This afternoon, we dashed down to the allotment to measure up the pond in the community garden. The old liner has worn and there’s a leak somewhere. Despite attempting to raise the water level, it keeps dropping which confirms the need for a new liner. Andrea has recommended a Firestone liner which comes with the 25 year guarantee. In order to work out what size liner we need for the pond, we needed to measure the pond’s length, width and depth. Once we had these measurements, we added a further 50cm to allow the liner to overlap the edge of the pond. The liner at the edge will be held in ace with stones. I carefully recorded the measurements and we headed back home.
Later that evening, I had an email from Andrea saying she had seen a hornet on site. These can be lethal to honeybees with an individual hornet can kill 40 bees in one go! Added to which, there is always the worry that it could be an Asian hornet. These are an invasive species in the UK and have been decimating the honey bee population in France and other European countries since 2004. There have been 16 sightings of Asian hornets in the UK since 2016 and these sightings have been reported from across the UK. Any sightings need to be reported and the nest destroyed.
Concerned, I immediately went online to try and identify the offending insect . Fortunately, it didn’t take long to confirm it wasn’t the dreaded Asian hornet but a hornet mimic hoverfly! This insect mimics the markings of hornets to protect itself. It’s such a good camouflage, it even muddles humans!
Assuming the weather is still dry tomorrow, I will clean out the nest boxes in the big coops. I just hope we have enough bedding to do both!