Thursday, 9 October 2014

Beetles, bees and bites.

Whilst clearing an old woodpile on Sunday I disturbed two Lesser Stag Beetles (Dorcus parallelipipedus) that were buried in the soft rotting wood. I carried them in my hand to the shed to find a jar and actually got bitten by one of them. Its rare to be bitten, as opposed to stung, by a British insect and it demonstrated it's remarkable strength as its jaws slowly clamped onto my palm. Having got them safely into a jar I sat at my desk watching them in the evening and did some drawings, beautifully compact and symmetrical beetles, as they deliberately bulldozed bits of bark out of the way.

I had sketched the dead drone honey bees on the bottom of the page earlier in the week, having fished them out of the queen excluder in one of the hives whilst I retrieved varroa strips. The drones, larger and heavier headed than the workers, sometimes get stuck in the grid between the brood chamber and supers up top. The bees in one of the hives didn't take well to our intrusion and as we tried to secure travelling straps they rather set upon me. Safe within my suit I pressed on with the task in hand and was rather surprised to get stung several times on the wrists by a number of the bees that worked their way into the folds. I don't know why but they seem drawn to wrists. So it's 2:0 to the insects this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment