I don't have bees?

meteor04(5-Northglenn CO.)June 12, 2008

Lilacs post got me thinking...I'm not seeing bees this year! Not at the house in Northglenn, or the Shop in Broomfield.

How's everyone else looking for bees?

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jclepine(8b)

we are up in Ned and we have loads of bees but not as many as last year.

We have the big bumbles but not many honeys.

No wasps this year...so far!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:06PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Meteor,

I don't have a lot of things blooming right now--I'm kind of at an inbetween place--but I've seen a few on what flowers I do have around here recently. But it seems like I never really see that many around my yard at any one time--but my veggies always do seem to get pollinated, so I think there's often more around than I'm seeing. I've just started noticing any at all in the last couple weeks, so hang in there, I bet you'll have some show up soon.

Want me to buzz on over,
Skybird

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:21PM
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meteor04(5-Northglenn CO.)

I didn't know you were a bee Skybird..:-)

Everything in my yard is in bloom right now, normally I have a ton of bees this time of year. Haven't really been seeing the yellow jackets as much either.

Weirdness.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:14PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I'm a good bee! I don't sting! I just zip around with my little paintbrush and pollinate things I want to be absolutely certain get pollinated. ;-) Actually, I'm about to get my wings back, so if you think your yard is big enough for my kind of wings, I'll be over in a few days! (On the other hand, my kind of wings would probably wipe out your whole house---and a bunch of your neighbors too!)

I was just out watering and I saw a few around the yard again. There was one on the Thalictrum with his back pockets absolutely jam packed with pollen. They always look, to me, like they have saddle bags when they're all loaded up with pollen like that! I usually see the most of them around my yard when the summer squash starts blooming, so I won't start worrying about them until then if they donÂt show up in significant numbers.

And I havenÂt noticed as many wasps around here yet this year either. Have sprayed a couple small nests they were starting to build, but IÂve usually found several nests by now. I hope they DONÂT show up in bigger numbers!

Bzzzzzzzz,
Skybird

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:37PM
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meteor04(5-Northglenn CO.)

I guess I shouldn't panic considering my Celebrity now has 3 tomatoes on it. Clearly something is getting busy out there.

And skybird, I never associated your nickname here with flying. I grew up an air force brat, and I've always been a prop head. Quite amazing I didn't end up in an aviation related career.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:53PM
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nicole__(z5Colorado)

My shademaster honeylocust tree got flower buds on it June 6 and the bees came! The tree rumbles!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Azura(z5 CO)

I've had a few of the giant quarter sized fuzzy bumblebees that sound like airplanes coming in for landings when they buzz by. I've also seen the ones with the orange stripes above their bee-tocks (ha ha who gave me coffee tonight?) but the real test will be when my lamb's ear blooms in the next week or so.
No sight of the Bombus skybirdus in my gardens but maybe Ill get lucky one of these days.
Skybird, do you really use a paintbrush? Do you use the same paintbrush for everything? Have you posted about it before and I missed it?
So much to learn, so few hours where its not 80+ degrees in my yard...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:34PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I havenÂt done any hand pollinating this year yet, Azura, but, yeah, I use cheapie little kids paintbrushes when I do. I donÂt think hand pollinating has come up around here for over a year now. My cherry tomatoes have started blooming, but they seem to do just fine without my help, but when the full size tomatoes start blooming, IÂll probably go around once or twice a week just to be sure I get as much fruit as I possibly can. And I pretty much always hand pollinate the eggplants tooÂjust to be sure. Once the summer squash start blooming I usually go over them a few times, but there are usually lots of bees around them, so I may not bother this year. I just take the brush, brush over the center of the flower, and go back and forth from flower to flower.

And, yes, I do use different brushesÂred for tomatoes, purple for eggplant, yellow for squashÂbut I REALLY donÂt think it makes any difference. The bees, after all, go from plant to plant to plantÂand that seems to work pretty well! ThereÂs no way to know if what IÂm doing really helps or not since thereÂs no way I can do any kind of a controlled studyÂso maybe IÂm just making myself feel better, but for the things I want to be sure of, IÂm gonna keep doing it!

