Southerly by David Haywood

Read Post

Southerly: Still a Scientist at Heart

73 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    We'd drenched the bulls - a key component of Nilverm is also a key ingredient in one of the recently-banned party drugs ...

    Let me guess: the cows danced madly for two hours, then had headaches for the next two days?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I wish I had bees - I've let my lawns grow, on the hypothesis that more flowers everywhere will draw more bees, which will mean more bees on my fruit trees,

    Blue flowers are best, so they say, like borage, catnip, lavender & the like.

    Considering getting a hive at some stage, or maybe letting a local beekeeper keep one in the orchard, if they do that sort of thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    You're lucky to have 'em at all. You should have constructed an entirely different set of hypotheses about the presence of veroa mite and kep MAF appraised of your findings.

    Of course, you may have endured crippling injuries as a result, but that shouldn't slow down your productivity.

    Who knows, if the bees survived the lawnmower, maybe the mites weren't so lucky.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    To Bee or not to Bee? Aye there is the question. Whether tis nobler to let thy neighbouring bees be, or mow the little buggers down that is a dilemma. I trust that Sir David sought council from his Lady Wife before rash action was taken. After all two bees alive in the grass, is better than one on a thumb.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    @Ben: we have a couple of shrubs which draw swarms of bees. I don't know what they're called - I've named them the Eddie Izzards - but they've got thin green leaves and purple/blue flowers.

    Bees do seem to like blue. I've noticed this, while tramping in bee-ridden areas near Nelson. If you've got blue gear on, you're more likely to be swatting the buggers away.

    Mind you, maybe people with blue just smell more.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • sallyr,

    I keep two hives and one of the interesting things about the bees is the way they get used to you as part of their environment – the kids can stand in the flight path and the bees bounce right off them. It’s only visitors who are stung.

    Lawnmowers clearly a step too far. Hadn't occurred to me to try, but noted with thanks.

    Since Jun 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Bees do seem to like blue. I've noticed this, while tramping in bee-ridden areas near Nelson. If you've got blue gear on, you're more likely to be swatting the buggers away.

    Must suck to be a smurf.

    Generally, I quite like bees. They are only aggressive if you actually stand on them, or attack their hive, otherwise they just go about their wonderful and important buzz-ness. Wasps are another matter, but I've also noticed - more bees=less wasps.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Quo Vadis,

    agree agree, wasps are only fun if solo and there is a good solid magazine nearby waiting to be rolled up (o bother, I just found something else these trendy new e-book reader thingys will be crap at!).
    I leave bees be, and we do plant to attract them simply because I feel sorry for the little furry buggers after all this varroa stuff...but wasps are a different story, they make a very satisfying whack sound when I hit them with a magazine, and then a supporting thump when they hit the next available hard surface. Lovely.
    As you may have guessed, I couldn't be a Buddhist!

    nobby auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    Maybe if you'd rolled in mud, suspended yourself from a balloon and sung a song then the bees might have thought you were little a cloud and not bothered you. I'm sure Bob the baby would have told you this if you'd asked him nicely.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    BTW: try filling a pump-up weedsprayer with kerosene, apply lighter & take 'em on like a man.

    That's not very manly. Naked with a fly-swotter, as god intended!

    Blues apparently like blue more because they can see ultra violet, which some colours show more of than others - blue makes uv purple. Bees can't see red at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6201 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    @ Roger

    Ha! But then guns start to appear.

    "Ouch!"
    "Sorry. Did I miss?"
    "Not quite."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Clearly there was a missing element in the experiment... you should've considered the effect of music on the bees under such excitation.

    Something soothing or ambient but contemporary.

    Moby?

    (think about it...)

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Davidson,

    I had a surprisingly similar story as a kid, which involved an additional piece of related equipment, being the petrol can used to fuel the mower. Guess which was applied to the beehive. I think I had more than 10% of the bees duly aggitated at me - and no house to run in to.

    Sydney • Since Mar 2007 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Surely, The Hives.

