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No bees in my Baltimore garden

Posted by echalmers 6bMD (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 10:01

This year my beautiful garden has attracted no bees, not even the native bumblebees that are generally so numerous. It is heartbreaking. Every day I go out and look for bees and other insects, and so far this year I have seen two butterflies, one bumblebee, two honeybees, and a dragonfly.

Are others having this problem? Is there anything I can do? Most of my plants are older, and some are native. There was a lot of rain here in the spring, and I wonder if that could have affected the native bees.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

I'm seeing the same thing as you, here in MN. Least amount of bees I've ever seen. Usually have "squadrons" of dozens of bumblebees going over my blueberries and raspberries. This year never saw more than one or 2 solitary bees at a time, and often none for days. Coldest winter here since 1978 and second wettest start to a year since 1871. I think that really hurts the bumble bees as they often nest on or just under the ground. I think they'll bounce back eventually. One thing i'm trying to do to help the pollinators is provide habitat. I built some mason bee homes a few weeks back and just today noticed that some of the chambers are getting filled up with eggs for next spring. Going to build several bumble bee nest boxes also this week that will hopefully protect them from the torrential rains we've been getting.


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

We are seeing the same thing in northwest Illinois. Last year I could barely walk through the garden without jumping out of my shoes from all the buzzing bees (I'm nervous around them), but this year there is nothing. We have a 1.5 acres and I am lucky to see one or two bees each time I go out and they are usually in the wildflower gardens. We also have been letting our yard grow out so all the clover is able to flower, and we never really see anything. Our yard is white with clover, but dead silent in terms of buzzing. We are pretty confident that this past winter is to blame for the large decline, although all the pesticides are certainly taking a toll.

Praying they return soon...


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

It is the same here in southwest Indiana. I have seen a couple of cabbage butterflies in my yard and a few bees, which were in my herb garden. I can't help but think it is the pesticides. Insect have had to deal with the cold and rain for eons, but the chemicals...


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

Same here. I noticed back in May and June that the lawn was covered in blooming clover and barely a bee in sight. Yesterday I noticed yellow jackets all over the place which is not encouraging. I do have some parsley about to bloom and that is attracting small bees.

Viburnums were mature enough to have a lot of flowers this year, but the fruit set was partial. Few fully set fruit clumps.

I put up one mason bee house last year and this year and have no takers. I think I may have it in the wrong location. I guess I should try to move it. Will they fill it and use it to winter over?

I thought Bumble Bees lived in the ground?


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

Here's one list of plants bumble bees like that I've worked with over the years. Though I'm pretty sure the reason bumble bees are so plentiful here has more to do with being in the city, rather than the suburbs where people spray for every little thing.

Some years, not all, I end up with a nest of them in my garden. Not this year but there are so many I wonder how close they must be. Most common spot picked is with the entrance at the lower edge of a scrap concrete wall I built, with compost and garden behind it. They generally pick a spot with a rise in the land ( not built on perfectly level ground). I just change my more heavily used walking path to avoid the entrance for the summer when I discover a nest. Seems the polite thing to do.

Favorite of mice too obviously, but our city cats take care of them. It's the kitty buffet. I figure it's better to keep one place where the mice go to and cats learn to check each night. Don't know.. .seems to work fine.

Lots of honey bees this year too. A big increase, so I was surprised at the news reports that Oregon reports the bee population is down quite a bit this year. It's about the city and our abundance of flowering weedy things I see in this neighborhood so far I bet. So I just keep picking out the ones that offend me in my garden, and enjoy what we have. Wouldn't work in some places. Humans are odd that way.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://tomclothier.hort.net/page42.html

This post was edited by plaidbird on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 18:17


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

No bumblebees in my Boston garden this year at all! I saw one or two bumblebees and one or two honeybees in early spring, as well as our two carpenter bumblebees. Now, nothing. My coneflowers are all opening up now and the bumblebees are usually swarming all over them from now all the way through September. There's not one. Except for the occasional butterfly and some flies, there is literally nothing pollinating the flowers in our yard. I've seen the decline of honeybees over the last 8 years here, but the bumblebees have always been plentiful. But now there aren't any. I've never seen anything like it...


