Cerbiesmom
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I saw a bee!

I saw my first honeybee in my garden today! I don't know why, but he was circling my sage, which isn't blooming or anything. It was exciting. I hope more come, I've got some flowers, and stevia blooming right now, and my beans are about to start.

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Here's hoping it's just the first one of many! Interestingly, I read that not only are beans self-pollinating, but they will sometimes pollinate themselves before the buds even open!
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jal_ut
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I believe bees can smell and I know they are attracted to good smelling stuff. It was probably picking up on the aroma of the sage. Wait until it blooms, then you will have bees. All of the plants in the mint family are attractive to bees when in bloom.
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The bees do love the sage blossoms; I always let some stay for them. I grew borage this year for the first time solely because of its reputation as a bee attractant. It was a total bust for me. I never saw a bee near it, even though they were around on my property. It got huge and weedy and I ended up pulling it all out (it remains to be seen next year whether I pulled it in time to keep it from self seeding! :) ) Not growing borage again!
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applestar
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Are you letting your stevia flower for seeds? My understanding is that you want to pinch any developing flower buds and cut back flowering shoots because once in flowering mode, the the bitter after taste increases. I've also read that the whole plant goes into declining cycle in prep for fall/winter if allowed to flower... But maybe the cultivation tech is different in the warmer/freeze free areas.

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It's funny, your bees are just starting to come, mind are just starting to leave. I did not see very many honey bees this year at all. [url=https://news.discovery.com/animals/honey-bees-disappearing-still-a-problem.html]This article[/url] talks about how this is happening all over.
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rainbowgardener
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I saw more bees than ever this year, but I know why. I live about 5 blocks away from my Quaker Meeting (church) and at the Meeting we are now raising bees, have a couple hives. So I am well within the range of the Meeting bees and I'm pretty sure that's what accounts for the increase of bees I'm seeing.

I think we should all become beekeepers! As long as the bees are in an organic garden with a diversity of plants and there are not too many chemicals too close by, they should do fine. Now that I see what it is like having them at the Meeting, I'm thinking about getting my own hive.
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Cerbiesmom
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applestar wrote:Are you letting your stevia flower for seeds? My understanding is that you want to pinch any developing flower buds and cut back flowering shoots because once in flowering mode, the the bitter after taste increases. I've also read that the whole plant goes into declining cycle in prep for fall/winter if allowed to flower... But maybe the cultivation tech is different in the warmer/freeze free areas.
I wasn't planning anything, I just noticed it had flowers on it the other day. It's been really scraggly, so I haven't harvested anything off of it. I think our texas heat was just too much for it. I may try planting the seeds I pulled off of it, and see what it does over the winter in a pot indoors, perhaps.

Cerbiesmom
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jal_ut wrote:I believe bees can smell and I know they are attracted to good smelling stuff. It was probably picking up on the aroma of the sage. Wait until it blooms, then you will have bees. All of the plants in the mint family are attractive to bees when in bloom.
That's weird, nothing happened when my lemon balm bloomed, and I'm pretty sure those are in the mint family, if I remember correctly. I also had basil blooming like mad and no bees. But they did attract the butterflies. I hope my sage does bloom, they have pretty flowers.

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We had toms of bees here too! But there are tons of wild hives in the woods about 1/4 mile behind our house. They live in some of the fallen tree stumps. When we go walk at night, there is 1 tree that fell, but not all the way to the ground. You can hear it humming in the evening just before dark. During the day, it is swarming with honey bees. It's been this way for 2 years now!
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I'm talking about honey bees, now. Once my sunflowers started blooming, there were a lot of bumble bees on them, and there were a few honey bees mixed in.

I think that a combination of both organic gardening and beekeeping would make great progress towards reducing the decline of honey bee populations and eventually reversing it all together.
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Ozark Lady
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Honeybees have been noticeably absent all year.
Just in the last two weeks, if you take a drink outside, you are fighting off the honeybees.

My garlic chives are now in full bloom, usually honeybees cover them, to my dismay today, there was a bumble bee, and what looked like a miniature bumble bee on them, no honeybees.. The honeybees are holding out for the glass of tea or can of soda!
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applestar
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Are you sure those aren't yellow jackets? (not the wasp-looking kind but the one that LOOKS a lot like honeybees). Do honeybees go after people food/drink too?

I noticed yesterday with pleasure that my Sedums are flowering now and honeybees (as well as bumbles and carpenter bees, and, and, ... :wink: ALL nectarers) are all over them. :D

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applestar wrote:Are you sure those aren't yellow jackets? (not the wasp-looking kind but the one that LOOKS a lot like honeybees). Do honeybees go after people food/drink too?

I noticed yesterday with pleasure that my Sedums are flowering now and honeybees (as well as bumbles and carpenter bees, and, and, ... :wink: ALL nectarers) are all over them. :D
Pretty much any and all bees are attracted to sugary things.

Oh, and the sedums here are flowering as well. The cabbage moths seem to enjoy fluttering around them :?.
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Ozark Lady
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When we first looked at this land, it was yellow jacket infested!
One of my sons got dozens of stings that day.

And I used to have an outside kitchen and yellow jackets loved it, I normally got several stings daily! So, I gave up on that idea.

These are honeybees. At least around here, they only vaguely resemble each other. The same basic coloring, but honeybees and bumblebees both are hairy little critters.

Also, yellow jacket bees live in the ground and my chickens have pretty much eliminated that problem. I haven't even seen a yellow jacket bee in years.
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applestar
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Only reason I asked is because I didn't know until recently that yellow jackets could look a lot like honeybees:
[img]https://www.honeybeeremoval.com/images/Thumb%20Nails/Yellowjack%20Honeybee.jpg[/img]
https://www.honeybeeremoval.com/yellowjackets.honeybees.htm

It's easier to tell them apart when they look as different as this:
[img]https://today.slac.stanford.edu/images/2007/bees-small.jpg[/img]
https://today.slac.stanford.edu/a/2007/05-29.htm
[img]https://acebees.com/beeVSwasp.jpg[/img]
https://www.acebees.com/services.html


This is a good page:
Bee Mimics -- What is (and isn't) a bee?
https://beespotter.mste.illinois.edu/topics/mimics/mimics.html
So's this:
https://pollinator.com/identify/whatsbuzzin.htm

Still can't find the page that I'd seen before in which the honeybee and yellow jacket looked very very similar unless viewed from below. :?

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rainbowgardener
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For us here, Sept is yellow jacket season and the things that come to people food and drink are always yellow jackets and never honeybees.
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wymansmind
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Honey bees do love the sunflowers

We grew a lot of sunflowers this year and the bees just loved them. We have high hopes of starting our own hive next spring. I also recently read about a honey bee naturally bred in Minnesota that is resistant to many of the problems killing bees.

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