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Gary350
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I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

I am finding no honey bees this year. My 1 acre yard is white clover and there are no honey bees. I look every day and there are no honey bees. All my plants have blossoms and all the blossoms are turning into vegetables so something is pollination them. I see tiny 1" white butter flies sometimes. I see black/yellow fuzzy fat bumble bees in the garden too but no honey bees..

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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Are you out in the garden during the afternoon? Or mostly in the morning?

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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

The honey bees are having a hard time with the diseases and mites these days. Wild honey bees don't make it without the help of the beekeeper. The honey bees will only fly a little over a mile, perhaps two, from the hive, so if no beekeepers in that two mile radius, likely no bees. As I said the wild bees are rare or extinct.

You might consider becoming a beekeeper and getting a couple of hives?

https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/Pack ... gebees.htm
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imafan26
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Yes, thats right. If you have that much space. Consider taking up beekeeping. Our beehive expert said with colony collapse disorder, varoa mites and little hive beetles, in all probability only the managed hives will ultimately survive as the wild populations succumb to pests and disease. The wild hives are being repopulated by swarms from the managed hives.

However, over the winter the weather pattern changed because of El Nino. The bees woke up early because of the warmer weather, but there was not a lot of food available in winter so beekeepers reported an increase in robbing behavior. This meant that the bees killed each other stealing honey from weaker hives. If the managed bees woke up but weren't fed enough they would starve, fight and die off by the thousands. If that was happening in managed hives, you can imagine the havoc it wreaked on wild populations.

P.S. My bees are doing fine and their colonies must be growing because I am seeing more bees coming around now. I have to go plant more alyssum for them.

My friend at the community garden says he doesn't see any bees around his plot, but mine gets regular visits and they are coming for the citrus and squash blossoms. I told him his neighbor has bees all over the passion fruit so the bees are around, he just needs to have flowering plants in his plot and bees are more active after the sun rises till the dew dries and again in the afternoon. However, he goes to his garden after lunch, the bees are napping then. I have found a few snoozing in the flowers dead to the world and then later they wake up and go back to work again.
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applestar
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Gary350 wrote:I see tiny 1" white butter flies sometimes.
Are they kind of silvery -- very light grey? Do they have tiny tails like swallowtails but shorter? They might be hairstreaks -- they use clover as larval host.
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Gary350
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

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Susan W
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Even if you don't have honey bees, most likely have bumble bees and several species of the smaller native bees. I live in town, and have plenty of the latter two. Sometimes a few honey bees, even with a neighbor having a hive.

The native bees, bumble bees and others do a great job of pollinating, and have been the gardeners friend for centuries. Just to put in perspective, the Native Americans grew plenty of squash, corn, and beans among other crops without honey bees (introduced mid 17th c).
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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

You can take a piece of 2x4 and drill a whole bunch of 7/32 inch holes in it and hang it up out on the side of a shed. The little leaf cutter bees come and lay eggs in the holes and raise new bees.

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imafan26
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

In the herb garden we have a installed a leaf cutter hive on a pole. In the trees, one of the volunteers at the garden made bundles of bamboo and we hung them in the tree for the carpenter bee. They use the nests but they still like to go under the field office. and drill holes in the floor joists. We have 4 hives that the bee hui takes care of. One of the hives is very weak and we don't know if it will make it. We think it is trying to requeen. We just treated two of the other hives with MAQs for the hive beetles.
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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Gary350, I keep bees. I have 27 colonies out in my back yard. Each colony has probably over 30,000 bees Times 27 is a lot of bees. Out on my lawn there is white clover blooming, loads of it, yet not a bee on it. For some reason the clover is not attractive to the bees at this time. Its weird, but just because you have bloom does not necessarily mean the bees will work it. Likely a lot of factors that may induce a plant to make nectar for the bees? ....... or on the other hand withhold it? :?
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imafan26
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

