Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Old Farmer's Almanac - The Big Bug Hunt 2017: Create a Buzz!

The Big Bug Hunt
Welcome to the Big Bug Hunt 2017 international research project newsletter!
You can never tire of watching bees go about their buzz-ness! Full of character, always hard working, and with a soothing buzz that’s the epitome of summer, bees bring untold joy to our world.

Yet sadly there’s been a dramatic decline in bees, and in particular bumblebees, over the last few decades as the way we farm the land has changed. We rely on bees to pollinate our crops. Alarmingly some of the 275 species of bumblebee found worldwide have now vanished from areas where they once thrived.

Gardeners can do a lot to help them. Avoid pesticides and plant lots of pollen- and nectar-rich flowers to help feed bees from early spring to fall. We’re also doing our bit at The Big Bug Hunt by tracking reports of bees so we can contribute to the ongoing research aimed at understanding the complex reasons behind their decline.

To report a sighting of a bee – or any other bug – please head to The Big Bug Hunt website. It takes moments to leave a report and you’ll be joining thousands of others helping to make our gardens naturally happier and healthier.
Report any bugs you've seen here..>

Bumblebee

Quash the Squash Bugs!

Squash bugs getting you down? Take back control with this comprehensive guide to their identification, prevention and control.

Quash the Squash Bugs!


Dan Dore

30 Seconds with Dan Dore
The Big Bug Hunt’s Website Coordinator

There have been more bug reports made so far this year than last. You must be pleased! We knew from our survey that pests were the number one problem affecting gardeners, so it’s great to see new people getting involved with The Big Bug Hunt to regularly report their sightings of bugs. 

Have their been any surprises? While the types of bugs reported have been consistent in the US and Canada, over in Europe this year’s most-reported bugs have changed significantly from last year.

Based on initial results, which bugs do you think will be the first to have a pest prediction service? It’s still difficult to tell at this stage because the research is ongoing, but initial results suggest it could be Japanese beetles and, internationally, aphids.

What is the most unusual pest that’s been reported? We had one report of a ‘husband’! Other than that we’ve received a report of a hummingbird hawk-moth in Washington State, which is unusual because it’s very rarely seen in the US. It is a remarkable insect and bears a strong resemblance to a bird. Hummingbird hawk-moths are seen as a lucky omen too – a swarm of them was seen flying across the English Channel on D-Day, the day of the Normandy landings in the Second World War.

How can Big Bug Hunters continue to help? By continuing to report any bugs you find in your garden, whether pests or beneficial insects. Please encourage your gardening friends to get involved too – the more reports we get the better.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth
Hunt for bugs

Ones to Watch

Seek out these nigglesome nuisances. Let us know if you find them – or any other bugs!
Cabbage Aphid

Cabbage Aphid

Seen on: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, rutabaga, turnip
Find out more...
Whitefly

Whitefly

Seen on: Most vegetables and flowers
Find out more...
Onion Root Maggot

Onion Root Maggot

Seen on: Onions, garlic
Find out more...
Leaf Miner

Leaf Miner

Seen on: Peas
Find out more...
Learn more about these and other pests, plus beneficial bugs here.
Report any bugs you've seen here..>
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