All Things Gardening forum: Bees in My Fall Garden: Two Curious Behaviors I Don't Understand...

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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 3, 2016 9:29 AM CST
Bee experts, perhaps you could help me understand two bee behaviors in my garden that don't make a great deal of sense to me:

1) Two of the six apples on my young Gala apple tree are being hollowed out by bees. Although I realize their pollen sources are greatly diminishing this late in the season, what would they want with my ripening apples? It was my understanding that bees (adult and young) ate the honey they produce with the pollen they collected over the season. Do they also eat fruits, too? Will they harm my other apples, or were these apples already rotting away and that's what attracted them?...

2) The bees--the same variety that are in my apples, as far as I can tell--are swarming around my (non-blooming) thistle that is annoyingly popping up all over my garden. If it's not blooms attracting them to the thistle, what is? It's very obvious that it's the thistle, in particular, attracting them because they aren't attracted to the other plants in my garden (aside from the apples).
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
Oct 3, 2016 11:10 AM CST
Don't know a thing about bees, but I am thinking the apples are providing moisture and the thistle might also, maybe it does a good job of retaining dew.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 3, 2016 1:27 PM CST
Good thoughts. I hadn't considered the moisture-retention, although I would think other plants in the garden would do that as well, but the bees don't seem to be as attracted to anything else. Maybe the other plants don't hold water as well as I think.
Name: Britnay
Detroit Mi (Zone 6a)
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1hugaholic
Oct 3, 2016 2:42 PM CST
I have an apple tree in my yard and when the apples get ripe and fall, I see bees on them. Probably because the apples smell super sweet when their rotting. Can't really explain what nutrients they get from apples, but I do know they like the super ripe ones. I don't mind though. It makes sure all the apples are eaten instead of just thrown out. The deer tend to clean them out too.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 3, 2016 3:48 PM CST
I don't know anything about bees either. But I hear they'll be on the Endangered List soon? Sad. Sad
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Oct 3, 2016 5:43 PM CST
http://honeybeesuite.com/do-honey-bees-eat-fruit/
They will eat very ripe fruit when there is a lack of nectar.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 3, 2016 7:00 PM CST
DND, are you sure those are actually "bees," as opposed to wasps? I have a problem with wasps going after some types of fruit... notably the grapes that my vines finally produced this year (4 years after originally planting), and they will also go after small insects, which might be the case with your thistle.

Here's an article with a brief description of differences: http://insects.about.com/od/identifyaninsect/a/beeorwasp.htm
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 4, 2016 4:23 AM CST
Sandy, you may be onto something. I will read the article when I have time later, but it wouldn't be the first time I have mistaken yellow/black wasps for bees...
Name: Britnay
Detroit Mi (Zone 6a)
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1hugaholic
Oct 4, 2016 8:36 AM CST
DogsNDaylilies said:Sandy, you may be onto something. I will read the article when I have time later, but it wouldn't be the first time I have mistaken yellow/black wasps for bees...



lol you won't be the only one! nodding Whistling I'm learning though. This winter will be all about bee and butterfly research.
Lord please let this seed not be a weed!
Name: janet
wirral uk
bats/bees/insects are important to
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rosieann99
Oct 5, 2016 4:23 PM CST
hi still hve lots of bees in the garden, last 2 years have had tree bumble bees take over an old bird box, and use it as a hive really great to watch. grown as many insect plant as i can keeps the bees save them going away
there great to watch Smiling
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Oct 5, 2016 8:08 PM CST
I have been picking my raspberries and found that bumbles that stay out too late and it gets too cold to fly just spend the night under a leaf or large raspberry till moring and you cannot dislodge them.

Yesterday as I was putting berries in my bowl I was surprised to see a large wasp attached to one of the berries I dropped in the bowl. Now he seemed to be as surprised to be dropped in the bowl as I was to put him there.
After a bit of finagling, I got him on a twig and dropped him back into bush.
He was in no hurry to leave.
Name: janet
wirral uk
bats/bees/insects are important to
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rosieann99
Oct 6, 2016 1:41 AM CST
yes you got to be careful this time of year there half asleep that when you get stung
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
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Shadegardener
Oct 6, 2016 10:30 AM CST
I've heard that some beekeepers give their honeybees sugar water before the freezing weather comes to make sure they have enough "food" to get through long winters.
Name: janet
wirral uk
bats/bees/insects are important to
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rosieann99
Oct 7, 2016 1:14 AM CST
hi yes they do it keeps them alive that just for honey bees,i go to a garden club each month we have a lady bee keeper she talks about them.
in august we put sugar on a saucer out of reach from everybody and the wasps go on it leave us a lone, it works
anyone got anymore ideas about getting rid of wasps Thumbs up

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