What we seem to notice is when the scouts find a source of nectar and pollen the bees go to it every day until it is exhausted. A few bees venture on the periphery but they usually don't go out to seek different sources everyday. They have a foraging range of about 2 miles but they like to be closer. The bees do seem to have a territory and their favorites. I used to see the yellow faced bee foraging with the honey bees but since he varoa mites came I haven't seen any more. The carpenter bees prefer the blue flowers on long spikes like lavender and vervain. Both the honey bees and carpenter bees like the sunflower but they usually don't forage on the flowers at the same time. Ocassionally I see a leaf cutter bee around their hive but they are very docile and shy, and don't come out much in the daytime They collect leaves and take it to their nest and let it ferment. They live on the mold that grows on the leaf.
They really like citrus and avocado blossoms and the honey we get at the beginning of the year is light and citrussy. The honey we get later in the year is much darker and has more bark.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

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The gals are out on the porch fanning their wings to cool the hive. 97 degrees here today.
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imafan26
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Ours does that too, but our bee mentor says the hives are better off in the sun, because the hive beetles don't like the heat either. Bees regulate the temperature in the hive to keep it a balmy 98 degrees all the time.

Just because the bees have found something else to forage on, does not mean that there are no polinators. Honey bees are the most visible polinators and the ones that get the most credit. They are essential for polinating a lot of the plants we grow but remember there are other kinds of bees around like the squash bees that polinate the cucurbits more than the honey bees. Wasps, flies, midges, butterflies, carpenter bees, moths, ants, bats, and beetles are a few of the others that also polinate plants.

Polinators need habitat and they like a variety of food sources not just one. Our bees really like corn tassels, basil, allyssum, sunflowers, citrus and other fruit tree blossoms, hyssop, lavender, vervain, alliums, and pretty much any small fragrant flower in bloom. In my climate I have something blooming all of the time so they stick around year round. Allysum, African basil, holy basil, and cuphea will bloom year round for me with additional flowers blooming seasonally throughout the year. I have bees visiting my garden every day. I have to actually keep disbudding the butterfly bush to keep the butterflies away. Midges polinate the cacao and butterfies and flies polinate some of the orchids. Plumeria is a thrip magnet because thrips polinate them and gardenias and desert rose are polinated by moths. To attract more of them plant a variety of their favorites and have something blooming for them so they stick around longer.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

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Nice day here. Clear blue skies, 87 degrees and a mild breeze.
Been out checking the beehives.
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applestar
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

:lol: GIANT bee coming up behind you between the mountains :eek:

:>
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imafan26
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

Bees are quite territorial especially if they have larva and honey to protect. Guard bees will face down anything that comes within 25 feet of the hive.

Very different behavior from swarms. Swarms look scary but they actually, the bees are full of honey and since they don't have a home,larva, or honey to protect they just want to be left alone. They will only attack if they feel threatened but more likely if they are disturbed they will move off and find another spot nearby. The queen usually does not travel very far from the main hive they have swarmed from waiting for the scouts to return with prospects for a new home. The queen has small wings so she is not a great flier. Some beekeepers clip the queen's wings to try to prevent her from leaving. Splitting the hive before it swarms can sometimes help give them more room. Sometimes no matter what you do they will swarm because that is how nature intended it to be.
Bees prefer a variety of pollen and nectar sources. Bekeepers who rent out hives to farms for pollination rarely get the majority of their hives back alive. Thebees cannot survive on a single food source for very long.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

I have a bunch of daisies in bloom. I was looking closely at the flowers and saw three different kind of bees working the blossoms, but hot one honey bee on them.
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kayjay
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

I'm in an urban area and in my two years gardening here, I've seen very few honeybees, but lots of bumblebees and hoverflies. The bumblebees actually disappeared on me this year. I saw a few in June when my lilac tree bloomed, but they didn't return. I was worried. I was pollinating everything by hand, until the first week of July when I was working the morning shift and I wasn't around. I lost 4 zucchini (on 2 plants) because they weren't pollinated. Now, finally, the bumblebees are back. I usually see at least 3 of them at any given time in the morning, hanging around the yellow pumpkin, cuke and zuke flowers.
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jal_ut
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Re: I am not finding any honey bees in my vegetable garden!

with the mites and some bee diseases, wild honey bees are pretty much non-existent in these parts. They can't survive without the help of the beekeeper. Honey bees are not native to this land, but are an import. Bee keepers who are on top of things have very little swarming. The hives are checked every ten days and swarm cells cut, and room added as needed. They go for honey not increase or swarms.
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