Keep an eye out for that Bombus skybirdus.....
coming soon to a neighborhood near you!


B. skybirdus

P.S. No more coffee for you!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 11:29PM
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foxes_garden(Z5, CO Front Range)

My maple tree was abuzz with the little bitty bees earlier this summer. My yellow archangel got the honeybees buzzing more recently. I still see honeybees and bumblebees in good numbers now around the salvia and spirea.

What I haven't seen this year are the cutter bee holes in my peonies and roses. Last year those were everywhere. Maybe when I pruned back the old rose canes I took their hidey-holes.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Azura(z5 CO)

I have never had leaf cutter bees in my yard but I thought this project looked neat although ashamedly, beyond my expertise with a drill and saw.
Would you welcome cutter bees to your yard with this house?

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Your Own Solitary Bee House

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:07AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I have a few honey bees here, and so far, not too many paperwasps.

There also seems to be a lot of these mystery pollinators. Can anyone tell me what kind of bee this might be? Are these the ones you were talking about, Azura? I looked up images of cutter bees, and that wasn't it. They seem to make their homes in the ground. I wasn't sure if these were "good guys" or not when I first saw them, but the day I saw one burrowing holes in the vegetable garden, then dragging a cutworm out, I decided that I liked them!

In this shot, its wings are hiding its orange stripe

They almost look more ant-like than waspish, don't they!?

Bonnie

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Bonnie,
I'm not sure which type of bee, wasp or ant that might be. I do know that if you keep posting photos of all these gorgeous geums, I will have to find out where you live, travel by night, bring a trowel and a flashlight and re-home them all to my yard. Consider yourself warned ;)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Bonnie, scroll down about 1/3 of the way to: Sphecidae - Thread waisted wasps. Might that be what you have out there?

Skybird

P.S. Azura, you're in for a lo-o-o-ong drive! Start now if you wanna be there in the dark! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: BugGuide

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:45PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Skybird, I think you have identified them, thanks! It says they feed grasshoppers and caterpillars to their larvae. That cutworm must have been dinner for its babies. They sound like good guys to me!!!

Azura, just call me the Geum enabler : ) I'll make you a deal. If you make the drive all the way to my house, I'll dig one of each up, and divide them for you. I would save some seeds for you, but when I looked them up, it says that both the 'Fireball' and the 'Mango Lasi' only produce sterile seeds. I've got some teeny tiny sprouts of 'Blazing Sunset' that I hope to plant out in the fall, and those do produce viable seeds. Maybe I'll have seeds of those by next summer.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 6:08PM
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lilacs_of_may

I know I have leaf cutter bees because I've seen them cutting up my lilacs. Made a holey mess out of my McFarlane lilac the last couple of years. Seems to be spreading its cutting around this year, though.

I have something on the ground in my yard that might be a fungus or it might be a paper wasp nest. It almost looks like paper mache, but it's right next to what's obviously a big mushroom. I didn't poke at it in case it wasn't a mushroom.

The honey bees are like cropdusters, but the wasps and yellow jackets are like kamikazi planes.

I saw a couple beautiful insects around my veggie area these last couple of days. They have what look like black lace wings, and they look very graceful and elegant. Some kind of dragonflies, but I can't find a photo of them on the Net. A couple weeks ago I saw a dark blue dragonfly.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 3:14AM
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foxes_garden(Z5, CO Front Range)

I looked at the bee house, azura, and I might consider it sometime, although I think I've got a good supply of pollinators right now. They did eat a lot of leaves last year, but the damage is cosmetic and the holes they leave are very neat and round.

He mentioned old wood shingle roofs being a good site for solitary bees as well, and we had ours replaced last year as well, so that's another thing that might explain the decline this year. (Although my neighbors all had old wood shingles as well, and none of them had the holed leaves like I did.

