Bee hunter

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The Regale lilies are always popular with honey bees as the big scented flowers produce copious nectar and pollen.  This bee wasn't being busy, and on closer inspection it was clearly dead, a dry husk of a bee.  Just visible is it's assassin, a specialist predator of pollinators, the Crab Spider, Misumena vatia. The females lurk in flower heads to catch visiting pollinators and though only pea-sized will easily tackle prey as big as a bumblebee.  Preferring white or yellow flowers, they change colour to match their chosen bloom perfectly.  They don't only wait passively for prey to arrive though but garland the flowers with web trip lines too - around the back of the flower the spider was busy doing just that.

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Pendrell Party

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Yesterday, the garden hosted the Pendrell House 20th Anniversary Party, a bunting, balloons and BBQ affair.  The youngest party-goers were entertained by Punch & Judy while thirsty elders did their best to drink 'Mark's Bar' dry.  Spicy burgers were served, followed by big chocolatey slices of celebration cake.  What fun!

 

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