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Author Topic: Bumble bees, honeybees and the land of plenty  (Read 624 times)
beewitch
House Bee
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Posts: 61

Location: Atlanta


« on: September 23, 2010, 08:54:21 AM »

Hello.  As a 1st year beek, but a life-long gardener, I've noticed a surprising thing this year and wondered if you experienced keepers could explain it.   I've always had plenty of Bumble bees (and other pollinators) in my garden, but my honeybees will not forage where the Bumble bees do!  Lots of (I think) good opportunities near the hives that have always drawn native bees, but my girls won't go near them - chaste trees, rosemary, butterfly bushes, hawthorn, etc, etc.  I've watched and watched this summer, but those girls have a mind of their own.  Does anyone else notice this?  Why is it so?  Or is it just a weird summer? huh
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AllenF
Galactic Bee
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Location: Hiram, Georgia


« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 08:59:14 AM »

Honey bees and bumble bees have 2 different size tongues.   Here, they both will hit the blueberries at the same time.   But I know of several  plants that bees will not touch, but they are covered in bumble bees.
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beewitch
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Location: Atlanta


« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2010, 09:57:28 AM »

Well, that makes total sense...  Thanks, Allen. 
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AliciaH
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Location: Enumclaw Plateau, WA


« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2010, 11:08:50 AM »

I think that sometimes it depends what else they might be working and has their attention.  I have things in my yard they should absolutely love, but they either didn't work it, or didn't until it was half way through it's bloom (which is what happened with my butterfly bush).  There has to be enough of "it" to catch their attention.  Most recently, my sedum was half way through it's bloom before they found it, but once they did, they took it over from the bumbles!
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greenbtree
Field Bee
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Location: Stone City, Iowa


« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 05:29:25 PM »

Tongue length can make all the difference -  I have tons of red clover, you would think the honey bees would go mad for it - but it is hard for them to reach.  In fact I have heard that one of the drives to breed bigger bees (thus the larger cell size foundations) was to try to get bees that could access things like red clover. We also get loads of beebalm, again same problem, but even worse, the flower is even deeper.  The Bumblebees are all over them both.

JC
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