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Posts Tagged ‘ladybird and insect tower’

Is it me or are there suddenly a lot of Ladybirds, when I bring in the washing I unknowingly bring in with it a couple of these delightful insects, I also found a Ladybird larvae on the washing machine, they are grey and grub like and not very pretty to look at, they don’t resemble a Ladybird and if you didn’t know what they are you might be tempted to squash them.

Ladybird Larvae

Ladybird larvae

In Britain there are 46 species of Ladybirds, 19 species are dull in appearance and do not look at all like the familiar brightly coloured spotted ones that we all love, the 17 spotted varieties have different colour variations, orange with black spots, black with orange spots, white with black spots, yellow with black spots or brown with white spots and also different numbers of spots 2, 7, 11, 14, 18, 16, 22 and 24.

So why are there suddenly a lot of ladybirds?

They are this years newly hatched Ladybirds, during August they emerge from their pupae and then feed up on lots of aphids to build up their reserves to see them through the Winter months (October-February) when they go into a dormant state. In March-April they will emerge and search for food (aphids), the male and female then mate and the female will lay up to 40 eggs during June-July these are bright yellow and can often be found on the underside of leaves, they hatch within 4-10 days and over the following 3-6 weeks the larvae feed on aphids and grow fast shedding their skin 3 or 4 times before attaching to a stem/leaf and becoming a pupae, during the next two weeks the pupae changes dramatically and emerges as a Ladybird in August.

Ladybird Pupae

Ladybird Pupae

Ladybirds are great for the garden the Seven Spot Ladybird can eat 5,000 aphids in its year-long life span so as well as being beautiful they are a true gardener’s friend and worth looking after, unfortunately some native UK Ladybirds species are in decline. During September Ladybirds are feeding up and looking for a safe, dry place to spend the winter why not put some Ladybird and Insect Towers around your garden, each one has a hollow centre filled with straw which provides insulation and drilled holes to allow the Ladybirds access to the inner chamber, place them somewhere warm and sheltered either amongst the flowers, in a wooded area or even in a planter.

Wildlife World Ladybird and Insect Tower

Ladybird and Insect Tower

The collective name for a group of Ladybirds is a ‘loveliness’, I cannot think of anything more fitting.

Love your environment

Gill

 

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National Insect Week logo
 
Next week is National Insect Week (23-29 June) it is organised by the Royal Entomological Society and encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects.
 
Did you know that there are over one million species of insects in the world these are just the ones that have been discovered and named with possibly many more new species out there just waiting to be found? In the UK alone there are more than 24,000 species, they are very varied in appearance (shape, size and colour) and live quite differently in their own habitats, many go unnoticed in our day-to-day life, why not go and explore your patch to see what is living in your school garden or your garden at home.
 
Be prepared
Hopefully the sun will be shining but you may need waterproofs, old clothes and Wellingtons.The Minibeast GuideEquipment
A Minibeast/Insect Identification Guide, Camera, Magnifying Glass, Note Pad, Pencil and a suitable container (not airtight) to study your insects (release your insects as soon as possible and return them to where they were found, please take care not to injure the insects themselves or disturb their environment).
 
Where to look
Have a look under stones/rocks/plant pots/logs and rotting wood, in compost heaps and long grass, on the underside of leaves, on flower heads, in leaf litter and near ponds (always have an adult with you).

Dragonfly

Insects to look out for
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies
  • Ladybirds
  • Grasshoppers/Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Hoverflies
  • Aphids/Greenfly
  • Moths
  • Lacewings
  • Ants
  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Earwigs
  • Flies
  • Bugs
Elephant Hawk Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth

 
Once you find your insect, make a record of what it is, draw a picture of it or take a photograph, record where you found it, what it was doing or what it was eating/feeding on and the date.
 
When you have been on your Insect Hunt why not tell us what you find or send in your drawing or photograph to enter our free Family Zone competition for a chance to win a Ladybird and Insect Tower and a Field guide to Ladybirds of the British Isles for full details click here or have a go at our Insect Quiz in the School Zone for a chance to win your school a Solar Insect Theatre and a Minibeast Identification Guide for full details click here.
 
If you want to encourage more insects to your garden why not put up some Insect Houses, they will provide a safe winter haven as well as looking attractive.
 
Wildlife World Bee & Bug Biome

Bee and Bug Biome

Solitary Bee Hive

Solitary Bee Hive

The Butterfly Biome

The Butterfly Biome

 
An Insect Hunt is a great way to get children (and adults) outdoors and interested in their environment, everyone can take part whatever their age (I love it just as much as Thomas), here are some of our findings on our Insect Hunt last weekend.
 
