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Post  timwardell on 3/25/2010, 1:58 pm

Saw this news item on Yahoo today.
Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter
MERCED, Calif. – The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides.
You can read the full story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/ap_on_sc/us_food_and_farm_disappearing_bees
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Post  bpbdrummer on 3/25/2010, 2:30 pm

no honey bees but I'm seeing a lot of bumble bees, they're going crazy over the cats claw vine (i think thats what it is) have overtaken most of the trees in the back of our property. It looks nice but it just smothers everything.
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Post  nancy on 3/25/2010, 2:41 pm

I've seen 2 bumblebees so far in my corner of Cincinnati, but no honey bees yet. I'll keep an eye out. Thanks for sharing the info. Everything I've planted in my backyard is for the bees & butterflies. It's just not nearly ready to bloom. =( I wish I could build a hive (or 2). I rent tho' and space is limited.

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Post  bpbdrummer on 3/25/2010, 2:55 pm

I'm really thinking about getting a hive or two and keeping my own bees.
Also planning on making a Bat Box, A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour, and
each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night. Bats are
opportunistic. Some of
their favorite prey include crop-destroying moths, cucumber beetles,
flies and gnats. Natural insect control is their specialty
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Post  nancy on 3/25/2010, 3:13 pm

I used to work for the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and was one of the people who cared for the live bat colony. (This was in the early 90s) They are by far my favorite animal!! My facebook profile pic is a photo of my favorite bat - a big brown I named Yukon (after Yukon Cornelious on Rudolph). There is currently a bat there named after my daughter! Yes - build your bat box!! It may take several years for them to find it. I have one in my basement waiting for me to find a place to hang it. They are such a joy to watch.

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Post  jjphoto on 3/25/2010, 6:19 pm

No bees here yet, but I love them! I had a bumblebee come visit my hollyhocks in my front bed at the old house everyday about 7:00 when I'd be out working in the bed. It might not have been the same one everyday but we pretended like it was.

I looked into keeping bees last year, did a ton of research and reading, but it was too late to find any queens and colonies for sale. If I remember correctly all the places told me I had to order them in November for the next Spring. I chickened out on doing it this year because the neighbors raise rabbits and I'd hate for the hive to swarm and settle on one of their cages.
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Post  bpbdrummer on 3/25/2010, 6:28 pm

I dont think most people realize just how critical the bees are. They pollinate 90% of our food supply, if they disappear we are in some serious trouble.
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Post  choksaw on 3/25/2010, 6:34 pm

I found a niffty little way to encourage carpenter bees to call your garden home and its a small portable device so renter can use it as well

1. Make a small 1x1 box (use 2x4 2x2 1x4 etc.)
2. Get some bamboo shoots that are decently sized ( 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diamiter)
3. Cut the bamboo to the depth of your box
4. Useing a drill bit hollow out the center of the bamboo all the way through
5. stand the box in a diamond shape so its sitting on one of its corners
6. Place the cut bamboo in stacks into the box (snuggly but not too tight)
7. hang/mount the box near your garden but not too close to people
8. Place some small sugar cubes or a sugar water solution ( like syrup) into each tube

In no time you will have carpenter bees calling your pad home and best part is its portable so in the fall when the bees go dormant (not my area lol) you can take it down and store it or easily move it if you relocate your living situation. Are you seeing bees? Icon_biggrin
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Post  camprn on 3/25/2010, 6:45 pm

I saw a few bees last week, VERY early in the season here for bees. There is nothing in bloom. The bees have been suffering terribly in the past several years as mentioned in the article posted by Tim.

The bat colonies have been suffering in my region as well, from what the experts are calling White Nose Syndrome http://www.fws.gov/northeast/white_nose.html#map.

Bees and bats are moving rapidly to being endangered and it has me very, very worried. pale
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Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/25/2010, 7:25 pm

White-nose Syndrome has been confirmed to be in 3 bat caves here in Ontario over the last week. This disease has already killed over 95% of bats in New York state and is spreading. The disease moves very quickly once in a bat colony.

