brooklyn boy
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Does honey attract pollinators ?

Does smearing honey or sugar water in close proximity to your vegetable plant attract honey bees i might sound stupid but i remember back in the day when i was in camp that we once tired to attract the bears to come visit us so we smeared a tree with honey and the next day we had a heck of allot of honey bees on the tree (the bears never came...)
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!potatoes!
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likely to attract more yellowjackets and other hornets, which will pollinate only minimally...

brooklyn boy
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!potatoes! wrote:likely to attract more yellowjackets and other hornets, which will pollinate only minimally...
Do have a better solution? (hand pollination never really worked by me)
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rainbowgardener
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It's not going to solve your problem today, but what you need is to have a lot of flowers in your garden that attract them. Things like:

basil, lavender, agastache (anise hyssop), globe thistle, marjoram and/or oregano, rosemary, sage, zinnia, ironweed, joe pye weed, goldenrod, black eyed susan, penstemon, coneflower.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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brooklyn boy
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am i screwd now...

rainbowgardener wrote:It's not going to solve your problem today, but what you need is to have a lot of flowers in your garden that attract them. Things like:

basil, lavender, agastache (anise hyssop), globe thistle, marjoram and/or oregano, rosemary, sage, zinnia, ironweed, joe pye weed, goldenrod, black eyed susan, penstemon, coneflower.
basically I'm screwed because i need my vegetable flowers to be pollinated from "now" till the end of the season which is frantically only a short time left... so obviously i can't plant basil plant etc. this season ,the only thing I'm thinking of is buying impatiens from the nursery by this time in the season they all have flowers on them will they also attract pollinates like the plants you mentioned
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mmmfloorpie
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From my experience they love sunflowers.

Most plants can pollinate themselves so don't stress too much.

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mmmfloorpie wrote:From my experience they love sunflowers.

Most plants can pollinate themselves so don't stress too much.
Yeah, my sunflowers almost always have at least 1 or 2 honey bees or bumble bees on them at any given time (especially mornings).
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Re: Does honey attract pollinators ?

brooklyn boy wrote:when i was in camp that we once tired to attract the bears to come visit us so we smeared a tree with honey and the next day we had a heck of allot of honey bees on the tree (the bears never came...)
I assume that by now you realize how lucky you were that your experiment failed! :shock:
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applestar
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What are the vegetable you are trying to get the bees to pollinate?

Also, honeybees are not the only kind of pollinators. It may surprise you to know many weed flowers, including grass, will also attract pollinators. Do you have weeds going to flower?

brooklyn boy
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applestar wrote:What are the vegetable you are trying to get the bees to pollinate?

Also, honeybees are not the only kind of pollinators. It may surprise you to know many weed flowers, including grass, will also attract pollinators. Do you have weeds going to flower?
I have cucumbers , sugar baby watermelons i did manage to get 2 cucumbers ,i guess I'll try the pebble/water thing the other guy mentioned here... by the way i saw today a small bee/fly the size of a big ant on a flower does it mean that it pollinated it or it must be specific type of bees?
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!potatoes! wrote:likely to attract more yellowjackets and other hornets, which will pollinate only minimally...
Minimallys need to be pollinated, too :P
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brooklyn boy
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Re: Does honey attract pollinators ?

TheWaterbug wrote:
brooklyn boy wrote:when i was in camp that we once tired to attract the bears to come visit us so we smeared a tree with honey and the next day we had a heck of allot of honey bees on the tree (the bears never came...)
I assume that by now you realize how lucky you were that your experiment failed! :shock:
yah that camp was in north east PA we used to have black bears a few times during the summer when they wake up from hibernation
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Moley
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Bees Love Borage!!, they absolutely go nuts for it, first time with it this year, going to let it go and let it reseed itself.

The weather in the city, sans the last week, has been awful for pollination, the severe heat was killing the flowers on my tomato and squash plants, however we have close to 75 days of growing ahead of us, fear not camper.

You can self pollinate cucurbit plants (squash, melons) fairly easily, do a forum search for a wealth of info.

I see tons of bumble bees on my tomato plants every morning, but early in the season i just gave them good shaking, and had a lot of fruit set before the heatwave.

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Moley's right. Cucurbits (which also includes cucumbers as well as your watermelon) have separate male and female flowers, which are identifiable as such. If you are not getting fruit set you can hand pollinate the one with the other.