Common Green Grasshopper

Common Green Grasshopper

Fritillary Butterfly

Fritillary Butterfly

 
Happy hunting
 
Gill
 

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Congratulations to our March/April Competition Winners the School Zone Competition was won by Bowes Hutchinson’s C of E Primary School, Barnard Castle, County Durham and the Family Zone Competition was won by Dominic Nelson from Bishops Stortford both winners received an Essentials Propagator and a selection of seed trays, flowers pots and labels, well done to both of you, I hope that you enjoy your prizes and that you use them to grow lots of flowers, fruit and vegetables.

As the weather warms up and the days get longer you may notice a lot more insects in your garden, but how much do you really know about them and do you know their names, in the New School Zone Competition have a go at our Insect Quiz for a chance to win your School

a Solar Insect Theatre (perfect for catching and watching insects)

Solar Insect Theatre

and a Minibeast Identification Guide (to help you to identify them).

The Minibeast Guide

For full details on how to enter, your entry form and those all important Quiz Questions click here.

There are many bugs living in our gardens to enter our New Family Zone Competition why not go on a bug hunt and tell us what bugs you find or take a photograph or draw a picture of one and send it in to us and you could win

a Ladybird and Insect Tower (a perfect home for Ladybirds and Insects)

 Ladybird and Insect Tower

and a Field guide to Ladybirds of the British Isles (to help you to identify your inhabitants).

Field Guide to Ladybirds

For full details on how to enter and your entry form click here.

The closing date for both Competitions is 31st July 2014.

Good Luck

Gill

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Thank you to everyone who entered our January / February Competitions we had a brilliant response and I am delighted to be able to announce the winners.

The Family Competition was to ‘Watch the wildlife from your window and tell us what you spot’ by sending in a photograph, drawing or even a story and you could win a Ceramic Bird and Bee Nester and a Ladybird and Insect Tower.

The winning entry was from Ryan Cinato age 6 from Luton and he sent in a lovely story about what he saw one night through his bedroom window.

‘ when it gets light in the morning i wake up and look out of my window i have some trees in my garden with apples on them and sometimes they fall off so i put them in a little pile for the birds to eat but sometimes they dont eat them so i put out some of my dinner that i didnt want to see if they would eat that. i left it out there and when i was in bed at night i heard something out of my window when i looked out it looked like a big dog so i call my mum and she told me it was a fox eating my dinner i was so excited.  i now put out lots of different things to see if any other animals come in my garden my friend said he has a hedgehog come in his garden i hope one comes in mine i just need to work out what they eat.’

We loved his story about the fox eating his dinner and it also showed his enthusiasm and commitment to feeding and caring for the birds and wildlife that come to his garden.

In response to Ryans hedgehog query ‘What do hedgehogs eat?’ we have the ideal solution and our Hedgehog Food has been trialled by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, for more information take a look on our website.

Well done Ryan.

The Schools Competition was to ‘Design a Garden for Wildlife’ and you could win a Bug Board and a Hogitat Hedgehog House.

We had some lovely colourful designs and it was very hard choosing a winner but the winning school was The Greetland Academy, Halifax and the winning entry was by Molly Stevens. Molly’s design was well thought out with separate areas within the garden for Birds, Insects, Animals and Pond Life and was beautifully drawn too.

Congratulations to everyone your prizes are on their way and don’t forget to take a look at our current competitions.

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Thank you to everyone who entered our Schools Christmas Wordsearch and the Family Festive Quiz we had a brilliant response and I am delighted to be able to announce the winners.

The winner of the Schools Christmas Wordsearch was Joseph from Winterhill School, Kimberworth, Rotherham, S. Yorks and they will receive Kids Standing Raised Beds, along with 3 solid wood and stainless steel Apprentice Hand Trowels and a Kids Traditional Watering Can.

Kid's Standing Raised Beds

The winner of the Family Festive Quiz was James Jarvis from Southampton and his prize is the Kids Standing Raised Beds.

Congratulations to you both and we hope that you all enjoy using your prizes.

Don’t forget to have a go at our current competitions, in the School Zone you could win a Bug Board and a Hogitat Hedgehog House by designing a Garden for Wildlife and in our Family Competition you could win a fantastic Ceramic Bird and Bee Nester as well as a brilliantly designed Ladybird and Insect Tower by watching the wildlife from your window. With the school half term holidays fast approaching you may get some spare time then to enter. Good Luck!

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