Author Topic: wild bees  (Read 4824 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
wild bees
« on: January 07, 2011, 01:43:59 pm »
We don't keep hives as our bees live in the walls of our stone buildings and in holes in the ground.  They really struggle up here so we try to provide them with as much support as we can, mainly in the form of places to nest (by not re-pointing the stonework, leaving rough areas etc) and trying to grow the right plants.
However, I don't have any specialist knowledge about wild bees so any advice on how to keep a succession of pollen and nectar plants on the go, especially in early spring, will be welcome.  Also anything else we can do to help them, in return for the huge help they give us.   :bee: :bfly: :ladybug:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: wild bees
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 02:35:59 pm »
The bees in your walls will most likely be Solitary Bees - Masonry Bees, or Bumble Bees. They are gentle and a pleasure to have around. The bees we look after in hives are Honey Bees (although it's not unheard of for a swarm to settle in a wall cavity).

Quite a few plants are attractive to bees including: Fruit tree blossom, Verbena, Clover, Lavender, Tupelo, Dandelion, Aster, Hebe, Goldenrod, Sage and Thyme.

This website has some nice photos and might give you some idea of which plants you like (and will grow where you are):

http://www.beehappyplants.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=75

 :bee:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: wild bees
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 04:35:56 pm »
Thank you - I will take a look at that.  Yes, the bees are the wild sort, in fact lots of sorts  :D  There are big bumble bees and cuckoo bees (not so good but we all have to live), all sorts of middle-sized bumble bees with various different markings, right down to tiny little furry ones which have communal nests and pale bums.  There are no honey bees although occasionally a local beekeeper puts his hives about a mile from us.  We haven't noticed mason bees and we even put up a cane thingy for them (a gift) but they never moved in)
We have all the plants you have suggested apart from tupelo (which i haven't heard of) and goldenrod which i can certainly get. We have plenty of fruit blossom early on and all the veggies and herbs.  I also grow a large patch of helichrysum every year and that is always dripping with bees, usually the smaller ones, as well as butterflies and hoverflies. Their favourite I think is comfrey which on a still day buzzes and hums with activity.  I leave my brassicas to go to seed as that provides a tasty treat for them but I was told that unless I have a whole field of the stuff I might as well not bother - but i do anyway. Late in the year they love Sedum spectabile, which I keep trying but it never lasts long here. Early on they like spring flowers but I need more....  One year we tried planting up a big area with a mix of wildflowers and any left over veg seed we had, plus phacelia - mostly all that came up was thistles !!  The birds liked those.   :bee: :bfly: :bee: :ladybug: :bee:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • TheBusPhoebeandMe
Re: wild bees
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 04:40:50 pm »
The most favoured plant in my garden is a white flowered marjoram.  Not only with the bees but with all sorts of butterflies also.

All the best
Sue
To follow my travel journal see http://www.thebusphoebeandme.us

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: wild bees
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 04:51:29 pm »
Willows are fairly early in the year, Dandelions are great for bees too, clover (but they don't always go for it) as well as the ones others have already mentioned.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: wild bees
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 06:07:04 pm »
White Clover is better than Red clover for Honey Bees (they only have little tongues). Bless.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: wild bees
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 12:38:04 am »
We have lots of willow and lots of dandelions too  ;D  Also white clover - red doesn't seem to grow here.  So really our wild bees should be very well fed and supplied.  But I feel that sometimes there just aren't any flowers for them.  I think I will keep track this year of just what flowers there are and any gaps, then I can fill those gaps for next year.  When I choose flower seeds for the garden I always go for the single options for the sake of the bees, to the extent that I don't even like double blooms any more.  I think I am so worried because we are the only place around here and there are virtually no wild flowers on neighbouring fields and no hedgerows.  So for the wild bees, we are it.   :bee: :ladybug: :bee: :bfly: :bee:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: wild bees
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 12:35:10 pm »
And don't forget Mature Ivy - a good source for late foraging......

 :bee:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: wild bees
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 03:08:45 pm »
Good point !  That's another box I can tick as we have a humungous ivy growing up the corner of the barn,covered in flowers later on.  One year it blew off and took ages to get back to size, so I think I should start some more on other outbuildings.  They do love it, don't they  :bee:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: wild bees
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 08:29:42 am »
Do the wild bees  make good honey or are they just disease carriers.   Do beekeepers put them in to a deomestic hive or not or are they just smoked out and left to die?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: wild bees
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 10:08:37 am »
Do the wild bees  make good honey or are they just disease carriers.   Do beekeepers put them in to a deomestic hive or not or are they just smoked out and left to die?
What a very odd comment  ???  Wild bees are part of the diversity of life in our world.  They come in all shapes and sizes and help to pollinate flowers and vegetables.  No they don't produce a honey crop nor are they kept in a hive - many are solitary and live in small holes in walls or the ground, or in small groups. The types we have here in Britain - our native bees - do not swarm, which is a feature of honey bee behaviour.  It is diseases from hive bees transferring to the wild types that I am concerned about, not the other way round.  Why on Earth would one kill them  ???  >:(
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: wild bees
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 11:53:06 am »
Do the wild bees make good honey or are they just disease carriers. Do beekeepers put them in to a domestic hive or not or are they just smoked out and left to die?

