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Author Topic: Bumble Bees  (Read 4262 times)

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2007, 12:47:01 AM »
The bee picture on at the start of this discussion is not a bumble bee,  It is a drone carpenter bee.  The males have the bright yellow spot on their forehead.  They, like apis drones, have no stinger.  The females do.  It takes a lot of poking at them to get stung, but it can be done.

It's a hoot when the drones buzz you if you walk through their territory.

Bummer:  I tried to post links to good websites on this bug but I just found out I can't post links until my post count goes up.  :(

In any event, one of my favorite insects.

Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline Sean Kelly

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2007, 01:14:56 AM »
Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I dug up some bumblebees.  The honey is in small marble sized pouches, almost leathery.  Probably made of plant material, some secretions or something.  As I recall, it was like most other honey, but darn little of it.  And they made me pay dearly for every drop of it.  I can clearly remember them moving right up my arms stinging me over and over.  When they sting, it draws blood.  I decided they were more for admiring their colors and enjoying watching than to fool with.

That's hilarious!  Drawing blood?!?!  Man, crazy!  But how did it taste????  I'll take your experience as a sure warning.  I'll stay away from bumble bee hives, but I'm still pretty darn curious.  They're neat bugs.  I think there's a bumble bee hive near my new bee yard I'm setting up.  Everytime I walk from my barn to the bee yard I get 1 or 2 bumble bees buzzing around my head.  They sure are cute and goofy lookin.  :-)

Sean Kelly
"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2007, 01:18:40 AM »
Some of the researchers that maintain bumble colonies will tell you that it tastes great, but there is very very little of it in a nest.

Pick up "bumblebee economics" by Bernd Heinrich - a terrific book.

Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline abejaruco

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2007, 02:05:28 AM »
Quote
We have that growing wild around my place.  Does it taste like asparagus?  Is it safe to eat?  lol

If any of you have thought about eat a braken fern omelette: :-P


Quote
The braken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is one of the five weeds most common in the world. It grows in all the continents, from the sub Artic to the southerner parts of Africa and America. In the tropical regions it grows profusely in the temperate mountain zones which are cultivated by humans, for-ming dense masses which exclude other vegetation. The plant contains various toxic components which affect cattle dramatically: avitaminosis B1 mechanical paralysis, paralysis of the rumen, acute trombositopenia, renal and hepatic degeneration, hemorraging in the large digestive tract, cancer hematuria vesical in cattle. It can also cause permanent blindness in goats. Some these affects can be transmitted to humans through milk from animals in contact with the plant. Also it has been demonstrated that the milk can contain a carcinogen of Pteridium: ptaquiloside, in quantities sufficient to be the cause of or coagent in the high levels of stomach cancer found in the mountainous regions of Venezuela and Costa Rica, where this plant prevails and invades grazing lands of milk cattle.

Offline Sean Kelly

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2007, 04:11:41 AM »
Some of the researchers that maintain bumble colonies will tell you that it tastes great, but there is very very little of it in a nest.

Pick up "bumblebee economics" by Bernd Heinrich - a terrific book.

Keith

I think I will pick it up.  Always been fasinated by bumble bees.

I think I'll pass on the Omelete.  ;-)

Sean
"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13

Offline abejaruco

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2007, 02:14:02 PM »
I am getting fascinated by the bumble too. I´ll try a serie of photos about those "winged bus".
This photo is rescued from another year.


[url]http://album.miarroba.com/merops_apiaster/13/61/]http://album.miarroba.com/merops_apiaster/13/61/
[img]

[url]http://album.miarroba.com/merops_apiaster/13/61/


By the way, bumbles don´t produce honey. They can store nectar. They don´t need honey for winter, because the female sleep.


Offline Mici

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2007, 02:28:21 PM »
sean, i've read another report, when someone ate honey/nectar from bumble bees, since he didn't mention any specifics or anything special about it, i'd say it ain't different from honeybee honey.
i still have 6 empty boxes :-\ they just won't populate them...

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2007, 03:43:28 PM »
"By the way, bumbles don´t produce honey"

Yes they do, just little teeny amounts.  And supposedly it tastes great.  Of course the people tasting it are bombus afficionados.  Anyone here belong to Bombus-L?

Just google bumblebee honey.  or see bumblebee dot org.


Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline Mici

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2007, 04:04:53 PM »
hmm, i think i'd have to agree with abejaruco. they don't make honey, they store nectar, that's why my first assumption was that it's thiner than honeybee honey. they store it for VERY SHORT TERM usage, plus they don't cure it, far too much time consuming.
it is honey only partialy.

Offline nepenthes

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2007, 11:07:30 PM »
If i can find a queen, i would love to have a bumble bee "colony", I would also like a Wasp nest to but thats just me!
"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2007, 11:10:53 PM »
Um, not to pick a nit but.  They do store honey.  The cell they use is called, by the folks that work with bumbles, a honey-pot.  Early on, when the colony is small most of the sugar is consumed rapidly, little is stored, but as the colony grows, carbs can be stored as honey.  Not much, but it is considered honey non-the-less. 

I refer you to page 36 of Heinrich's bumblebee economics where he describes a hive having 195 ml of, you guessed it . . .honey.  Now this is an unusual amount, but the simple fact is they store honey.  later in the paragraph he says "incidentally, the honey tasted superb - we all agreed that it tasted superior to any honeybee honey we ever tasted."

Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2007, 09:20:36 AM »
I pulled an old bumble nest out of my wall insulation, and it had something that looked much like honey in it, and the nest was several years old at least.  Not knowing the history and could have been sprayed, I didn't try it.

On a different note...that picture in the beginning looked like it may have been a drone (big googley eyes like a drone honeybee) which would be why it wouldn't sting.

Rick
Rick

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2007, 10:24:08 AM »
"On a different note...that picture in the beginning looked like it may have been a drone (big googley eyes like a drone honeybee) which would be why it wouldn't sting."

'zactly, a drone carpenter bee. The yellow spot is the give away.

They are really cool bugs.  They get right up in your face an buzz you if you get too close ot the terratory you ahve staked out.  It is all bluster though, there really isn't anything they can do to you.

Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline Mici

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Re: Bumble Bees
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2007, 10:53:23 AM »
ok, so it is honey.
anyway just wanted to say to nepethes that catching bumble bee queens is a piece of cake, i could catch litteraly hundreds of them around here, which is actually a good sign. i've also noticed actually took a note when they first apper, so i'll know the next year. they started flying around and searching the nestin sites (i know they were, the looked into any darker hole) when temperatures were around 15°C for 2 weeks, when the first spring flowers were fading away and when appricot and those round i don't know if you call them plums, let's just say early plums started to bloom. the appricot tree was full of them.

though i cought many, i must confess i "killed" 2 with all good intentions, the remainder flew away after i opened them out, now i have one box in my room, conceled of course. i thought they'd establish a nest if closed but after a week they just flew away.

 

anything