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Author Topic: Trip to the nursury  (Read 3585 times)
SgtMaj
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« on: June 18, 2008, 04:41:33 PM »

I sure have been learning a lot about bee plants from taking trips to the nursury in the past week.  Last week and this week I went to the nursury and chased the bees around from flower to flower to see what they were going for.  The two best flowers I found were both perrenials, and of course I picked up a few... the best by far was Sunny Border Blue Veronica... and the second best last week was Arizona Sun Gillardia, and this week was something else (don't have the tag at the moment and can't remember it's name... will add it here once I put it in the ground and pull the tag).  Edit: it's Digitalis Camelot Cream, a type of foxglove.

I was surprised that a lot of the flowers I expected to have bees visiting them (like the morning glory), had none.  Also, all of the busiest flowers were the perennials instead of the annuals.  That's VERY surprising to me, because I would think annuals which need pollination in order to survive to the next year would give more nectar to attract more bees.

Anyway, with all the new flowers in the yard, I have seen increased bee activity... nearly every day now I can count 2 honey bees working the lawn clover near the tomatos, and at least 1 or 2 bumble bees working the Veronica now, as well as some smaller bees (I think they are sweat bees) working some of the other flowers I got.  Today I set a new record of 4 honey bees working the patch of clover, and one bumble-bee (I didn't really pay attention in years past, but I think 4 honey bees would have been the minimum there). 

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qa33010
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 05:07:33 PM »

    I've seen Bumblers mainly in the Morning Glory and a lot of honey bees in Holly Hocks.

     I do use honey bees at nurseries and the big chain stores to see what I might put in the yard, works great.  Folks that watch me think I'm a little nuts, but when they find out I'm a beek they decide I'm not just a 'little'. 
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
SgtMaj
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 09:20:50 PM »

I had to look up holly hocks online... and I don't think there were any at the place I visited. 

I'm not sure why nothing was touching the morning glory at that place... probably because they were more interrested in the veronica and foxglove.  There were only a few bees (maybe 6 or 7) even at the nursury... which is just sad, considering how many flowers there are.
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eri
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 08:47:07 AM »

In our part of the South, hollyhocks are Japanese Beetle magnets so I don't grow them anymore. I just started seeing the beetles last week. They are a real pest here and can destroy a young plant in a day. Yuk.
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On Pleasure
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And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
SgtMaj
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 09:00:18 AM »

Doesn't mean you can't toss a few seeds out by the road or in an abandoned lot...  Wink
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 12:55:56 PM »

I have never seen honey bees on Fox Glove or Holly Hock here.
Recently at the nursery I picked up a Stokes' Aster. It didn't have any bees on it, actually few of the flowers were open but it's going to flower a lot. I know from experience bees LOVE Aster and this one blooms in the summer and fall.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 09:33:16 PM »

I can pretty much only go by the bumble bees at the nursury because over 2 trips there, I only saw 1 honey bee, and it was on the Veronica... so most of the time all I could go by were the bumblers.  My area has a serious shortage of honey bees this year.  There was a guy that had a few hives near me in years past, but I think he has suffered from heavy losses the past 2 years.
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qa33010
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2008, 12:52:47 AM »

 embarassed Sorry I had that swapped around.  I was surprised to see a few of them on Sneezeweed though.  I have not seen them on it before, but this year has been a little different weatherwise.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
SgtMaj
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2008, 03:01:28 AM »

embarassed Sorry I had that swapped around.  I was surprised to see a few of them on Sneezeweed though.  I have not seen them on it before, but this year has been a little different weatherwise.

I wish this year were different weatherwise for us... well I guess it is a bit... although we still haven't had any rain for over a month, we're not in a draught because it's been raining just a few miles east of us in the mountains.  Doesn't seem much different though, the lawn is all crunchy and I have to water the gardens every day.
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2008, 10:56:55 AM »

There is some very interesting plants that the bees love to go after.

I grow the cultivar of Gaillaria that is named Goblin.  No clue why it has that name, but this plant is so drought tolerant is basically grows in sand.  It grows alongside the greenhouse, on the driveway that borders the greenhouse.  The bees go nuts on this when the plant gets really big in the summertime.  If the plant is kept deadheaded (the spent flowers removed), it can bloom all the summer long.

