16
16 JUN 2020

Our friendly pollinators

Bees, butterflies and fear is in the mind

Every person alive today is here thanks to pollinators – bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles and more. They are vital to all life on our planet but their habitats aren’t always protected. Anton investigates the pollinators found in Guernsey and the Pollinator Project – a local initiative to help protect and raise awareness of their importance. I then tell of a traumatic event that happened to me several nights ago and the effect it had on my brain and body!

Anton Investigates: Pollinators

Anton investigates the Pollinator Project an initiative created to help raise awareness of the importance of local pollinating wildlife.

Set up in 2017 by La Société Guernesiaise their aims include:

  • increase the understanding of the important role pollinators play

  • encouraging islanders to provide food and habitats for pollinators where possible, such as in gardens, allotments and window boxes

  • work with schools, businesses and community groups to establish pollinator patches throughout the Channel Islands

  • persuade large-scale land owners such as local government and utility companies to plant flowers, shrubs and trees for pollinators

  • Discourage the use of pesticides and other harmful practices

This year they offered the perfect lockdown respite - find all 19 local butterflies. With restrictions in place due to Coronavirus they sent island households a mailer that encouraged families to explore closer to home and whilst out walking.

La Garenne d’Anneville Nature Reserve

We took up this challenge and visited several of Guernsey’s more wild spots including La Garenne d'Anneville. The nature reserve still contains traces of a mid-13th century moat from when it was used to house rabbits for culinary uses! During the episode we record live as we hunt butterflies such as the Gatekeeper and Green-viened White.

Bees, wasps and more

After our expedition Anton speaks about the various different pollinators to be found. These include various bees from solitary species to the more familiar honey and bumblebees. He highlights how wasps shouldn’t be feared and are actually a very important part of the ecosystem - you’ll be amazed how many crop-damaging insects they consume each year! He finishes by look at other, sometimes forgotten insects that still play in important role.

We look forward to welcoming some of our new friends to the bug hotels recently installed in out garden!

Something hiding in my bed

Fear is all in the mind

A couple of days ago as I was getting ready for bed I passed Anton’s bedroom door I whispered a little good night to him as I always do. I then walked into my bedroom and my heart jumped out of my chest as something was hidden under my bed covers…

This got me thinking, what is fear? How does it work? What actually happened in my chest? And more to the point, what was in my bed?

The feeling only lasted a fleeting moment, an involuntary response coming from deep within my brain. An ancient part of my being stemming from a time when were more lizard than human. I take Anton through the startle reflex - how our amygdala modulates and directs the signals in our brain, the role glutamate plays in a taking it deeper into more base reactions, the increase in adrenaline and the heart pumping harder ready for fight or flight.

If I put you in a situation where you feel unpleasant, anxious or nervous, you might have a heightened startle reflex. Whereas if I put you in a state where you are feeling pleasant and I am showing you materials you like and find pleasant, the startle reflex is usually reduced.

Professor Ottmar Lipp, Curtin University

Further reading

Transcript

This transcript is automatically generated so may contain errors.

Welcome to the curiosity of a child.

We are back after a long sigh, mummy.

Yeah, we've been.

Very busy doing lots and lots of different things.

Well, I've been Messi working.

I've been making lots of things in Minecraft and playing with friends.

You back to school then aren't.

You yeah back to school.

Last Monday, yeah, these were quite fortunate here on the island based were able to cut herself off from the outside world.

Anne and.

Not had any cases for 50 days now. I think it's fantastic.

Yeah, almost very good and we've only had 252 cases.

At whole, wasn't ready now.

This have you been keeping up to date?

Yeah.

First, OK, so you've also been out and about a little special trip the other day, didn't.

You ohh yeah it was.

Curious Mummy's birthday and I went on a boat trip. We were worried that we wouldn't see anything and we would get excited about seeing some puffin's.

Then we saw some Dolphins playing around with us and swimming under the boat. Some of them even did some jumps amazing and then we saw some seals after that. But it was funny when we were feeding the Dolphins.

