Sunday, 18 July 2010

the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees...

Over the weekend life out on the windowsill has been positively buzzing. Yesterday one of our tomato plants was visited by a green stink bug. A little bit of Googling enlightened me to the very interesting story of Nezara viridula, which is an invasive species that was found in the UK for the first time six years ago and apparently now has a well established population in London. The bug is an African native but arrived over here as a stowaway in shipments of fruit and veg and has now been able to establish itself as a full-time UK resident due to the warmer weather we are receiving as a result of climate change.

Meanwhile over on the chilli plants we noticed a little cluster of orange eggs on the underside of one of the leaves. Turns out that these are ladybird eggs and a little later in the day there was a ladybird wandering across the plant. I wonder if it had come back to watch over it's brood...

And last but not least earlier on today I glimpsed some pollination in action with a bumblebee visitor to our tomato plant visiting each of the yellow flowers one by one. I've been trying to identify him using the ID guides on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website but am finding it rather tricky. If anyone can help me out with the identification that would be great. All in all though I'm very encouraged that even the small number of plants on our three tiny windowsills are doing their bit to help in the fight to save our bees and that the great pest-munching ladybirds are loving our windowsill garden as well.


  1. Congrats on the ladybird eggs. I hope you're prepared for some vicious looking crawlies coming out of them.
    I was delighted when I started seeing ladybird eggs down on the plot. Somehow it felt like some sort of approval that the things I grew were good enough for her to lay on.

    Of course I don't think they could really care less as long as there's plenty of aphids there (and that's probably a given when not spraying everything with poison) but still... it made me smile.

    Nice photo of the bee. If only the countryside had as the same sort of abundance of different flowers to keep the bees in better health out there. It seems really odd that they do better in towns than out in the sticks. It's thanks to window sills like yours that they have food in towns. Thanks! :D

  2. Yes, I saw what the crazy juvenile ladybirds looked like when I was trying to work out what the eggs were. Never knew how different baby ladybirds looked to adult ones before! The eggs have gone now but didn't spot any mini beasties crawling around so guess they all escaped while I was out at work...


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