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Bees

    35 responses

Susan starts with ...
We have had almost no honey bees for 4-5 years. We have seen fewer than 20 in this time. The spring orchard is silent, no pumpkins & relatives are pollinated unless by hand, and from 4 large macadamias that used to crop prolifically we are getting 10 nuts/ season.
We have a hive of native been, but they are of limited assistance. I believe a beetle is to blame. Hoverflies achieved some success in the plums. How widespread is this problem?
Susan
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Susan12
Yugar
11th September 2011 4:01pm
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snottiegobble says...
Hi Susan, where is Yugar? If you are in Aust. then this is serious & you need to notify the controlling body in your state, ie, Wildlife & Conservation or Dept of Agriculture! Local flooding can affect an area for quite some time, but not 4-5 years.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smackin the middle)
13th September 2011 7:49pm
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Violet_Cactus says...
Google tells me Yugar is in Queensland.
There's a contact page for Queensland's Primary Industries & Fisheries here -
http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/31_88.htm
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VioletCactus1
 
15th September 2011 6:56pm
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Original Post was last edited: 15th September 2011 7:01pm
MaryT says...
We are not seeing bees in the lower north shore of Sydney either. I have seen ONE bee only in my garden since spring. The basil bush that normally have a cloud of bees around it everyday sits there lonely like Miss Havisham. My friend's garden that is Flower Central has a handful of bees in it, and they are a larger bee than we've ever seen (like the ONE I saw in mine).
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MaryT
Sydney
19th October 2011 8:20am
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john says...
Neo-nicotinoids have been implicated in bee disappearnce. Confidor ,an insecticide ,is widely used and v. destructive of bees even months after application.
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ncoast
19th October 2011 8:44am
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amanda says...
I see confidor is now available as pellets that u put in the soil around the plant roots :-( I can imagine they will be very popular....
Wonder will they will do to the soil fauna also..?
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
19th October 2011 10:20am
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MaryT says...
OMG; what can we do to stop this. I miss the bees so much; they bring so much buzz into the garden.
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MaryT
Sydney
19th October 2011 10:52am
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john says...
The pellets disolve and are translocated to the flowers. The insecticide is still of sufficient concentration to kill bees feeding on the blossoms.
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ncoast
19th October 2011 10:54am
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Xiem says...
Without the bees we all die.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoid
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Diego
 
19th October 2011 12:54pm
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Xiem says...


More about the bees:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/nicotine-bees-population-restored-with-neonicotinoids-ban.php
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Diego
 
19th October 2011 1:01pm
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john says...
If you need to spray insecticide then use Mavrik which is reported to be non toxic to bees. Still better to spray late in the day when fewer bees are working.
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ncoast
19th October 2011 2:30pm
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MaryT says...
The information on that link is frightening, Xiem, yet what's the point of being informed if we don't do anything about it? I don't know who's spraying so much insecticide around Sydney that all the bees are gone. I do hope they come back.
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MaryT
Sydney
19th October 2011 5:52pm
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Xiem says...
Well its all anecdotal but they definitely seem to be disappearing. I go a few times a week to an establishment that has an avenue of blue echium and I can remember seeing these same types of flowers swarming with bees in spring. Along the echium avenue there has been only a dozen or so bees that I have seen at one time. And I know people in the suburbs who kill off hives in their area because they see them as a danger and are scared of being stung. I don't think bees ever deliberately chase someone to sting them.
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Diego
 
19th October 2011 6:53pm
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MaryT says...
This fear of bees is pathetic: I know people who took out all their lavender hedges because "the bees are a nuisance" even though no one was EVER stung.
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MaryT
Sydney
19th October 2011 7:26pm
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Fruity Tootie says...
Hi Mary. I couldn't agree with you more! In fact I am allergic to bees (!) yet I am wishing and praying they would appear in my garden because as such I have only seen a handfull at most! I even rescued one from my pool the other day and put it in my garden praying it will repay me by pollinating! And can youo believe- my dad on the south coast found he had a bees nest at the side of his house and wanted to kill them all until I said Don't! We need them and they are all dying off and disappearing as it is...leave them alone!
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Fruitie Tootie
Sydney
19th October 2011 7:32pm
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amanda says...
Perhaps one of the problems for the bees is Suburbia itself!? No habitats..? eg: why would the bees on my property (30acres) even bother to travel all the way into town to get what they need?

If there is a hive on someones property, a park or such - it has to be "removed"...it's not just pesticides - it's attitudes too...?