The Seagulls or goals started swooping down and snatching the food off them.

Yeah, son deals as pretty sure.

There's no such thing as an A goal of ego or a seagull.

Is it going to say what are puffin's?

A little bit like Penguins in a way, but they have the same. They're just a bit smaller and a bit flatter, but you've got quite a colourful beak, kind of spending between.

Orange and yellow.

And second rainbow before.

Missing it, almost like.

It's slightly to Cody, but kind of a bit blood and Sir.

I'm not so long and they're very quick as well. They are surprisingly quick for how small and chubby layout.

They don't really fly. They do this for makes their life to start at.

CF bobbing on the water.

Yeah, and I underneath and yeah, hunting for little fish and things.

Yeah it was.

Fun, I like that.

That's brilliant.

And then I've given a little bit back to the podcast community by writing a few reviews on Pub Chaser. So if I'm able to do that, then maybe you are able to review us.

You read every single one out to me once having breakfast.

So yeah, well actually found a few mistakes, so correct. It's always proofread your work.

Yeah.

So if you listen to us then please feel free to give back to us through the form of a review or a song or a song review.

Basically what he's trying to say is please review us.

Yes please punch ASA or Apple iTunes.

Best place and you can also follow us on Twitter at Curie Child pods. How's it spelt?

Curie, as in CURI child. I think now spell child and then pods to the beginning of podcast POD. Yep, like peas in a pod.

Yes, just like we have peas in the bed at the moment, I don't pay my bed, please okay.

Shall we get on with this right?

Yeah, I'm with the show.

Anton investigates.

Pollinators.

The Pollinator Project is a mission started by lost something.

By Leicestershire tegernsee

Yes, just a shade and she is just that a gun. Za sausages, Kenzie, there's so.

Much they do.

Their group of people who help around the island was studying the history, Natural History, geography and geology of Guernsey and May did this all the way back from 1882.

Not quite Sir Isaac Brock time.

Many soldiers funny though.

Yeah, curious granny. Anyway, the Pollinator project was launched at the Nature Festival hosted at Loco Toes on October 17th, 2017.

Their goal is to get the local community supporting them and helping the pollinators survive by giving them knew food and habitat. And if you're wondering what pollinates the planet here is, a list of some of them. Almost all bees, pollen Wasps, ants, flies, mosquitoes, hoverflies.

Moths and butterflies, so they are lepidopterans.

Which are an order of insects with about 180,000 different species.

Beatles many monkeys. Lemus, possums and rodents and even some lizards pollinate specific plants and there are a great number of pollinating birds too.

Yes, as a different creatures then you see don't necessarily think about those. Do you know?

Pollinating insects need help more and more farmland is being snatched away from bees. Climate change doesn't help either. Rural land is hastily urbanising and pesticides are being over used are crushing the pollinators. How would you feel if people took everything away from you every single day?

I did happy, very happy. I'm not just that but poisoning me as well with pesticides and things, yeah.

So I've got a few pictures for you. Can you explain to the listeners what they're?

Off, okay, well these are of what most people think of when you say pollinator, so this looks like some honey bees here over there kind of latticework of the hexagon's where they lay.

There, yeah, it's actually really amazing how they make that cause all perfectly in line and.

Or the same size?

Beautiful structure, they make their very efficient use of space.

And is also here a picture of a bumble bee. Says many people whose favourite pollination, I think yeah.

Say last year they were promoting be 20, but this year they have been looking at.

Butterflies, right? I mean, 19 different butterflies and guns.

In The Cave in 19.

Yeah, Sojourn looked down the pollinator project encouraged Islanders and their children to find the 19 local species of butterfly they sent all the families on the island a leaflet through the post with pictures of all the butterflies to be found.

So we went hunting for them, didn't we?

Let's go live to yourself in the past.

Yeah, over to you me.

We're recording live from the Koran Nature Reserve here, doing the Pollinator project butterfly hunt.

Yes, so we have just found a very brightly coloured speckled wood, literally a minute into our walk.

