4928_lowRes27

Finally, a heron has been sneaking down to the ornamental pond to feast on the rather large number of fish in there!

YewView Spring _-4834_lowRes2

This week’s video footage will have to wait for next week, after  a faulty SD card has meant the files were not copied. Suffice to say the dog otter spent two nights in our holt and we got some cracking clips if him! Let’s hope he returns this week.