newer posts about bee problems

tonybeeguyOctober 3, 2007

Coug51EH and Linderlou, I've cut and pasted your questions here. They may get more responses since the old original thread has dozens of posts to scroll through before anyone sees yours.

Posted by coug51eh 5 (My Page) on Tue, Sep 11, 07 at 0:34

Hi!!! I really really need some help. So, I am trying to plant my sale hydrangea bushes, and all of a sudden I am surrounded by black and yellow fuzzy bumblebees. They dive bombed me from above, and flew up out of the ground. Nevertheless, I stood my ground. Not one bee bit me!!! But, at least 50 bees surrounded me, stared at me, and if they could talk, probably swore at me. What do I do?? Will they leave?? My hydrangea bushes could be planted later in the fall, but what will happen to the bees?? I tried to understand a "virgin queen" vs. the old queen, and the length of time these bumblebees live in the ground---I just need some imput as to what to do. I do not wish to kill them, though I really would like to plant my 5 hydrangea bushes. The ideal situation would be to plant the bushes and let the bumblebees exist there as well. This bed is next to my neighbor's house, and he is a mean old crochety guy!!! As far as I am concerned, let their hive continue---and may the bees frustrations be stinging my neighbor!!! LOL Please help me!! I know bee pollenation is low in Pittsburgh, PA. And, I do know how important bumblebees are in our environment. Thank you all!!!

reply from Tony: It depends on how soon you have to get the bush in the ground. From what I know, bumblebees will die off when the weather gets cold and only (virgin?)queens survive. They do nest in the ground and total size is only around 200 bees at peak compared to 40 or 50 thousand for honeybees. Bumblebees are important pollinators and are faster and more efficient at pollinating some plants, and they pollinate some plants much better than honey bees, but again the numbers are smaller. If you can put off planting for a few more weeks that might work for the bees but I'm not sure about if it would work for the plant.


Posted by linderlou (My Page) on Wed, Oct 3, 07 at 0:17

I just want to know how to keep bees away from an outdoor party where we will be serving root beer. Some sort of a way to divert them and keep them out of the yard. We have not noticed any bees this year, but do not feel we can take a chance.

reply: I don't know if you can keep yellow jackets away because they are attracted to the sweets as well as the regular food. Putting something more enticing away from the area where you will be might help, but I think some will still find what you have to offer and like it.

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Actually, your "bumble bees" sound very much like wood bees to me.... are you sure that they are bumble bees for sure? We have some wood bees that act exactly like the bees you are talking about. They will dive bomb you, hoover in mid air and look you right in the face LOL and never bite you. They can be intimidating (or try to be until you find out that they are going to bite you). Look at your neighbor's house -- particularly the wood eaves ... do you see little round holes under the eaves? The wood bees drill holes in the wood. I guess they have homes in the wood.

I usually don't see these bees in the winter. But in the spring and summer they come out like crazy. They even have "in-air" confrontations with other wood bees (fun to watch them).


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 3:05PM
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