Yeah, that's not a problem Eater. Interworks beautiful, isn't it?

So we're going to keep on hunting hares. Laser Bird Song is this gorgeous and buzzy bee used to.

I'm gonna try spot Peacock is there quite rare and they are known to be found here.

Okay, let's get hunting Sammy.

Yep.

Probably here with the birdsong as walking down a path between the ferns and times just raced up ahead of Mia little bit in his quest for more butterflies.

You see, honey?

We have just spotted a green veined white.

Looks like it's holding wings correctly.

Well, you can notice the green things.

Spot.

So you just see what looks like maybe a Holly blue or prostrate commonly.

I think it's a holy blue, but we've wonderfully sharp coz it's pretty high up.

Yes, heading up towards a nice Oak tree, so hopefully our land somewhere. The green veined white is still here with us, isn't it? Yeah, so let's keep on walking carefully and see what we can find.

Another quite small as well that some of them can be humongous.

Lots of Kikuyu spit here.

Just been chasing a butterfly trying to identify it, but now you're not sure.

You no, I don't think it is actually completely different. Wings had completely different wing layout looks.

****** brownie corruption.

Like any of these.

Ones and this type of moth, but we've managed to just about snap a photo. So yeah, maybe we can identify it.

Yeah, we've also found a fairy door, yes.

I've seen I'm not sure if you sent any pictures.

Yeah, on Twitter I've got some. Yeah, I'll try getting close up of this now, yeah?

The butterflies we found our effective pollinators because when they feed on the nectar of Flowers they use their very long tongues to reach where other insects can't.

Yeah, and it's pretty some species of flower, quite dependent on them, yeah?

Moths most people think of moths as just pattern. This butterflies, but they are very important too.

As most of them fly at night, they are the pollen eaten night shift, visiting Flowers that don't shut their delicate Peterlee doors at night.

I found it odd how looks people. I love butterflies they see at the moth and they don't like it. I love maths, I'm used to get some really big ones in the hedge. The Hawk matter there.

I know the Hummingbird Hawk moths. We saw one of those. Yeah, that's amazing. Wasn't it there? Really cool.

Yeah, this was a couple of years ago.

You don't get them often in the UK, it looks so much like a Hummingbird when it's.

At the flower.

Head samazing it's big as well as yeah, I'm really nice.

Bees.

In Guernsey we have 117 different types of bees.

That's amazing how many there? I wouldn't think that.

Error fields and more common tight solitary bees. They get their name because they live alone.

Each type makes their home in different places where they often dig deep holes where they lay their eggs. Their bees will collect pollen and nectar, which they will leave in the nest for their young to feed on. So when they hatch.

They are not aggressive and rarely stink.

We have a couple of bee hotels in the garden and one of them is actually designed for solitary bees. It's like a flat, so I found that quite funny. I know that they live on their own, but they're enough.

He has got lots of holes for them. We've got some by the car as well.

The drainage house.

Ohh, I'm overseeing the massive spider, the wasp that.

Is the biggest spider I've ever seen.

And it was quite funny. It's like a wasp funny spider. But then I've got a week later we found was lying there. Dead felt. Sorry for that was.

Bumble bees yeah yeah.

They are big and hairy, but not as monstrous as they seem.

They are social beasts, which means they live in colonies with one Queen bee who lazily X and many other worker bees. They kind of access guards and look after the young, but also collected the food.

Yeah they got pollinating.

So they work.

Yeah.

Because they are hairy. Lots of pollen sticks to them when they are visiting Flowers.

Yeah, they will actually make their nests in sometimes. Not all rabbit holes, some kind of gaps and trees, but you might get their nests sometimes, like chimneys or home, but again, they're not particularly aggressive be, so they're not going out and stinky, so as long as you're careful will around them, you'll be absolutely fine. Don't disturb them. And then at the end of the summer or in the autumn time, the work is actually.

All day, yeah, the Queen Bee who just stays there hibernating.

