DoubleDogFarm
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Bee sure to thank your little helpers!!

Your worst day in the garden is better then your best day at work.

Honey Bees pollinating my SeaScape strawberries.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC02581.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC02574.jpg[/img]

Thank You little helpers
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC02592.jpg[/img]

Sweet nectar of the Gods :D
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC02594.jpg[/img]

orgoveg
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Y'know - It really confounds me that bee populations have been declining for years, the "experts" still aren't certain why, and the general public still doesn't know about it. Whenever they see bees, they kill them (if they don't run away). I've seen articles in major newspapers from time to time and I've seen television news segments about it. Yet, the average Joe has no idea that there is a problem.

Maybe I'm a bit over-concerned about it, but I don't think so. Without the bees, we'd be hard-pressed to survive. I get excited everytime I see the honeybees in my garden or anywhere else because it's good to know that they are still here.

I've been stung by many yellowjackets and wasps/hornets. I have yet to be stung by a honeybee. I hold my hand out for them to land on it and watch them crawl around to the amazement of others. I once bagged a recycling bin full of soda cans which was full of a hundred or more honeybees. I was duly careful as they swarmed all around me, but never got stung. When the cans were all bagged, they went elsewhere. They're very docile.

Of course, I know better than to disturb their nests. I also realize that many folks are dangerously allergic to stings. I've even heard the unfortunate horror stories of folks killed by stinging swarms. Still, I see no reason to kill honeybees. A beekeeper or knowledgeable exterminator can relocate them in most cases. The act of killing them creates the most risk to being stung.

Now, if I see a wasp nest in an inconvenient location around the house, I don't hesitate to eradicate them by any means. I'm sure they have their place in the ecosystem, but nobody has educated me about that :D

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Nice post! There is some evidence that what is causing the colony collapse disorder is not any one thing but an over-exposure to a whole variety of chemicals, wearing the bees' immune system down and making them vulnerable to whatever mites/ viruses etc that are around. They have tested the hives that the bees have abandoned and found them contaminated with 30 or more different chemicals - herbicides, pesticides, etc.

The hives most susceptible to the CCD are the ones that are trucked in to some huge monoculture field/orchard full of chemicals.

When a local organic gardener with a diversity of plants and no chemicals keeps bees they aren't (so far!) having trouble.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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sheeshshe
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Location: maine

cute pictures!!! I dislike going out in my garden during the morning since there are so many bees buzzing around, honey bees and bumble bees... but I tell them thank you, LOL! perhaps I'm weird like that. I only say it if my kids are around. I like to talk to them about the bees and what their job is etc. I want to some day get a honey bee hive because its interesting and good education too. But the kids know what bumble bees and honey bees look like and are very careful to get out of their way and let them pollinate the clovers etc. I hope they thank the bees too someday :P

DoubleDogFarm
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Eric, lovely strawberry, and I'm so glad you have your honeybees working hard
Someday I will have my own hives. These girls are from my neighbors hives. Being the neighbor's hives, you get the pollination benefit, but no honey. :(

I'd like to add responsibility to the decline. My neighbor is a perfect example. You shouldn't have livestock if you are never home. He has had more then average swarms and winter kills. You can't set up 3 hives and not maintain them. He basically has one good hive he calls the evil hive. The other 2, swarm or die of starvation in the winter. Even with the recklessness, the last harvest was 70lbs honey.

Eric

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Is it possible for you to "adopt" the starve/die hive(s)? That's really sad, having bees and neglecting them, when they're at such risk already. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

DoubleDogFarm
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cynthia,

Maybe I can work out some kind of deal with him. Pay me in honey :D to watch overthings while they are away. His wife is RN on the big cruise ships. She is gone 9 months of the year. He is out playing on the cruise ships, camping / kayaking / hiking 9 months of the year.

Eric

garden5
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Location: ohio

I've heard that the dew that excretes out of corn plants (now, we're talking about large, commercial plots) actually has a concentration of a certain chemical that they spray the plants with. When the bees pollinate the plants, they can come in contact with the dew and be over-exposed to the particular chemical.

Like RG said, it's an combination of many things.
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