Daylilies forum: HELP! I can't BEE-lieve this!!!!

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Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Apr 24, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Why are these black and white big bees EATING my daylilies and how do I stop them?? They are eating them down at the roots whether they come up from the ground. This bed is out in the middle of my yard so it's not next to my house. They are attacking several plants in this same bed. I don't know what to do to make them stop! Can anyone help or have any ideas on why they are doing this?
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 24, 2016 7:56 AM CST
That's strange, unless they are leafcutter bees or something like that. This isn't the first time I've heard of bees attacking daylilies though. One possibility that comes to mind, if they aren't taking parts away, is that they're looking for moisture. Unless someone here is better at IDing bees than I am, my suggestion would be to post the pics on the Insect and Bug ID forum and see if anyone there, especially Janet, can give us an idea what they are. Then we'd maybe get a better idea of what they're up to.

Can you temporarily wrap cling wrap or something around the bases of the plants they're attacking, or smear them with Vaseline?

Edited to add afterthought, if you do either of the above do it very early morning or later in the evening when they're not around so that you don't get stung!
[Last edited by sooby - Apr 24, 2016 7:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Apr 24, 2016 8:18 AM CST
They look like carpenter bees, but that is just a guess on my part. I am not sure why they are after your daylilies.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 24, 2016 8:31 AM CST
Never have seen that either. I would hit them up with some pepper spray right quick, while trying to figure it out. Bees not mind the pepper spray, like the critters, but maybe it will make them think they are at the wrong plant. Confused
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 24, 2016 4:34 PM CST
I would just put some light mulch over that part of the plant, something like pine straw, or leaves. See if that will discourage them.
South Central Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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Cynthia59P
Apr 24, 2016 7:12 PM CST
Do you know what those pale tan, pebbly looking things are off to the right? To me, they kind of look like a fungus or possibly eggs....just a guess...or maybe I need better glasses. ;) Anyway, if that is what it is, maybe the bee is just taking advantage of the damage from the fungus or whatever laid the eggs.
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Apr 25, 2016 5:19 AM CST
That's something I have never seen, I agree with Cynthia59P, something has to be attracting the bee's other than just the plant.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 25, 2016 5:23 AM CST
One thing I wondered about is that the outer leaves seem to have been broken off. The break might be, or have been, oozing sweet sap and that might be what the bees are going for.
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Apr 25, 2016 10:31 AM CST
Is that a snail with a shell on the bottom of the fan where the brownish
spot is? If so, it's a tiny little thing, and did it eat that large a spot?
Of course, I may need to get better glasses.

As for the other, it does appear to be a carpenter bee, and I have
not found it written that they eat plants or wood for that matter.
The bees dig out the wood to create spaces for nest building,
so as Sue says, maybe the bee is gathering sap or some form of moisture.

Now, about that snail, if that is what it is, that snail may have family.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 10:04 AM CST
I too think the bees are secondary, I think they are there to lick up the sap the plant is oozing after being damaged by something else. My guess is slugs or snails. Spray the area w red pepper and garlic, and then put out a saucer of beer overnight and see if there are slugs. If so, you can buy slug pellets, at lowes, they are not expensive ($10 but go a long ways, maybe every two months?) and just start treating for the slugs regularly for a couple of years until you get rid of them. you may be able to see slugs snails if you dig around the plant, they love mulch-dampness...
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
Apr 30, 2016 7:18 PM CST
I was thinking that same thing and put the beer out last night. Not even one slug!!! I have a video of one of the bees eating a dead leaf but for the life of me I can't figure out how to post the cotton picking thing!!!!! Grrrrr
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Apr 30, 2016 9:19 PM CST
Can't help you with the posting problem, but you have definitely
encountered an oddity with the bee behavior. Now, I'm wondering
why the bee is doing that, and what type of bee you've got there.

Maybe our members can help you solve this mystery.
I'm still looking for answers. Haven't found any yet.
Does this bee have a shiny or fuzzy abdomen?
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2016 10:09 PM CST
is there an insect ID forum?
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
May 1, 2016 12:20 AM CST
it looks more like a carpenter type bumble bee or a boring bee, you know like the ones that bore into wood. Maybe thats the same bee... lol, I don't know.. Its the weirdest thing I have ever seen!!!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 1, 2016 4:48 AM CST
Frillylily said:is there an insect ID forum?


Yes

http://garden.org/forums/view/otherid/
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
May 1, 2016 9:30 PM CST
I cant really tell what kind of abdomen it has to be honest... they are QUICK!!!!
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
May 6, 2016 12:01 PM CST
Suga, I looked back through the threads of 2015, and found a
post about this very thing. The post # 866262 dated May 30, 2015
by Clint Brown shows a photo on post # 874968 by permascapes
regarding this bee behavior.

The photo shows the bees have gathered masticated plant material
to use as a plug to seal the hole of the nest which contains the bee's eggs.

It appears to me to be a similar bee as you have pictured.
Hope this helps some.
Name: Suga
Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
Bee Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Suga
May 6, 2016 2:01 PM CST
Oh my goodness!!!! Thank you soooo much! I will check it out right away! I really really appreciate all the effort you have put into this and helping me. Group hug
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
May 6, 2016 2:07 PM CST
You are most welcome.

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