Gardening for Honeybees

  1. Amazing information, Thank you. We have in the past donated a tiny portion of our lot to a pro beekeeper who would come and take care of his bees etc, in return we got some wonderful honey. He retired a while ago but will call him for help.
  2. I wonder if the bees imprinted on your property somehow.
    I hope he can help you or you can find someone else. I think having a hive would be good, that way you would not get stray hives built near your home. I bet someone else might we willing to set that up at your place....good luck:tup:
  3. I don't necessarily have a "bee" garden, but my planters do attract a lot of bees. I live in a townhouse and the back of my unit is built into a rock face so I have a small patio and rock garden there - no bees. The front of the house faces south and I have a balcony with five flowering planters and two with ornamental grasses. I noticed this past summer that there were a lot of bees and I assumed it was due to the brightly coloured flowers I had planted. I also get butterflies and a few hummingbirds here and there. We aren't allowed to have bird feeders due to the amount of bears in the area (It's not that uncommon to see one taking a casual walk down the street - literally) so nothing to scare the bees away, I guess.

    I also have a tub of Sedum and the bees loved that. It wasn't unusual to see three or four bees at a time buzzing around there once the plant started to flower. Almost all of my flowers and plants are drought-resistant so I have no idea if that has anything to do with how attractive they are to the bees. I don't have any other bugs or creepy crawlies on the deck. I get some other kind of bee-looking thing but they're quite small and love to buzz around my head. I always shoo them away. They're smaller than a wasp but I guess they could be baby wasps? I don't care for them. The real bees don't seem to want anything to do with me.
    My bees are all the Bumble Bee variety. Big, fluffy black and yellow bees with these crazy full pollen baskets on their hind legs. I had to google it last summer when I saw this yellow "growth" on them. I thought it was really cool. Now that I know they're so helpful in the garden, I plan on planting the exact same flowers as last year. No Honey Bees that I know of - yet!

    I don't know how to embed a link but I thought I'd share a YouTube link of a beekeeper that lives just 25 minutes up the valley from me. I think she sells her honey at the Summer Farmer's Market here.
  4. That is awesome!!!
  5. I've been doing this for the past few years. I find bees fascinating, though I'm a bit scared of them (and allergic!).

    It's fun to watch them go about their business on the flowers. I know this sounds weird, but sometimes, I give them a little pep talk when they are right beside me while I garden, "You're doing a GREAT job! Thank you for pollinating my plants!" I find they may respond to the calm voice (intelligent as they are, even I know they don't understand a word I say!). They don't try to bother me when I talk to them in a soothing voice. Maybe I'm crazy...:lol:
  6. ^^ Most bees won't bother you. You mind your business and they'll mind theirs.

    Problem is (like snakes and other critters), people aren't familiar enough with them to know which are dangerous. People think Yellow Jackets are bees, but they're actually wasps and they will attack. People also don't know where bees, wasps and hornets live, so they'll reach somewhere and come back with a nasty sting or three. Some make their hives underground, some in wood piles, some under eaves or overhangs. Most wasps and hornets won't attack unless you bother the nest. Then they'll attack and follow you if you run.

    The biggest threat though is the Africanized bee. It's essentially a honeybee and looks identical to the normal honeybee which this thread is about. You don't even have to mess with their nest. Just get in the area and they'll swarm and chase you down like a rabid hound dog.
  7. Bees/yellow jackets have always followed me--sometimes into the house. I know hairspray, perfume, etc. can cause this, but I was not wearing either every time it happened. Guess they like me! :lol: Also, I'm allergic to them. I've never encountered a nest. They landed on me, and perhaps I startled them by moving, and got stung. As I can't take Benadryl, I try like mad not to go near bees.
  8. The beekeeper taught us to approach the hive with a calm attitude, and even if you do get stung, not to freak...just calmly walk away. They absolutely do pick up on your energy.

    We had a commercial beekeeper here from another state to teach the local beeclub about raising healthy queen bees, and at that class there were lots of experienced beekeepers and they all say the same thing.

    They also said that if you have a bad day or are just stressed out or in a hurry not to try to check your hives or deal with bees, they will feel it and you will get stung for sure.

    Ranapur, I do the same thing when I see them in my garden, or I say, I will just be right her and you dont worry about me, LOL!....But honestly I am lucky if I see one a week :sad:
  9. And besides honeybees there are also solitary bees, that make their own nests but do not live in a hive. different types of these nest in holes, the ground, or make little tubes out of leaves they cut and carry to a safe place to nest.

    Most types of bees die when they sting you so they don't really want to do it either. Bees foraging for food just want to find nectar and get home safely as fast as they can.

    I am not sure about wasps and hornets. they may be able to do multiple stings...
  10. I've always had this crazy theory about bees...everyone has a natural scent. People who bathe, change their clothes regularly and don't have some sort of body odor abnormality probably can't smell themselves. I think some folks may have a sweeter-than-normal body scent, and I think bees/wasps/yellow jackets may find that appealing. Just an idea--I'm probably wrong!
  11. you are not. these creatures are really sensitive to scent (flowers) and they survive because of their ability to detect pheromones.

    They also do not like black clothing. (bears)
  12. this is such a wonderful & informative thread!

    i will admit, bees scare me and shamefully i would get rid of hives in my backyard. however, last summer, while in a flower nursery, i read on a packet of seeds how planting certain flowers will help bring back our bees and the importance of such flowers. i never knew we had a problem before that! i did plant some seeds but the bees never came...then again, neither did the flowers.:p

    i will plant again this year and next time will call a local beekeeper when i see a hive on my property.

    i do buy local raw honey all the time too.

  13. Did you have a hive, or a swarm? A hive is a colony they have built up, with honeycomb, etc. A swarm is a split off of a hive that is looking for a new home. A swarm is not dangerous, a beekeeper would be THRILLED to come and get it for you.

    If anyone spots a swarm, please please call a beekeeper right away! :tup:
    FREE BEES!!! :nuts:
  14. after reading your post, it was definitely a swarm.
    i'm learning all this bee
  15. I started a thread in General Discussion, in case people see swarms around, since it is the season...

    Here is a picture...

    Swarms of honeybees are safe ... the bees are just hanging on for dear life waiting for the word that they have a new home lined up.