No Bees

sharona1949(8)June 1, 2009

I live in NW Florida near St. Andrews Bay. For the past 2 to 3 years there has been very little honey bee activity in my area. Last year I didn't see a single honey bee in my garden and so far this year I've only seen a few. I don't know what the problem is but the bees have just about disappeared from this area.

I've been considering putting a beehive in my garden area, not for the honey but just to have the bees around to pollinate my garden. Or is there anything I can do to entice bees to move into the area? Does it make any sense to add a hive or am I just spinning my wheels for no reason?

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mrtulin

I installed a hive for exactly that reason: to have a more beautiful flower garden. I think it is a great reason to start beekeeping. There are many other, probably better, reasons, but as a serious gardener, I say go for it!

I love it as a hobby. It is interesting, challenging, and helpful to the environment.

Marie

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Sometimes I find it's disappointing that no more honey bees are working my flower garden or native trees.
Right now there a tons of things flowering, choke cherries, pin cherries, black currant, goose berries, but hardly ever see honey bees working them. Have 5 hives about 30 yards away.
I have several plum trees in flower but no honey bees, I find mostly these individual plants, trees, get visited by bumble bees.
Honey bees go for the BIG ticket item, right now it's Dandelion, after that it's clover.
Apple is just starting now, have over a hundred trees, some bees are on it but not to my satisfaction, have one pink flowering
crab apple tree from one of my seedlings, this is a bee magnet!
You really have to plant flowers that attracts them, Poppy, Sunflower and Borage is what I grow, it's also good for native bees.

Konrad

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:39AM
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sharona1949(8)

My yard now has a lot of indian hawthorne bushes, citrus, crepe myrtles and ligustrium trees - also a few flower beds with a variety if flowering plants. My neighborhood also has a lot of gardens and flowering plants.

I believe I'll go ahead with the plan to add a hive to my garden area. Any advice on how to approach this will be appreciated since I have no experience at all with bees. When should the hive be set up? What kind of hive maintenance will be required? (I'm not interested in the honey, only having the bees arond for pollination.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 8:55AM
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regattagirl(4a Minneapolis)

I've been considering this too and trying to learn as much as possible. There is a very good blog called Linda's Bees (google it) that I read from start to current and learned TONS. Go for it!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Melissa_in_NE(05 NE)

If you are not interested in the honey, try Mason bees.
Google it, Knox cellars has good info.

Melissa

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:35AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Agree...

To take care of honeybees you need to know allot....there are many diseases one has to know and have to act on fast,
otherwise you loose your bees, worse, infect other hives, like commercial bee keepers who's livelihood depend on.
Best is to take classes and get involved in a bee keeping club.
Hive's need to be inspected regularly.
If you don't care for honey and not put up honey supers then the brood chamber gets clogged with honey and hive will
swarm more. It is the nature of honey bees to collect allot of nectar, but most is not needed for them.
It is a big commitment caring for honey bees,... not something you get and don't look after and forget about.

Konrad

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:47PM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

I was just out in my yard in cincinnati which has lots of clover. Last year I would see several honey bees along with bumble bees. This year I have lots of clover and no honey bees. Is the situation with declining honey bee populations getting worse?

David

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 12:28PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It could be but it could also be that your local bee keeper has called it quits?

Who say's there is no bees?..I have lots!

Konrad

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:13AM
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flatlander(z6KS)

I had a similar experience in my garden last year...no pollinatiors. Over the winter, i read up on bees and this spring started 1 hive with a "nuc" i bought from a beekeeper in the area. I've found the bees to be fascinating and I enjoy them as much as gardening.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:59PM
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beegeek

I completely encourage you to start a hive in your backyard. Actually, start two hives. Two hives are much better than one - they allow you to reference the health or growth of one versus another and you can steal frames from one and place it in the hive that needs it. You won't believe what another world beekeeping will become for you.
As for plants that attract, many herbs will do the trick. Even though our plants on the west coast differ, anything you can plant with the sage (salvia) genus will attract honey bees. Also mint, lavender, clovers... well there is a list so long it is silly for me to mention it. Wait for the bloom of mint, sage, and lavender and you'll see bees for sure. If you want to really see honey bees show up, let some broccoli go completely to flower. When the florets are allowed to bloom to yellow flowers, the yard will sound like you just opened 4 hives at once.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:09AM
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