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Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:16 pm
Location: Willoughby, Ohio

Where are the bees?

I literally haven't seen one bee in my yard this year. We have flowers and blossoming veggies all over the place too. For this time of year in my area, we should be seeing a lot of bees- and unforatunately since we're not- our veggies haven't been setting as much fruit as they should. I have to think it's related to the lack of pollunators.

What are you experiencing?

I also found this article interesting.


mattie g
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Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

I must be lucky - we've had plenty of bees of all kinds around this year. They'eve been in and around our garden, showing interest in vegetables and ornamentals alike. In fact, earlier in the year, my 30' holly tree sounded like a buzzsaw for a week or tweo because there were so many of them hanging around.

Sorry to hear about the problems out there. I'd heard about them, but luckily they seem to be OK in these parts.

Senior Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:00 pm
Location: Western NC Zone 6b

Here in western NC, they are seriously thick. Everything from giant bumble bees, down to those little sweat bees, and some strange things I've never seen before :shock:

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 866
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:52 am
Location: Southern California

We have NO honey bees here. (well except for the hive in my front yard...) that hive was the first time I saw a honey bee here. We have tons of killer bees and I mean tons but they pollinate to so I have had no problems.

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Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:32 pm
Location: Greenwood, Indiana

Jeffross1968 wrote:and some strange things I've never seen before :shock:
cicada killer? We have them. Huge, but don't cause problems for humans

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Lots of bees and wasps here in our central South Carolina yard. We do have a very diverse yard with lots of attracting flowers and flowering shrubs.

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

Yes, the honeybee population is suffering many places. I was seeing a lot fewer bees in my yard until last year, when my Quaker Meeting (church) five blocks away put in a couple hives. Ever since, I have had lots of bees.

I think lots more of us organic gardeners need to become beekeepers. Bees in diversified organic gardens are still doing fine.

And if you grow lots of plants that beneficial insects like, you will have pollinators even if not honeybees.

Native wildflowers are best for attracting beneficial insects, because they evolved together. Also yarrow, marigold, things in the carrot family (including fennel, parsley, Queen Anne's lace, etc), anise hyssop and other herbs (let some flower)

Here's an article about plants for attracting beneficial insects:

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Greener Thumb
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Monterey, CA.

I have a small amount of them active in my yard daily. Wish I had more though. I try to plant lots of things they may like. I see them go to the cucumber, melon, onion, carrot, radish, arugula, lemon, and lime flowers. I got yarrow growing and anise hyssop but have not flowered yet. My sage flowered and they went to it sometimes, but I cut the flowers down now. They also have liked the basil flowers when I let them flower. I am growing some sunflowers and the flowers are about to open will see if they like them. I am hoping they attract hummingbirds too.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

Maybe it's your location, but people around here have commented on the abundance of honey bees this year. Maybe was the
Mild winter, early spring, no one knows, but they are everywhere.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: N. California

Are you including native bees too? Or just honey bees.

We have three hives and a few thousand bees each.

Also try planting grain amaranth, you'll never see so many bees on one crop.

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

I have plenty of bees. 27 colonies of honey bees in my backyard. Aside from that there seems to be plenty of bumblebees this year and some other smaller wild bees. It seems odd that with so many flowers around you wouldn't have bees. There are many species of wild bees. Keeping your own honey bees is a way to get some bees, but perhaps not for everyone? It is kind of expensive to get started. Then you have another job. I enjoy doing it though and we enjoy the honey too.

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Francis Barnswallow
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:28 pm
Location: Orlando

Early this spring I had plenty of bees/wasps. I haven't seen many lately.

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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I have been getting bees but in weird way's. Ealry this season, very early, my willow trees put on flower. I was out getting my garden ready, before anything was planted. There were thousands of bees around both of my willows along with wasps and Lady bugs. I think I even made a post of it. Than they disappeared. The big bumble bees have always been here they love my Borage etc.

Last week the honey bees came back in force yet again like on the willows. This time dang near covering my hummingbird feeders. Than gone again, there is still the normal amount around but I have never seen a swarm like when they came at my willows so early in the season.

My 2 cents.

To go on, I haven't see a whole bunch in my garden yet like I normally do. I think it is because of the lack of diversity this year, it's mostly tomatoes in one garden. After putting in a bunch of basil they started coming around more. I have other platns going in soon that will attract them so maybe they will come back and bee happy like they are every year.

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:07 am
Location: Fort Saskatchewan Alberta
Contact: Website

I had a problem with none last year. Likely the issue was my neighborhood. It is a very new area and not much was in last year. I try to plant flowering things to help out. The way I figure it is if it grows and I can't eat it I want flowers so I can bring them in for my wife.

This year my fool of a dog found me my first one. I was out working.... Yes in the garden and my raspberries were flowering. Sure enough I look over and see her smelling this mother of a bee. Luckily both bee and puppy walked away just fine:)

Now here comes the biologist that I am. Bees are an indicator species of weather extremes. Hard or easy winters/summers play havoc on their number. To deal with this agricultural communities often have what is called bee trucks that drive and park near flowering crops and then move on to the next once pollinated. This has caused a bigger problem in native populations as these trucked bees often pick up and carry diseases.

I have a small enough garden that I can supplement lack of pollinators by a morning walk with a couple of Q tips but some of you are lucky enough to have larger gardens :)

Good luck with your bee problems! I recommend helping them out with flowers.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

If my father-in-laws apple trees are any indication, there must have been busy bees this spring. All the trees are absolutely loaded with fruit...and these are the old fashioned trees, not like some of the newer that are self pollinating. So this is more good news for our area and the bee population.

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