Get a load of this....beautiful and most wonderful day, love our live we all live and share.  Cindi



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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
SgtMaj
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2008, 09:48:29 PM »

I didn't realize the gillardia needed to be deadheaded... I will do that tomorrow.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2008, 12:14:19 AM »

Stopped by a local nursary on a whim, found they were selling 7 foot Quince for $5.00.  Bought 2.  Quince jelly is in my future, along with baked quince.  Used to have some when a kid, quince jelly is to die for.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
poka-bee
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 12:35:51 AM »

Brian, doesn't it just make your day when you find treasures like that?  I've never had quince jelly, what color is it?  have a flowering quince that came from Mom & Dad's when I move in here in 82, they are indestructable! Jody
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 11:02:01 PM »

Brian, doesn't it just make your day when you find treasures like that?  I've never had quince jelly, what color is it?  have a flowering quince that came from Mom & Dad's when I move in here in 82, they are indestructable! Jody

Quince jelly looks like a light mint jelly, like apple jelly with a slight green tint.  It's as clear as honey.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 09:47:14 AM »

SgrMjr.  Deadheading plants is one the most important things that a caretaker can do.  If you deadhead plants, the plant will spend more time producing blooms.  It is not focussing on what nature wants it to do, and that is -- create seeds. 

Deadhead as many flowers that you can find the time to do.  When I deadhead the columbine, and that can be a very lengthy process as I have so many, it prolongs the blooming season for about a month.  I am serious!!!  The columbine that I grow here is a species that is a brilliant blue, and it attracts the bombus like nothing on this earth.  When I deadhead the columbine, my hands get sticky, no wonder the bees are so attracted to it.  It is just unfortunate that the honeybee is not attracted to these beauties.  The nectaries must be so deep the tongue of the honeybee does not reach it.  The bombus' tongue is significantly longer.  Beautiful and most wonderfully great day, our sun is still shinin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
SgtMaj
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2008, 06:08:20 AM »

Thanks Cindi.  Having been a veggie gardener all this time, I didn't think to deadhead anything.  In veggie gardening, that's the last thing you'd want to do, since the flowers are followed by the veggies that you wanted in the first place.

Speaking of veggie gardening... I found an interresting thing in my pumpkins... they were flowering and I went out early one morning and found a couple of, what looked like, honey bees curled up in one of the flowers.  They were just sitting there, motionless, but they were definately still alive.  They weren't gathering nectar or pollen... and it was too early for them to be out.  It was like they were out late the night before and decided to spend the night huddled in the flower.  Has anybody else ever seen anything like that?  I decided to just let them be, and later I came by and the flower was closed up/wilting, so I don't know if they left or got trapped inside.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2008, 07:29:00 AM »

Yes, they probably got caught out too late and spent the night on the flower.  Once it warmed up enough they went back home.  I've seen that a lot in the garden.
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2008, 02:31:01 PM »

SgrMaj.  No doubt it was a honeybee that was chilled, waiting for the next day to warm up and go home.  This brought up an interesting thought, drawn from the cobwebs of my mind.

Years ago I was reading a magazine and they were asking people that if they saw this particular species of bee in their squash flower to respond to them.  I can't remember the name, but the name "squash bee" comes to mind.  The male sleeps in the flower and the females lays burrowed in the ground.  Not overly clear on other details, but there is evidently a bee that uses the flower for sleeping in.  Interesting.  Beautiful and most wonderful of days, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
SgtMaj
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2008, 02:28:23 AM »

Interresting.  I googled the squash bee and came up with several different varieties that kinda resemble honey bees, which is what I thought they were when I saw them.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2008, 09:38:19 AM »

Well, I didn't have to look too hard for the honeybees at the nursury yesterday.  They were covering the platycocon Balloon Flowers (Campana china).  It was good to see so many honeybees.  So, of course I picked up a couple.  Once again, it was a perennial that got the bees.  I still find it odd that the flowers that need pollination the most (annuals) don't attract as many bees.  There was some other really scraggly flower that also had the honey bees on it, but it was so ugly I just couldn't bring myself to buy it.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2008, 04:24:32 PM »

It's been a while since I've updated this, so I thought I should now.  There was a LOT of honey bee activity at the nursury today.  Enough to make me think the fall flow is starting already.

As for flowers, the clear winner on the perrinial side was the pink mist scabiosa.  Although there were honey bees on most of the perrinials out there, there were far more on that.

As for annuals, the Dahlia's took the prize as being the favorites.  There were only a few honey bees on any other annuals.

Natually I picked up some of both... put the dahlia's in a few days ago, but haven't had any visitors yet.  Just picked up the scabiosa today, so I haven't had a chance to put it in yet.
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