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Honey Bees in the Garden:  February

By Mindy03
February 7, 2011

February's warmer days find gardeners outside hoping to get their soil ready for new seeds and plants. Honey bees will soon be out checking for fresh food as well.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Feb 7, 2011 1:17 PM CST
Thank you for your article. We saw a bee flying the other day. Thumbs up

Spring IS coming Hurray!

vic
Name: Brenda Essig
Scotia, CA
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Zanymuse
Feb 7, 2011 1:47 PM CST
The Honey bees are buzzing the ivy during the warmer part of the day now and the Bumble Bees are Bumbling about the lawn daisies in the park. There must be a very active hive nearby because the honey bees are more numerous this year than they were last year.
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Feb 7, 2011 2:28 PM CST
Our bees have been flying off and on when the temperatures are above freezing. One was buzzing DH while he worked on one of his vehicles yesterday.

Zany so glad to hear you are seeing more of them this year. We let 2 swarms go to the wild here last spring to help build up the local wild population. Is that ivy very old? I've read they only visit that plant when it's old enough to flower.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 7, 2011 3:28 PM CST
thank you for the article! I saw one bee the other day too!

I look forward to seeing the bees buzzing around, the honey bees seem to like the native and species plants most of all around my place but, they also love my herb garden! I usually notice them first when the peach trees bloom. This year my garden is expanding with hopefully more nectar and pollen flowers so we will see what happens!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Feb 7, 2011 3:49 PM CST
Yes, they prefer the natives to the hybrids mainly because the hybrids are either hard for them to collect nectar from or don't have pollen. Single petaled flowers are the best; semi double and double flowers are hard for them to get to the nectar. And they love herbs. I think it will be our plum or cherry tree that gives them their first fresh food but I could be wrong since I don't know what all is growing on this farm.
Name: Brenda Essig
Scotia, CA
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Zanymuse
Feb 7, 2011 4:49 PM CST
Yes, the ivy is very old, it was planted over 30 years ago along an embankment by the parking lot here at work. The bees seem to love it.
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Name: Arejay aka Robin Brann
Maine (Zone 5a)
The Irises are up!!
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arejay59
Feb 8, 2011 9:11 AM CST
I would love to see some bees!! I love to see you writing and sharing Mindy!! Great work Group hug
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Feb 8, 2011 12:23 PM CST
Here's the note I have on the ivy in the database from the book 'The Beekeepers Garden'

Important source of nectar and pollen in late autumn.

Birds love the berries and nesting places.

The young ivy does not flower; it is the older shoots that are of interest to honey bees. May take 15 to 20 years to mature enough to flower unless you can root a mature shoot from an exisiting plant

Thanks Robin I'm going to blame all this fun work on you LOL
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Mar 2, 2012 3:08 PM CST
My Mexican Plum is blooming...lots of bees and insects like that. Hot today...had to change into shorts...whee!
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Mar 2, 2012 3:27 PM CST
It's so nice to see the bees out again. We are having warm but windy and tornado weather here right now but they are getting out when they can.

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