For Bee Lovers

blancawingFebruary 4, 2014

Dear all,

Although we share a dread of Narcissus Bulb Flies, I think that we also share a love and respect for bees and the essential work they do as pollinators of our fruit, vegetables, and (of course) flowers. Indeed, many of us love to "play bee" ourselves. As such, I highly recommend the film 'More Than Honey' (Des abeilles et des hommes/Un mondo in pericolo) directed by Markus Imhoof. It was Switzerland's official selection for the 2013 Best Foreign Film Academy Award. The film is in German, but the DVD has easy to read English subtitles.

Aside from its spectacular photography and painstaking documentation of the phenomenon "colony collapse disorder," I think that this film has much to offer us in the form of insights and information, which relate to the husbandry of our beloved bulbs. For example, it includes large-scale pollen collection, comparing pollination by bees to hand pollination by humans, and battling devastating mite infestation. Beyond that, the film examines the commodification of bees in the global economy that may ultimately lead their extinction.

Cheers,

Blanca

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dondeldux

I totally agree that we must be sure of the differences between bees or hornets (more easily recognizable) and the Narcissus Bulb Fly so I will post this last picture again on this thread which if I do say so my self, is pretty darn good! You might all take this picture off this thread and save it in your files for comparison this season when you think you might see a NBF. When you take it off and save it you will be able to enlarge it even further so see every hair!

Donna

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:22AM
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salpal(4)

Thanks much for that Blanca! I am a bee lover and am concerned about our wild bees too. Thanks for the info on the film. Thanks too Donna for the excellant pic.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:59AM
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blancawing

Thank you very much for adding your excellent ID photo, Donna.

Sal, you are most welcome. I hope that you watch the film, and tell others who might be interested about it.

Best,

Blanca

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:46PM
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macroclemys

Excellent photo, Donna!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:52PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Doing the "Bee happy dance" this morning! We'll have peaches this year!
K

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:13AM
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dondeldux

"Spring has sprung the grass has riz we don't have to wonder where the flowers is" in Texas anyway....

Nice to see a nice looking bee for a change!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:54AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I was just out back working to cut some wood into smaller pieces, and while I was trimming a crepe myrtle (not attempting crepe murder) I was buzzed by many bees. Turns out they had discovered the hummingbird feeder!! Well, whatever makes them happy! As long as the don't give up on the fruit trees!!
K

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 5:15PM
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blancawing

Wonderful! Keep doing the Happy Bee Dance!

And I love Donna's ditty too!

-B

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:56PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Saw this at the garden center on Sunday.
K

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:48AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

There WILL be peaches!
K

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:29AM
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webuser_17497

Last year i participated in a study on bees. They wanted to know how many there were and where they are and they could use some more help if you're so inclined here's the link. we had to plant sunflowers and count how many bees we saw it coming to it in a 5 to 10 minute time frame. spring is coming and they're wanting to start again and looking for more people to help.

Here is a link that might be useful: the great sunflower

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:16PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Thank you bees!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:45PM
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dondeldux

Yum!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:56PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I just finished eating the 7th and last peach; they were freestone (!) white peaches that were amazingly sweet. This was the little tree's first year. If it hadn't been for the late ice storm, there would have been dozens of peaches,. Oh well, next year....

The bees are currently enjoying late Meyer lemon blooms.
K

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 7:40AM
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jodik_gw

I so wish we had an orchard in which more tropical types of fruit trees could survive along with apples and pawpaws and other goodies... like crunching several gardening zones together... ah, well.

Peaches sound good... especially peaches grown at home... do you grow yours organically?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:04AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I don't use any chemicals in the backyard, due to the dogs, so yes.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 5:44PM
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jodik_gw

Awesome, Kristi! That's the best way to go, in my opinion!

I don't use anything but natural, composted animal fertilizer on the apple and pawpaw trees... and they seem to love organic care. They produce very well!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:12AM
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dondeldux

This is for all you bee lovers!!

This poor bird house has been entirely taken over by these bees. They've even decided to shingle it to suit their taste!

