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Recovery: Bringing Back Bumble Bees

By dave
July 24, 2017

Bees are in big trouble. The good news is that virtually all ecologically literate North Americans will tell you that. The bad news is they’re worried about the wrong bees — honey bees.

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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jul 25, 2017 3:13 PM CST
"Proceed carefully and you can even stroke her Teddy-bear-like fur."

Scary! I don't think so and I'm not trying it. Blinking Blinking Blinking

I love the bumble bees, however. Lovey dubby

Have to read the rest of the article when I have more time.
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Name: Christine
Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Zone 5a)
christine2
Jul 25, 2017 7:16 PM CST
Loved this article. It's so important to get the info out there. I first learned about the whole pollinator issue from a women who called herself Queen Bee! She has a casual restaurant where she doles out education with food on the side! A chance meeting with her changed my whole approach to gardening, for which I am eternally grateful. It is even more rewarding doing what we do for all the little critters. BTW, I don't think I would pat a bumble bee, but I work in the garden with them all around me and just love it.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Jul 27, 2017 12:08 AM CST
I used to see the bumblebees often at my place. Now, it's rare to see any. As far as touching them, sometimes they used to bump into me or vice versa. No problem, it would just fly away and none ever stung me!
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: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Jul 27, 2017 6:25 AM CST
Yes, bees are in trouble along with butterflies and many other insects. I blame the spraying for crops and for killing mosquitos as the major cause. Crying
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
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Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
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McCannon
Jul 27, 2017 8:54 AM CST
We have lots of bumblebees in our vegetable garden this year. But almost no honeybees. I probably haven't seen a dozen all year. The few that I have seen were on the clover, which we have lots of, and our blackberries. We're adjacent to a lot of farmland and they use a lot of chemicals, but there is not much mosquito spraying activity in the area.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Jul 27, 2017 12:44 PM CST
Bumble bees love Wild Sensitive Pea! If anyone wants some seeds this fall, tree-mail me. I should have a lot by then.

I also find that they absolutely love marigolds (see my avatar), and impatiens. I should have some impatiens seeds by late fall too. Again, if you'd like some, tree mail me please.

Yes, I have pet bumble bees. They are so tame and sweet. I love having them float by as I'm in my tiny garden!

Oh, yes, and lamb's ear. They love the purple flowers.
AKA Joey.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jul 27, 2017 9:43 PM CST
Hurray!
happy to see the bumbles (and hopefully by extension, eventually, some of the other native bees) getting some attention!

I think the info presented in the original article about Nosema infection is from this
https://phys.org/news/2016-04-...
if anyone is interested

I'm still wondering about where exactly 1,055 miles north of the Article Circle might be Blinking
and which bumble bees were spotted putting in a long day's work Smiling
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jul 28, 2017 7:13 PM CST
If any of you don't have bumble bees, they're probably in my yard. Smiling I've got lots of 'em!

Karen
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
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Lestv
Jul 29, 2017 5:23 AM CST
Nice article. I too have a large bunch of bumbles. They love the Rose of Sharon which bloom here from June through October. I spent many years being wary of them before I learned they won't sting. Now as for petting them, well I bet there are many of us out there who always wondered what they felt like...
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Jul 29, 2017 9:29 AM CST
I don't pet the ones in my garden. I just give them a wide berth and let them go about their business.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
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Archivesgirl
Jul 30, 2017 6:25 AM CST
Lestv said:Nice article. I too have a large bunch of bumbles. They love the Rose of Sharon which bloom here from June through October. I spent many years being wary of them before I learned they won't sting. Now as for petting them, well I bet there are many of us out there who always wondered what they felt like...


Yes, they certainly do love the Rose of Sharon. I have two Roses of Sharon in my yard and grew up with many in my childhood home. I can stand among them taking their photos as they fly into each bloom. They fly around me and never bother me. I will say that I noticed somewhat of a decline in their numbers on my other plants that attract them but the Rose of Sharon pulls them in.

Gayle
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Aug 1, 2017 5:16 AM CST
I saw a bunch of Japanese beetles on my crepe myrtles last week and was going to get the pesticide to spray (most were too high to pick off), but then I saw a bumblebee on one of them and couldn't do it. Alas, my crepe myrtles are not blooming too well.

I have found a great plant combination that also serves as a source of food for pollinators, albeit a one dimensional look. I am going to add more native plants soon. I love daylilies, but hate when they are all done by the first of August. So I now have sulfur orange cosmos that begins to bloom just a little before all the daylilies are it blooms till the frost gets it. The bees and butterflies love it.

Thumb of 2017-08-01/blue23rose/8aab5a

Thumb of 2017-08-01/blue23rose/87ef3e

Thumb of 2017-08-01/blue23rose/274824

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Region: Maryland Birds
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Archivesgirl
Aug 1, 2017 6:00 AM CST
@Vicki, absolutely stunning views! I don't blame you for not wanting to spray.

I saw an interesting study on PubMed (easily read) on why the Bumble Bees are disappearing in urban areas and it's not because of neonicotinoids or other pesticides. Here's the article on why urban areas have everything to do with their disappearance:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

Gayle
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover
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frostweed
Aug 1, 2017 6:43 AM CST
That is gorgeous Vicki, good job! Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Aug 1, 2017 9:27 AM CST
Thanks Gayle and Josephine.

Gayle, I read part of the study before I had to leave for work today. I will have to read the rest of it tonight, but it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

I have learned a lot because of Dave's article. I had no idea that honeybees were not native! Thanks for all the info @dave!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Oct 5, 2017 7:41 PM CST
This is disturbing. 75% of honey samples contain neonicotinoids: http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo...
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!

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