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applestar
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No honeybees... :(

DH mowed our front lawn yesterday. It was full of blooming and just starting to bloom yellow sweet clover and white clover. He said he should have been wading in bees but he didn't see any honeybees at all.

In the backyard garden, I also have not been seeing honeybees. maybe a few at most. I have plenty of pollinators and my garden is not suffering -- Bumblebees yes, small native bees yes, pollinating beneficial wasps and flies, yes. Carpenter bees, Paper wasps, Mud/Potter wasps and other wasps too, but NOT HONEYBEES. :(

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rainbowgardener
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Wow... that is sad and frightening... Maybe it is time to become a beekeeper? Until a year or so ago, it had gotten so I had very few honey bees in my yard. But then my Quaker Meeting 5 blocks away, put in a couple of hives. Now my yard is full of honey bees all the time.

I think given what is happening to the bees, it is going to become incumbent on all us organic gardeners to start keeping bees, give them some protected space away from all the chemicals.
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rainbowgardener
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I thought of this post when I read an article about what is happening to the bees.

There has been more and more evidence coming out linking colony collapse disorder and the widespread use of neonicitinoid insecticides. What I didn't know is that over 90% of of US corn seeds as well as increasing portions of seeds of other major crops like soy, are coated in said neonicitiniod (neonic for short) insecticides.

"New research shows a link between an increase in the death of bees and insecticides, specifically the chemicals used to coat corn seeds. ..A study published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, provides insight into colony collapse disorder.

Beekeepers immediately observed an increase in die-offs right around the time of corn planting using this particular kind of insecticide.
Pneumatic drilling machines suck the seeds in and spray them with the insecticide to create a coating before they are planted in the ground. Researchers suspected the mass die-offs could have been caused by the particles of insecticide that were released into the air by the machines when the chemicals are sprayed.

The researchers tested several methods to make the drilling machines safer for bees. However, they found that all variations that used the neonicotinoid insecticides continued to cause mass die-offs of bees."

This is from abc news: https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/03/honeybee-deaths-linked-to-corn-insecticides/

not exactly radical/ rabid environmentalists.

We sure are slow learners....
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rainbowgardener
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it can't really be necessary to coat the seed corn with insecticide, since corn managed to sprout and grow for millenia before we had neonic insecticides.

So not necessary, costs money, kills bees and other beneficial insects, persistent in the environment, contaminates soil and water, harmful to aquatic animals, neurotoxin and endocrine disrupter.... It seems like the only ones that benefit are the shareholders of Bayer, the manufacturer and yet we are already coating 90% of all seed corn...

( https://kokumin-kaigi.org/wp-content/uploads/Neonicotinoid_e.pdf )
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RogueRose
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I've not even seen bumble bees this year! I walk to and from the train station, about 2miles one way and I walk by/through this abandoned lot that is all clover. I remember when I was younger I couldn't walk barefoot through clover. I counted ONE bee. That's it. And its a good stretch. I miss bees. :(

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applestar
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Found ths article:
Mild winter has proven fatal for countless N.J. honeybees
Published: Friday, March 09, 2012, 8:00 AM

...
Beekeepers are used to the typical threats: colony collapse, varroa mites and cold snaps in the spring, to name a few. The warm winter, however, may pose the biggest threat to New Jersey’s honeybees this year.
Usually semi-dormant in winter, the bees instead have been buzzing around, burning up calories and eating their way through the honey reserves in their hives that are supposed to last until spring.
"Cold is not what kills bees," said state apiarist Tim Schuler, aka New Jersey’s top bee guy, at the Department of Agriculture. "Running out of food is what kills bees."
...
https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/mild_winter_has_proven_fatal_f.html

lily51
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We have had lots of bumble bees everywhere this spring. I had a multitude of flowers blooming, hanging baskets in the greenhouse, plus many outside too. It seems early for them, but many things are ahead of schedule.
Can't say I've noticed any difference in honey bees.

The large commercial apiary operations seem to have more problems than the populations in the wild. (won't say native for obvious reasons).
That's just here in north central Ohio.

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rainbowgardener
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Interesting, Applestar, I would not have thought about the warm being hard on them, but it makes sense. All part of the big picture of what's going on...

Yes the large commercial apiaries are having the hardest time. They ship truckloads of hives to agribusiness fields that are covered in chemicals including the insecticide coated seeds I just found out about. Bees in wild areas and organic gardens do better, but as Applestar points out even so they can be affected by climate issues...

My bees, bumblebees and honeybees from the church five blocks away, seem to be okay (so far?).
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"Cold is not what kills bees," said state apiarist Tim Schuler, aka New Jersey’s top bee guy, at the Department of Agriculture. "Running out of food is what kills bees."
He is right to a point, however I will not agree completely. It seems that when the temp bets down close to zero the bees cluster tightly and eat the honey that is in the cluster and vibrate a bit to generate heat and manage to survive, however if it is a prolonged cold spell, like we had a while back with subzero temps for 23 days, the bees won't move up onto new honey because they are clustered too tight, and run out of honey in the cluster and die, surrounded by honey. Now did the cold cause them to die or did the lack of food cause them to die? My thinking is that the prolonged cold caused it. If it warms up once a week enough that they can move up onto new honey they usually survive if they have enough stores.

