Morning walk

23/7/16 As I walked down Wheel Lane towards Sprays Bridge a Grass Snake slithered across the road & disappeared into the leaf litter at my feet. I got a clear view of its yellow neck collar.
The photo shows a Broad-leaved Helleborine in flower in the woodland beyond the pond on the 1066 Path towards Brede.

Swarm of bees in Churchfields

During the Spring months honeybees begin replacing their old or failing queens they start this process by forming special cells which contain the new queens, as these cells are sealed the old queen leaves taking a large percentage of the colonies bees with her, this is called a “ prime” swarm and contains many thousands of bees.  The swarm will often hang about on a wall or tree until they move onto their final destination, this will be their new home and the start of a fresh colony.
Later, during the Summer months, further swarms of bees or “casts” can continue to emit from the colony, these casts are usually smaller than the prime swarms often containing only a couple of thousand bees down to a small handful and contain new virgin queens.
The swarm that descended on the road in Churchfields was small in comparison to a prime swarm and was probably one of those casts.
By the time I attended, the bees were lying in the road and were in a sorry state, having already been run over by passing traffic; however a few minutes searching through the remainder revealed that the queen had survived and I was able to transfer her along with a few handfuls of bees into the skep. With the help of a little smoke the remainder on the road soon joined them.
Later  in the evening I returned to collect the skep containing the bees and relocated them back to our apiary in Pett.
It was encouraging to see the interest and enthusiasm from the local residents in helping the bees and the efforts that had been made to try and save them.
Bob Bond
Here is Lin Booth’s account –
One minute my teenage sons were in the garden next they came running indoors telling me to look out the front.
We saw a swarm of what I thought at the time were wasps but later realised they were bees flying in and around my front garden. I closed the door and we all observed them through the window.
After buzzing around for about 15 mins they all settled on a high branch on a tree that grows between A28 and Churchfield, hanging in a cone shape. I contacted Rother council who said they would contact environmental health and get someone out to look. I was concerned for the safety of people in the area.
Next morning the bees had left the tree and were mostly on the road at Churchfield. Seeing them and people now at even more danger I contacted Rother again and was given contacts to local beekeepers who may be able to help.
Thankfully after ringing several numbers a keeper from Pett came to the rescue and lured them into their temporary home. They will be collected and taken to the Beekeepers hive.

Here is an old saying – A swarm in May is worth a bail of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, a swarm in July is worth a fly.

Photos by Lin Booth11709989_10153530977689124_8783680720537875925_o – click on once or twice to enlarge.

Bees in the road

Bees in the road

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Common Spotted Orchid

Over the last few years Autumn Ladies’ Tresses orchids have grown on this grass verge at the junction of Church Lane / Moor Lane. At this time of year Common Spotted Orchids are flowering, how nice was it to see a single spike growing in the same grass verge.

For anyone who might be interested in Orchids have a look at this from The Wildlife Trusts –






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