I have natural hives on my property and they are welcome. We also have hornets/wasps making the mud-nests all around the house...we have never been stung and it's all fine.

Live and Let Live... :)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
19th October 2011 9:54pm
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Wazzbat says...
We had a big swarm fly over us in whilst working in Mosman Park the other day. They were heading East so they should reach my place soon hopefully - lol.
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Wazzbat
Vic Park WA
19th October 2011 9:55pm
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MaryT says...
Amanda you are right; bees are losing their habitat. A friend of mine had a hive in her roof - she didn't even notice until one heat wave and she had honey coming down the walls :) "Someone came and took it"; sigh. I must see about getting a hive.

Wazzbat my heart skipped a beat when you mentioned Mosman but then I realised you are in WA, not the suburb near me.
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MaryT
Sydney
20th October 2011 6:19am
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amanda says...
Oops MaryT! U don't want them in your roof ;) A friend here had to replace theirs cos of the same problem...but yea - some hives might help.

It's a shame they can't be located in some of the parks around the place - maybe up high so kids can't play with them...?

It always amazes me when folk talk here about having no bees...(I couldn't imagine my garden without them...) and I really think people are getting much better at not spraying chemicals around like they used to...?
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
20th October 2011 10:05am
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MaryT says...
My jacaranda is flowering and the bees usually come for them so maybe they'll turn up yet...
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MaryT
Sydney
21st October 2011 6:50pm
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amanda says...
Looks delicious haakon! Well done :) I have this native scaveola plant (pic) that the bees go biting mad over!? They bite the stems and the leaf edges - but don't touch the flowers...the bush literally buzzes with bees all day...it's weird - I wonder what they are doing..?
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
26th October 2011 10:01am
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BJ says...
Amanda - Do the regular bees do that, or is it the leafcutters?
Haakon - great job. One of my favourite things to eat, though I can only really stomach a teaspoon a week.
With all this talk of bees I've been watching their comings and goings in my yard. Their favourite plant at the moment is the Jamaican Strawberry tree, with no less than a dozen bees busily buzzing about on the millions of flowers. It also attracts hoverflies by the hundreds.The bees also go mad for the pigface row I've got growing next to my grapes. The name really does no justice to the pigface!
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
26th October 2011 10:22am
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amanda says...
It's the regular bees BJ. The stems of the plant are quite sticky so maybe it tastes good..!? (agree about pigface too...such a pretty flower too)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
26th October 2011 1:07pm
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gus says...
That is awesome Haakon.
Do you think it is safe having bees in the back yard? I would love to do it but my wife is worried about our dog.



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26th October 2011 2:31pm
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Steven says...
Hey Amanda.

The bees are probably collecting the tree sap to make propolis. I have a bee hive in my backyard, to be honest you dont really notice its there, if you place it somewhere a little open and out of the way it wouldnt cause any problems. the bees with fly all over your neighbourhood every day collecting nectar etc then return at dusk. The only time they can become a nuisance is when they decide to swam but as long as you treat them with respect they arent dangerous.
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
26th October 2011 10:03pm
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amanda says...
Hi Steven :) Never heard of propolis! An illicit Bee drug the way they carry on!? lol. We get lots of swarms in spring..either splattering on the car window or intimidating us on the deck...but yea - nothing bad ever happens - it's just the sound of them that can be unnerving...

Gus - your dog would be fine...truly. We have big wasps/hornets that build their mud nests all around the dog-spots on the deck, and loads of bees...we have no problems. We even have lots of snakes and the dogs are not silly enuf to mess with them either ;-)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
27th October 2011 2:28am
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Rowan says...
My brother in law has bee hives and a few monthes ago his three year old decided to come and 'help' dad with the bees. She walked over to the hives, waved her hands and the bees went her. I was visiting and we shoved her in the shower and spent ten minutes taking the bees off her and out of her hair. She was stung all over. Over fifty stings, not counting what we couldn't see on her scalp.
Hysterical, in heaps of pain - we drove her to the hospital. No lasting harm done this time but it could have been a whole lot worse. The doctors say that this could have set her up for an allergic reaction in the future. A deadly reaction.

