Gardening for Honeybees

  1. Well,, nice that there are bees, but sorry about the beetles...are they the japanese rose beetles? :thinking: except those come out at night...anything you spray on them will affect the bees, unless you do it at night or really early when the bees are not active and use an organic approved foliar spray like neem oil.

    i have the same problem...cant do cucumbers because of the pickleworms, and its hard to hit the sweet spot of spraying so the bees are not in contact with the spray, even though the spray is organic it is still not good for bees....

    I have japanese rose beetles and we pick them off in the evening and put them in soapy water, this seems to knock the population back, but i only have small bushes, and it looks like you have lots of trees etc....
  2. I'm not sure what type they are, but when them come out in force, there'll be hundreds of them, sometimes in clusters of 10 or 15 on a single bud or leaf cluster. They'll eat the bud or blossom from the inside out and clear a bunch of leaves to nothing in a few days.

    Not too many right now though.

    Bushes are probably 12-15' tall in places, so no way to get to them all except with a sprayer.

    I'll try to get a better shot in the morning when the sun is in a different place. They tend to be more plentiful in the morning too for some reason.
  3. ew. thats not good. No idea what to tell you about that. Maybe there is something you can spray at night that will dry by morning and not hurt the bees. those are not japanese rose beetles, thats for sure. Pretty flowers though.

    Maybe your extension office can help.
  4. #110 Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    My goodness! That is a big swarm! So glad it had a happy ending. Interesting that the honeybees are protected in Pennsylvania.

    I got three swarms in one week a couple of weeks ago. A few days of nice weather and BOOM!! I dont think any were as big as that one though.

    I am now on the state swarm call list, I must say its pretty exciting to get those calls. :wlae: Two of the three swarms were calls from homeowners near me who woke up to bees in their yards....SURPRISE!!! They are all happily resettled in hive boxes (one swarm was my own bees who went next door, the stinkers).

    Here is a picture of my little rascals, and a picture of the queen that was part of one of the other swarms. She is gorgeous!! (as bees go)
    Q2.jpg beez.jpg
  5. Seattle Times:

    Has anyone been keeping track of this?

    Washington state's first "zombie bees" have been reported in Kent.

    Novice beekeeper Mark Hohn returned home from vacation a few weeks ago to find many of his bees either dead or flying in jerky patterns and then flopping on the floor. He later learned they had a parasite that causes bees to fly at night and lurch around erratically until they die.

    The infection is called "zombie bees."

    "I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house," Hohn told The Seattle Times (

    San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik discovered the infection in California in 2008.

    Hafernik now uses a website to recruit citizen scientists like Hohn to track the infection across the country. Observers have found zombie bees in California, Oregon, South Dakota and, now, Washington.

    Zombie bees also are being studied by Steve Sheppard, chairman of the entomology department at Washington State University.

    The infection is another threat to bees that are needed to pollinate crops. Hives have been failing in recent years due to a mysterious ailment called colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly die.

    Hohn had remembered hearing about zombie bees, so when he discovered the dead bees at his 1.25-acre spread, he collected several of the corpses and popped them into a plastic bag. About a week later, Hohn had evidence his bees were infected - the pupae of parasitic flies.

    The life cycle of the fly that infects zombie bees is reminiscent of the movie "Alien," the Times reported. A small adult female lands on the back of a honeybee and injects eggs into the bee's abdomen. The eggs hatch into maggots.

    "They basically eat the insides out of the bee," Hafernik said.

    After consuming their host, the maggots pupate, forming a hard outer shell that looks like a fat, brown grain of rice. That's what Hohn found in the plastic bag with the dead bees. Adult flies emerge in three to four weeks.

    There's no evidence yet that the parasitic fly is a major player in the bees' decline, but it does seem the pest is targeting new hosts, Sheppard said. "It may occur a lot more widely than we think."

    That's what Hafernik hopes to find out with his website, The site offers simple instructions for collecting suspect bees, watching for signs of parasites and reporting the results.

    Once more people start looking here, the number of sightings will probably climb, Hohn said.

    "I'm pretty confident I'm not the only one in Washington state who has them," he said.
  6. The plan was to feed Hummingbirds, but well .......

    Not sure what this is all about. This is the first day I've noticed this.
    HumBees.jpg HumBees2.jpg
  7. ^ They must be really hungry...or lazy, lol! Sometimes I see yellow jackets at the hummingbird feeder, but never a honeybee.
  8. This is an interesting time lapse film clip of 21 days in the life of a honeybee. You even get to see a varroa mite...

    This from Bored Panda:
    The first 21 days of a bee’s life are captured in this inspiring video by photographer Anand Varma. Bees pollinate 1/3 of the world’s food crop but are being threatened by the Varroa destructor mite; Varma was hired to document the process. While scientists have succeeded in breeding a mite-resistant bee, it lacks other desirable traits such as gentleness and the ability to store honey.