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Author Topic: Bumbles outworking the honeys?  (Read 2933 times)
tjc1
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« on: July 21, 2013, 11:02:50 PM »

I hate to say it, but it seems to me that bumblebees (at least around here) seem to out-work the honeybees - you see them (many different kinds, too, it seems) everywhere and anywhere, on every type of flower, from early in the am till dusk. My only thought is that the honey bees tend to only work large areas of one type of blossom, so you don't see them on smaller patches, say in the yard. But it's hard not to feel sometime that they are making the honeys look like slouches... rolleyes
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 11:16:16 PM »

There are a lot of flowers that a honey bee cannot pollinate very easily that a bumble bee can. Red clover and blueberries come to mind.
One problem, bumble bees are not mono specific (I think that is the word, if someone knows, please correct me) like honey bees.
Jim
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 12:59:12 AM »

Tjc, you need more bees. grin

There never seemed to be very many honey bees around here (post varroa) until I started keeping bees.  Like you say; I would see as many bumble bees as honey bees.  Bumbles may be more diverse.  Now that I'm a keep, there’s honeybees EVERYWHERE.  Absolutely everywhere.  Really TOO many.  laugh


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beryfarmer
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 09:16:52 AM »

I see bumble bees everywhere-- maybe two or three sub species...  everywhere in my yard and every day...rarely do I see my honeybees in my garden.....it's quite puzzling to me.
not even on raspberries or strawberries, or cukes or flowering onions or sage, or coneflower etc... or the little bit of white clover I have
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rober
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 11:37:47 AM »

like Jim says, it depends on the flower. I've have several varieties of bees & small wasps working my garden. right now the honeybees are on my cosmos, Russian sage, oregano, basil, bottle brush buckeyes, & moonflowers ( datura ). they're also working the clover in my yard pretty hard. around here the mainstay of the bees seems to be dutch white clover. when people ask me what they can do to help the bees i tell them to give up their grass only lawns, plant dutch white clover, & leave the dandelions be.
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 04:51:24 PM »

ZERO honeybees in my neck of the woods. Na-da! Been looking for about 5 years and havent seen one. Trust me when I say I'be been looking too. Wasps yes...but no bees. I used to see a few about 10 years ago but not in the last 5. Thats one reason why I'm looking into keeping bees...to help Mother Nature. My concern is that if the Queen takes off to do her "Wild-Thang".....there may be no drones around to help her.
Thoughts on that anyone?
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tjc1
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 09:29:06 PM »

Late this afternoon, on the just-blooming sweet pepperbush (an important flow hereabouts) there were something like 20 bumbles to 1 honeybee... this is across the brook from my yard! So, maybe:
- it was too late in the day for honeybees to be working (tho they were coming and going SOMEWHERE back at the hive)
- they were working another source that they considered better?

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 10:35:32 PM »

ZERO honeybees in my neck of the woods. Na-da! Been looking for about 5 years and haven't seen one. Trust me when I say I'be been looking too. Wasps yes...but no bees. I used to see a few about 10 years ago but not in the last 5. Thats one reason why I'm looking into keeping bees...to help Mother Nature. My concern is that if the Queen takes off to do her "Wild-Thang".....there may be no drones around to help her.
Thoughts on that anyone?

Get several hives with queens from different locations. Spread them out a little so the queens will end up with the drones from the other hives. Queens travel about a mile to mate, drones travel about a kilometer, 6 tenths of a mile.
Jim
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 02:57:32 PM »

Thanks for the reply Sawdstmaker.........I figured I'd have to do some engineering on my part. Never thought I'd end up running a brothel house for bees!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 05:28:23 AM »

No problem. Your best bet for restoring bees to your area are feral bees from an area with the same type of climate as yours. If you buy bees that the beek has been treating to keep alive, they probably will not going to make it in the wild. Find someone that does not use chemicals for this project.
You have one of the larger commercial beeks in Fl right there in Lakeland. He brings his bees up here and places them right next to my farm in the spring, been doing it for years. Before I got the bees we never saw a bee except when his bees hives were on site. With 60 hives each on at least 3 different sites that I know of within range of the farm, you know some of them are swarming but they never survive. After having bees for 3 years, I see bees even when my bees are not at the farm.
What I'm saying is buy untreated bees if you are trying to repopulate your area. If you cannot find them in your area let me know, I do sell them.
Jim
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 02:57:43 PM »

