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walt lister

Bees

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walt lister

A post in the HOA thread got me thinking about a time I fed some bees. I had put out hummingbird feeders and bees had taken them over preventing the hummers from feeding. I thought maybe I could divert the bees so I put out a large shallow dish with several rocks for landing places and filled it with sugar water. I wanted to keep the bees around as I have three citrus trees that bloom in the winter. It worked. I was a little nervous about that many Africanized  bees being around but soon learned they were very docile when feeding. I would walk right into the cloud of bees to refill the plate and never got stung.  I was surprised how much sugar water they could drink up in a day, I put out a pint daily. This lasted several weeks but the hive was in a mesquite tree on a nearby property and when the owner cleared the land the bees disappeared.  

I like bees.

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mccuha

My hunting partner has land that is strictly managed for quail. He has bees just so they will pollinate all the wild plants that he tries to focus on.   He doesn’t even like honey. He sells all that he gets except what he gives to friends and family 

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Korthaar

I absolutely refuse to treat my property for weeds, much to the chagrin of my neighbors and the many thanks of their tru-green vendors. Mine is a honey bee oasis with the white clover and garden.  The insect numbers and diversity are in clearly noticeable decline. Gone are the different species of butterflies, native bees, and katydids of my childhood. I don't even hear them at night anymore.  The issue is greatly underestimated and overlooked. 

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Don Steese
2 hours ago, mccuha said:

  He doesn’t even like honey. 

 

Character defect right there!!  I do salute his effort on behalf of bees though. The little critters are in trouble and need all the help we can give them!!

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Cooter Brown
12 hours ago, Korthaar said:

I absolutely refuse to treat my property for weeds, much to the chagrin of my neighbors and the many thanks of their tru-green vendors. Mine is a honey bee oasis with the white clover and garden.  The insect numbers and diversity are in clearly noticeable decline. Gone are the different species of butterflies, native bees, and katydids of my childhood. I don't even hear them at night anymore.  The issue is greatly underestimated and overlooked. 

From a purely anecdotal/observational point of view the decline in insects even in just the last decade is striking.  In addition to the critters you mention, fireflies, one of the great pleasures of summer, have declined terribly around here in the last few years.

 

The implications going up the food chain, especially with birds, are obvious.

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WAGinVA
14 minutes ago, Cooter Brown said:

From a purely anecdotal/observational point of view the decline in insects even in just the last decade is striking.  In addition to the critters you mention, fireflies, one of the great pleasures of summer, have declined terribly around here in the last few years.

 

The implications going up the food chain, especially with birds, is obvious.

Funny you should mention lighting bugs.  I just came in off my back deck and where ten years ago we would see hundreds I saw maybe  10-20.

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vabirddog

Ive never seen lightning bugs as thick as last summer here. I have captured swarms of bees. Amazing how docile they really are in that situation , no protection needed.  I could eat biscuits and honey everyday. 

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Dave in Maine

At my last place, the landlord had planted raspberry canes.  They did all right for a couple years.  Then one of the neighbors down the block put a small beehive in their back yard.  It took them a couple weeks to find the raspberries.  And boy, did we get raspberries.

 

And, yes, the decline in insects is cascading through the whole ecosystem.  Quietly, but thoroughly.  

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Jakeismydog2

I traded 6 pounds of fresh homemade sausage (Chorizo, Italian, and Vietnamese) along with a batch of fire-roasted fermented Habenero hot sauce (inspired by UJ) for a pint and a half of fresh honey today. My wife baked up 2 loaves of bread... Honey and fresh bread! One of the great gifts God has placed on earth for us.

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max2
19 minutes ago, Dave in Maine said:

 

 

And, yes, the decline in insects is cascading through the whole ecosystem.  Quietly, but thoroughly.  

Except for tick's here in NY 😯   IMO Bee's are good - Wasp's and Hornet's not so much .

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quailguy

Lots of lightening bugs here in NE PA. Sit on the front porch and you’ll see hundreds at once.  
It’s honey bees we don’t see much of. I’ve planted several nectar bearing plants, bee balm, butter fly bush etc. Mainly we have seen so far 

carpenter bees and a very few butterflies.  The white clover in the yard does appeal to honey bees but I don’t see many.  
 

feeding the honey bees during the last long drought in south Texas:

Feeding Honey Bees

 

Walt,

I am a hummingbird fanatic, went to seminars, field trips with TOS, Texas Ornithological Society, put out many feeders.  Try putting olive oil on the hummingbird feeders to keep the bees off. 
 

The evening scrum:

DSCN0132


Mexican Violet Eared Hummingbird 

 

Mexican green eared humming bird

 

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idcut

I spend a fair amount of time in the backyard just watching the honey and bumble bees flying from blossom to blossom on my apple trees and raspberries. The pear trees blossom before the apple trees and the bees don't seem to be too interested in the pear blossoms, but they're all over the apple and raspberry blossoms. Interesting little creatures with absolute truth in the saying "busy as a bee."

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1971snipe

In SE Texas the Chinese tallow trees are a major source if not THE major source of pollen for local bees.  But this spring the muscadine grape blooms in our yard were humming with bees big and small and in-between.  I can't imagine a hive or two near a vineyard, working on grape pollen exclusively.  My dad always talked about "holly honey", which he said was extremely light in color, very clear, and with a distinct flavor.  

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quailguy
1 hour ago, 1971snipe said:

In SE Texas the Chinese tallow trees are a major source if not THE major source of pollen for local bees.  But this spring the muscadine grape blooms in our yard were humming with bees big and small and in-between.  I can't imagine a hive or two near a vineyard, working on grape pollen exclusively.  My dad always talked about "holly honey", which he said was extremely light in color, very clear, and with a distinct flavor.  

Out in South Texans we had a Queens Crown Coral vine, covered in pink flowers. One day, just to satisfy my curiosity I counted the different species of bees on that vine. In about two minutes I counted 9 different species.  

What a pollen source.

Queens Crown Coral vine and Honey Bee


Every once in a while, something unusual used the vine. Texas Garter Snake:

 

Sometimes Other Critters used The QueensCrown Vine; a Texas Garter Snake.

 

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topdog1961

I remember as a kid it was very common to get stung walking barefoot in the yard. Not so anymore. But I do believe I’ve seen more in the yard this year than in the recent past. I hope that continues. Every one I see takes me back 50 years. 

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