There are many types of bee. For example, the large 'fluffy' looking ones you see in the garden are bumble Bees and the bees that make honey are Honey Bees.

Some bees are solitary bees, but yes, you can get 'wild' Honey Bees. These are often bees that have swarmed from a hive and then set up home somewhere of their choice (for example, Dove Cotes, chimneys, tree hollows).

Many swarms go unnoticed but if they are in a place where they are not wanted, someone like me (a beekeeper) is called out to remove the bees and rehome them. I would then take the bees and safely rehome them in one of my spare hives.

With regard to disease, yes, disease can be transmitted from bee to bee and from hive to hive, for example, they can carry mites. Beekeepers buy the approved medication for the bees and treat them accordingly.

Beekeepers on the whole are responsible folk and we care greatly for our hives. We give the bees ample room to expand, treat with meds to keep them healthy and feed them when the forage isn't good. We make sure there is a water supply that they can access safely, and protect their hives from danger (for example from animals that might knock the hives over) and the elements.

I haven't gone into any great detail here as there is so much more too it, but I hope this reply gives you a bit more of an understanding as to how valuable bees are to us all.

It is very important that we ALL are considerate to ALL of our wildlife. Every little helps.

 :bee:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: wild bees
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 12:37:32 am »
Having seen your web link OhLaLa on the solitary bees thread and looked at bumble bees, I find they don't have them in Australia - so sorry Blonde for thinking you just didn't like them !  Apparently there is a move to introduce them to Oz which is probably not too sensible, given how so many introduced species go out of control in a new country.  Do you have native varieties of solitary bees?  I have also learned that bumble bees are not solitary but live in a group with a queen and workers.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: wild bees
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 08:01:50 am »
Do the wild bees make good honey or are they just disease carriers. Do beekeepers put them in to a domestic hive or not or are they just smoked out and left to die?

There are many types of bee. For example, the large 'fluffy' looking ones you see in the garden are bumble Bees and the bees that make honey are Honey Bees.

Some bees are solitary bees, but yes, you can get 'wild' Honey Bees. These are often bees that have swarmed from a hive and then set up home somewhere of their choice (for example, Dove Cotes, chimneys, tree hollows).

Many swarms go unnoticed but if they are in a place where they are not wanted, someone like me (a beekeeper) is called out to remove the bees and rehome them. I would then take the bees and safely rehome them in one of my spare hives.

With regard to disease, yes, disease can be transmitted from bee to bee and from hive to hive, for example, they can carry mites. Beekeepers buy the approved medication for the bees and treat them accordingly.

Beekeepers on the whole are responsible folk and we care greatly for our hives. We give the bees ample room to expand, treat with meds to keep them healthy and feed them when the forage isn't good. We make sure there is a water supply that they can access safely, and protect their hives from danger (for example from animals that might knock the hives over) and the elements.

I haven't gone into any great detail here as there is so much more too it, but I hope this reply gives you a bit more of an understanding as to how valuable bees are to us all.

It is very important that we ALL are considerate to ALL of our wildlife. Every little helps.

 :bee:
[/quote
(1) Do Bumble bees make honey or not?
 
(2) So when the conditons are not right what do you feed them?

(3) Do you breed your own queen bees or do you buy  them from a breeder?

(4) What sorts of crops do you put your bees to work on?

(5) Do you put them in say a "Jarrah Forest" or in a "Canola Crop" or do you not live in Australia?


(6) If you find a native "wild" hive of bees can you transfer them to a bee box successfuly and have them settle down and collect honey for you?

(7) Do you spin you own honey or take it the honey pool and let them spin it out the of the boxes?
(8) What do you do with "wax liquor" when you have cleaned your wax?

(9) How often do you  shift the bees?......and I guess you shift them at night.  When the bees wake in the morning they send a couple of workers out to find feed and then they come back to the hive they do a dance to show the others where to find the feed without having to look...... Right?

(10)  As you can see I dont keep bees but am alittle interested in the idea.  Have a friend who is an expert on bees but dont get time  to spend with him.


suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: wild bees
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 12:45:00 pm »
Oh - this thread seems to have taken a turn.....

I was going to say Fleecewife that the wild bees around here love my ornamental quince which started to flower end of March time I think ...... not sure how it would fare up country though
We do the best we can with the information we have

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