about the bees

Kenneth Hixson khixson@nu-world.com
Sun, 08 Feb 2009 20:47:20 PST
Jim McKenney wrote:
> The topic of bees is a sad one for me because we have not had bees around
> here for a long time
> I miss the bees. 

	My reaction is, everyone on this thread seems to equate "bees"
with honey bees or colony bees.  There were bees in america before
the first white settlers brought in honeybees--"the white man's fly",
as the indians are said to have called them.  Here in Oregon I still
have honeybees on the clover in my lawn.  But in the california poppies
the bumblebees outnumber honeybees about ten to one--but they are
gathering pollen, not honey.  Wasps of various kinds do pollenate,
though not very well.  There are enormous numbers of various solitary
bees, mason bees, blue faced bees, carpenter bees, leaf cutter bees,
etc.  Google solitary pollenators or any of the names above, or read
books such as "The Forgotten Pollenators".
	I deliberately leave plants of parsley, parsnips, wild carrots,
etc, just as "flower pasture" for some of these smaller, but very
efficient bees, and often see half-a-dozen different bees at one time.
Honeybees mostly ignore these plants, but they do feed bees.  There is
even one kind of bee that only appears to gather pollen from the anthers
of the lilies in the garden, and ignores everything else.

	I can't speak for Jim McKenney's garden, but there are lots
of bees--once you start looking for them, providing something for them
to gather food from-and pollen may be more important than nectar to
many of them.


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