Lewis at woodlands.co.uk tells us that, in Britain this year, bees and butterflies are doing better than expected. There’s still time to do the Big Butterfly Count one sunny day, and we’re getting plenty of sunny days!
I did the Count in my back garden, disappointed to see only two butterflies. I recorded these as small white (Pieris rapae). They didn’t stop for long enough for me to work out whether they were, in fact, large white (Pieris brassicae). Either of those species would be no surprise here, adjacent to an allotment site where those butterflies’ larval food plants (Brassicacae) are thriving.
In any case, I submitted my results to the Butterfly Count website. Data is data. When the survey results are published, I’ll let you know. I hope Lewis’ early comments turn out to be correct. Also that he’s right about the bees doing unexpectedly well.
This year the bees and other insects are still suffering the pesticides called neonics, but a two-year ban on those will come into force at the end of 2013. You can follow my ‘neonicotinoid’ tag for more about this.