Last time I was in France, back in April I posted a blog about bees and creating little homes for them. I did two things, one was to tie up a bundle of hollow sticks and push them under the pantiles on an outbuilding and the other was to drill lots of holes of varying diameters into an old log which I use as a bird table. To see the blog click ……Bee Hotel
Well on our return yesterday, apart from finding the lawn had turned into a meadow, as was to be expected, I also found bee orchids growing in what had been my lawn, honey bees have set up home under the roof and the bundle of hollow sticks has three ends blocked up.
As for the bee orchids, where did they come from? There are about 6 of them and they are growing close to where we park the car. For the last twenty years this area has always been mowed regularly either by me or our next door neighbours. Sadly Monsieur from next door has passed on and Madame has moved so now their house is empty and being renovated by their granddaughter and so mowing of this area is now only carried out by myself. One wonders therefore whether these orchids have been there for twenty years getting their tops removed regularly and never being able to flower.
Anyway, I have now started to strim and mow the wild meadow back to a lawn but have left two areas where the orchids are located so that they can complete flowering and produce seed.
As for the honey bees, they are under the roof, presumably between the plastic sheeting and the wooden battens. They are above the bathroom, although I cannot hear them from inside the house. I just wish they were not there. They do not seem terribly aggressive but with grandchildren coming out soon and a wife who is quite allergic to bee stings, I am afraid their days are numbered.
Finally we have the solitary bees or wasps. They have made use of three of the hollow sticks and the grubs are presumably inside as I write this because the ends are sealed over with what looks like clay.
As for the holes in the old oak log, none of these are sealed over but several have a sawdust like material coming out from them. I think the log contains Goat moth caterpillars so these could be responsible for that.