The Birds and the Bees... in the Garden

The Birds and the Bees

This is about the birds and the bees – the real birds and bees. The actual flying and buzzing kind. And more specifically the ones in my greenhouse. I haven't opened an aviary or apiary; it’s just the permanently open door of my greenhouse is too tempting for (in order of appearance and frequency):

  • Blackbirds
  • Bees
  • And a robin

Blackbird

Blackbirds:

I reckon there is a recently fledged nest of these charming birds close to the greenhouse. Every time I walk up to the structure there is alarmed scuttling, scampering and scurrying of a whole family, freshly disturbed from rummaging around in the crispy brown holly leaves currently showering down from the so-called evergreen shrub (evergreens do lose some leaves especially in this hot weather).

On more than one occasion the young birds have flown straight into the greenhouse and shed. OK, the greenhouse: they, the birds, do bang themselves on the windows trying to get out in the exact opposite direction they flew in. There are also cacti in there - not the ideal landing pad. And, of course, my cucumbers are developing nicely.

Bumble bee at the window

Bees:

We all love bees. Fact. But surely with all the evidence pointing to their ability to track flowers, routes and journeys, all that clever honey stuff and generally working together as crack teams of highly organised workers and Monarchy is blown out of the water when a giant bumblebee bashes itself continually against the inside of the glass?

Robin on a spade

And a robin:

What a cheeky chap but I have to say he looked a little embarrassed flitting about underneath the benching when I caught him in the greenhouse. Any instinct to escape? Nope. Just jumping about.

Scarecrow head

What to do?

There are obvious solutions to the problems. I could keep the greenhouse door shut and bake everything inside (even with vents open, damping down, shade and door open the temperature reached 45C the other day!) Not an option.

I could put a beady, stringy meshy type cover over the open space to deter all kinds of wildlife getting in. A good option if somewhat a little awkward when shutting and locking up for the night. Perhaps.

However, I am preferring to perfect my bird scaring act albeit once the birds (and bees) have got into the greenhouse. At first, I went to the entrance, the only means of escape if the birds ignored the creaking vent, and said in a masterful voice, ‘Oh come on, out you come.’ Now, obviously, this has no effect as it only scared the birds even further and I was a considerable presence in the doorway.

The best way is to go to the outside of the greenhouse, the opposite end of the greenhouse and tap on the windows saying ‘come on then, off you go.’ It works, every time. I'm usually accompanied by other members of the blackbird/robin family encouraging the errant individual on. Everyone and everything happy.

Bees, however, do not respond to this treatment. They just buzz about, pollinating aubergines, having a go at the all-female flowers of cucumbers and sniffing at the cactus flowers. I let them do their stuff and then it’s out with the tea towel and resultant crazy buzzing. Once released they are happy.

And so am I. It is lovely to see wildlife in the garden - even if they need a better sat nav.

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