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hendi_alex
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Near absence of Bees this year?

Last year the bee activity in my yard was unbelievable with all kinds of bees and wasps everywhere. This year there is almost no activity. Squash are mostly not pollenating, tomatoes are having much more blossom drop. The temperatures have been cooler than normal, but still up into the eighties most days. The rain has been wetter than normal, but then most days are partly cloudy until evening showers or heavier rains. Still it has not been anything like a constant rain just scattered most days over the past two or three weeks. But I'm seeing almost no bees in the yard. Anyone having a similar experience or an explanation as why they would just almost totally disappear from one season to the next?
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

green~acres
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We have the totally opposite.Bees are everywhere. There is a flowering type tree on the opposite side of the yard than the garden. The bees usually appear at it around mid May. then another week or so they migrate to the garden. But I do think we have less bees than before. I have heard there is a decline in bees, though.Maybe the rain and temps do play a part. I think it does.
Wishing for bees for you.

zstokes85
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Same here alex. I guess this puts SC at 1-for-2... Very few, but a crape myrtle(sp) hasn't bloomed yet so I'm hoping it will help.

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hendi_alex
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Like a switch went off yesterday or today. Butterflies and bees all over the yard. The bees were really working the squash this morning!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Glad to hear Alex....

This is an increasingly serious issue, and at least part of the answers for dissappearance seems to be neonicotinoid pesticides like imidicloprid. These actually impair the ability to navigate in hive animals (they used to actually tout it on the packaging, but since [url=https://wildlife-conservation.suite101.com/article.cfm/update_on_bee_colony_collapse_disorder]CCD[/url] has become a hot button topic, that has been eliminated... :roll:)

If they can't remember where they found you last time (or how to get back to the hive) not only will they not revisit your garden, they won't survive the night... :(

LOTS of home remedies touted as SAFE for humans can have really nasty effects elsewhere; we should be aware of ALL the effects of anything BEFORE we use it in the garden... :)

I don't know how many of you have noticed but wild honeybees are almost gone; if you see honeybees, chances are someone has a hive within two miles of your house. I almost exclusively see wild bees like bumbles and mason now, and almost NO honeybees... :cry: We are doing one of our staunchest and necessary allies of many centuries a grave disservice...

HG
Scott Reil

zstokes85
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It is quite a disservice we are doing (or not) for them. This is actually making me consider starting a hive, not for just personal use but for the acres of farmland around us. Seems realitively simple. The was I see it, farmers make $$$, taxes won't need to be raised as often as there is more income for the county/ city. Seems like it would be fun and an interesting thing for my children to learn about also. Gotta keep the young uns involved.

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jal_ut
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Plenty of bees in my yard. I keep bees. I have 9 colonies right now.
Beekeeping is not really hard, but it takes a definite commitment to do certain procedures for the bees at times. The rest of the time you just watch them work. Buying the equipment to keep bees in takes a chunk of change.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

green~acres
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This is very interesting about the migratory habits of the bees. I have learned something new.
Alex, so glad to hear the bees showed up and are doing their job.

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jal_ut
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You can encourage bees to visit your yard if you have lots of blossoms for them. They like clover, sage, oregano, bachelor's buttons, and many other flowers. Anything in the mint family really attracts bees.

Many blooming trees also are bee magnets. Keep your eyes open and see if you can discover what plants you see bees on and maybe you can plant a few more of those things.

It is important to have insect pollinators for many crops. Fruit trees, raspberies, strawberries, squash, melons and cucumbers to name a few.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

The Helpful Gardener
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Good on ya for keeping, JAL. I am not allowed due to my in town status. Hmmmph. Can't fight city hall... :roll:

HG
Scott Reil

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Gary350
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Don't use systemic fertilizers it kills bees. There was a 1 hour special on TV about systemic fertilizers not long ago. According to the TV show the fertilizer manufacture claims the poison does not get into the pollen there for it is not harmful to bees. Research shows the pollen is full of poison and the bees take it back to the hive. It seems the fertilizer manufactures have to most money and most power so nothing is being done to stop it. The best way to stop it is not to buy products that kill bees.

You can pollenate your garden with a cotton Q tip. Stick the cotton tip into the flowers one by one you can self pollenate your garden.

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rainbowgardener
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systemic fertilizer

Gary350 wrote:Don't use systemic fertilizers it kills bees. .
I didn't know what "systemic fertilizer" was, so I looked it up. Turns out to be chemical fertilizer with pesticide added, so that you are putting them both in at once. Here's a little info re the "Well-gro" brand

"This pesticide is used as a:
INSECTICIDE
MITICIDE

This pesticide is registered for unrestricted use.

This pesticide's toxicity code is 1, which corresponds to a toxicity category of Danger. "

Jeez... they ought to have to call it something else, "systemic fertilizer" sounds so harmless...

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A systemic pesticide is any that is taken up by the plant, but I think Gary and RBG are talking about two different animals (Gary's special was on the neonicotinoids, which ARE systemis AND are plant pressent for years in amany plants and ARE concentrated to flowering points and pollen at much higher doses than anywhere else in the plant. RBG's stuff is just nasty; "Danger" is as ugly as it gets (it goes Caution :arrow: Warning :arrow: Danger)

This one is [url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33305]Disulfoton[/url], an organophosphate that is a [url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Docs/ref_toxicity6.html#CholinesteraseInhibitors]cholinesterase inhibitor[/url] (call it a nerve agent) that can kill you with enough chronic exposure and it wipes out any number of organisms along the way to the water, where it is h*ll on wheels. And that's just the active ingredient; who knows what lurks under the guise of "inert ingredients"? Organophosphates and other CI's have been implicated in a number of health issues...
Proper functioning of the nervous system requires an enzyme called cholinesterase (ChE), which facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. ChE-inhibiting pesticides disable this enzyme, resulting in symptoms of neurotoxicity---tremors, nausea, and weakness at low doses; paralysis and death at higher doses. Most of these pesticides are insecticides with a similar mechanism of action in both insects and humans.

Exposure to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides has been linked to impaired neurological development in the fetus and in infants, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Parkinson's disease.
I really love the [url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/]PAN database[/url] and the service [url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Docs/acknowledge.html]these folks[/url]do is exemplary; they are a resource I use constantly... so should you...so should everybody...

HG
Scott Reil

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