Disappearing bees

wafflycat

New Member
Last year there were very few, but this year I don't think I've seen a single honey bee in the garden of Chez Wafflycat. Loads of bummlers, but honey bees... gone. A very bad sign indeed. Lots of plants out there that provide food for them, to encourage pollinating insects, but no honey bees. As much as I love bummlers, to not see their honey-producing cousins is a sad, sad thing.
 
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wafflycat

wafflycat

New Member
Apart from next door's chimney - had a swarm in it, but nada in the gardens.
 

buddha

Veteran
I think they've all come to my garden (outskirts of sarf Lundun, init!). They congregate around the lavender bush, that hasn't flowered yet, then move on to the other flowers.

Strangely, not seen as many bumblebees though.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
Not round here - disturbed their nest in a compost heap and got stung on the eye-lid for my troubles.

Still - it gives me an excuse to sport my pirate eye-patch.
 

upsidedown

Waiting for the great leap forward
Location
The middle bit
I opened our garden umbrella today and a tube made out of leaves fell out from the folds, a bit of googling revealed it's a leafcutter bee's work. Apparantly they go in on their own, make the tube from discs of leaves, lay their eggs and seal them up. Bit of a shame as i don't know what to with the tube now.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
upsidedown said:
I opened our garden umbrella today and a tube made out of leaves fell out from the folds, a bit of googling revealed it's a leafcutter bee's work. Apparantly they go in on their own, make the tube from discs of leaves, lay their eggs and seal them up. Bit of a shame as i don't know what to with the tube now.
Could you collect enough to make a bike out of?
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
There is a massive problem with honeybees at the moment. There is a disease that is likened to "bee aids" and there is also a mite invading the hive. Wasps also kill them. If you see a swarm you are supposed to contact the bee keepers association and they will come and collect the swarm and house them in a hive.

Scientists say a third of bees have been lost to this disease and the mites. In some areas they have disappeared completely. One area in china now has to self-pollinate. They have massive teams of people pollinating crops and it takes them 5 days to do what a bee hive can do in an hour. If bees die out, 75% of fruit and veg in shops will disappear. It's a really serious problem that scientists are working over time to cure, particular the aids problem (which could possibly be caused by a mixture of pesticides and pollution). When a bee becomes ill, it leaves the hive to stop infecting the others, but in the case of "bee aids" its usually too late. Bee keepers are coming back to find their hives are empty.

bee keepers association website has loads of advice on how to encourage the bee population and who to call if you see a swarm, so that they can collect it.
 
buggi said:
If you see a swarm you are supposed to contact the bee keepers association and they will come and collect the swarm and house them in a hive....

bee keepers association website has loads of advice on how to encourage the bee population and who to call if you see a swarm, so that they can collect it.
Is this so? I understood that many beekeepers are most reluctant to pick up a feral swarm of unknown origin, owing to the risk of disease which may infect their existing hives. But if they're willing...

It is some years since I came upon a swarm in the wild, in any case.

I don't know what is meant by 'bee AIDS' but certainly I've heard of nasties like varroa, nosema, foulbrood, colony collapse etc. etc. I think these are the worst.

This is a very worrying situation worldwide, I don't know how bad it is around where we have our holiday house in France which is surrounded by commercial plum orchards - orchards which are the main source of income for the area. Certainly I have seen honey bees at work down there, but they may be on the decline. Something we must ask our knowledgeable neighbours next time we're down there.
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
661-Pete said:
Is this so? I understood that many beekeepers are most reluctant to pick up a feral swarm of unknown origin, owing to the risk of disease which may infect their existing hives. But if they're willing...

It is some years since I came upon a swarm in the wild, in any case.

I don't know what is meant by 'bee AIDS' but certainly I've heard of nasties like varroa, nosema, foulbrood, colony collapse etc. etc. I think these are the worst.

This is a very worrying situation worldwide, I don't know how bad it is around where we have our holiday house in France which is surrounded by commercial plum orchards - orchards which are the main source of income for the area. Certainly I have seen honey bees at work down there, but they may be on the decline. Something we must ask our knowledgeable neighbours next time we're down there.
apparently, they believe there is a disease attacking the immune system (hence Bee "aids"). I saw most of this on discovery a few months ago, but again it was in the paper recently which is why i went on the bee association website. It was there advice on there website that they want to collect swarms http://www.britishbee.org.uk/swarm_help.php (scroll down to "In Summary, What do I do". Sorry, my mistake, you are not supposed to contact them, you are supposed to contact the local authority environmental health or police for contact numbers of local experts.
 

craigwend

Grimpeur des terrains plats
I have a good mix and number this year on the two lavendar bushes at the front (just had to google to see which bee is which) - though found a dead 'bumble bee' (now I know which is which) in the back garden, perhaps the honey bees are fighting back?

I was once stung on the eye lid by a bee, thought I'd been blinded :tongue: - though perhaps I should not have been mowing the garden below a bees nest with a big orange buzzing thing - well flymo, perhaps should have used a beemo?
 
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wafflycat

wafflycat

New Member
On the plus side, when out in the garden this morning cutting some veg for the day, the squash flowers are alive with bummlers buzzing, pollinating.. collecting their food to take back to their nests. Lovely stuff.
 
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