very few bumble bees

we did see some earlier in the season, but now i'm not seeing them around much at all. even the smaller bumble bees are few. that said the squash plant blooms are still looking to being fertilized and about anything else too.
we have several bee hives put about 50ft from the property in the field to the NE and those bees are humming up a storm every day. including using our birdbaths as drinking fountains. with all our flowers being out this time of the year the gardens are quite loud with the bees at work.
it will take me several more sessions to get the north garden weeded through again. i had put down a few layers of wire mesh to keep the rabbits, chipmunks, etc. from digging up some new seedlings and a few remaining crocus bulbs that were rescued from being moved from another garden. weeds growing up through those meshes made that area look like a jungle. i'd weeded it twice before, but then was off busy planting, harvesting/processing strawberries and weeding other areas before i'd gotten back to that garden. a few of the lambs quarters were large enough around that i needed my pruning shears to snip them off and get them out of the mesh. the largest i snipped off but left the root down in the ground. it wasn't coming out without major digging and i didn't want to disturb the soil that much in that area. of course when going out to work on a project i usually have a few dozen tasks i have to do first to get going. one edge had some mint starting to get going and i'd wanted to dig that out for a few years so i finally got to it before it could drop more seeds.
did some trimming of the honeysuckle bushes in the north hedge which are so heavy with fruit that they are sagging over the grass. it's a messy job when they are fruiting. :) good fun. :) :) :) my garden long- sleeved shirt is white, looked like i'd been through a bit of a gun battle in a movie by the time i was done. also cleared a bit more of the edge along a fence in the NE corner where the honeysuckles attempted to take over and crowd out the lilac bush.
most of the gardens are looking great, only a few bug and critter issues and the live trap has been working well for dealing with the larger critters. we had a lone groundhog show up a few days ago and i noticed it quickly enough nosing around the live trap that had not been recharged with bait. it also needed to be emptied of rainwater. i got right out there and put some sun- flower seeds in it and 20 minutes later the groundhog was safely captured. one of the trays of bait i used a flat glass saucer and it managed to break it. luckily, it didn't cut itself. we've switched to more sturdy metal now, but i'm hoping that will be the last of the groundhogs. now that the beans are mostly taller i'm not as worried about them doing so much damage even if they do show up again.
we've had fairly regular rains, i have to get out each day to clean up the birdbaths and put fresh water in them (seems like the bees are using them more than the birds, but we still see a few birds in them so i'll keep filling them), but otherwise i've not had to water much. i'll do a bit of watering the next few days as the sun is out and the shallower rooted plants have had an easy life so far so they're going to need a bit.
the garlic is due to come out. that will keep me busy for a while along with plenty of more weeding, but on the whole this season is doing well. it makes a lot of difference with both hands working.
after i get the north garden straightened out a little more and some more weeding done perhaps i can get going on the back strawberry patch project. next week. the week after... hmm... onions could use some more thinning and... :)
songbird
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Yesterday, while mowing an area of overgrown grass and weeds, around the water well, I mowed through a bumble bee nest. Suddenly, around twenty were swarming me, stinging my legs, getting in my hair, getting under my shirt and stinging. I was wearing shorts.
They followed me, one hundred feet to the house. It was terrible. Those things didn't want to quit. They even went after a cat that was outside. I never gave much thought to whether bumble bees would sting, now I know. The venom doesn't seem to be very potent. It made some puffy places for a few hours, then were gone this morning.
Be careful around overgrown areas, you never know what might be living there.
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On 8/3/2015 9:38 PM, dusty wrote:

a bumble bee nest and I was just standing there. Did the bee dance, got hit four times in my back, was okay the next day. My friend, who was next to me, went to the hospital, turned out he was allergic to insect stings of any kind. You and I were lucky to get over the bumble stings, he had a problem for awhile.
They are good pollinators though. Haven't seen many this year as a builder has been bull dozing the woods behind us. We get a few honey bees and hardly any bumbles or mason bees since the dozers came through.
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George Shirley wrote:

Put a hive in your back yard , or contact the local beekeeper's club and ask if one of the members would like to place a hive - assuming you don't have HOA restrictions or anything .
--
Snag



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On 8/4/2015 8:25 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

redone last year and I put in my two bits and got the NO firearms even in the house tossed. Violates Texas law and the Constitution. No bee hives is also written in. Obviously someone down the road to this set of articles was stung by a bee.
We have been depending upon the wild bees back behind us but, as noted, they are mostly gone now. We had bumbles, honey, mason, and carpenter bees coming here. I have noticed that bee flies are coming around now so we still have them and the wasps as pollinators. Have not seen but two humming birds in three years here. Lots of mocking birds, purple martins, swallows, and English sparrows though.
If all else fails we go around with a very small paint brush and pollinate by hand. It is a rather small garden after all. I made buzzing sounds once and my wife went indoors quickly. <G>
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Once upon a time on usenet George Shirley wrote:

I've done that before - used a small, very slightly damp artists paint brush and had reasonable success but it was difficult. The bees do it so effortlessly.
So the HOA restrictions rule out honey bee hives yes? What about 'pet' bumbles? ;)
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy
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