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Friday, May 09, 2008

Nature Notes

May I point you to two stories around.

The Great Tits at Wytham Wood near Oxford have been studied for the past 47 years. Recent research shows that over the past 30 years the Great Tits there have moved forward their egg laying by two weeks to coincide with earleir caterpillar and make use of the earlier emergence of insects. You can read more here but other species don't seem to be coping so well.

Or a much less optimistic note the UK Honeybee population seems to be having problems. The Guardian
is reporting that with 10% of colonies inspected so far this year, losses are running at over 21%. This figure is getting close to the colony collapses found in the US and in parts of Europe last year.

We have always had winter and spring losses but these numbers are beginning to look worryingly high. The rate of loss is important. If it climbs to 25% -30% then we are in serious trouble. If it were to go up to 60% then we will be out of beekeeping in just a few years

Tim Lovett, chair of the British Beekeepers Association

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