Red Alert – canicule

Our department of the Charente Maritime (plus another eleven departments) have been placed on a red alert because of the predicted high temperatures – approaching 40 degrees Centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Depending on where you live this may seem extreme or not.

It feels pretty hot to me but luckily we live in an old stone house that will stay cool until this stretch of extreme weather passes. We were booked to go with friends to an evening outside meal with music at our village tomorrow but all outside entertainment has been stopped including outside markets until the weather cools.

The bees are hot and fan in front of their entrances. The trees behind them protect them from the worse of the direct sun and there is insulation under the roof.

Kourosh thought of the old type of coolers that pushed air through wet straw and has sprayed the wooden entrances to increase the efficiency of the bees fanning.

We always leave plenty of water out for the bees and they need it, especially in the heat.

There is a particular crush around this local stone which is limestone and soaks up the water well.

It is not only the bees that appreciate the water and the bath is perfect for a morning dip for the robin.

It is too hot to go walking and too hot at the beach for me. I have checked out the Magnolia tree this morning and the bees had already set upon the flowers with gusto. The flowers do not last a day once they have opened.

Macroglossum stellatarum

The hummingbird hawk moth is back in the lavender.

I find it difficult staying inside and so check out the garden for only short periods.

There are little bees nesting in tiny tunnels in the house walls. I do not know what they are so that will give me something to think about. If you have any ideas please drop me a hint.

31 thoughts on “Red Alert – canicule

  1. That is very hot! Too hot for me. Interesting about the bees. BTW the sponsored advertising on this post is quite excessive, I don’t know if you have signed up for this.

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    1. I do not see any adverts. I have a free blog and have been made aware from time to time that with the free blog – some publicity may be seen, from time to time. I had assumed this would be very minimal so thank you for making me aware of this. I have no control over it and receive no direct gain from it. What kind of advertising is BTW? Amelia

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      1. I went direct to your site to see…. I only see some ads at the very bottom, not within the body of the blog post. I turned ads on for my blog, which is annoying, but because I have a site along with it, I hope to eventually break even with the hosting cost.

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  2. 11c here at 8:00 pm. 8c last night, and not warming up in the day. Rain since February, also unheard of. Last year at this time we were at 45c for many days, unbearable heat. Outside tomatoes are still 6 inches tall, the famed Seattle slugs are doing their worst. And they are logging the land adjacent to us, noisy, and disturbing, massive trees just being snipped in seconds. walked into the forest yesterday and there were many bees working the wild geranium. Today their world has gone. 😦

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  3. janesmudgeegarden

    Phew! Very hot. We have temps like that too, although not for the last couple of years since the end of the drought and the beginning of our long La Niña. We don’t close down when it gets hot though: that’s an interesting idea.

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    1. Even in the U.K. when temperatures are very high there are always cases of people suffering from heat exhaustion. Despite more public advice I think authorities feel that they need to take more control over peoples actions. Perhaps costs are considered as people will open windows and put on fans using electricity. The hospitals can be over run as people don’t always make the reasonable choice. It has cooled down during the night so we are fine in our house by airing when it is cool and shutting up when the temperature rises. Amelia

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  4. Springer37

    Your bees are lucky near you. Love the watering zone you have set up for them.
    Hope this is the last weekend of seriously hot weather, for June at least.

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  5. Oh, that is warm. We had a three day run earlier in the week–but at least ten degrees (F) cooler than you. It’s hard on the garden, and on the bees. Our home is shaded, which protects us from the worst of it. It was always comfortable. I do worry about the more recent “heat domes” that give no relief at night. We regularly use night air to cool the house in the summers. If worse comes to worst, we can always sleep in the cool basement. Stay hydrated and cool.

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  6. 104 degrees justifies a red alert? Is it also humid? That would be horrid! We got a bit of humid weather here, which made 95 degrees seem very unpleasant! ICK! Normally, with minimal humidity, it would not be so bad.

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    1. I do not feel the humidity is high here although we are near the Atlantic. I think heat is relative. People are used to their normal temperatures and life revolves around the local climate. 25 degrees Centigrade would be considered a heatwave in Scotland and 40 degrees must be average in some parts of the world. Amelia

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      1. Yes. I actually just wrote about how the climate here is a chaparral climate, and that rain is very rare between early spring and late autumn. Since most people who live here are not from here, they think that every summer is a drought. It can not be a drought if it happens annually. It is the normal climate.

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  7. I hope the heat wasn’t as bad as forecast. They have been overreacting a bit to a few warm days here. 😉 Good to hear your house stays cool… ours does too, but in the UK the houses are just not built for keeping out the heat!

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    1. It went to over 40 degrees which is an unprecedented temperature for our experience of the garden. It did cool overnight with thunderstorms and now it is “only” 30 degrees this afternoon :). Amelia

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  8. 40 degrees seems very hot for your part of France. Glad to hear the heat has abated a bit but I suppose it may return. When will our governments realise that life has to change?
    That’s a nice picture of the hummingbird hawk moth,I haven’t seen one yet this year!

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    1. This year there are more hummingbird hawk moths than usual, perhaps the heat is good for them in some way. We are just over 30 degrees today and hoping for a thunderstorm with some rain, everywhere is so dry. On the news they say that the grain crops in France have been low yielding because of the lack of water. Farming must change, we all must change. Amelia

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        1. The mason bees that I know all have the pollen brushes on the underneath of the abdomen. A lot of other little bees live in the ground. I have Anthophora that grind holes into the limestone of the house (you can actually hear them scrapping at it) but their holes are much larger – as are they. Amelia

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    1. Once it goes over 30 it usually curtails one’s normal activities outside. The canicule is now breaking with spectacular thunderstorms and hailstones the size of tennis balls in some places. We are now set for rain for which I am very grateful. Amelia

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  9. I heard about your heatwave and am glad you have a stone house to insulate and keep the indoors cooler. What a good drinking spot you’ve provided for the bees and other creatures. I hope your hives survived the heat ok. Beautiful photo of the hummingbird hawk moth.

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    1. We have a lot more hummingbird hawk moths this year. The caterpillars are supposed to eat Gallium. It is what I call “Sticky Willie” and is a horrible weed (I think). I have plenty in the garden, so every cloud…Amelia

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