Yes, you go somewhere else. Find a safe place to hibernate and then come spring or summer. Something she's going to start laying with his legs again, yeah.

Honey bees, these are another type of social bee that has been domesticated by people and is where your honey comes from, hence the name.

They are not actually native to Europe and originate in Asia.

Most are very important for pollination. We have to be careful we placed their hives to make sure that they don't outcompete the native bees.

So I'm amazed actually that they are not native. Yeah amazing. They've been brought in here, so this definitely Storey yeah they got other problems. Why haven't they?

In recent years, many nests have been dying due to the spread of diseases. Maybe they need to isolate too.

Some other insects now. Okay, lots of other insects pollinate too, but maybe don't get the credit they deserve, particularly Wasps.

Wasps are also pollinators, but more importantly they help manage pests and other insects that eat crops and they also seem to earn.

Cause of a problem to people as well cause I remember a time at school people running across the playground runaway from this wasp or might even even been abandoned like it's just a wasp. Also gonna do.

Yeah, who would get really scared of them? Yeah, but there's so many types of Wasps is thoughtful, kind of every type of insect. There's another type of washing that's going to run it.

And a lot of them are parasitic, so they will get off and capture different insects and even.

Drake's inside I see why people scared now.

It is estimated that in the UK, social Wasps consume about 14 million kilogrammes of crop damaging insects each tear.

Is a few other insects as well, I think. Can't bear that help with pollination.

Yep, hoverflies.

All the best Flyers for pollination. Lots of them look like Wasps, bees or Hornets so often get confused for them. So it was quite good camouflage as well. Yeah, just like camouflage by being more visible.

Poison dart frogs or something. It's kind of. Don't come near me or eat me. I'm going to poison you to death.

Last night again.

Recent research has shown that hoverflies might be nearly as important as bees, so I guess they pollinate very well as well.

Yeah, they're not as hairy, so they can't take as much from flower to flower. But then there yeah, they're very busy there, busy bees pollinating.

Yeah helpful hoverflies yes.

Even some beetles and occasionally ants hope the pollinator forces as they March over the Flowers.

Yeah so.

Lots of different creatures are involved without they, but yeah, it's important that we keep a good habitat for that's what the Pollinator project tries to do. By educating and encouraging people to maybe leave partner, Garden, little bit wild. Yeah, so it's like the Nomo may even make your lawn Flowers to come out.

And yeah, just little patches where the insects can find a bit of habitat there and help help them survive really.

Yeah.

So politics important. Yeah yeah Wasps yeah good. Yeah he's good. Yeah butterflies, moths, beetles yeah yeah yeah. What would happen if we didn't have them? Yeah.

But no.

Now we are going ahead from insects that some people find a little bit scary to something I found terrifying.

Couple of days ago, but now it's getting ready for bed. I passed your room and I just whispered through the doorway. Little goodnight to you as I always do. Then I walked into my bedroom and my heart jumped out of my chest.

Hidden under my covers, there's something in my bed.

It was you.

And had fallen asleep there, but my word, my heart it jump so much.

Kind of North and easier now. I suspect this might be a little bit because other kind of.

By saying goodnight, she had already primed myself back here in your room.

Asleep and so kind of got me thinking, kind of.

Well, actually makes that feeling kind of what was going on. Like when you feel that jump in your chest. I mean, what do you think is happening there?

Your heart screaming to sleep.

Well, obviously it's got something to do with your brain because most things do. And I saw your picture.

And I'm not really sure.

Yes, we find out then. Yep okay.

So fear needs something come to start it off, so it's often kind of unexpected events such as you.

Hidden in my bed that triggers their response that you have, so this might be something that you see or something like you here and then that travels to part of your brain called the amygdala. One in the left hand side of your brain and one in the right hand side of your brain. Then they are down near the bottom.

I'm still playing here, so just move your brain stem an actually come from the Greek word for almond based. Got a similar shape that long.

Like hands

now the role of the amygdala is to help modulate and control our reactions. Then it's essential in helping us feel certain emotions and also seeing them in other people.

