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  • Wild bees

    I was sizing up a shed painting job a few weeks ago and spotted white tailed bees going in and out of a pile of wood against the front right where the footings need fixing.
    The job is on hold now as they are doing good work pollinating all the fruit flowers. I can hear them humming when I sit in the shed to drink coffee.
    They are all over some dahlias that I saved from a thicket of weeds left behind by the previous plot holder.
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    Last edited by Plot70; 24-07-2020, 03:31 AM.

  • #2
    Aww, I love photos of bees (and other insects) busy in flower heads, and pleased to hear you left them bee (geddit? bee? hehe)
    Shortie

    "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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    • #3
      As you probably know, being bumblebees the colony you have will finish up naturally later this year - most likely in November.

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      • #4
        I looked them up on the web.
        Once the queens have flown they will be finished.
        They are useful while they last as well as being cute.

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        • #5
          It looks like they are going for a second brood of queens. There are now both queens and workers using the nest entrance.
          There are plenty of workers looking very busy.

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          • #6
            Excellent news - I had an early (May) swarm leave one of my hives this year, and set up home in a hollow in a huge ash tree in a neighbour's garden. They appear to be doing well and I have high hopes for them surviving the coming winter.

            PS I'm really a bee-minder rather than a bee-keeper, so my methods make no commercial sense.

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            • #7
              It is interesting to note that the workers and queens prefer different flowers.
              There should be plenty of queens to set up at least one nest next summer.

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              • #8
                On the subject of flowers for bees I grew some trees from seed several years ago - they are Bee-bee , Korean evodia. (Euodia daniellii)(Tetradium hupehensis) I ended up with about 8 saplings and one is now 15' high and flowering well for the first time - the bees are working it as I write this :-)

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                • #9
                  Lovely photos, Plot70. And a nice story, nickdub. There's hope for the world yet.
                  Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                  • #10
                    I like to think I'm helping honey bee colonies establish themselves locally without needing constant chemical help from beekeepers with things like varoa mite. In addition to the tree based colony I described, another swarm turned up last month to establish itself in my neighbours roof space. I don't think that second swarm was from one of my hives and luckily the lady whose house it is, was happy to leave the bees to their own devices.
                    Last edited by nickdub; 08-08-2020, 10:37 AM.

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                    • #11
                      A couple of tears ago my front garden snowdrops were covered in black honey bees. I had a look on the web and read that black honey bees are more resistant to diseases that affect domestic honey bees. Beekeepers are looking at them with interest with regard to breeding stock.
                      It looks like domestic bees are fighting back.
                      My brother in law keeps a hive or two in the back garden.

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                      • #12
                        All animals and plants evolve both at the genetic level (slowly) and in the case of bees at the social level (quite quickly) - I'm no expert but my feeling is some colonies "learn" behaviour which works to control things like mites, and as they swarm the new colony takes this behaviour with it from the mother colony.

                        PS it has been observed that some honey bee colonies will work in much colder weather than others, so that might account for you seeing native black bees working more in the cold - however its likely they were hybridised bees, as there are very few pure strain bee colonies around now after the introduction of non-native bees to the UK, due to the fact that drones from any nearby colony will mate with a new queen if they get the chance.
                        Last edited by nickdub; 08-08-2020, 03:24 PM.

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                        • #13
                          With domestic bees colonies that survive the mite problem will produce new swarms more regularly so that in the long term there will be less of a problem.

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                          • #14
                            That's the hope - it has to be said that I have had a couple of hives die on me in the Summer with no obvious signs of disease - the thing is this is definitely nothing like a commercial approach to beekeeping and if I was putting money into it for my time etc, then I'd be making a loss, but it does represent survival of the fittest in my opinion.

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                            • #15
                              Diversity is king.
                              Breeding from resistant stock is the way to go but it is labor intensive.

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