Lilacs_of_may, I think the cutters went after my lilacs as well last year, but the lilac bushes were large and they only attacked some areas. The peony leaves were so badly chomped that you would have thought they just naturally had scalloped edges, and the roses looked like someone had gone through with a hole punch.

-F

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 5:27PM
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meteor04(5-Northglenn CO.)

I was out his morning takeing care of my sadly neglected lawn and flower beds, when I heard that happy sound....BZZZZZZ.

Had a quick look for Skybird with a paintbrush, but instead saw BEES!!!!!!

The Mums and Snapdragons seemed to have their attention, but I'm sure they'll find there way around back.

This makes me a bit less sad that I'm pulling the peas tomorrow.

Robert

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 12:01PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Just have a minute! Getting ready to leave on a jet plane!

If it had been me, Meteor, you would have known it! I donÂt BZZZZZ, I ROAR!

Glad to hear youÂre starting to see the bees. I hadnÂt had time to post, but IÂve been seeing more and more in my yard, and I kind of figured you must have some too.

With the peas, I am so restraining myself! I really, really, really want to pick the first couple, but I know the peas inside will still be too small to be really good, so IÂm waitingÂand just these couple days seem like forever. By the time I get back from my trip in a few days they should be just about readyÂand IÂll be out in the garden rolling in them. Sorry to hear yours are gone already, but I'm positive you were lovin Âem while you had them.

IÂll wave my paintbrush at ya on the way over,
Skybird

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 1:26PM
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lilacs_of_may

My sweet peas have begun to bloom, and I've seen honeybees over there.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 3:03PM
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berrytea4me(Z5 CO)

My neighbors are beekeepers. I had to call them over a couple weeks ago to collect a swarm of honeybees that had landed in one of my spruce trees.

Then yesterday my kids were playing in the sprinklers when I heard this noise & looked up to see another swarm heading right over us...reminded me of a Winnie the Pooh movie...I told them "duck" as the bees flew over our heads.

I read in the news that they have been abandoning nests and swarming a lot this year. The neighbors said they have lost a few hives to mites & the virus they carry plus the swarming phenomena.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 2:30AM
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dawny2u2

Pleased to drop in and report we have BEES a plenty. They are busily doing their gathering on the currently blooming wildflowers, the catmint is also quite popular. The big bumbleebees, and the other ones (I will have to brush up on my identification skills to report to this learned group). And a noticeable lack of yellow jackets, oddly enough, not that I am complaining. From Wolf Creek MT, bee happy.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:11AM
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jclepine(8b)

I cannot tell you how many 'bee'utiful bees we had in the yard today. I've seen every kind of pollinator imaginable! Ox, honey, bumbles of different sizes and colours. Oh, and so very many syrphid flies. I love those guys!

Last year we had more wasps, yellow jackets darners and butterflies. Definitely more syrphids this year than last.

Seeing as how I am so crazy about bugs, here is one of my favourite sites: http://www.thaibugs.com/thaibugs.htm , but don't waste time at the main page, go straight to the link I put below to see awesome photos of damsel flies and dragon flies. I don't know who this guy or gal is but he takes amazing pics! Try clicking on one of the pictures for and enlarged view of bug-eyed flying things ;)

Funny we had tons of assorted thread-waisted wasps last year. I guess the weather really affected the bugs. Well, it is still early in the year so who knows who will show up in my garden this summer.

Oh, today was grand! I was staring at my oriental poppy buds trying to mentally encourage them to open up when I noticed:

one lady bug juvenile (alligator monster!)
one of the tiniest crab spiders ever
and a white bud amongst all the orange ones!

The buds are just cracked open by about a millimeter so maybe it was part of the sepal...but all the sepals are hard and green. I like the idea of one white blossom amongst the orange.

Oh, bugs are one of the best parts of gardening!! Thanks for the photos of your bug, Bonnie. If only that geum was in my yard!! I almost bought one but they said I was too high up :( Maybe I'll get one anyway and just let it die in winter!

J.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click it!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:38PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I have bees on my blooming oregano, which always seems to attract them. Seems about the same amount as ever.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 12:56PM
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