Here we have the mosquito abatement program, some farmers spraying crops with bloom on it, canal companies putting stuff in the water to remove moss, and who knows what backyard gardeners dump on the environment. Then there are two kinds on mites, several brood diseases, and nosema, just to name a few other bee plagues.

Wonder why there is colony collapse disorder?

I had problems keeping queens this year. Seems as a queen was failing, the bees would build a bunch of supercedure cells, but they would never get a queen out of it. Why wouldn't these bees requeen themselves? Good question. The colony will just collapse if they have no queen. Someone suggested that the tendency to supercede or raise queens had been bred out of the line so that they would not swarm. Those using thiis line plan to have a queen growing program and requeen the bees themselves. I don't know If I can buy that in this instance though as I sure cut plenty of queen cells early during the dandelion bloom.

Not a lot of corn grown here so can't blame that for the problem.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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tomf
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Like jal-ut is saying, I think that it is a multitude of issues, mostly environmental degradation. To much of any thing is not good, cold, heat, poison, life is a balance and needs to be in balance to survive.

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jal_ut
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https://www.linktv.org/video/8123/killing-bees-are-government-and-industry-responsible
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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tomf
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Very informative video. As one man said "the EPA was formed to protect the environment but something got in the way".

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Re: No honeybees... :(

Are honeybees specifically necessary for a healthy veg garden? I'm right outside Chicago. Last spring/summer my boyfriend noticed he wasn't seeing many insects at all. We were in an apartment with no room for garden. Now we're in a suburban house with plenty space. But last year no lightning bugs or lady bugs. No butterflies. I had like two mosquito bites. I saw about four bees total. There used to b many species of bees and wasps. Many. Now we don't even have "pests"

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rainbowgardener
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Re: No honeybees... :(

Very sad about the lack of insect life.

Depends on what you are growing whether honeybees are specifically necessary. Some things are self-pollinating and don't need insects. Many things that have been typically pollinated by honeybees can be pollinated by other insects. Some things really do not do as well without honeybees around.

It is getting scary. I have a good friend who has kept two hives of bees going for years (maybe a decade). She has a very large, completely organic garden. This winter all the bees died in both hives.
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tomf
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Re: No honeybees... :(

This just on Yahoo news.

https://weather.yahoo.com/feds-many-caus ... 05922.html

One has to ask, bees have been around for a very long time doing just fine, so what has changed?
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: No honeybees... :(

Many things have changed, what we have been talking about - climate, exposure to a wide variety of pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial chemicals, the hives being trucked around from place to place, etc. We have to think we are not creating healthy conditions for honeybees. Perhaps they are our mine canaries?
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tomf
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Re: No honeybees... :(

Yup, that is my point in asking, we are, and what we do is what has changed.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

Green Mantis
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Re: No honeybees... :(

We haven't seen any honeybees anywhere this year, have seen some bumble bees, but that's it.

Very Sad, I miss them. :(

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rainbowgardener
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Re: No honeybees... :(

It is sad. Do you grow flowers they like? That would include marigolds, clover, poppies, cosmos, tansy, hyssop, squash/melons, bee balm, borage (aka "bee's bread"), mint, fennel, lavender, and most other herbs as long as you let them flower.

If you have plenty of bee flowers and still no bees, it might be time to consider keeping a hive. I think more of us need to do that to work against the disappearance. Bees do better in organic gardens than they do being trucked around to pesticide laden farms.
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Green Mantis
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Re: No honeybees... :(

I am in the process of trying to get those types of flowers, I got my one raised bed done, but then to late to

grow anything. I will get my garlic in though. I had to sit down and do a good think on what was frustrating

me so badly, about the garden. I realized I wanted the impossible, to get everything in at once.

Doesn't work in a (new to us) place. So after talking it over with hubby, we both decided that making the

gardens, will make way more sense, this summer/fall. Then next year I can get the plants I need to attract

honeybees and butterflys hopefully. Those kind of plants sell so fast.

I don't have much room to grow plants in the house. So have to buy them.

But with proper planning, I should have a lot more fun next year. Live and learn :eek:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: No honeybees... :(

You can order live plants on line with big selection of choices, put your order in way early, before they sell out of anything, and they will ship it to you at the right planting time for your area.

Or you can start a few things from seed, which is much easier to come by than nursery plants. It doesn't take a whole lot of room. If you can clear out four feet of shelf space somewhere, where you can hang a shop light fixture over it, you are good to go.

Early fall is a good time for planting perennials like bee balm and hyssop.
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tomf
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Re: No honeybees... :(

The bees sure love the oregano, I wonder what the honey would taste like.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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