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Have you missed the bees? Want to help?

Posted Monday, November 5, 2007, at 10:17 AM

Just trying to do their job.
We have actually missed honey bees for several years. They were around for little time this spring, but there was little to eat so moved on. We used to have a colony in a big tree next to our house but it has been noticeably quiet.

The hummingbirds made a quick exit this year and I was expecting yellow-jackets to take over, but it was actually honey bees, for a few days, then gone again. Now, no one.

While researchers are trying to solve this situation, we can do something for our local "wild bees" and that is "grow flowers".

WHAT TYPE? Open petal varieties where you can see the pistils and stamens. If you can not see them, the bees can probably not get to them. Marigolds, double hollyhocks, are examples. Surprisingly, Impatiens and annual salvias do not produce much food either.

I am not usually a big flower gardener, but this past year put in strips of wild flowers between gardens. Luckily I chose low water varieties. Some are still hanging in there with no added watering.

Try for three seasons of blooms, especially in spring when they are coming off the long winter. Flowering shrubs and trees, borage, calendula, lilac, or similar plants are good choices.

Keep water around with very shallow or muddy areas so they can get a drink. Muddy areas will help them get some of the minerals they need. Ever notice the butterflies in little puddles or wet spots?

Here is one that I would not think about since I have always been taught to cover the ground with mulch. Many wild bees are individual dwellers and used holes in the ground to live and raise their young. To do this they need bare ground that is well drained and sunny.

That is going to be hard to do, but if you can scatter little pockets a bare ground among your flower beds,and on a few steep slopes, more bees will have a chance. You could also try out these wood blocks and commercial homes for bees.

It sounds like a lot of work, but more bees, means better pollination for your veggies, so it may be a good trade-off.

Anyone out there know how honey bee producers feed their hives sugar water? Can you give us suggestions on how to provide feeding stations? Will it help?

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I am sory , i would not have a clue, but I did want to share something.

Honeybees do pollinate a third of the food supply that we eat and without them it could start a severe famine.

I heard a prophetic teaching by Bill Cloud where he taught on this , he says it could have a major impact on the worlds food supply.

I thought you might be interested for the article go to www.shoreshim.com

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 3:59 PM

That article is on www.bilcloud.org. sorry

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 4:02 PM

that is billcloud.org

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 4:03 PM

I WILL GET IT RIGHT www.billcloud.org

I should have got woken up and had my coffee first.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 4:05 PM

the article is in the news letter the serpent in the garden , you will have to download it if you want to.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 4:08 PM

Thanks Michael. I was surprised when I saw so many posts in such a short time. Now I understand.

I will check the article.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 6:06 PM

feeding wild bees.well you could get a flat 1x6 as long as you want and get some 1 liter emty bottles of pepsi drill a hole in the board the same size as the lids of the bottles.drill 5 lil holes in the bottle caps..place the bottles with lids on in the holes.like I said as many as you want.mix the sugar water a 50/50 solution.then take to someplace you want and place with the bottles upside

down .the bees will be tankful and won't bother you .also you can fill with corn syrup.. thats the happy beekeeper

-- Posted by beekeeper121 on Wed, Nov 7, 2007, at 11:02 AM

That's a neat idea, beekeeper121. Thanks!

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 7:22 AM

Thanks beekeeper121. Sorry I was slow in responding. The last few days got hectic.

Would this better in a sunny area, middle of the lawn, or near edges of lawn?

I realize you want to put it away from your normal traffic areas to avoid disturbing both YOU and the bees.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Nov 10, 2007, at 7:36 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.