Honey Bees in the Garden: July: "Honeybees in the Garden...July:"

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Honey Bees in the Garden:  July

By Mindy03
July 6, 2011

Independence Day and the beginning of the hottest days of summer, the Dog Days, are the major events in July. Gardeners and honey bees are trying to keep cool and harvesting food.

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Name: Plants and Plumerias
American South (Zone 7b)
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kevin51
Jul 11, 2011 6:50 AM CST
Margaret, I most enjoyed your article. I've just gotten around to reading it. I liked your listing specific plants which benefit the bees.
Lee

Plants and Plumerias and others.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jul 11, 2011 7:57 AM CST
Thank you Lee. I do these articles once a month on the plants. Be sure to scroll through the articles to find the ones on pollen and honey. As well as January through June plant articles.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Jul 16, 2011 5:19 AM CST
Enjoyed your article. I have Mason bees that come to my garden. I'm hoping to have some "winter over" by providing housing for them this year.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Jul 16, 2011 5:22 AM CST
Thank you. I've read a little about mason bees and they are interesting.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jul 20, 2012 12:10 PM CST
Mindy I just took this photo a few days ago. This little guy has been very busy as you can see by his tattered wings. It made me a little sad and makes me remember that life is fleeting.
What a grand little worker he is. The are really working the Kniphofia and Sempervivum blooms right now.
Thumb of 2012-07-20/valleylynn/390c4e
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 20, 2012 1:12 PM CST
Lovely picture Thanks for sharing it.

The tattered wings indicate she's old and has worked really hard. It makes me a bit sad too but in her life span terms she's lived a long life.

Not sure what our bees are into other than the sunflowers as I'm not getting out much right now. Soon they will be hatching out the winter bees.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jul 20, 2012 1:19 PM CST
Margaret, how do I know a she bee from a he bee?
Many years ago I used to know the answer, it seems to evade me now. *Blush*
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jul 20, 2012 5:07 PM CST
For starters only workers (she bees) forage on flowers. Drones (male bees) are larger than worker bees. Drones also have a larger head than a worker bee with bigger eyes to better spot a young queen during mating flights

So all the bees you see on your flowers are female.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jul 20, 2012 8:06 PM CST
Got it. Do the male bees stay at the hive, guarding and doing other household chores?
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jul 21, 2012 5:33 AM CST
No they don't the wokers do all of the work inside and outside the hive. Drones only exist to mate with a young queen. They get kicked out of the hive when they are getting ready for winter so as not to have to feed them.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jul 21, 2012 8:48 AM CST
How long does a drone live, and does it have any other duties in the hive?
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Jul 21, 2012 12:02 PM CST
Drones live 40 to 50 days if they aren't ate by a bird or otherwise killed. If they mate with a young queen they die immediately afterwards because their sexual organ is left in the queen after mating.

They do not have any duties in the hive at all. They do not have a stinger so do not do guard duty. They don't help take care of the brood, build comb or help with honey storage. They won't even feed themselves if they can get a nurse bee to feed them instead.
Here's a picture of a drone DH brought to show me back in the spring.

Thumb of 2012-07-21/Mindy03/b1375d
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Jul 21, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Wow...the fate of a drone is kind of depressing! The honeybees have been all over my Cenizo bushes since it has been blooming!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jul 21, 2012 1:55 PM CST
I am loving all this information Margaret. How many drones are usually present in a hive at any given time. I did read that they are banned from the hive in winter. What about population during the growing seasons.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 21, 2012 3:19 PM CST
At the beginning of spring before mating season there might be around 100 drones in a hive during the mating season there may be as many as a 1000 of them present. If there are an excessive number of drones present it usually means the queen isn't present and the workers are laying the eggs which is not good. Workers can only lay infertile eggs which are what the drones are hatched from and they only do it when the queen isn't in the hive. Honey bee queens have the ability to lay either fertile or infertile eggs depending on the needs of the colony.

Yes poor drones they only exist to make sure the colony's genetics are passed on. But hey, the ones who survive their whole life span without getting killed or mating a queen are pampered bees...no work, hang out with the guys waiting for a young queen and get to eat for free without having to earn the food.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jul 21, 2012 3:28 PM CST
This has been like having a wonderful story told. Thank you so much Margaret.
Gives me a whole new perspective on bees.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jul 21, 2012 3:35 PM CST
You are most welcome Lynn.

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