So in people whose Magda lives are damaged, it said that they might be unable to recognise fear in other people's faces, so that's kind of important for us to have, isn't it? Yeah, being able to read somebody's face.

Does that mean, um, someone there to recognise a person?

As well as a just like.

That would be a different part of the brain that's damage there, but you do. You get people can't recognise faces.

So it's hard to think that these two small parts are brain are active when we're scared, but we don't kind of feel the fear there. You kind of feel it everywhere else in our body and ***. Kind of self presence.

Like actually feel tingling or something in those bits of your brain, yeah.

So after Amygdala has had a good look at what's going on?

It sends a signal using a neural transmitter killed glutamate, and then that takes it even further and deeper down into ancient brain. So it's often referred to as the reptilian brain.

And now this controls a lot of our basic functions of our body like breathing and our hearts. So it's like really important low level stuff that's going on there.

Yeah, show you some baby stuff I guess.

Even more basic than that, but it shows how primal Fear is. That goes right deep down into the original kind of brain.

Yeah, that's so. That proves that being scared can save your life.

Yeah, exactly. So we need jump or freeze when scared.

Part of your brain called the pair could doctor Grey is acting on that and it's such a primordial response that there's very little that we can actually do to control it. Ourselves is our body is taking over and we don't have conscious control of it, so that's why people jump and was so fun to make them jump. Now you've been asking for a couple of days. What it is that you've ruined.

And you've ruined that. I can't make you jump.

Ohh so I've been trying to make you jump to get a good sound clip for this and everything I do fails.

Oh yeah, like like your scary zombie in the dark and I remember you doing having a den and you look like a weird game. Then you went off to put your weird hat and it's like a nice weird hat and I couldn't see your face properly. Did you put a sock in your face?

Anime.

Your amygdala is also linked to other parts of your brain, such as your hip Ethel amass, an that's responsible for love, your bodies, other functions regarding fear, so increasing your heart rate, your blood pressure going up, and also helps to start the release of adrenaline and your fight or flight response. So do you know what your photo flight responses?

Hit or run, so fleeing or.

Attacking, yeah, so it's kind of when there's a threat or something yet it's how quickly you kind of size up your chances of either winning the fight or having to run. Yeah, exactly.

Like if there if you just realised it's a mouse, you would probably fight. If it's a giant bear, I think you would flee.

Yeah, be careful flying bees that now I've got a diagram of the glands in your body and I want you to find the adrenal glands.

Anne, just tell me where they basically are now. I've got a feeling you're going to laugh when you see this picture.

By laughing.

Right, can you find the adrenal glands?

It's not whether ***** ***** are.

Mate.

It's not where was close to the pancreas.

Pancreas, have you found them?

Yeah, it's kind of.

His fish height.

You've been up for Mercer's near the middle of your body, isn't it? Yeah, now I don't know if they're there just so they can help. Kind of get adrenaline all Ranger system quickly because it's kind of centralised.

Right, yeah?

As easy to you, make children laugh so won't save files at your amygdala. It's kind of like a little commander sending lots of orders and signals different parts of your brain and preparing them kind of for attack or to runaway, isn't it? Yeah, and all this happens pretty much instantly.

Like advance or retreat.

Yeah, and you're not really conscious of having done any of that. I used it just happened.

Your body is primed and ready for action, isn't it?

Muscles they might be feeling a bit shaky and weak. Now we have you ever had that with your legs? Feel a bit weak?

Jelly legs, yeah.

Exactly, yeah, Jelly legs. Now this might actually because more blood being pumped into them.

So it's like pushing it, there's more weight.

Loss, not exactly.

You're getting ready for kind of an explosive movement, yeah, so can you get pins and needles? That sensation is actually the blood returning to your numb.

Limb or something okay.

So I think it's probably similar shaky legs, a little bit adrenaline and everything for your body, but you're getting more blood massively stronger, not weaker.

What happens next?

Um the explosive Sprint.

