about the bees

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 09 Feb 2009 09:05:53 PST
Further to Ken's comment about the many kinds of bees in Oregon, 
where he and I live:

At least up here at 1600 feet elevation, the only bees present in 
midwinter in the bulb frames are European honeybees, which are fairly 
common in this area. I don't know if they come from domestic hives 
(which would be at least half a mile away) or if they are "feral." 
The bumblebees (two kinds, I think) appear in mid-March, and the 
mason and other kinds of smaller bees a little later. Many 
fritillarias are pollinated by wasps, and some geophytes by flies or 
even beetles; and then there are the many plants from the Americas 
and South Africa that have evolved to be pollinated by birds. Here in 
the country there is almost every kind of pollinator at one time or 
another, and so the bulbs in the frames (more accessible than in a 
greenhouse) set a great deal of seed and rarely need to be hand-pollinated.

Around here people can put out roadside signs "No Spraying" to keep 
the county or state road department from spraying herbicides and 
pesticides on their property frontage. This is generally to protect 
bees and livestock, but it also helps native plant populations (and 
unfortunately, blackberries).

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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