I would never recommend bee hives around children (or even in town for that matter). Just another take on the matter.
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Rowan
Casterton Vic
28th October 2011 6:43am
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Speedy says...
@Rowan- Yeowch, poor little girl, a hard lesson she won't forget in a hurry.
I hope she hasn't now become allergic to bees.
Bee stings imo are generally ok , but that is just too traumatic for a little one, sorry to hear that :-(

I've wanted a hive in my garden since I started our garden about 3-4yrs ago.
The opportunity presented last week with a wild swarm not far from here.
I went and cut it from a boxthorn bush and put them in a cardboard box for a couple of days while I built them a more permanent home.
I don't have any protective gear yet so I feel lucky I haven't been stung yet
:-)
I decided on a Warre style hivebox rather than the conventional (Langstroth) type as it seems fit more with bees natural behaviors and requires less human intervention.
There are no frames or foundation, just top bars with a bead of wax as starter so the bees can make cells whatever size they want/need.
New boxes are added at the bottom (spring) and full boxes are taken off the top (summer/autumn) so there is a constant renewal of comb and wax so less chance for buildup of pesticides/toxins.

While getting the swarm into their permanent hivebox, my little dog found out the hard way why not to eat bees....I dont think he'll do it again.


Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1

Picture: 2
 
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Speedy
Nthn Vic.
28th October 2011 9:19am
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Steven says...
Hi Rowan how are you, i like that hive it looks nice. how do you extract the honey though without hurting the hive if there are no frames? with my bees unless you put foundations on the frames they tend to stick the frames together with honey/beeswax


Poor girl i hope she is ok. bee's can get pretty annoyed when your working with them (you would too if someone was ripping your roof apart and fulling you and your family out!) so yeah, children pets etc should stay away. other than that though they never cause any problems.


Hey Amanda how are you? Propolis is the stuff bee's use to coat any cracks etc in their hive, its basically a varnish thats used to protect the hive from rot, fungi etc. It used medicinally because it claims to have anit-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

I have to check my bees actually but every week when i have time its always raining!!!
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
28th October 2011 7:57pm
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Speedy says...
Hi Stven, I just typed up a reply to your question but the computer dumped or deleted it or something... arrrrrgh!

This should explain though.


http://www.warre.biobees.com/
http://thebeespace.net/warre-hive/

also some interesting ideas on CCD
http://anarchyapiaries.org/hivetools/node/32

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Speedy
Nthn Vic.
31st October 2011 9:24am
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Xiem says...
I found those websites very interesting Speedy. Do amateur bee-keepers have their own forum? Perhaps one day I will make a Warre hive. Fascinating insects.
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Diego
 
6th November 2011 4:47pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
Speedy, do you say you started beekeeping with this warree hive without any experience? Or do you have a bit of experience? We didn't start with bees, just because everything seems to be very scientific and difficult.
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ringelstrumpf
Mountains
9th November 2011 11:43am
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Speedy says...
Yep, no previous experience at all.
Bees have always been part of the plan for sometime in the future, and the opportunity presented when I was told of the swarm so I grabbed it.
I had just recently seen a Warre hive and I liked the idea of it so when I caught the swarm, I made these hiveboxes.
I've since made another with one of the boxes having a glass panel (with an insulated cover to exclude light and temp variation) for the kids to observe the bees at work.
Now I'm keeping my eye out for another swarm to catch.
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Speedy
Nthn Vic.
9th November 2011 5:03pm
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Original Post was last edited: 9th November 2011 5:04pm
ringelstrumpf says...
That's really amazing! So the bees moved twice without a problem? First in the cardboard box and then in the hive?
Do you have anybody to ask questions?
Beekeeping seems to be so difficult. I would rather (but I can't keep a cow) or a sheep (I do).
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ringelstrumpf
Mountains
9th November 2011 9:12pm
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Speedy says...
Yeah, cut the hanging swarm from a boxthorn bush, put into box for 2 days while I got all the gear and built the hiveboxes then put them into it.

I knew that bees aren't as fiesty as usual when they swarm, I guess cause they're looking for somewhere to live rather than protecting an established hive.
so even though I'd never really dealt with bees before (Apis mellifera that is, I have had stingless bees up in NNSW, but they're a diferent thing) , I wasn't too worried about 'handling them'.

anyone to ask questions?
Just got info from internet and reading stuff.There are forums for natural beekeeping too, but I haven't gone there yet.

Keeping bees might not be as difficult as you may think. At least 'Natural Beekeeping' seems like less work from what I've read. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

http://www.biobees.com/
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Speedy
Nthn Vic.
9th November 2011 10:11pm
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Diego says...
This may be of interest to bee keepers and fruit growers alike. The chemical companies have had a win over nature.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/15/bee-harming-pesticides-escape-european-ban
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Diego
Costa del Sol
16th March 2013 1:41pm
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