Luckily, this hangs quite high so there isn't any chance that someone would bang their head and I guess this fall what ever honey might be inside will remain all theirs! Hope some hapless raccoon doesn't small the honey and decide to see what's inside!!

Donnaâºâº

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:52AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Donna, those are yellow jackets!! They can be very agressive and the sting is horribly painful!!
K

Here is a link that might be useful: Yellow Jackets

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:49AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Donna....I know you don't like to kill anything, but I can't get this image out of my head. I got stung by a yellow jacket once and it hurt for days, like a red-hot poker!!

I went on line, and it looks like these predators attack and kill honey bees...

"Yellow Jackets are one of the most common pests, they feed on bees, larva, brood, honey bee bread and pretty much anything they can take advantage of in the hive."

I have to be careful that they don't set up housekeeping in my compost bin....but they aren't welcome anywhere in my yard!!

I found a kind of humorous, yet serious blog about the battle between bee keepers and yellow jackets! Here's the description of each:
Bees are softly furred, industrious, communal workers who look after one another and build colonies that last years upon years. Bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers and store it away to eat and to feed to their young during the long winter months. Bees will sting in self-defense, but, because they leave their stinger behind, they die when they sting and are thus careful about their use of their terrible weapon.
Yellowjackets are nasty, mean-spirited wasps who build their nests from wood-pulp, not wax. Each colony starts the year anew from a single queen, with no sense of contact or history of their previous generations. They eat bugs and other meat that they can lay their greedy little mandibles on, hovering around garbage cans and other foul refuse. They can sting again and again, and do so with malice and relish.

The site is different from the link. The blog is: http://www.hive-mind.com/2005/09/yellowjacket-vs-bee-super-smackdown.html

K

Here is a link that might be useful: Bee informed

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:07PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Someone was asking me what those fat fuzzy black furry bees are that hover around the gardens and flowers. I didn't really know, but it turns out they're bumblebees. The attached link has a good profile of these bees. There's a second kind of fat black bee that looks like a bumblebee, but it's called a carpenter bee (one has a furry abdomen, the other has a shiny abdomen; I don't think I'll get that close to look!).

It's been fun, learning so much on this thread... Thanks to Blanca for starting it!
K

Here is a link that might be useful: Bumble bee info!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:26PM
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jodik_gw

Fist bump of respect! To the bees, that is! :-)

They're our pollinators... among other insects... and they make delicious, and often healing, honey... not to mention beeswax!

To lose our population of bees would be devastating to our planet, indeed...

I think I would probably rid my yard of yellow jackets, and other types of bee killing hornets... especially if I were beekeeping, and most especially if I or someone in my family were allergic to them... although, hornets also have their place within the ecosystem.

Most stings occur by pure accident... but it's never a good idea to invade the territory of hornets, thereby appearing a threat to them, because they will sting... and not on accident!

If that beautifully "shingled" birdhouse were quite a distance from my own living quarters, and not near enough that people would bother them, I might leave it alone... otherwise, I'd want to remove it for safety's sake.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:46AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Apparently I was invading the YJ's territory by walking around a lake at work. Darn thing stung me 3x between 2 fingers....shaking it off didn't work it just stung over and over!

I am allergic to bees, but invite them into the yard.
K

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:44PM
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jodik_gw

Do you carry an epi-pen, Kristi? I only ask out of curiosity... I've known a couple of people that were incredibly allergic... to the point a hospital visit would be necessary if they were stung. One of those people carried an epi-pen everywhere he went.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:27AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I don't anaphylax....just incredible pain and swelling, more so than normal.
K

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:07AM
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jodik_gw

Ah, ok... that's good, then. Well, not good... but better than it might be! You know what I mean! :-)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:00AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Just noticed that my peach tree already has tight little buds. Argh... Too early! I want more peaches, but last year's ice storm in a March took me by surprise. Winter just started last week...these buds are too early! Guess I'll need to prepare another freeze kit for the peach tree.
K

    Bookmark   December 26, 2014 at 9:52PM
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