Had a swarm of bees arrive this week up around the Eastern gateway building and then eventually settling in a cherry tree over a St. John’s.After spending the night there all together,they waited until our bee keeper arrived and was just putting on his beekeeper suit then there decided to move on .It was good to see them even if it was a short visit.
Plant of the Month
Here is an interesting plant that always catches the eye in winter with the yellow catkins in flower but did you know that the Hazel is monecious, that is to say that has both male and females flowers on the same plant but does need to be pollenated from a different hazel plant.The yellow male catkins are easily seen often in February while the female flowers are much harder to see.Check them out next time when you are out for a walk.
Its that time of year again to revisit some of the routine pruning of our willows around campus .Here the white willow on Bishops Green is being reduced again to keep it under control as per our tree maintenance plan by our Arboricultural contractors.
As the weather starts to turn colder and wetter thought it would be time to pay a visit to one of our badger clans to see how they are getting on. judging by some of the footage take they seem pretty active, clearing old bedding and replacing with new also starting to put on their winter coat ready for the cold months ahead.
This week is bat week so here a few batty bits of information for you;
There are 18 species of bats that can be seen in the Uk but only 17 species breed here.
Most British bats are small with wingspans shorter than a sparrow but our largest bat the Noctule can have a wingspan of up to around 450mm.
Bats are the only mammals that can fly.
All British bats eat insects including beetles,midges, flies and moths so they are great to have around.
Bats use echolocation to hunt and catch their prey.
Bats are very important for our environment, so it is essential we protect them and the habitats that they live feed and breed.
Bats don’t hibernate as such but during the colder months they go into a state of torpor where they can slow down their heart rate and adjust body temperature to the surroundings until it warms up.
Well, the Brunel bees have been busy this year make use of the very warm weather we were experiencing collecting pollen from around the local area including our various wildflower plantings that we have. Even managed to share some of their lovely honey which the produce.
Butterflies and Moths of Brunel
WIth the weather being so warm and dry keep an eye for the Jersey tiger moth .This unusual moth is becoming a more frequent visitor to site and has been seem during the day in a number of locations across campus including Site 1 meadows and up at the Eastern Gateway.When in flight its colourful underwings can be seen either bright orange or yellow with dark spots .
Green Flag Award
Well despite the aftermath of lockdown and the the erratic weather including high temperatures and drought the Grounds Department have managed to retain the Green flag award, this is a great achievement by the Team.This is a rare photo where all the Team are together in one place up at the sports park just prior to the preparation of numerous pitches in readiness for the London Cup.
Well done Team.
Wildflower and species rich grasslands play an important part in our ecosystem and biodiversity. They support a huge range of wildlife including bees, flies, spiders, butterflies, moths, reptiles, small mammals, bats, dragonflies, damselflies and birds to name a few.
Species rich grasslands also provide environmental benefits including carbon storage, water retention which helps to prevent flooding and a great habitat for crop pollinators.
Last week one of our badger cubs was found sleeping close to one of our fences but out in the open and vulnerable.She was carefully moved then briefly checked over.She was clearly dehydrated so given some water which she lapped up,however we were very concerned for her so she was taken to Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue where their expert staff could assess her more thoroughly. Hopefully more information will become available when she has had a thorough examination.