Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Where did all the 🦋 butterfly's and bees go?

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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
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MindiHammerstone
Apr 28, 2018 11:27 PM CST
I love I central California zone 9a. I see no 🐝 bees. Not a one. My neighbor let her yard go wild. I have a large garden with small gardens as well. I've only seen one black bumble bee, one tiny black and yellow bee, and one yellow swallowtail. Is out bee population that sad???

Mindi
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Apr 29, 2018 5:46 AM CST
Sad, I don't see them anymore either. I think the environment and certain pesticides are slowly killing them off. I know out on Long Island they spray for mosquitoes that's been done for years, I don't know if that has any effect on bees. I do see butterflies, not as many as I used to Sad
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 29, 2018 7:32 AM CST
The bees and butterflies are all in my yard. I plant for them and don't use things that will harm them. When weeds grow, I watch the bees; I wait before removing weeds until the bees or butterflies have finished with each type of plant and move on to the next type of plant. Each of us can only do the best we can with our small patch of earth.

One thing that will help is when the stores finally stop selling the plants treated with neonics as those plants will remain harmful to bees for several years after planting.

If your area has large areas where fruits/vegetables are grown commercially the pesticides used can be harming bees and butterflies.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Calgary Alberta (Zone 4a)
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j52
Apr 29, 2018 9:26 AM CST
Lot's of honey bees up here. I also notice some occupants sealed up in one of my bug hotels. I also noticed the first butterfly of the spring, a big dark brown one with white stripes.
[Last edited by j52 - Apr 29, 2018 9:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 29, 2018 11:18 AM CST
Greene,

On the outskirts of my town is all farmland. I never thought of that. There is a beet factory and lots of fruit trees. I think you are right. 🙁 Iam sure that all the bees were very much attracted to the flowering fruit trees.

Mindi
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Apr 29, 2018 11:26 AM CST
Ive already posted this, but I am beside myself at the lack of bees this year. There are none, nowhere. I am practically giddy, as I finally saw my first monarch about an hour ago. Usually by now, Im growing and releasing like mad. I sure hope they come back. My tomatoes are blooming, not one cherry tomato to be found. I could really use those bees.
Name: Linda Williams
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Apr 29, 2018 11:50 AM CST
Neonicotinoid pesticides are the biggest reason, I bet! With bees, also there's bee diseases that have become worse, for some reason. Environment is getting worse and insects as a whole group are more sensitive to the changes.
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 29, 2018 12:00 PM CST
I have two cherry trees and a pear in full bloom. They should be humming with bees, but are sadly silent.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 29, 2018 12:06 PM CST
It makes me want to put a beehive in my backyard but hence, I have no room. However I can help them I will. I have definitely planted for them and my plum tree went into full flower!! No buzzing. It pollinated itself.

Mindi
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 29, 2018 5:55 PM CST
MindiHammerstone said: I can help them I will. Mindi


We cannot all have a bee hive but there are things we can do, aside from not buying the neonics plants and not using insecticides at times when bees will be harmed.

Plant for them. We can all do that. Do not cut or pull flowering weeds until the bees have finished. And the easiest is to place a shallow tray of fresh water, filled with some pebbles, so the bees can drink without drowning. Many people do not realize how import water if for the bees.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 29, 2018 5:58 PM CST
MindiHammerstone said:bees were very much attracted to the flowering fruit trees.
Mindi


There are beekeepers who make their living by transporting hundreds of hives to orchards at the time they are needed to pollinate the crops. Most responsible orchard keepers (? orchardists?) are aware of the need for bees and will not spray irresponsibly as they would end up with zero fruit to sell.

You could try contacting your local beekeeper's association and ask what you can do to help the bees in your area. It's worth a try.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 29, 2018 6:38 PM CST
I had never thought of watering for bees. What a good idea. The birds could benefit too. All it takes is a squirt of water while watering. 😀

Mindi
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
May 7, 2018 8:27 AM CST
I contacted my local beekeeper people to offer a field to host hives, but they responded that folks preferred to keep their bees on their own properties for convenience and liability (?) reasons. I was a bit bummed, I have several fruit trees, herbs, several flower beds, along with wild blackberries. Still not seeing the numbers of honey bees I would normally expect during fruit tree flowering (pear, cherry, apple, crabapple, plum, chokecherry, serviceberry). May be a skinny year for fruit...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
May 7, 2018 9:04 AM CST
Things have picked p a tiny bit here. I have 5 large cats this morning and a monarch that should get to spread its wings today. One.
Well this is better than nothing and Ill jut hope things keep picking up.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
May 7, 2018 9:17 AM CST
Saw two huge Bumble Bees yesterday, I thought they were Queens! May have been? Not much to feed on here right now, can't remember what I saw them feeding on. Only Tulips and Daffodils open yet. PS. In digging on this property over the years, I have "unearthed" presumably Queen Bees, overwintering in the soil.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
May 7, 2018 9:21 AM CST
Saw my first bumble yesterday!
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Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
May 10, 2018 12:08 PM CST
Deb, find your equivalent of our NJBA and let them know your property is available for beekeeping. Someone who makes a living selling honey should be interested. We have some members here who keep 100 hives at various locations.
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
May 11, 2018 9:12 AM CST
What is NJBA? New Jersey Bee Association? I would really love to host hives, and I have easy access to our front field that would not be intrusive (to me). I just want bees, not honey.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
May 11, 2018 7:25 PM CST
The New Jersey Beekeepers Association. The beekeeper gets the honey although I'm sure you can get something out of it. It's their livelihood. Do you have something like that in your state?
[Last edited by LorettaNJ - May 11, 2018 7:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 11, 2018 11:27 PM CST
My hu8mmingbird/butterfky/bee bed is looking thin after a 1st year, I'm thinking the seed packet was mostly annuals. Any suggestions about perennials for hummers/butterflies/bees.

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