Help! Suicidal Honeybees?!

micrazyJune 21, 2009

Hi! I am new to posting...I usually peruse the garden forums, but I'm having a strange thing happen in my hummer feeding stations. They are LOADED with honeybees, and they aren't just drinking, they are squeezing themselves thru the openings and drowning. They all seem to be on a suicide mission. Have I done something wrong this year? They also seem quite agitated with my presence, and will come after me if I get too close.

Is this a normal thing? I've had feeders for 20 years, and I've never seen this before.

I just wondered if the disappearance of honeybees have anything to do with this preoccupation with death?

Any suggestions?

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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I was told last year by some bee keepers that the honeybees are going after feeders more in part because there are not enough species plants anymore. Many of the plants that are mainly pollinated by bees have been hybridized to the extent that many do not contain enough or any nectar. The plant breeders are breeding for flower color and size to provide new and more unusual plants for gardeners even at the risk upsetting the natural environment. Also if they seem more aggressive they may not be native bees. They may be imports.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 6:35AM
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Thanks Penny, I wondered because I've never in 20 years had this problem before, and now all of a sudden they are just lining up to be the next ones to climb in there and die.
My feeders were never a problem till now. I also noticed that they don't seem to look like honeybees as much as maybe hornets?
It all makes sense now.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:53AM
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So should not plant hybrid varieties of flowers right? Does heirloom means not hybrid then ?
I would rather buy plastic flowers for sake of beauty if it is not really helpful to bees,butterflies and birds then water and spend time in such hybrid flowers.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 4:33PM
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I had some hb's swarming to a feeder in November one year. Someone told me to try and place a pan lined with pebbles/rocks and put a shallow layer of sugar water, as so they wouldn't drown. I did, but naturally didn't see any honeybees after that initial swarm.

As for hybrids, I'm trying to stay away from them, especially when it comes to echinacea. They're unreliable perennials and can't compare to the faithful whites and purples, which the bees & butterfllies adore.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:24PM
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