No honeybees in my garden

terry94705(SF Bay)May 11, 2007

For the last three years I've been watching the bees in my tiny bee-friendly back garden. It's always very busy, I usually have tons of bees. Many, many native varieties, but still, about half my bee visitors were honeybees.

But I swear I haven't seen more than a dozen honeybees since the hot spell in late winter. If this is "colony collapse" it is pretty severe in the eastern part of the SF bay.


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Bee keepers are losing bees and nobody knows why. Some are saying it is due to the cell phone are interfering with the bee path and cannot find their way home and die. I live out in the boom docks and have no trouble. I did last year my queens would get lost and I had to buy queens from Frances. But no problem this year. Right now they claim the bee numbers has drop over 70%.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 6:46PM
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Are you seeing normal levels of native bees? I've seen only a couple of honeybees, but what worries me more is the low level of native bee activity. I've seen only about 25% of the normal levels. We had a warm period followed by a deep freeze, so perhaps that explains the lack here (?).


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:20PM
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I'm on the other side of the country and have noticed a lot fewer honeybees as well. We have lots of clover in our yard, and there used to be tons of bees visiting it every summer. Not sure what it will be like this year though. Usually a good gauge is the apple blossoms in the spring, but we've had such weird weather and a late frost that the apple blossoms mostly died as well. I haven't seen many bees either this year, and we are in the country too.

I think it's got to do with some almost invisible fungus, they claim it may be present in the honey. There is a fungus that is also killing off a lot of frogs in the world too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Same goes for NC. We actually had a ton of honeybees as well as natives prior to Easter. We had a severe cold snap over Easter weekend and both have diminished markedly. I plant a lot of things just for the bees, yet yesterday I counted only one little ground bee out and about. I've seen a few carpenter bee females but I haven't seen their drones standing guard as in the past.

Very sad but at least my blueberries got pollinated before the cold.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:01PM
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I'm in North Rialto and I haven't seen a single bee this season. I have a big blackberry bush that is normally full of bees and I haven't seen a single bee. I'm thinking about getting into bee keeping just to get bees.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:33PM
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You and I experienced the same freeze during Easter weekend; I'm in Northwest Georgia. I have a hedge of holly bushes in front of my porch and before the freeze, I had tons of bees flying around. After, there are none.

You mentioned that you usually plant things for the honeybees. What, exactly, do you plant?


    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:50AM
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I live in the North of England UK and My garden is usually full of bees at this time of year. In fact one particular blossoming shrub near my pond attracts them by the hundreds. Thus far I have not seen ONE honey bee. I get plenty of our native 'Bumble Bees' - but nothing else. This is worrying me !!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 6:24AM
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The lack of bees that people are noticing is all the more reason for more people to start a hive in the backyard. I started with 2 hives a few years ago. I have 5 here now plus five more in other locations, and there are another 8 or so just down the street from me. I live less than 1/2 mile from main street in our "city" of about 14,000, so you don't have to be in the boonies to keep bees. It's not too hard to set up and keep one or 2 beehives and the rewards are great. You're helping pollination and you get honey (we got 400 lbs last year) The hives are fascinating to watch and you learn a lot.Having bees actually makes you appreciate them more and in understanding them you lose your fear. We need more small scale and local beekeepers, just like we need small scale local farms. Last week I gave an afternoon of presentations on beekeeping to a charter school in a nearby town and got a follow up call saying that a few of the students are interested in joining our club and possible setting up a hive at the school.I would encourage you all to visit the local library and take out and read one book on beekeeping. At the very least you will learn a lot about bees and who knows, you might be like me and get hooked. Gotta run. Theres a spoonful of fresh sweet honey calling.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:32AM
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To add to previous post, besides my thousands of honey bees, there are also plenty of bumble bees and other pollinators in this area. I'm not sure why, but I'm glad.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Tony and others.

Know of any good web sites that would be helpful in building, managing a hive. I know this one has some good info and I will do some checking here.

I have a beeless garden this year. and am in the inner city but have an area of the back yard that could be used for a hive.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:51AM
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bandit_tx(z7-8 TX)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:11AM
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I've had bees in the garden, on the purple coneflower, they were really working it over. So. CA

I was glad to see them. I've noticed a couple lizards in my yard too. I like seeing the "wildlife" because it makes me think there is a healthy ecosystem in my yard. Of course we have our usual nighttime collection of raccoons, skunks and 'possums.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:46PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Nor in mine ...I live in San Antonio, Texas and saw one or two honey bees in the Spring, but during the last two weeks I was in the yard a lot, which has a lot of plants the bees love, but saw not a single honey bee! Nor a bumble bee. I have seen a few of the tiny native bees.

I live in the city, but there are woods near by due to a large boy scout camp covering many acres, a dry creek bed (except when it rains a lot) and rail road track easement so I thought perhaps the bees I am accustomed to seeing might be wild Africans with tree hives in the woods, but now nothing.

