6/03/2010

Native Bees!

I have a big old rotty stump in the yard that I use as a wood cutting platform. I was planning on drilling holes in it so the native bees could nest in it. I was working in the yard last weekend and noticed that bees have already taken advantage of the beetle/woodpecker holes in it.


Native bees!

Huzzah! We had a low bee year despite my neighbor having many hives on his property. We lost our bees two winters ago, and he lost 4 or 5 hives in total (of 20 or so scattered over the county). He is pretty sure it was not sudden bee death syndrome, but maybe just a long cold winter.

The good news is that our apricots bloomed too early again (early april I think) but they got two weeks of warmth before we hit a cold snap for 3 weeks. As such we are looking to be up to our armpits in apricots for the first time in three years.

A good apricot year


Wooo

6 comments:

Lee said...

did you say 'apricot ale'?

lemmiwinks said...

Are native bees resistant to the dreaded varroa destructor mite? I sure hope so, go bees!

ph0 said...

i think it's one of the biggest polutation of bees for years here in germany . it's a long time ago that i 've seen so many of them. i don't know, but perhaps the varroas didn't survive the strong winter ?!? it was the strongest winter since 20 years.

Neale said...

From what I know of Varroa's lifecycle, I can't imagine how they'd go after native bees. They seem to do best in drone cells and take advantage of the nurse bees. I'm not sure how the little native bees reproduce but I know they don't have a hive. I'm guessing Varroa isn't much of an issue.

Tarik, just out of curiosity, what style hives do you have? We've got a Crowder hive and the only other TBH beek I know in town has given it up.

Tarik Saleh said...

Lee,
Hmm, Maybe apricot wine. Easier to make I think...

Lemmiwinks,
I think, as later poster said, they are hive dependent. Go bees nonetheless. Something pollinated our apricot
tree well.

ph0,
Like I said, not sure what is going on. Not even sure if we have varoas here at all. When our bees left it was not indicative of colony collapse disorder, but also not really explained.

Neale,
They weren't so much our bees as we were hosting em for some bee keepers. We are planning on our own soon, maybe next year. We need to do some research. I think we had top pull, bottom swing hives. I mean top hang. I mean just look here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/targetsalad/sets/72157605737709347/
That was obviously before it had all gone wrong...

Neale said...

Those are Langstroth hives :) Top-bar hives look like a wooden feeding trough with a lid: the lid is the top bars. The bees make their own comb on these, there's no pre-stamped foundation. I built two hives in an afternoon with about $70 of lumber, they're great for cheapskates.