Well in my case I noticed that was just you asleep in my bed.

That's lucky.

So my conscious brain it now caught up with my unconscious and started to be rational.

Do you think it seems like a bit of a waste of effort that my body went through all these different actions because you're lying in my bed.

Well, you didn't know that though.

So I guess not.

Exactly, so this kind of automatic response is really important, so imagine that happens to you.

As a Hunter and again through the jungle and 99 out of 100 times, it's just a bird or a monkey or something up in a tree or what happens at one time and it's a Tiger.

You need to be ready, don't, yeah, so that's why we have this really strong what's called startle reflex, because when there's danger there we need to be ready, says beneficial to us to waste a little bit of energy. All those other times to ensure survival. The one time it's dangerous.

I've got a quote here from a professor Otmar Lip of Curtin University and he has this December starter Reflex.

So you're saying a suspense thriller? Think psycho over like you're watching the person standing there under the shower and the killer comes in with a knife. Then someone slammed the door.

Now when someone stands or what do you do?

You jump out your skin.

Where abouts if you're watching a comedy and there's hilarity all over the place. People, laughing, pies, flying and then someone slams the door. Your chance of being really startled is reduced. So even though the physical stimulus was the same, reaction was different mate. Fix the roof, fixed the reflex it dependant on their mission. Will stay at your end.

Like I said before, I was quite calm, but I've primed my brain that you weren't in my bedroom, you're asleep in your bed. So then when I came into my room and saw that mass, that heap that strange shape lying there. Maybe that's why I had such a strong start. A reflex, yeah?

Well, as we said, the most occasions the startle reflex was to situation that wasn't actually that dangerous as our body has developed a way to just as quickly kind of stop yesterday, exactly to shut it down. So it starts to regulate your heart. It flushes the adrenaline from your system, and having passed the games you get a hit of dopamine. And this is another hormone and it's kind of your reward for main, and it makes you feel good. You reward yourself.

Surviving this way like.

You would have. You probably would have felt very.

After that he would be like a few, yeah.

And then some people actually scare really easily. So watch this video is this chaps have a very sensitive startle reflex?

And I guess his he's very very very very very old ancestors. Had lots of animals near their cave.

Maybe they did see me. They live somewhere really dangerous.

So explain what's happening.

Sorry we missed easy scared guy in the water. Just walked in to get some boxes.

On our heads in the boxes are now he's just running away, terrified.

He's pulled over, yeah, yeah.

I know he's lovely.

It's awful.

Okay, so this is a.

Champs around the world, which I can't remember now. And yeah, he's schedule easy. Doesn't mean yeah, but it's very well natured about it. He seems to actually love that people scare him.

Yeah, he likes the pranks.

Can you use?

Fear to your advantage, do you think?

Yeah.

But how many days with the girls yet no mate? Okay, so you might think that taking a girl or boy to watch romantic film is the perfect date, but it seems that might not be true. He says actually, lots of evidence to show that watching something a little scarier together might have a better effect. So saying that maybe the your date will actually their racing heart and they're scared to being with you. They think their hearts aflutter.

Then they might also be seeking support and protection for me, and it's kind of a shared experience. Also, an opportunity for you to show kindness towards him because you've gone through, but we're seeing a really kind of primordial kind of.

Reaction and emotion together having him so you share that together.

Together

together, together so actually being in this stressful but actually safe situation can help you form lots of good kind of bonds and memories.

But be careful please. It's also possible to scare someone to death, and that Anton is what you put my body through when you fell asleep in my bed.

Okay.

Thanks a lot.

I think that's a wrap.

That's what I was going to say, rewind.

So still reminding myself, okay?

I'm pretty bummed yet.

That's a wrap.

Thank you for reviewing us please. I'm sure you will.

Yeah.

Yeah, so thanks very much and hopefully we will be back soon. I want to look at maybe not for next episode, but sometime how bees were brought from Asia to Europe. That was often a fascinating.

And I want to go pee pee now.

You wanna keep it? Okay so goodbye.

Boo.