Beetles, flowers and green woodpecker

Ladybird, 10 July 2015

This is a photo of a ladybug on milk parsley flowers which are finished. I think this is an eleven-spot ladybird. It is from 10 July 2015, when we were in the Heempark again.

Near the entrance, a chiffchaff singing.

A brown-banded carder bee on a thistle flower.

A group of long-tailed tits on a leafless tree, with a great tit not far away.

A lesser black-backed gull flies overhead.

Two muscovy ducks walking and grazing.

Sounds of a blackbird, a chaffinch, a jay and an edible frog.

Wild strawberries.

A blackcap sings.

A buff-tailed bumblebee.

Meadow brown butterflies.

Many of the flowers of two weeks ago here (orchids, bladder campion, greater yellow rattle) are gone now.

A green woodpecker calls, and flies from tree to tree.

Scarlet lily beetles, 10 June 2015

Orange-ish beetles mating on flowers. I would say: scarlet lily beetles.

Purple flowers, 10 June 2015

Finally, purple flowers.

Young white storks, great crested grebes and dragonfly

This is a video from the Czech republic, about white storks with (still very young) chicks.

On 12 July 2015, to Warmond.

In the meadow, five white storks: the two parents and their three recently fledged youngsters. Later, they would fly back to the nest.

More to the north west, a white wagtail on a fence.

In the small pond in the nature reserve, a female black-tailed skimmer dragonfly, sitting on a reed stem. A blue-tailed damselfly flies past.

Many barn swallows flying over the meadow behind the woodland.

A great crested grebe on a nest in the pond behind the castle. Its partner swims not far away.

A buzzard flying over the treetops.

Rhinoceros beetle in the Netherlands

This video is called Rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes nasicornis.

Dutch conservationists Natuurmonumenten report today that a male European rhinoceros beetle has been found in Buurserzand nature reserve in Overijssel province.

This is one of the biggest European beetle species. It is rare in the Netherlands.

Honeybees killed, even by ‘relatively safe’ neonicotinoids

This video is called How Neonicotinoids Kill Bees.

From PLOS One:

An Observational Study of Honey Bee Colony Winter Losses and Their Association with Varroa destructor, Neonicotinoids and Other Risk Factors

Romée van der Zee, Alison Gray, Lennard Pisa, Theo de Rijk

July 8, 2015


This article presents results of an analysis of honey bee losses over the winter of 2011-2012 in the Netherlands, from a sample of 86 colonies, located at 43 apiaries. The apiaries were selected using spatially stratified random sampling. Colony winter loss data were collected and related to various measures of colony strength recorded in summer, as well as data from laboratory analysis of sample material taken from two selected colonies in each of the 43 apiaries. The logistic regression model which best explained the risk of winter loss included, in order of statistical importance, the variables:

(1) Varroa destructor mite infestation rate in October 2011, (2) presence of the cyano-substituted neonicotinoids acetamiprid or thiacloprid in the first 2 weeks of August 2011 in at least one of the honey bee matrices honey, bees or bee bread (pollen), (3) presence of Brassica napus (oilseed rape) or Sinapis arvensis (wild mustard) pollen in bee bread in early August 2011, and (4) a measure of the unexplained winter losses for the postal code area where the colonies were located, obtained from a different dataset.

We consider in the discussion that reduced opportunities for foraging in July and August because of bad weather may have added substantially to the adverse effects of acetamiprid and thiacloprid. A novel feature of this work is its use of postal code random effects from two other independent datasets collected in the annual national monitoring by questionnaires of winter losses of honey bees in the Netherlands. These were used to plan the sample selection and also in the model fitting of the data in this study. It should however be noted that the results of the present pilot study are based on limited data, which may consequently reveal strong factors but fail to demonstrate possible interaction effects.

As one of the authors of this explained this morning on Dutch radio, acetamiprid and thiacloprid are considered to be ‘harmless’ compared to other neonicotinoids. However, even they …

Neonicotinoid insecticide travels through a soil food chain, disrupting biological control of non-target pests and decreasing soya bean yield: here.

Beewolf wasp digs tunnel, video

This video shows an European beewolf wasp, digging a tunnel in Balgoy village in Gelderland province in the Netherlands.

Werner Peters made the video.

Rare moth seen in the Netherlands

Passenger moth

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

A day after the report about the plum lappet there was the next spectacular moth observation. On Goeree-Overflakkee island a passenger moth was seen on July 4. This is only the third time ever that this moth has been seen in the Netherlands.

The message came via Twitter from Gerda van Rijn and the attached picture left no doubt: passenger moth.

Rare moth, discovery in the Netherlands

This is a plum lappet video.

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of the Vlinderstichting:

Very rare moth discovered in Baarn

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Last weekend there was a dramatic message via Twitter. It was a beautiful, large and very striking moth, a plum lappet. This species had only been seen a few times in the Netherlands and had been absent during the last 15 years altogether.