Spring in the British Countryside

Dennis Furnell - The Nature Man

The mere mention of the word spring conjures up visions of strengthening sunlight reflecting a multitude of shades of green; woods and hedgerows loud with birdsong and wild flowers in abundance and, everywhere you look, new life.

A queen bumblebee, an aerodynamic anomaly, wings seemingly too small to support the bulk of her furry body, trundles about seeking a safe place beneath a shed, or pile of logs, or disused wood mouse burrow to begin the process of founding a new female-dominated dynasty of worker bee pollinators – to the benefit of a host of food crops. Not so welcome, but of equal worth to gardeners and farmers, is the queen wasp. She too is searching out a site to establish her caterpillar and aphid-consuming colony. This year has the makings of a really good year for aphid species, so all those gardeners who kill wasps on sight might want…

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