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Honey bees, not just for pollination

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Honey bees, not just for pollination

Post  Pollinator on 3/11/2014, 10:50 am

Honeybee fact: Worker bees don't die so much of old age as from wearing out their little wings. A worker bee has about 500 miles in her wings, so it saves lives if the blossoms are close to the hives. As her wings age and fray, she will fly out one day, with no trouble, but be unable to make the loaded return flight. So she'll die away from home - that's good for hive health.

Those few who do die in the hive are removed by "undertaker bees," a group of bees who do nothing else, once they begin to fly. They pick up the dead and carry it away to be dropped at some distance from the hive.

Dead bees are good fertilizer. I've seen bees in a young pine plantation, with the trees in the vicinity of the hives at least twice the size of the trees farther out. We usually think of bees and gardens from the angle of pollination. But gardens with beehives may well enjoy the same fertilizing effect, as a second benefit.
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Re: Honey bees, not just for pollination

Post  Kelejan on 3/11/2014, 6:06 pm

That's interesting to know, Pollinator. Makes sense to put your hive near the flowers or your flowers near the hive.
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Question re Spinosad and bees

Post  kauairosina on 6/13/2014, 8:03 pm

We have been cautioned not to use Spinosad (Monterrey Green) because of harm to bees.  What do you all know about this?
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Re: Honey bees, not just for pollination

Post  camprn on 6/13/2014, 8:54 pm

@kauairosina wrote:We have been cautioned not to use Spinosad (Monterrey Green) because of harm to bees.  What do you all know about this?
read and follow the label directions. All insecticides will kill bees if applied improperly/off label.

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