what are they doing in my plant trays?

momamamoSeptember 1, 2006

Over the last 10 days or so, either yellow jackets or some kind of bee have been settling into the planted trays and pots I have in my garden. There are plenty of open areas in the garden itself for them to accumulate, but their preferences are 1-the individual cells within one divided tray; 2-a larger tray with no cells; 3-a round container. All are black plastic. The critters land on the various surfaces and seem to be attending to the soil (sterile potting mix) in each. They stay quite a while, particularly in the afternoon. They don't seem to be attracted to the seedlings in the trays. So, what are they up to? Thanks!

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stan_gardener(cen ca)

could be they're suckling water. the bees use a large amount of water in warm weather.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 12:29AM
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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

I agree with the previous poster's comment. Most likely if there are some standing droplets of water or at least a significant moisture content present in the soil, then the bees (?wasps?) are probably going after the water.
Honeybees, as an example, frequently have an expressed interest in going after water that may seem odd to us. As an example, maybe perferring "dirty water" when "clean water" is nearby. The water you may see them working in a small mud puddle or in moist garden dirty contains some essential salts or minerals they need in their diet.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 5:40PM
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Then my little guys must be very happy. Today I saw even more than yesterday. The plant trays have been given kelp/fish emulsion fertilizers and that may account for the "dirty" part. The bees - I think they're honeybees - they're furry - are interesting to watch, and they leave me alone, which is good. Thanks much for your responses! Maureen

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 6:13PM
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