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Signs of Spring

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Offline Dave

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« on: February 15, 2007, 18:04 PM »
Dear all
Here in Leon the weather at the moment is quite warm and sunny, which led to an interesting experience. Last Sunday I was walking through the local market, when I spied an enormous Bumble bee feeding off the pansies on one of the stalls, It was very large, and completely black, but with the most beautiful violet/blue wings, has anybody any idea what it might have been, i have seen them before in Torre del Bierzo,Leon and they do seem to be one of the first insects to come out of hibernation. My Terrace on the ninth floor is a little haven for lots of insects, my favourite being the hummingbird Hawkmoth, which spends hours here sipping the nectar.
regards
Dave

Offline lucy

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 18:21 PM »
Hi Dave,  I know exactly the bicho you're describing.  I saw one sunbathing in the park the other day, its wings an amazing electric blue, but I don't know what it's called.

Speaking of buzzing things, there's a shrub on my balcony that bears white flowers in winter, and in February it's usually full of bees, which I carefully protect from my cat.  But this year for the first time there have been none at all.  I remember reading about bee-keepers in Spain complaining that the bee population is dropping alarmingly.  One of the reasons they gave was a sharp increase in bee-eaters, but it’s got to be more complex than that.  Oh well, yet another strange thing about this rather strange winter.

Offline Dave

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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 18:52 PM »
Hi Lucy
I am not sure how your Spanish is mine is just about good enough to understand the gist of this article from El Mundo  http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2005/492/1111273205.html, apparently the phenomenon is called El síndrome de la desabejación, the article explores some of the reasons for this serious problem which has seen the loss of 290,000,000 bees, I do not know who counted them.
Regards
Dave

Offline lucy

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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 20:14 PM »
Thanks for the link Dave, it's an interesting though worrying article.  It reminds me of what's been happening to sparrows in the UK - species we used to take for granted disappearing before our eyes and no one knows exactly why.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 21:15 PM »
Hola,

Your blue bee is most likely a carpenter bee, Xylocopa violacea. They prefer dead wood and you can encourage them onto your terrace by drilling a few holes in a post and sticking it in a pot or planter.

Clive
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Offline nick

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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 22:53 PM »
Nice photo Clive,

I cooked up a translation last year for desabejación or desabejamiento as de-beeing (and why not?)
More here  http://www.iberianature.com/material/bees_in_spain.htm
Nick
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 11:36 AM »
Gracias Clive
I think you are right, the picture was exactly what I saw, according to my it's fearsome looking appearance hides the fact that it rarely stings and is not in any way aggresive.

also thanks to Nick, as according to my Spanish wife, that is as near as you are likely to get to an accurate translation similar to desratizacion de ratting or de mousing, don't you just love Spanish
Regards
Dave

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2007, 23:16 PM »
Great photo!
The more topics I visit and postings I read on this forum, the more I learn and the gladder I am that I joined.
Many thanx to you all!
Regards,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266