Saturday 27 February 2016

Clean for The Queen - 4th-6th March 2016

Clean for The Queen is a national campaign to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday, which will be officially celebrated in June 2016. The first "big push" for this is set for 4th, 5th and 6th March 2016.

Best place to get a cheap-but-quality litter-picking stick locally is Abelworld, near Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent. You'll also need big bin-bags that are a bit thicker than the usual gossamer-thin ones that will tear.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Charles Darwin on Staffordshire bumblebees

Charles Darwin, on the bumblebees of North Staffordshire...

"I have said that country humble-bees appear to be less cunning than London ones, yet I confess I saw this June, in Staffordshire, some in the act of cutting holes at the base of the corolla of the Rhododendron azaleoides; the greater number entered the mouth of the corollas, as indeed was evident from the quantity of pollen on the stigma, brought by the bees from neighbouring azaleas - this hybrid not having a single grain of pollen of its own. One bee was seen which entered the mouth of some of the flowers and cut holes in others; this shows that the orifices are made simply to save trouble, and not because the bee cannot extract the nectar from the long tube." — The Gardeners' Chronicle, 21st August 1841.