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Beez pleezz

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by Trish Stretton, May 7, 2019.

  1. Jul 4, 2019
    Carol Dee

    Carol Dee Garden Master

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    @Redd Tornado The Walker Low Catmint and Russian Sage are always covered with bees. Thyme, barrage and anything in the mint family are good choices.
     
    ducks4you, Redd Tornado and flowerbug like this.
  2. Jul 5, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    I wanted to get to the point that I had fruit all year round, so I spent quite a bit of time working out which sort of fruit and which type to get.
    As well as that, for a number of years before I got the hive, I sowed brassicas specifically so that they would be flowering from late winter through to mid- late spring.
    The reason for that was that we often have warm winters followed by heavy frosts in Spring- but warm days after the frosts lifted. I discovered by accident that the bees loved these flowers.
    I'm lucky in that I have a number of either wild or neglected areas within flight range from me which should give the bees variety.

    I also have a number of Hebe's and/or Koromiko- some are native, some arent. Rosemary is another favorite.
    I always have things like Herb Robert growing in various places cos both the honey bees and bumblebees love them, as well as Fumitory, even though I hate it, the bumblebees love it.

    Wild 'herbs and flowers' are allowed to grow in out of the way places. While they arent heavily worked by bees, they do have regulars who visit them. Things like sow thistle, forget me nots, scarlet pimpernel, Dandelions I specifically spread, bluebells, jonquils, all heal(prunella), plantain, borage- lost that one this year somehow so I need to re sow it next spring.
    I have been trying to watch to see what ' critical mass' they need for a plant type to become of interest to them. One thing I did notice this year, was that they started visiting most flowers at least a week after it started to flower, not straight away.

    I think its a good idea to let them have access to as many different types of wild plants as I can, so long as they arent too invasive.
     
  3. Jul 5, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    One thing that would help him, is to find out when his bees have a dearth- thats when there isnt alot flowering, then research what Does flower at the time and give him Heaps of those. It takes more than just one or two plants usually to make bees interested in them, unless it is a med-large shrub or even better, a tree.
     
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  4. Jul 5, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    penny royal was an incredible bee attractor but one of those plants that will become invasive. we thought it was oregano for years and let it do what it wanted until one time i said, "Gee perhaps i should use some?" and it wasn't oregano. since it had spread to all of the surrounding gardens and been taking over it took me several years to get most of it removed. some is still around.

    late summer bee forage until frosts that attracts all sorts of different bees is the cosmos. i planted some this year and they've sprouted. so far the herbivores have not found them. :)
     
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  5. Jul 5, 2019
    Redd Tornado

    Redd Tornado Attractive To Bees

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    What a smart idea, thanks.
     
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  6. Jul 12, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Its the middle of winter here and it is Warm. We have had a couple of quite hard frosts which didnt lift til midmorning but the day time temps are too warm....convovulus still growing!!!!

    Consequently, the bees are bringing in more and more pollen, which means they are ramping up the brood laying.
    Every day I am glad I decided to but this hive with its window so now that I turned it around so the window is on the sun side, I can see where they are and get a better idea of what they are up to.

    They havent started using the frames of honey past the 12 frame, so I am not too worried that they will eat all their stores and starve when the weather turns nasty/colder which is good.

    I have been worrying about them going out foraging when it is drizzling though because a few times it has then hammered down and I just know there are bees out in this that may not be able to get back.

    Yesterday, I did another Oxalic Acid treatment and again only got one mite after 24 hrs. My mentor cant figure them out, so because I know they have brood rearing going on, I will be treating them on a 4 day cycle for the next week and a bit to make sure any hatching bees get to lose their hitch-hiker.
     
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  7. Jul 12, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    @Trish Stretton to me that sounds great to only have one mite. i hope no more are around.

    are you still trying the small cells approach?
     
  8. Jul 13, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Yep..
    Next Spring, the idea is to cycle out the unshaved down Small Cell frames for those that have been shaved down to 30-32mm wide. That would have been the plan last Spring/Summer if I hadnt messed up.

    It appears that it isnt enough to just put in Small Cell frames, they need to be made narrower as well.
    This means that the bees hatching out of these cells are shorter as well as thinner and my hope is that I will see them hatching out at least a day earlier than 'normal' bees do, like others have documented.

    If all goes according to plan, this will mess up the Varroa mites reproductive cycle cos the bees will have hatched out before the mites are ready for them to do so.

    Unfortunately, at this point, there are always varroa around and anyone who thinks otherwise and doesnt Do anything to at least hinder them is going to lose their bees.
    I have been very lucky in that with all my inexperience, I havent lost my hive and am very aware that its been sheer dumb luck so far....

    I am hoping to set up another hive using some of the frames from the first one and to split the hive so I have two. Thats going to be an interesting challenge.
     
  9. Jul 25, 2019
    kiliyatsia

    kiliyatsia Sprout

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    I have come to the conclusion that in order to do this successfully, you really do need to be an experienced beekeeper. I'm not there yet, so that goal is still way over there on the horizon....but I do have a master plan to get there. so far, in spite of hiccups, I think we are a couple of steps further along.
     
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  10. Jul 25, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    You just quoted me, cant remember from though.
     
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