Vegetables and Fruit forum: It's good to have honey bees around the garden, isn't it?

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Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
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Intheswamp
Apr 26, 2018 7:19 PM CST
Sorry for the low-quality, it was about dark and had to process the picture a good bit to get any detail in the bees. Smiling
Thumb of 2018-04-27/Intheswamp/05d6d6

"My old socks smell like cilantro..."
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Apr 26, 2018 8:32 PM CST
Another shot after dumping them in the box...shot with my camera rather than camera phone, but still high ISO. :)
I hope they stay and don't try finding their own home...
Thumb of 2018-04-27/Intheswamp/dde7a5

"My old socks smell like cilantro..."
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 26, 2018 8:36 PM CST
Ed, how very cool! I've never seen an actual swarm. I hope they like their new digs.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Apr 26, 2018 8:40 PM CST
Is there anything blooming to keep them there? They would be very helpful in your garden if there IS anything to hold their interest.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Apr 26, 2018 11:11 PM CST
Right now privet hedge is blooming pretty good. Lots of other wildflowers are blooming, too, though the privet is a big nectar source for them. I'll probably end up feeding these with sugar water, they'll use it to build comb with and to use for "honey". If they stay, they will survive from a food standpoint. I just went out and sealed the entrance up and will relocate them in the morning.

Deb, swarms are cool. You've probably been close to some at some point in time and didn't even realize they were hanging there. European honey bees are usually very docile and gentle when swarming. Unless you get one trapped in your hair or under your collar you probably won't get stung. Even Africanized honey bees can be gentle when swarming which can be a big problem if you put that "gentle" swarm in your beeyard...once they have territory to defend they will defend it and Africanized honey bees are much, much more defensive than the European ones!!!! When a swarm emerges from a hive it will spread out to cover an area 50-60 feet in diameter, filling the air. I have walked in swarms like that across open field, following along as they drift in one direction or another. Very intense feeling with tens of thousands of bees flying all around you (and without any bee protection). Finally some of them will land on a limb, the side of a house, a thistle plant, on the ground, or the bumper of a car, or most anything else and slowly other bees will join them until that big cluster of bees are formed. Something interesting is that in a bee yard once a swarm has clustered in a spot (and they move on or are collected) it is a very good chance that if other hives issue swarms that those swarms will land in the empty spot where the first one did...the scent attracts them.

This video from a few years back gives you a feeling of how it feels inside of a swarm. Smiling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Thumb of 2018-04-27/Intheswamp/1d3916

"My old socks smell like cilantro..."
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
Apr 27, 2018 8:01 AM CST
Thanks, I'm very envious. I ended up watching several bee clips. Back in my 20s I worked at the Univ. of Washington and we had a hive in one of the lecture halls that was attached to the building at a window. It was really cool to watch their activity. We also had a video featuring slow motion close-ups of flying bumblebees backed by 'The Flight of the Bumblebee,' which was hilarious - they were banging into things left and right. I've searched for that on YouTube, but have never been able to find it. It was likely on Super 8 film.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Apr 28, 2018 10:33 AM CST
Wow, that is really something.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Bromeliad Butterflies Canning and food preservation Bulbs Birds Vermiculture
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pod
Apr 28, 2018 9:18 PM CST
How fortunate you (and your garden) are! It sounds as though you have some beekeeping experience. Your garden will benefit for certain.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
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Intheswamp
Apr 30, 2018 9:06 AM CST
Thanks ya'll. I guess the title was a *little* "tongue-in-cheek". :)

I kept bees a several years ago, I've got a couple of colonies still hanging out in some old boxes. Honey bees are a macro-organism, in that it takes all of them to exist...with out one part of the colony it dies...without a queen, without workers, without drones...it will eventually die. Honey bees emerge from their cell begging for food...that is their introduction to the cold facts of life...soon they are working, and advance from one job to the next. Nobody tells them nor shows them what to do...some of the jobs are complex, others simple, some self-sacrificing. In the summer a worker bee may live only six weeks, working herself to death. *All* the workers are female, the males (drones) are only there for breeding...they breed, leave part of themselves in the queen and fall to the ground to die. The queen breeds only one time, maybe over a period of a couple of days but many times only on one day. She may breed with several drones. She has enough fertile eggs afterwards to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs for several years (she can live multiple years whereas the workers and drones usually don't live a year at the most). If the queen dies and a new queen hasn't been created then eventually some of the workers (females) may start laying eggs...the problem is that all of these eggs will be males/drones and the colony begins to dwindle (not enough workers) and all those ladies start getting more mean. Blinking Eventually the colony dies. The drones are really bums...all they do is go to a spot maybe a mile or so away and hang out all day waiting for a virgin queen to fly up so they can breed with her....it's like a ball of bees chasing one single bee. Interestingly, these areas are known to the bees...they're called a "Drone Congregation Area". A virgin queen that has just left the hive for her once-in-a-lifetime breeding flight knows where to go....very mysterious, eh? Rolling my eyes. When the queen comes back from breeding she never leaves the hive again, rather than flying she if the "runner" of the hive...traveling over the combs continuously laying eggs in the warm months and huddled within the cluster of bees in the cold of winter enjoying the warmth from "heater bees". Only if a swarm happens will she ever leave...another story. Smiling
"My old socks smell like cilantro..."
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling

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