I surmised the bees might be busy on the wild flowers of which there was an abundance this year due to ample rain, but they are about over and still no bees.

How far do bees fly to forage?

Good suggestion about getting a hive or two. I used to have two hives years ago and it was a lot of fun. Some knowledge, plus initial expense, is of course required and the on-going advice of an experienced bee keeper, which I had, doesn't hurt either.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 2:48PM
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A bee will fly around 2 miles to forage depending on the source and what's closer by.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 12:29AM
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niptrixbop(z5 OH)

Someone mentioned to me that honeybees have been disappearing, so I have been paying more attention to notice if this was true. So far, I have not seen any honeybees in my garden.

I grow roses and many other flowers. I only spray insecticides on the roses, and I make sure to deadhead all the roses once they show the pistils and stamens before spraying in order to protect the honeybees--long ago I used to keep a few beehives.

This year, except for the missing honeybees, I have seen more hummingbirds, and butterflies than usual. Is it just me? Or are the honeybees really missing?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:25PM
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I have noticed a decline in bees over the last three years. Three years ago I lived in a rural area where everyone had acreage. I had plenty of bees. Last year we lived in a rental house, also rural but closer to city and all though I had bees there was not the usual morning swarm of them and it seemed to take longer to get any pollinated plants and subsequently fruit to bear. This year I had the crazy weather some of you mentioned, I live in Villa Rica GA which is west and about 24 miles from Alabama. We had winter, spring, summer, winter, summer winter! Most of my plants are confused. There were more bees earlier in the first two warm spells but it seems I have maybe one or two bees killing themselves in my tomato garden but not making it anywhere else. The melons flower and vine some more with no fruit, same for the squash and zuchinni.

I have noticed that in the past the bees were usually out early in the morning when it was cool or late in the evening, but the temps here have been mid to high fifties overnight with 90 plus degree highs in the day and the bees are out later in the heat. Of course my tomatoes are in a crowded raised bed leaning on each other mostly so it is nice and cool inside there.

I always plant a hummingbird and butterfly garden which is also attractive to bees. Any plants that are for butterfly and hummingbird garden the bees will love too. Some of my plants are Angels trumpets, bee balm, canna lily, balloon flowers,aromatic sages, especially pineapple sage, Tithonia(sp) Mexican Sunflower, Nicotiana, Purple coneflower, anything aromatic and sweet smelling and anything with bright flowers especially tubular shaped ones, and red, lots of red!

This year though with drought even these are not doing well. I have seen butterflies but not daily. Seems we get a bunch one day then none for weeks. I have seen hummingbirds flitting around through the yard but they do not stay long because my flowers are not in bloom yet.

I wonder if the weather is the cause, the drought, or if it really is cell phone towers! I came to this forum looking for hive info but am almost afraid that if I started a hive I might be dooming honeybees to death as close as I live to Atlanta and cell towers!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 7:31AM
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niptrixbop(z5 OH)

I finally saw a honeybee in my garden, today. I had posted on 6/16 that I had not seen any honeybees as of then. Well, I hope I see more of them come around, and that it was I who did not see them.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:29PM
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We planted 2 watermelon plants in the backyard and they've taken over the entire bed, looped up over the shrubbery and up the crepe myrtle tree but I've not seen any bees-just wasps. Lots of yellow flowers on the watermelons but after six weeks no fruit. Only reallly successful plants? Jalapeños. Seems like those will bare fruit no matter what happens. Blame MONSANTO with their Roundup weed killer. It's killing our bees and thus our food source! It'll only get worse. Our Administration is doing everything it can to keep Monsanto happy!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:11PM
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I too have not seen any bees in my garden. I have all kind of blooming veggies in my garden and have seen one bumble bee now and then. I am in N. Ga. I started keeping bees today. I am a little surprised to be reading that I am not the only one without bees. I have had this garden for 18 years and this is a first for me.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Last year I saw 2 honeybees and decided to get a colony of Italian honeybees. I am glad that I did .So far the crops that need pollinators are doing about 35% better than last year. I have a better feeling knowing that I have honeybee on my property. The colony is doing well there numbers have grown and I don't expect any honey to harvest this year , but that find . I need the income from my heirloom crops more.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:26PM
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Last year in my greenhouse I had literally thousands of bees on my cucumbers and cantaloupe. I would stand in there and just listen to the music of them doing their work This year no honey bees no Mason bees no bumblebees all of my yard is totally silent. There are plenty of flowers in bloom all around my house. I live in agricultural area and can often smell sprays in the air. I garden organically but have no control over what others are doing. I contacted a friend that lives about 5 miles from me who raises bees. He said all of his died. I am saddened and dismayed. I don't know if getting my own hives would be a good idea with all the sprays being used in this valley. I have been hand pollinating the cucumbers and melons in the greenhouse and guess I'll have to do same for the pumpkins and squash in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:19AM
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