The Noak Bridge
Nature Reserve Society
From the ChairmanHello. The evening of July 23rd saw our Annual General Meeting at the Village Hall in Coppice Lane. Sadly only fifteen people turned up to support us and two of them were non-members, but they joined by the end of the evening.
It was an enjoyable evening and included my report on recent events of the last twelve months and our Ranger's report for the year to come. We have lost our work party support that used to join us from Wat Tyler Park, which means a little more work for our volunteers, tho the Parks Department will be calling in from time to time to cut our larger areas of grass, which will be a help.
A lot has been achieved over the last two to three years thanks to the grants we have been fortunate to receive, and of course the work that our Committee and volunteers put always put in. It is so good to see the end results of their labours.
Do you have a couple of hours to spare now and again on a Tuesday? Our Work Parties run every third Tuesday of each month, except in December. They run for just two hours from 1pm to 3pm. Tools are provided. Just wear some old clothes. We meet at the main gates at 12.55pm. You are all welcome.
Work Parties - July and August 2015The grass and wild plants in the East Meadow had grown prolifically thanks to the very high rainfall and spells of spring sunshine since being cut short last year by the tractor and cleared away to promote growth of more appropriate vegetation in the wet meadow. It was above the level of the newly installed boardwalk, so the brushcutter was used to cut back the growth alongside and it was raked away. This was to keep it clear to enhance use of the boardwalk and make it easier to enjoy the general view across the meadow, especially now that the bench seat has been installed.
There has been much trimming with secateurs and loppers of branches of various sizes around the reserve and litter has been picked up from all around the site. Tony Garner.
Whether it's in the garden or in the Nature Reserve you will invariably see the Honey Bee working away from plant to plant, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the life of the Honey Bee!
Here are ten facts about the Honey Bee
2. Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types:
Queen: One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive's next generation of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees.
Workers: These are all female and their roles are to forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive.
Drones: These are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen. Several hundred live in each hive during the spring and summer. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!
3. What are these buzzing insects most famous for? Delicious honey! But did you know they produce honey as food stores for the hive during winter? Luckily for us, these efficient little workers produce 2-3 times more honey than they need, so we get to enjoy the tasty treat, too!
4. If the queen bee dies, workers will create a new queen by selecting a young larva (the newly hatched baby insects) and feeding it a special food called 'royal jelly'. This enables the larva to develop into a fertile queen.
5. Honey bees are fab flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!
6. Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell! They use this to communicate within the hive and to recognise different types of flowers when looking for food.
7. The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she'll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
8. The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day!
9. Honey bees are also brilliant boogiers! To share information about the best food sources, they perform their ‘waggle dance'. When the worker returns to the hive, it moves in a figure-of-eight and waggles its body to indicate the direction of the food source. Cool, huh?
10. Sadly, over the past 15 years colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. Referred to as 'colony collapse disorder', billions of honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return.