User avatar
Posts: 30629
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

TZ -OH6 wrote:It wouldn't surprise me if suburban areas with lots of manicured lawns and little in the way of weedy/wild areas have few native bees.
I have to post a follow-up, but keep an eye on [url=]this thread[/url].

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Not trying to pop any bubbles but.......
Tomatoes corn and peppers do not need insect pollinators.

Sometimes bees will work pepper blossoms and some cross pollination occurs because of it, but you will get a fine crop without the bees.

Bees love to gather pollen from corn. This benefits the bees, but not the corn.

All species of bees forage for both nectar and pollen. The nectar is the calories and the pollen is the protein. Bees need ample supplies of both. They cannot raise young without both.

All squash, cukes and melons need insect pollinators. Yes, honey bees do a fine job of pollinating these crops.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The post that started this thread on previous page was about squash and cucumbers:

"but I got not one squash or cucumber!"

which do need insect pollinators.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Yes, its true that tomato and pepper blossoms will self pollinate fairly well from their own loose pollen, but greenhouses bring in bumble bees because studies have shown a statistically and economically significant increase in fruit set even over mechanical buzzing devices. The tomato flower is designed to be "buzz pollinated" so during hot humid weather when pollen is clumping, the bees may be able to either shake loose pollen or transfer it from their bodies to the flower. This could possibly fruitset for finicky varieties such as Brandywine. I have very poor fruitset during mid summer when bagging blossoms for seed, but the unbagged flowers set fruit much better.

Honey bees need pollen, but their primary goal is to build up honey reserves to get the hive through winter so they seek out nectar rich flowers and collect the pollen from those, and tell the rest of the hive where those flowers are. Other bee types just need enough nectar to feed themselves so they go for all types of flowers. I do see honey bees at my squashes, but they are in the vast minority. I just think its easier to support a large community of solitary bee species than it is to support a whole hive of nectar needy honey bees.

Cool Member
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: NoVa

WOW! I drop out for a couple of days and this thread just took off! I LOVE it! :D

Yes, I was mostly talking about squash and cucumber and the lack of almost ANY bees in my yard last year.

I have to admit that I'd like to try keeping honey bees at some point in my life but just can't swing the expense of an electric bear fence right now.

This past weekend I did plant a bunch of flowers and am crossing my fingers for the return of ALL bees this year (except the dang wood borers! :twisted: ).

Thanks for all the insights and suggestions as well as the education!


Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”