where are the bees?

cvillephilMay 19, 2009

Am I just paranoid, or is there a distinct lack of bees right now when my kiwi vines are all abloom? I have only seen a few big bees yet this year, and none in the past week or so since my kiwis started blooming. I bought a Bee attractor from Gardens Alive and put it up yesterday...nothing yet. Anyone else have bee reports from central Virginia, especially?

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DWA in AZ Sunset zone 12(9a Tucson AZ)

Honeybee populations have been reduced for several years. I've seen references to native pollinators, but that might not help your kiwis.

Here is a link that might be useful: usa today: Loss of honeybees is less but still a threat

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 2:12PM
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organic_gardeningbug

I just joined today, and to answer your question about the bees; there are a few reasons for less bees these days. There is a disease that the bees get that wipes out the whole hive or most of it. Also, verona mites get into the hives and kill bees. A hugh killer of bees is the pestacides people put on their gardens to kill the "bad" insects that are eating all your tasty veggies. Those pest. also kill all the "good" bugs, including bees. Seven dust is also a killer. If possible don't use them. Plant things that will attract the good bugs to take care of the bad ones. If you see any praying mantas, put them in your garden. Don't kill the spiders!!!! (well, except the black widows) They are wonderful garden protectors. We planted hissop around our gardens to help attract the bees. Plant oregano and let it bloom. The bees love it! Also, lemon basil. We actually now have 3 bee hives. Just trying to help the bee population increase and they are fascinating little creatures. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 10:25AM
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shamrockva(Virginia [z7A])

We are a bit northeast of Richmond and have noticed fewer honeybees in recent years as well. I've been leaving a portion of the yard (where wild white clover grows) UNCUT at times during spring and summer. We see honeybees on the clover...not a lot of them, but some. And from springtime, when flowers have not fully bloomed thru summer, we leave a few clover patches in the yard here and there just to try to help 'em out a bit.
We never have felt the need for weedkillers on the lawn, and will overseed some grass seed (fescue, etc.) every two or three years. We just pretty much cut whatever green stuff grows!! Our efforts are concentrated on the vegetable and flower garden, rather than the lawn. We've had a few Jap beetles and June bugs so far, but thankfully no hornworms (yet) on the Better Boy and Brandywine tomatoes. A few years ago we had an Eastern Box Turtle nibbling on the first/lower tomatoes...it looked like the same turtle (from markings/scuffs on his underside shell) and we named him Norton. He'd be welcome to return and help with the harvest. Honeybees and bumble bees and wasps seem to enjoy the bee balm, four o'clocks, zinnias, and sunflowers.
And unlike some 'critters' ... the bees are always welcome in our garden.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:26PM
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hscsusiq(z7 VA)

The honeybees are out there.
Each plant has a nectar producing time. Look early in the morning, or when the sun is on the plant.
If you use Sevin dust, they'll take if back to the hive mixed with pollen and feed the babies, slowly killing the hive.
Instead, use all sprays at twilight, on the underside of leaves, where they'll contact the bad bugs and dry by morning when the bees are out. Or don't use them at all!
Any chemical spray will harm a bee if it contacts her in liquid form, even soapy water or roundup. Try hard not to spray chemicals on the flowers before twilight, since the bees are foraging then.
As to your particular garden, remember that bees go to the largest, most nectar producing, group of flowers, often clover. You can plant lots of white dutch clover close to your garden and the bees will come to it, and they'll work your plant's flowers, too.
Go to your local beekeeper's meeting, found through your agricultural extension office.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Country Life

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 8:55AM
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