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Bees Part 2

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Bees Part 2

Post  nancy on 3/26/2010, 9:32 am

Tim asked yesterday if we are seeing bees. I thought I would ask today

"What are you doing to attract bees?"

In my backyard I have flowers to attract bees & butterflies:

Perennials:
several purple cone flowers
shasta daisy
liatris
yellow & white yarrow
brown-eyed susans
and 5 kinds of milkweed (swamp, butterfly, tropical, common, and joe pye)

Annuals:
cosmos
dahlias
zinnias

I was going to post pictures, but it's blocked here at work. I'll do it when I get home.

n.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  kimbies on 3/26/2010, 9:52 am

Flying bugs of all sorts love our sedum - it'll bloom late June - October. We have wild honeysuckle taking over the woods... but the bees don't seem to find it. Other bee-friendly flowers just don't get enough sun. Pine cones and sweet gum balls aren't getting it done!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Norm on 3/26/2010, 10:01 am

If you want pollinators but don't want to be a beekeeper, why not build yourself a simple beehouse.

Here are simple plans for one I made last year.

http://fotb.drogon.org/library/bee%20houses/NormsSolitaryBeeHouse.pdf

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  choksaw on 3/26/2010, 10:04 am

For those of you that are haveing a hard time getting bees to come to you garden and pollinate your plants there i sa solution but it can be costly
http://www.burpee.com/product/id/104911.do
a friend turned me on to this stuff last year because we had no bees and my cukes were constantly flowering but never setting fruit so i found a local supplier tried it and about a week later i Had 9 cukes starting to grow of the same vine that never set in the weeks befor. Natural is always better but sometimes science can jump in and lend a hand. It works on other plants as well especialy tomatoes mine were fruiting 2 weeks befor my neighbor

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/26/2010, 10:22 am

@nancy wrote:"What are you doing to attract bees?"

I like that Nancy. I dedicate squares to flowers (true this is my first SFG but I've always mixed flowers into the garden as a welcome mat for bees) I in this first garden I have a sq ft of sweet peas. I also plant snapdragons, sweet assylim, calendula, feverfew and red pansies to attract bees.

Deborah ....more comforted then freaked by the sound of bees

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  chocolatepop on 3/26/2010, 11:45 am

My problem is that I have lots of shade, so I dont even know where to start with with the shade except to take a chain saw to a tree I don't want anyway.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  miinva on 5/6/2010, 10:46 pm

Pollinators are so vital! Here's a link to a page about attracting orchard mason bees. A google search offers lots of links and one of my seed catalogs has pre-made mason bee homes too Smile

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  miinva on 5/6/2010, 10:53 pm

Here's a great link about making paper liners for mason bee houses Smile

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Chopper on 5/6/2010, 10:55 pm

I used to work at a greenhouse and push come to shove you can take a soft bristle brush and do your own pollinating.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  miinva on 5/6/2010, 11:00 pm

True, but supporting the bee populations helps other plants too, not just your own.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Chopper on 5/6/2010, 11:19 pm

I understand that, and I support it, but gardening is all about being practical and pragmatic and not everyone has the wherewithal for the perfect environment. So, sometimes one needs to take things into one's own hands.

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Bees Part II

Post  trukrebew on 5/6/2010, 11:45 pm

My flowers haven't started to bloom yet, but I'll be ready b/c I have a big fat carpenter bee living nearby! It has begun to make a nest in the kids' swingset. I know that isn't too good for structural and safety reasons if the nest gets very large and populated, but I also have a lot of shade and I need all the bees I can get.

I just read that carpenter bees are excellent and vital pollinators. Hopefully, the bee will get busy with my garden before I plug up the hole later this summer. Don't know what I'll do next year, though. Maybe that bee house mentioned by Norm. I'm always looking for something to build in the winter!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  chocolatepop on 5/7/2010, 12:57 am

I yelled and educated my soccer team for killing a bumble bee. He was just chillin' watching the game. It was cute cause anytime a wasp came around he would chase it away, then just hover around watching us.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  new2this on 5/7/2010, 8:35 am

Last year I noticed many bees in my neighbors backyard. They have those purple salvia, or maybe it's russian sage? anyway...lots of bees.
I have 3 big wiegelia bushes jsut around the corner from my garden - so I hope that helps some, even thought they flower earlier than my veggies. I have 3 new blueberry plants that should help, too. A friend suggested cheese cloth to protect my Bberry plants from the birds, but then the bees can't get to them. I'll go with good 'ol bird netting I think. I want to keep the bees around!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 5/7/2010, 11:24 am

The seed company I bought from this year has a whole category on their web site for "Seeds that attract bees" http://www.botanicalinterests.com/store/search_results_sample.php?select=07000
Hope that helps!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  miinva on 5/7/2010, 3:03 pm

Cool, thank you for sharing! Lots of them say if butterflies or hummingbirds like plants, but rarely are bees mentioned.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  middlemamma on 5/7/2010, 3:44 pm

I'm very interested in beeing Bee friendly

Norm....can you elaborate on the box a little? Once it's built and you hang it is that all you do?

If I asked my husband (great wood worker) to build this is this a good enough sketch to give him if he has no clue what he's building? Are these holes in the front going through to a hollow space? or are the "blocks" with the holes filling up the space? Does that make ANY sense?

Just if you could explain what the box does that would be great. Smile

Jennie

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Megan on 5/7/2010, 5:39 pm

I finally saw some bees today! Big sigh of relief. They are greedily adoring my salvia. My sage just started to bloom yesterday (it is usually a big draw, too)... and my bee balm is getting bigger, but still no blooms.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  nancy on 5/7/2010, 7:28 pm

Last year I participated in the Great Sunflower Project (http://www.greatsunflower.org/) I have already started my lemon queen sunflowers for this year. I've seen several carpenter bees, but no honey bees yet. My salvia is just beginning to bloom. They also love my milkweed!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Megan on 5/7/2010, 7:36 pm

The ones I saw might be carpenter bees... I am not very good at ID'ing them because I keep my distance!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  miinva on 5/7/2010, 8:46 pm

This link explains what the bees need.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  martha on 5/7/2010, 9:04 pm

the good news is the bad news - one of the best things to attract bees......DANDELIONS!

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  happyfrog on 5/7/2010, 9:30 pm

well, then i expect to have no problems, lol.

my kids do their darndest to increase the dandelions each year with the plucking of the 'fluffy' flowers and blowing them exuberantly everywhere . . .and it makes me smile to see, so i'm ok with it.

will be interesting to see what other folks say about the dandelions and bees.

my husband thinks usa should make dandelion official flower so then it would be appreciated. Smile

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  Chopper on 5/7/2010, 11:53 pm

I have some creeping thyme near the beds and bees LOVE it. You would not want to walk barefoot on it as they are often covered with bees. Also willow attracts bees, which I didn't know until I went to pull one out and it, too, was covered.

And today while I was gazing adoringly at one of the beds, there was a little bee scanning the bed and making plans to tell his buddies, I hope.

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Re: Bees Part 2

Post  ayanefan on 5/10/2010, 10:18 am

I like the Solitary Bee house, but doesn't that go against everything that bees are? I tried to learn a bit more about the bee house and if it is actually something that bees will naturally do but I can't find anything.

And about dandelions, their leaves are bitter and taste like radiccio, really gives attitude to a bland salad.
Did you know that the French settlers brought dandelions over on their ships? They used that as a food source while on the ocean and planted them once arrived. The word "dandelion" comes from the French "Dents de Lion" (lion teeth) and their roots can go down as far as 30 feet.

The grandparents used to make dandelion wine which took 2 years to ferment but packed a big punch!

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