    @Kyle:

    Bees can't see red at all.

    But what about those pesky bulls?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    But what about those pesky bulls?

    I think Mythbusters squashed that fairly effectively (and hilariously).

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Clearly there was a missing element in the experiment... you should've considered the effect of music on the bees under such excitation.

    Unfortunately, David's household only listens to country and western music. And bees hate that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The Marsden Panel has carefully considered your preliminary observations and experiments. The panel were very impressed by the quality of the research and could clearly see the impact of further studies into your revolutionary hypotheses. We were convinced that further research by you and your team would lead to significant publications in leading journals. The panel also commented favourably on your detailed plans for the development of the young scientist (Bob). An excellent publication record by the lead researcher also suggests a strong probability of excellent outcomes for future research.

    Unfortunately the excessive overheads in your grant proposal (we were unsure as the exact role "Jen" would play in future research) combined with recent funding cuts meant that the panel were only able to fund one research project this year - so we gave the money to Sir Peter's cousin*.




    *Please note I don't seriously mean to suggest that the Marsden panel are anything other than incredibly dedicated and honest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Stuff n Things,

    My memory is far from infallible, but I seem to remember that bees' vision goes into the ultra-violet spectrum and birds' into the infra-red spectrum. As a result, you can tell whether a plant is bee or bird pollinated based on whether it has blue to red flowers.

    Plausable?

    Oh, and aren't bulls colour-blind? It's the movement of the cape/picnic blanket that they charge at, not the colour...

    Wellywood • Since Apr 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I keep two hives and one of the interesting things about the bees is the way they get used to you as part of their environment – the kids can stand in the flight path and the bees bounce right off them. It’s only visitors who are stung.

    Having recently acquired a beehive its very interesting to watch. Once they get used to you they simply fly around you as they Zzzzzip! into and out of the hive - and boy do they ever zzzzzzip! Astonishing.

    The other day I was sunbathing and two scout bees came and checked me out, each at separate times, buzzing all around me before flying off. Didn't feel scared cause I knew they were scout bees so they weren't going to land on me.

    Very interesting keeping bees - there's something, oh, elemental about it all...

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Is this the right thread to share this charming little gem with everyone?

    Taster from Chapter 2 which explains how not to get stung:

    I shall, in this chapter, anticipate some principles in the natural history of the bee, to convince my readers that any one favorably situated may enjoy the pleasure and profit of a pursuit which has been appropriately styled, "the poetry of rural economy," without being made too familiar with a sharp little weapon which can speedily convert all the poetry into very sorry prose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Is this the right thread to share this charming little gem with everyone?

    That is awesome. The luxury hive on page 12 reminds me of the multi storey, modular guinea pig hutches I used to construct out of, oh, anything laying around the property (when I was a boy).

    Except admittedly, it looks like the hive person knew what they were doing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Despite my advanced years, I am still faster than 90 per cent of bees.

    I think this may be the best sentence on the Internet as of right now.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I've named them the Eddie Izzards - but they've got thin green leaves and purple/blue flowers.

    Could be Hebes, then again could be many species but as soon as you said Eddie Izzard my brain automatically went here

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6261 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    The luxury hive on page 12

    And now I think of it, I'm amazed you took on such an edifice with a lawnmower.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Bloody Catholics!

    Those prodies hurt more. I can vouch that when you take the weed eater to the tall grass and hit the white anglo saxon protestants - the effects are essentially the same - lots of swearing and stirred up religious fanatics!

    But having suffered both, I would take the catholics on if I had to have a choice. Waspies are truly nasty bastards.

    BEEn there, done that. You wax lyrical David. Maybe you should have put a hex on them. .... combed the area beforehand. ....mounted a sting operation.? ...Or hived them off to an orchardist. ......

    PA posters do drone on .....royally. Time to larvae it alone. Up the workers!

    ..oh dear...

    What did you (politely) say to Jen when they hit: "Hey Honey" ?

    Ummmm......were you wearing a bonnet?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.