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

No bumblebees in my Boston garden this year at all! I saw one or two bumblebees and one or two honeybees in early spring, as well as our two carpenter bumblebees. Now, nothing. My coneflowers are all opening up now and the bumblebees are usually swarming all over them from now all the way through September. There's not one. Except for the occasional butterfly and some flies, there is literally nothing pollinating the flowers in our yard. I've seen the decline of honeybees over the last 8 years here, but the bumblebees have always been plentiful. But now there aren't any. I've never seen anything like it...


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

Here in oregon where theres a lot of orchard farming we are having no problem with bees we even had a hard winter with 2 feet of snow for a week which is alot for my temperate area. It seems that alot of people around here even big farmers have given up on pesticides and herbicides and started more natural methods. so we are seeing a rebound in our wild bee populations.

Here is a link that might be useful: TheItalian Garden


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

Up in Toronto I keep a pollinator garden that has always attracted scores of honeybees -until last year. The feral hive that was nearby in the ravine must have died. I've seen a total of 2 honeybees on my flowers this year.
However, a smashing year for 2 types of bumblebees, digger bees, mason bees (I put up a house, it has occupants), yellowjackets, sweat bees, a leafcutter bee (I've seen her in my roses) and a big black hornet thing I have yet to identify.
We have lots of GM corn planted nearby my bee yard, which I hate with a burning passion. Killed all 4 of my hives. It's safer to keep urban bees because pesticides are banned in Ontario for public sale.

Ideas-
Keep an area of your garden in the back unmulched for the ground bees.
Overturn an old teapot (in afternoon shade area) and bumblebees may take up residence.
Have shallow water with sand in it available.
Here's the big one- WATCH WHERE YOU BUY YOUR PLANTS. Most stores and garden galleries have treated seed. So the bee friendly plant turns out to be poisonous... that's vicious.
happy bee-spotting


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

Jessi_lune said, We have lots of GM corn planted nearby my bee yard, which I hate with a burning passion. Killed all 4 of my hives.
Considering that bees don't visit corn plants ... what was the biological mechanism where the corn killed the bees?

Here's the big one- WATCH WHERE YOU BUY YOUR PLANTS. Most stores and garden galleries have treated seed. So the bee friendly plant turns out to be poisonous.
And what is the biological mechanism where an anti-fungal coating on a seed manages to turn an entire full-grown plant into a death trap for bees?


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

I have not seen my bumblebees for a few seasons now. They seem to have been replaced by the similar-appearing but larger wasps.

My next door neighbor and back neighbor "treat" their lawns.

:o(


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

My Bumble Bee population seems to have recovered since spring. There have been a lot of them here since mid summer. Right now they are all over the sunflowers and sedums. Lots of wasps too, tons of yellow jackets, which I haven't been pleased about. I'd rather have the paper wasps. But on the other hand, I have had very little damage to my brassica crops from caterpillars, which the yellow jackets have been taking care of.

Have seen some honey bees, lots of small bees on the Cilantro and Dill.

Overall, it's been a pretty good finish to the year with pollinators.


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RE: No bees in my Baltimore garden

On this forum, I assume everyone knows about the dangers to bees. Contact your representatives and pressure them to no longer allow these corporations to use products that kill bees!

BTW we have lot of bees, dragonflies, butterflies, cabbage moths, hummingbird moths, etc. I don't spray ANYTHING but water on the garden. We have canola planted across the road (the cabbage moths) and they are all over our yard. When you walk through the grass, dozens fly around and I feel like I'm in a fairy tale :)

I'm not growing cabbage this year and I don't squish tomato hornworms. Many 'pests' grow up to be beautiful additions to the garden!


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