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Our friends, the carpenter bees

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Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Pollinator on 3/11/2014, 10:57 am

It's SPRING! Yesterday, I saw my first carpenter bee, so it's official. I always consider that spring is not here, until the carpenter bees show up. These wonderful bees are good pollinators for my apples, pears, blackberries, and many other open-faced spring flowers. They also love my redbuds.

The males are the ones you usually encounter. They are totally harmless. The females are busy at the flowers, and provisioning their nests, so they don't hang around you. The females can sting, but won't unless you try to catch them in your hands or some similar stupidity.

The males are curious and will often try to mate with anything that moves. If he's looking you over, I promise, he is not being aggressive! He's just trying to decide if you are sexy.

Some people try to destroy carpenter bees, because they will do some slight cosmetic damage to our homes. These folks live in an artificial world, where they've never heard of pollinator decline - one of our most urgent environmental problems. But I say to my carpenter bee friends, "My home is your home!" You are welcome to nest in my eaves.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Kelejan on 3/11/2014, 6:10 pm

I am going to grow more flowers this year so that I can attract these bees and any other pollinators I can.
Last year I had an awesome display of Scarlet Runner Beans but sadly I had few beans. The year before not so many flowers but plenty of beans. I'm thinking there was a shortage of pollinators around.
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carpenter bees

Post  kauairosina on 3/11/2014, 6:49 pm

Thanks for the information.  I would never have known!  This forum is amazing for the type of data we share.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  sanderson on 3/11/2014, 9:10 pm

Kelejan, I thought beans and peas were self-pollinating??
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  boffer on 3/11/2014, 9:30 pm

   Legumes, including shelling peanuts, peas, snap peas, lima beans and green beans, including bush and climbing varieties, are self-pollinators, explains the Harvest to Table website. These vegetables grow well when sown directly in the ground as opposed to starting in a container indoors and then transplanted. These plants self-fertilize even before the flowers open, which prevents any cross-pollination by insects or the wind.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_8166461_list-selfpollinating-vegetables.html#ixzz2vhvydGQt

Some sources say that bean pollination can be assisted by pollinators, but are not necessary.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  walshevak on 3/11/2014, 11:45 pm

@Kelejan wrote:I am going to grow more flowers this year so that I can attract these bees and any other pollinators I can.
Last year I had an awesome display of Scarlet Runner Beans but sadly I had few beans. The year before not so many flowers but plenty of beans.  I'm thinking there was a shortage of pollinators around.

Same here with painted lady beans.  Lots of flowers but not one bean.  Pretty though,  Yet my asian long beans did fine.

Kay

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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Kelejan on 3/12/2014, 12:03 am

@sanderson wrote:Kelejan,  I thought beans and peas were self-pollinating??
I had better look into that. Perhaps it was the weather that did not do the job last year? Always something to learn.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Pollinator on 3/13/2014, 10:25 am

There are some legumes that actually self pollinate. The anthers and the stigma actually grow to touch each other. Almost all the true self pollinating plants are legumes.

Many plants that are claimed to be self pollinators are not. There are no temperate zone fruit trees that truly self pollinate. They require bees to move the pollen. Those that are self fertile need fewer bees to do the job, because the pollen only has to move the short distance between anther and stigma, and it can be within the same flower. (And they are usually single seeded ones, as well.) Most peach varieties and some cherry varieties are self fertile. Don't let anyone lie to you that they are self pollinating though.

Self pollinating legumes would include garden peas, some bean varieties, and peanuts. Other bean varieties are open to cross pollination for a few hours; and then, if that doesn't happen, the anther and stigma will grow to touch. Many soybeans are like this.

With beans, evidence of lack of pollination is missing "slots" in your bean pods. If you have a lot of them, you probably have a variety that preferred cross pollination, and you probably did not get enough bee visits.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Pollinator on 3/13/2014, 10:26 am

There are some legumes that actually self pollinate. The anthers and the stigma actually grow to touch each other. Almost all the true self pollinating plants are legumes.

Many plants that are claimed to be self pollinators are not. There are no temperate zone fruit trees that truly self pollinate. They require bees to move the pollen. Those that are self fertile need fewer bees to do the job, because the pollen only has to move the short distance between anther and stigma, and it can be within the same flower. (And they are usually single seeded ones, as well.) Most peach varieties and some cherry varieties are self fertile. Don't let anyone lie to you that they are self pollinating though.

Self pollinating legumes would include garden peas, some bean varieties, and peanuts. Other bean varieties are open to cross pollination for a few hours; and then, if that doesn't happen, the anther and stigma will grow to touch. Many soybeans are like this.

With beans, evidence of lack of pollination is missing "slots" in your bean pods. If you have a lot of them, you probably have a variety that preferred cross pollination, and you probably did not get enough bee visits.
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great information

Post  kauairosina on 3/13/2014, 12:39 pm

I marvel at the depth of wisdom in this forum. Thank you.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Kelejan on 3/13/2014, 2:13 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Kelejan,  I thought beans and peas were self-pollinating??
I had better look into that.  Perhaps it was the weather that did not do the job last year? Always something to learn.

I looked on the Internet and found that the Scarlet Runner Beans are indeed selfpollinating but need help from bumblebees. I was right to think that it was a lack of pollinators, they just needed to be there to brush up against the flowers. I wonder if I took the place of bumblebees by using a paintbrush or something similar, at the right time of course? Anyway, that is one reason I want to grow more flowers.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Pollinator on 3/13/2014, 11:33 pm

Now that's oxymoronic!  They are "self pollinating" but need help from bumblebees. Shows you can't believe everything you find on the Internet.  If they need help from bumblebees, they are not self pollinating. They are self fertile. But the bumblebees are the pollinators.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Kelejan on 3/14/2014, 2:27 am

@Pollinator wrote:Now that's oxymoronic!  They are "self pollinating" but need help from bumblebees. Shows you can't believe everything you find on the Internet.  If they need help from bumblebees, they are not self pollinating. They are self fertile. But the bumblebees are the pollinators.
I get you now, Pollinator.
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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Pollinator on 3/15/2014, 11:11 am

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Re: Our friends, the carpenter bees

Post  Kelejan on 3/15/2014, 12:21 pm

That's one hell of a link for a tiny reply. :-)
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