I'd like to get a beehive for my garden

Msrpaul(8bSC)September 19, 2005


I am in coastal SC, and am on the second autumn first full year in a lot on clay that as a cornfield against some wooded areas...near inercoastal waterway.

I have 3 large garden beds in front, and some smaller ones on sides..and have a half acre in back that I hope to put a pond//brook and make it a certified wildlife habitat.

I must say, I have lots of bees, the big ones...especially all over my sages...I guess they're carpenter bees and others...big honeybees?

Lest I digress, I found a website recently that sells American bees, in litttle boxes...I'd really like to get a couple and place in various locations...

Could someone buide me on this beginners path? I have no interest in hive/honey, just simply want to have lots of garden pollinators and do a good thing for my area. Are these starter boxes a good thing?

I'll click in a link to some pics of my flowers...there may be a bee picor two..if not, I can send to show you who visits me now...

Here is a link that might be useful: garden pics and more

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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

If you're after a low/no maintenance bee habitat for primarily pollination purposes, you may want to consider inviting Mason Bees to live around your home. You can see a photo of a Mason bee house by doing a Google "image" search (like I explained in a recent separate posting): "Mason bee home"
This is basically a block of wood with drilled holes. The holes are of a certain diameter, a certain depth and a certain spacing. Hang several of these around your property and you'll attract a great little pollinator! You won't get any honey but you won't have any maintenance either.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:24AM
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Hi Txbeeguy,

I read a number of your postings, and hoped/knew you'd respond. I have a NWE backyard habitat book that shows some bee homes...

I'll look your link up..

What are your thoughts about buying native bees? (blackhoneybee?)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:37PM
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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

Sorry to disappoint but I'm not sure I'm familiar with the insect you're speaking about. Because of the nature of this forum (and all the other bee experts here), I try to be very careful in my interruption of certain terms. Perhaps you mean these terms to be more "generic" than how I'm reading them. For instance, at least with regard to honeybees (Apis), I tend to ascribe to the school of thought that the north American continent did not have any "native" honeybees (again, with respect to Apis) before they were brought from Europe - so maybe you're using 'native' in relative terms rather than a strict meaning? And black honeybee, means to me the native bee of northern Europe (Germany, England, etc.). But if you're only describing the actual colour of the bee, then perhaps you're just speaking of the race of Apis known as Caucasians (a dark grey, sometimes called 'black').
In any case, I tend to favor two things: "natural" and "low maintenance" (especially in wild habitat areas). While I'm sure Apis would do fine in your area, they're not completely maintenance free. And since you're not interested in collecting honey or beeswax or pollen, then I see no good reason to select traditional honeybees (and incur the related expense of hive woodenware and maintenance costs). That's about the only thoughts I have on the matter.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 6:02PM
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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

'interruption' should have been 'interpretation'

(little too quick on the 'ole spell checker)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 6:12PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Some black bees are called Midnights - I believe. Is this another name for the Caucasian? My honeybees are of the Italian type (yellow/black stripes).

However, on a visit to the local desert last year, when the Ironwood trees were in bloom, I found dark colored bees (it seemed like thousands at one time) feeding on the blossoms. So many, in fact, that it looked as if the whole tree was moving!

So - would these possibly be the Caucasian blacks you were referring to?


    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 9:07PM
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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

Midnights are a hybrid (i.e., cross bred) honeybee from one of the suppliers, like the Buckfast honeybee - not a race. The two most popular "dark" coloured honeybee races in America are Carniolan and Caucasian. These are races, under Apis mellifera. It's hard to know what was working the Ironweed without actually seeing them (or a close-up photo).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 9:42AM
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