An observation about bees

mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)May 4, 2014

I'm not sure what kind of bees these are - but have had two observations. First of all, I had placed bubble wrap over something out in the yard (two pots I was storing that I didn't want to rub against each other) and it was there throughout the winter. The pots accumulated some water. Anyway I noticed that bubble wrap was deteriorated over the months and that it had attracted bees to it. I don't know what it is in the bubble wrap that they liked but they were all over it.

The other thing I noticed is that when I used seaweed or fish emulsion on my soil this spring the same bees came in swarms and just seemed to relish walking around on the soil. I put a small bowl filled with water out with just a tiny bit of seaweed in it and they swarmed that too. And it seems they are constantly lined up on the lip of my large container fountain drinking that water (which has various water plants in it).
They are the thirstiest bees I've ever seen!

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Maybe they have a drinking problem.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:12PM
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mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)

lol! Yes several were caught FWB (flying while buzzed).
Baaaaad bees. I'll be keeping them under observation...

This post was edited by mrs.wiggley on Mon, May 5, 14 at 0:07

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:51PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

That's a great photo of a bunch of bees belly up to the bar ... lol. I'm also curious about why they're attracted to seaweed/fish emulsion, unless it was the only moisture around. They gather around dripping faucets/bird baths, etc. for the water. They look like regular honey bees to me, but hard to tell for sure. Perhaps post your question on the GW Bee Forum.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:00AM
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mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)

Hi,
I posted that question in the Bee forum but haven't gotten much response other than that they look like honey bees. I'm really more curious what attracted them to the bubble wrap and the sea weed. I know the seaweed is good for them but I worry about the plastic bubble wrap. I do think it was something about the ingredients more than the moisture (since they had plenty of that already). But they do also seem VERY thirsty all the time, sun up to sun down.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Linda

Mrs. W.,

These are honeybees. Please do not harm them! They are harmless unless much provoked.

Honeybees are having a difficult time and are on the verge of being put on the endangered list. They pollinate about 90% of the food supply.

I regularly put water out for my bees.

Linda, Beekeeper

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:49AM
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eibren(z6PA)

Maybe they think the bubble wrap is a new kind of flower petal?

Also, the seaweed might contain minerals they need.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 4:16AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

was the bubble wrap used previously for something that smelled delicious to bees? That's a mystery, but the water always attracts them.

Maybe there are nutrients in the seaweed and the bubble wrap that they need. I researched Polyethylene Resin tjhat bubble wrap is made from and some is actually made of organic compounds found in coniferous trees.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Linda

Were they using the bubble wrap as little "islands" to stand on while drinking water? Beekeepers frequently put water in shallow pans with stones to give the bees somewhere to land so they can drink. I use the rough marbles that are used for flower arranging.

Linda

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:22PM
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mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)

Well what do ya know! I googled polyethylene, bees and found an article about how bees are using plastics to build their nests. I don't know what they naturally use but I would disagree with the research that this is purely a result of the bee's adaptability to an abundance of plastics in our world, because out where I live there is very little plastic compared to natural materials they could use and they seem to PREFER the polyethylene. So I still wonder if there is something about the plastic that attracts them?
Anyway, thanks so much for your responses and interest in this post. Of course I wouldn't dream of harming the bees. Just curious.
I would recommend adding a few drops of seaweed or fish emulsion to your water for the bees. I think it can only be good for them. I wouldn't, however, purposely leave plastic around for them as I'm not convinced it's a benign material to expose them to. Here's a youtube video about this and an article link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMNi1skYUCE

Here is a link that might be useful: Bees collect polyurethane and polyethylene plastics as novel nest materials

This post was edited by mrs.wiggley on Tue, May 6, 14 at 20:50

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:32PM
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