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Great Dixter & Galley Hill News

On Wednesday carried out a crash course on the biodiversity of Great Dixter for symposium attendees (most of whom were from USA) and the gardening staff. The focus was mainly on the diverse pollinator community present within the Great Dixter Estate and the wealth of pollinator nesting and breeding resources nurtured within the gardens.

In the photo above we were looking at this amazing piece of thatched roof, and adjacent log pile, which provides nesting space for hundreds of stem nesting solitary bees and wasps. The gardens, meadows and woodland around Great Dixter provide an abundance of nesting and pollen & nectar resources. Unfortunately it was a bit too cloudy and cool to see many insects on the wing although we did see quite a few hairy-footed flower bees (Anthophora plumipes) many of which were foraging from Osmanthus delavayi, a spring flowering shrub native to China. Also seen was a dotted bee-fly (Bombylius discolor), a first for Great Dixter.

On Sunday 24th at Galley Hill recorded 18 species of bee on the wing including 200+ spring plasterer bee (Colletes cunicularius), a male grey-backed mining bee (Andrena vaga) on Alexanders and a female Trimmer's mining bee (Andrena trimmerana) on the undercliff.

Andy Phillips

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