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Attracting Bees

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Attracting Bees

Post  camprn on 10/17/2010, 11:28 am

Hi there wave smile

I am doing a bit of planning for other areas of my yard that is not the SFG. Part of my plan is to attract pollinators to my place to benefit my SFG. The Bumbles were my most prolific pollinator this year I thought I would share this LINK on attracting and nurturing the bumble bee.

I am also planning on doing some research on honey bees and maybe next year will try beekeeping.
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Old Hippie on 10/17/2010, 11:53 am

We are planning to do the same thing eventually but in the meantime there are other bees you can get called Mason Bees that are great pollinators as well. The orchard mason bee is non-aggressive and will sting only if handled roughly or if itshould get trapped under clothing. It is less objectionable than the honey bee as apollinator in urban areas and should be encouraged.

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/inse006/inse006.htm

You can get a small kit with the house and cocoons on line. I have ordered some that will arrive very early next spring. I am planting lots of things like borage and echinacea that bees love. They love my oregano too.

I am also looking into getting more natural predators as well for pest control. I don't know if praying manitises live in my zone but I think they are very cool. We want to put in a pond next year so hopefully that will attract toads or frogs and my DH wants to build a bat house too. I have no idea what all the local by-laws are about all this stuff but I don't intend to check. I figure it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. Twisted Evil

Best of luck.

GK
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  camprn on 1/29/2011, 6:08 pm

Is anyone here currently raising a colony or planning on raising bees this coming season?
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  miinva on 1/29/2011, 6:14 pm

When we bought our little farm seven years ago my husband wanted to get bees and even bought the 'for dummies' book, but so far we haven't tried it. We're going to get a couple of mason bee canisters this year and I'm planting lots of things bees love, including some rootbeer hyssop from Terroir that they say bees adore. They sure liked the anise hyssop last year and I collected some seed, so hopefully I'll have lots of that this year!

I would love to hear about your experiment if you give them a try, camprn.

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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Selandra on 1/29/2011, 9:52 pm

@camprn wrote:Is anyone here currently raising a colony or planning on raising bees this coming season?

Not yet, hope to next year. This year is chickens and other fowl.

I plan on following this type of beekeeping - http://www.biobees.com/
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  camprn on 1/29/2011, 9:59 pm

@Selandra wrote:
@camprn wrote:Is anyone here currently raising a colony or planning on raising bees this coming season?

Not yet, hope to next year. This year is chickens and other fowl.

I plan on following this type of beekeeping - http://www.biobees.com/
I have been to this site before, but a big thank you for posting it.
Oooh I really like the top bar hive shown on that site. And there are building instructions!
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Selandra on 1/29/2011, 10:57 pm

camprn - no problem. I'm really into trying to be as natural as possible. I'm one of those who believe in using the land and animals but doing it in the least harmful way possible. It really is possible and no you don't have to live in a hut. It's just doing what you can where you can. Of course, my neighbors look at me a bit oddly, but then just shake their head and say "whaja spect, she's from the west coast"
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Old Hippie on 1/30/2011, 5:10 pm

@Selandra wrote:camprn - no problem. I'm really into trying to be as natural as possible. I'm one of those who believe in using the land and animals but doing it in the least harmful way possible. It really is possible and no you don't have to live in a hut. It's just doing what you can where you can. Of course, my neighbors look at me a bit oddly, but then just shake their head and say "whaja spect, she's from the west coast"

Selandra, that is what we are trying to do. We want to put up a bat house, have bees, put in a water feature that will attract frogs, etc., have bird feeders and birdhouses to attract birds, grow plants to feed ourselves and attract plant beneficial insects, etc. We are trying to add things to our house and garage that will make use of the rainwater, solar panels to run the computers, a system for air circulation that works on convection. The list goes on. People I work with laugh at me for all the stuff I take home to use for our projects, but they stop laughing when they see what we can do with it all. They shake their heads and say......."what else can you expect from a couple of old hippies?"

Keep up the good work.

Gwynn
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Selandra on 1/30/2011, 10:56 pm

Gwynn - I have lots of plans too.. I call it my list... it's a very long list. This fall we are getting a pellet stove for the living room. I really wanted a wood but my husband said if we got a wood one I was doing the chopping. So we're getting a pellet. I'd love to get some solar panels and we are also looking into a wind turbine. I'm planning on chickens, gunieas and ducks this summer, for eggs, food and pest control. We're also turning our HUGE front yard into an orchard (something else the neighbors will laugh at as big green yards are a big deal here). My husband is tired of mowing it and I won't let him kill the "weeds". The dandelions are just starting to make a comeback after the previous owner. We also are planning on some rainbarrels, considering the house and the barns we should have plenty to use. The SFG method appealed to me so much with its gardening in small spaces with less work. Time is precious on the farm so ever spare moment is a blessing.
Keep on being an "old hippie" the world needs more Smile
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Re: Attracting Bees

Post  Old Hippie on 1/30/2011, 11:18 pm

We plan on doing more with fruit trees too. So far we have an apple tree and an ornamental crabapple tree as well as two chokecherry trees. The apple tree is a cooking variety, not that great for just eating. It was very badly pruned before we bought this place so can't really do much about that now however it does produce enough to keep us in apples for pies and crisps over the winter. The chokecherry trees give me enough for some jelly. But we hope to add some blueberry and raspberry bushes over the next couple of summers and would like to try some dwarf fruit trees perhaps espaliering some along the fence. Because I am in a Zone 3b growing area, that does limit me quite a bit but there are some varieties I can get.

I want to get the boulevard side of the yard planted eventually to all perennials/wild flowers that people can pick if they like. The city does nothing to maintain it and I don't like how all the weeds just proliferate like crazy. At least they don't spread a lot of pesticide and herbicides on it but the weed seeds blow into my yard and are sometimes hard to keep up with.

Mainly, I want to grow as much as possible to show people what can be done on a piece of property 60'x130'. Urban farming and permaculture is our goal... but a little at a time. It doesn't have to be expensive. We don't plan on turning our place into something that runs only on solar power but a combination of things to make use of as much of the energy that lands on it as possible.

We do plan to make a sod roof on the garden shed when we take up some sod to make the pathways in the back yard. As far as I know that is a 'first' here in our area. If it works, GREAT. If it doesn't, oh well......

Gwynn
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