And no it doesn't need to be a specific kind of bee, although larger ones are probably more efficient at it. But it does need to be more than one!
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applestar
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Here's a previous post from TZ that might be helpful:
:arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=128473#128473
...another one:
:arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=71481#71481
(I'm actually looking for the post with sweat bee pictures which I think might be your large ant looking wasp.... :wink: )

TZ -OH6
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This one?

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27803

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rainbowgardener
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What a great collection of information! Thanks for reminding us all of it!
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jal_ut
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Corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas do not need an insect pollinator. Squash and cucumbers do. The thing that attracts bees is flowers, lots of flowers. You are more likely to get bees in your squash patch if you have 50 plants than if you only have one.

The individual honey bee seems to be species loyal. In other words, today a bee will work dandelions, tomorrow she may work clover, and one day she will work the squash. It is unlikely an individual bee will work more than one species per day. Of course there are over 100,000 honey bees in a colony so you will have some bees working anything that blooms and provides what the bee needs; nectar and pollen.
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On your original question about honey attracting bees. Yes, it will. It will also attract wasps and ants. Honey bees will rob any kind of honey or sugar they can find. A strong colony will even, at times, rob out a weak colony. This usually happens in the fall when the natural nectar sources dry up. Once your offering of honey is cleaned up the bees will look elsewhere for what they want.

If you really want to feed the bees, mix a gallon of water with a gallon of sugar and put it in a bucket and float a whole lot of small wood chips on the surface. You need enough to cover the surface so the bees won't drown. Now set it in your garden and put some bright plastic flowers by it to be the thing the bees will notice first. Just sit back and see what you attract. If any Honey bees find it, they will bring their friends.

Honey is too expensive to use for this purpose. Sugar 50/50 water works fine.
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jal_ut
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Do a Google search for "bees attracted to flowers"

Lets not forget the solitary bees. Do a search for "solitary bee houses".
You can attract the solitary bees by providing nesting sites. (houses) A house for a leaf cutter bee is simply a 2x4 with many holes drilled in it, and hung up under the eaves of a shed.
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Gary350
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Honey will attract lots of wasps. I put honey water in a humming bird feeder once there were about 50 wasps buzzing round all the time. There were so many wasps buzzing around on the patio we were afraid to be on the patio. I had to dump the honey water out.

Check in your area to see if you can find someone to help you get your own bee hive. My neighbor found someone to teach him about bees. He ordered a queen bee in the mail for his empty hive. Last summer he had 1 bee hive and several quarts of honey. This year the hive made another queen so he now has 2 bee hives. Every year the hives make a new queen and half the bees leave with the new queen. Looks like 2 hives will turn into 4 hives next summer. I have a lot of honey bees buzzing around in my garden this is the most bees I have seen in 40 years. There use to be lots of bees but not anymore.

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Also, you could get into full-fledged beekeeping! I've actually thought of this, and it would sure provide you with a great supply of pollinators.

Also, for something interesting, do a Google search for top-bar beekeeping.
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jal_ut
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Yes, you could get into beekeeping, but I suggest you do a lot of reading before you make the jump. I keep bees and have for many years. I find it a satisfying and fascinating hobby and my garden plants do not want for pollinators.

I made a short web page on hiving package bees a while back. Here is a link to the page if you are interested.

[url=https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/Package%20Bees/packagebees.htm]Hiving Package Bees[/url]
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Thank you, Jal -- that was really interesting 8) :D

@TZ - that's the one! :wink:

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like a few people said, plant borage next year. and from then on it will plant itself. bees LOVE borage.

and like jal-ut said. solitary bees are often better pollinators than honey bees. we have at least 15 orchard mason bee "apartments" all through our garden. on a daily basis i see more native bees than honey bees, and we have quite a bit of honey bees. there are over 1200 native bees in north america. plant flowers of all sizes, shapes and colors to attract as many species as possible.
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For faster-more pollinator visits a source of water and or a hummingbird feeder are all I can think of.

Some flowers beds are for next year.
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Jal, that's a great tutorial!

How much honey do you get from your hives?
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jal_ut
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How much honey do you get from your hives?
Lots of variables. Per colony, I have gotten as much as 120 lbs. from a strong colony and as little as 0.

It depends a lot on the season, what type of forage plants are available and the strength and health of the colony.

If I had to pick a number for an average, it would be around 40 to 50 lbs. per strong colony.

I am going to rob my bees Thursday this week. Want to come help?
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