Sawdstmstr....are you reffering to Kelly's Apiaries???  If so yes...they're only 20 miles from my house. Thanks for the heads up. I've been attending several Bee Association meetings the last couple months but havent actually gotten to the point of buying bees. Making some hive boxes this weekend. Not exactly cheap when one first starts out!
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 11:04:32 PM »

No, I was thinking of Mike Sadler. He brings his bees up here and puts his bees right next to my farm to collect gallberry and palmetto in the spring.
Jim
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phill
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 10:08:28 AM »

tjc1, I've noticed the same thing here in central Mass. Bumblebees are all over the flowers in our garden. My honey bees are going somewhere else-- somewhere further off. In previous years I saw them all the time in our garden. Different weather = different things blooming at different times, I guess.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 11:01:21 AM »

Phil,
Your bees will pick the flowers that are best for their survival.
Jim
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tjc1
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2013, 08:25:56 PM »

Phil,
Your bees will pick the flowers that are best for their survival.
Jim

There's the bottom line - even if I'm thinking, "Hey, the pepperbush is blooming, the honeybees should be all over this!", the fact is that they are out gathering something out there somewhere that they have determined is the most important/best thing to be working at that time.
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phill
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2013, 09:23:37 AM »

Agreed. My bees are doing well this year. They obviously know what they're doing. I just wish they'd tell me, because I'm curious.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2013, 09:36:57 AM »

There are a lot of flowers that a honey bee cannot pollinate very easily that a bumble bee can. Red clover and blueberries come to mind.
One problem, bumble bees are not mono specific (I think that is the word, if someone knows, please correct me) like honey bees.
Jim


    The Blueberry farmers of Maine and New Jersey must be wasting all their money on pollination because they hire thousands of beehive every year. I do know Andy Card Sr.
start doing this in about 1950-1980 now his grandson is still doing Blueberry farmers in Maine and New Jersey to this day.

http://mvabeepunchers.com/pollination.html





                       BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Jim 134
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2013, 09:50:19 AM »

   You do realize there are about 250 different species of bees in the world and only about 30% pollination takes place by honey bees in honey bees are not even the best pollinators.



                           BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Cedar Hill
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2013, 09:17:30 PM »

    Maybe it depends on the soil and moisture content.   Ever notice that the pepperbush of wet swamp land is usually more frequently visited by the honeybees?    OMTCW
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2013, 09:46:43 PM »

It is probably depends on what other flowers are available at the same time as the blueberries are in bloom. Down here we have gallberry and palmetto as well as a few others in bloom at the same time. Blueberries are not the easiest flowers for bees to get nectar from. These other flowers are major producers.
Jim
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Jim 134
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2013, 04:54:03 AM »

  The main business of Merrimack Valley Apiaries is pollination not honey even though they do get honey from it. Would you like to buy some Blueberry honey Huh
I do know the Cards used to go to Osteen, Florida this was there staging point  for orange blossoms.


http://www.crystalsrawhoney.com/product/6-104.html




                            BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 12:01:27 PM »

Jim,
I am only going by what I see at my farm and what I have been told about the difficulty bees have, in bee college.
My blueberries are about 70' from where I stage my hives. I see them flying right over the top of them to go to the fields.
In three years I have never seen my bees on blueberry flowers.
I agree they do pollinate them, Jamie Ellis had a class this past year on how to plant blueberries and where to place the bee hives so that the bees would have a better chance to land on the blueberry bushes (he named the types) that have the right type pollen needed first and then hopefully land on the plants that produce the fruits desired (cross polination, not male and female). He had planting ratios and diagrams. I suspect some types blueberry bushes are better for the bees to pollinate but I do not recall that being mentioned.
Jim
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Jim 134
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2013, 04:52:36 PM »

   I do know in Maine (Washington County) their are places where you can ride for an hour in any direction and all you will see are blueberries. I never went to New Jersey for Merrimack Valley Bee Punches.

http://www.mainerec.com/wcblbrry.asp?Category=133&PageNum=133

                         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 05:20:46 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2013, 09:22:32 PM »

An important part of attracting honey bees to ones garden is to plant herbs amid your vegetables.  Rosemary keeps aphids off of tomatoes and draw honey bees which results in greater fruit set on the tomatoes.  Planting other herbs amid other crops does similar results--comfrey amid my raspberries means an excellent fruit set.
Chapter 12 in my up-coming book:  Beekeeping Made Easy.
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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!
Jim 134
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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2013, 09:56:47 PM »

Brian D. Bray welcome back after your vacation from Beemaster.





                   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
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