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Author Topic: the oddest sight...  (Read 997 times)

Offline SerenaSYH

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the oddest sight...
« on: July 19, 2011, 06:24:22 AM »
Uh, honeybees almost never display any interest in roses at all! Especially the extremely picky Kansas honeybee. But today, I saw either a very young or a very messed-up drunk off her *ss honeybee rolling around in the pollen of my spent Lincoln hybrid tea blooms that I didn't have the chance to deadhead yet. I am thinking what in the heck???? I have 23 roses and not once has a honeybee ever visited a rose bloom...

The honeybee was from the Carnolian group. Carnolian group is very slow moving, quiet and have secluded themselves with my oregano flowers just at the foot of my Lincoln hybrid tea. Whereas the Cordovan honeybee that flood my Russian sage are extremely fast-moving and skittish, very difficult to photograph because any movement makes them freak and they will flee to a different stem if I try to photograph them. The Cordovan display tons and tons of energy.

Well this honeybee was very dull in color, a bit faded and it was lolling around visiting each crumpled spent Lincoln bloom. Granted Lincolns are one of the most fragrant of roses, but stillllll no honeybee has ever shown even the slightest of interest in my super-fragrant Lincolns. From what Brian told me awhile back is that faded coloration usually means either it's a juvenile honeybee or the hive is stressed and is now pushing out juveniles into the field.

Quote
In rare circumstances newly hatched bees will immediately begin to forage but only if the vast majority of older bees have perished for some reason such as poisoning.  Both the exposure to toxins and being young bees would give them a low or weak activity level.  This type of behaviour is usually noticeable where someone has tried to kill off a feral hive with insecticides, ie in their wall and they want them out.

Of course I'm a bit worried and concerned for my honeybees. I am now getting Japaneses beetles drilling all kinds of unsavory holes in my roses and pretty soon the organic Milky Spore should be arriving. Once JBs enter a neighborhood, I can imagine all the gardeners nuking their plants with Sevin. Well when checking local stores for Milky Spore, I discovered shelves upon shelves of Sevin as a lawn treatment. I feel like the poor honeybees and the bumblebees are gonna be toast. Clover which at ground level, Sevin as a lawn treatment where the clover is at... you get the idea...What a disaster this is.

Lucky for me Kansas honeybees are picky but I always worry about a honeybee being poisoned. The flight pattern looked rather erratic and it was tumbling around from spent bloom to spent bloom. Stamens of the flowers were indeed exposed but sometime the bee would tussle or get stuck in a petal. Very, very odd....

Anyone ever witness a poisoned honeybee? It seemed to select those spent flowers at least...so it possessed at least some cognition....


Offline BlueBee

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Re: the oddest sight...
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 01:22:44 AM »
I like the Lincolns, but I LOVE the fragrance of the Chrysler Imperials.  The Chryslers are an old cultivar, but a goodie.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: the oddest sight...
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 11:07:37 PM »
Honey Bees will visit roses but usually only when there is a pollen dearth.  Bees will not only fill their pollen sacks but will "roll" in the pollen to get their hair coated with the pollen too.  It is a matter of efficiency.  Twice as much in one load.  When a pollen dearth is underway bees will go for anything that resembles pollen including sawdust.

Put out some cornmeal in a pan and see if they go for that, that would verify the pollen dearth.
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: the oddest sight...
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2011, 01:11:50 AM »
The Roses of Sharon bushes (Hibiscus Syriacus) have just started blooming here in Michigan.  Got a great big “Blue Bird” cultivar here.  It’s so funny watching the bumble bees go after the flowers.  They roll around in the pollen and come out looking like popcorn!  Covered from head to toe with pollen.  Funny thing is, I’ve never noticed a honey bee on the Rose of Sharon bushes.  Honey bees can be picky eaters.

Offline SerenaSYH

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Re: the oddest sight...
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 08:14:51 PM »
Yes, BlueBee the little Kansas divas are near impossible to please where I live. They snub every single "bee-beneficial" plant save for the Russian sage and the oregano... Just occasionally will they visit the lavender but everything else they act like some high-falutin' crowd of princesses.

Brian it was just that one honeybee, everyone else was acting normal, just that one honeybee. Since that day no other honeybee has been visiting any rose. That's why I was thinking "freaky" or very sick honeybee that got poisoned by the neighbors next to me. There are no pesticides in my garden, just the deterrent hot wax pepper spray....But thanks Brian, I gotta go make sure that all my bee-Russian-sage, are fully watered so that the flowers will keep on pumping!!! Very interesting about the cornmeal too! I learn something cool from you all the time :D

BlueBee at the Kansas City Powell garden yes, the Chrysler Imperial and Lincoln are within vicinity to each other. Lincoln does edge ahead by 2 hairs, lol! (back in 2009 I did sniff tests), but yes both are wonderfully scented roses. Lincolns are just a more intense in aroma (fragrance wafts further). But Chrysler Imperial is more popular because it maintains its open form a little longer in the heat I believe.