We are hoping that there are a bunch of smaller bat hibernacula on the landscape that will keep enough bats around to re-populate once the disease takes its course...but of course we don't know what to expect...it could be devastating to our bats.
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Post  camprn on 3/25/2010, 8:38 pm

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Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/25/2010, 8:50 pm

Not sure if I'm seeing bees or paper wasps -- they look very similar except the wasps eat the pollen instead of spreading it. I too love bats and had two bat houses when I lived in the country -- only one was populated however. Not sure why the other one was rejected. I've thought about putting up a house here but not sure the neighbours would understand.

I used to keep bees -- they are fascinating creatures. But with the killer bees infesting the domestic population around here, wouldn't want to take the chance.
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Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/25/2010, 10:33 pm

Still too cold here for bees although I did see a very hungry butteryfly last week. There are no crocus or any bulbs up yet, so I am not sure how it will do -- it looked beat up like it had migrated a ways to get here.

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Post  chocolatepop on 3/25/2010, 11:07 pm

No bees Sad

But I did swat a mosquito!!!

All I can say is M knight Shaymalan's "The Happening"... Are you seeing bees? Icon_sad Are you seeing bees? Icon_eek
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Post  Jeff Buffington on 3/26/2010, 12:14 am

@chocolatepop wrote:No bees Sad

But I did swat a mosquito!!!
I've noticed quite a few bees this past week. Seen a bunch of 'em pollinating my weeds :scratch:

Now mosquitos... well... I've seen them a few times whenever it would warm up a tad. I was hoping our on-again/off-again start to sping will have killed a bunch of 'em. I doubt it though.
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Post  Norm on 3/26/2010, 7:30 am

Please don't worry too much about bees, they have been around for a lot longer than we have, they have survived several ice ages and will still be around when man has become extinct! The effects of putting miticides and other junk like anti-biotics into hives by beekeepers who really should know better has led to the present day die offs. Those of us who practice natural beekeeping without using chemicals or indeed anything we wouldn't be happy to put into our mouths (that really is our criteria), are not having such problems.

http://www.biobees.com/forum/index.php
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Post  camprn on 3/26/2010, 7:59 am

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Post  nancy on 3/26/2010, 9:25 am

Thanks for the link Norm! I love the photos on there. I had to scrape my car this morning, so looking at other people's bee pictures is a good thing on this cold Friday morning.

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Post  kimbies on 3/26/2010, 9:26 am

I had next to no bees last year and of course not much produce from my 2 raised beds. I tried pollinating squashes & cukes with a paintbrush but they weren't having any of it... we did get carpenter bees late in the season when we built a new deck (of course) Thanks for the tip about the bamboo bee house... I'll def give it a try to keep them closer to the garden and away from the people-places.

Any suggestions for pest treatment for lawns (we have grubs, mosquites and gnats galore) that will be safe for bees? We do have a bat box - but they haven't found it yet... we did have a hoard of bats in the attic but they had to get screened out because of the guano problem... they apparently got offended and havent been back. Are you seeing bees? Icon_sad I'd love to put up some martin houses but we don't have the open space they like... Anyone want to come cut 200+ 80 ft tall pines?
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Post  camprn on 5/28/2010, 6:50 am

Someday I want to keep bees. flower
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Post  camprn on 5/31/2010, 2:42 pm

not like this house of bees. Pretty amazing critters. Shocked
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Post  donnainzone5 on 5/31/2010, 3:32 pm

There's been one buzzing around my purple sage, borage, and foxgloves.
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Post  Jiro on 5/31/2010, 6:24 pm

I'm watching a bunch of honeybees buzzing around our clover.

On a side note, my wife was bugging me to mow the lawn, but I used the excuse, "I'm letting the clover grow for the bees; their population is stressed, you know..." Are you seeing bees? Icon_biggrin
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Post  nursekat424 on 5/31/2010, 6:29 pm

here is a pic i took on 5-28-10. i love this pic. i'm just learning, got a professional dslr camera in april for my b-day.

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bee on garlic (or onion) chives
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Post  camprn on 5/31/2010, 6:34 pm

Jiro, I have not mowed the lawn for the exact same reason! I have not seen honey bees around the place until the clover began blooming. Very Happy
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