The Love Wapping Wildlife Rangers are, despite their job title, not very good at spotting wildlife and so their complete and abject failure to see a swarm of bees yesterday should come as no surprise to anyone.
Many thanks to Wapping Sourdough who spotted the bees being very busy and told our Rangers.
The swarm of bees have attached themselves to the wall just by Waitrose opposite Kennet Street. Here they are doing the whole swarming thing.
They seem quite happy on their wall so please do not disturb them.
And of course do not let your wonderful little children go near them as, although we have lots of kids, we do not have enough bees.
Apparently swarming is when a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees.
Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. In the process of swarming the original single colony reproduces to two or more colonies.
According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in the UK we have lost 97% of our flower-rich grassland since the 1930s. As bees rely entirely upon flowers for food this has led to a rapid decline in the bee population.
If bees should become extinct then we are all in severe trouble as nearly all fruit and most vegetables are insect-pollinated, overwhelmingly by bees.
And yes our Wildlife Rangers have been sent on yet another bee recognition course – but don’t expect them to improve that much.