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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,210
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

I haven't seen any honeybees in a couple of years now.  Not as many bumblebees as last year either.  Occasional butterfly, but last year they didn't enjoy my garden until later in the summer.  Today when I was deadheading my butterfly bushes there was one butterfly, one bumblebee, and one of those moths that looks like a cross between a bumblebee and a hummingbird.  First time seeing one of those in MY garden.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,430
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

I have a pet theory that bees love of clover in lawns helps account for their decline in numbers. Everytime I mow my grass I mow down a few bees who are chomping on the clover in the grass and I'm trying not to mow them down. You can't really mow around them and you can't move them or shoo them away. I'm just one lawn mower with one small lawn, but if you multiply that by all of the yards and all of the mowers all over the country and assume one lawn mowing a week with two bees killed per mowing, it's a massive number of dead bees.

 

Ironically the use of pesticides often enhances the numbers of pest insects. In the natural world the number of prey animals far exceeds the number of predators. The bug-eating bugs are outnumbered by maybe a hundred to one. It's how nature keeps things in balance. You don't have a hundred lions for every one zebra, but you mght have a hundred zebras for every one lion. It's the same in the insect world. For everyone ladybug or praying mantis you might have a hundred aphids, white flies, or mealybugs.

 

When pesticides are used, it's very easy to kill the few predatory bugs while missing some of the much more numerous destructive bugs. With no living predators the remaining prey bugs multiply at an absurd rate and take over the garden/field. As a general rule you're better off living with a pesky bug for a bit and letting nature keep things under control. I've got a whole crop of baby praying mantis's in my front gardens right now prowling the plants loooking for food. If I were to spray an insecticide, t would likely kill them while missing a few of the prey animals they're looking to for a meal. Those prey bugs would then multiply and take over the garden. My little lemon tree gets scale insects every winter while inside, but after a few months outside the scale is all gone as something that eats them finds them and devours them. I don't bother spraying the tree as I know how this works. 

 

Unless you're trying to grow show quality plants for a show, you can generally ignore spraying any pesticides. If a plant starts to suffer, hosing it off with a good stream of water will tamp down the bad insects until a predator comes along and finds them. If you use pesticides, you're more likely to kill the rare predator bugs than the much more prolific prey bugs and that just makes the longterm problem that much worse.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,766
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

I have butterfly weed in my garden, waiting for monarchs, saw a worm a bit ago ,thought for a second it was their larave, but not.

When you lose some one you L~O~V~E, that Memory of them, becomes a TREASURE.
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Posts: 7,471
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

@mousiegirl , I was just thinking about this.  The lilacs usually bring the butterflies.  I have some mild weed and other flowers they love too.  I am just starting to see them now but I would say fewer than in previous years so far.

 

The bees are all over the Allium.  I just noticed that today.  They love the lilacs and azaleas as well.  Still fewer than previous years.  LM

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Posts: 30,858
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

[ Edited ]

@Lilysmom wrote:

@mousiegirl , I was just thinking about this.  The lilacs usually bring the butterflies.  I have some mild weed and other flowers they love too.  I am just starting to see them now but I would say fewer than in previous years so far.

 

The bees are all over the Allium.  I just noticed that today.  They love the lilacs and azaleas as well.  Still fewer than previous years.  LM


 

 

@Lilysmom   I also hardly see butterflies, saw one the other day, but with what I have in the yard they should be swarming. tons of milkweed and every perennial flower you can imagine.  I saw bees on the lilacs, and a bee in daylilies, but this is not at all normal or like it used to be, so very sad.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 897
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

[ Edited ]

I live in the upper desert near Joshua Tree Nat. Monument in Cali. We have numerous Crape Myrtil bushes that are covered with honeybees every AM.  This has happened every year for a very long time.  I love watching them as they roll themselves in the flowers.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,605
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

 I'm in CA and have seen very few this year, so it's good to hear others are seeing them.

 

I have read the EPA has eliminated crop restrictions on a pesticide Sulfoxiflor known for its high toxicity to pollinators.  I also read the Dept. of Agriculture is suspending tracking the honeybee population because of a budget shortfall.  What are people thinking???

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Posts: 12,704
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

My property is loaded with all kinds of beneficial insects, we do not use any herbicides or pesticides on our land, but the surrounding farms do. Thank goodness they did not farm the land next to ours the last two growing seasons.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,619
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

We have tons of butterfles in our yard, but not many bees.  Last year my zuchinni had a ton of flowers, but no fruit.  I read that was because the flowers were not pollinated.

 

So, this year, I did my own politation with a q-tip on my zuchinis and cantaloupes.  I have fruit...so far so good.

 

Oh, we have beetles too.  We put out beetle traps last week.  Grubs are big lawn destroyers in our area. 

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Posts: 14,030
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: BEES IN THE GARDEN, OR LACK THEREOF

Many, many years ago (so long ago, I don't recall exactly which specific years), we used to have many pollinating bees, buzzing around, nice and happy and calm.

 

Then, for many years, no bees whatsoever except for one or two bumble bees.

 

Now, I've been noticing a few bees, happily buzzing around.  Maybe about five or six.

 

Well, it's a tiny step in the right direction............Hoping there will be more and more as time moves forward.

'More or less', 'Right or wrong', 'In general', and 'Just thinking out loud ' (as usual).