I thought there was a bee crisis in the U.S. I have seen more bees in
the last few weeks than I have ever seen. I am not sure what kind they
are, they don't look like what I think of as a honey bee. I also
found a wasp nest in my greenhouse after I got stung twice. Anyone
The crisis is with honey bees. [and it is worldwide] I've actually
seen more Honey Bees this year than I have for several years so either
I'm lucky- or they are making a comeback. The ones I've been seeing
seem smaller than the Italian bees that used to be so prolific-- not
by a lot, but slightly.
Pedantic note-- 'wasps' and hornets aren't bees.
Bees are pollen collectors which make them important to gardeners.
Here in mainland Australia, we do not have Bumble bees. There are Bumble
bees in Tasmania but no on the mainland - lucky Tasmanians having these
delightful bumble bees!
Anyway, I've been reading a book on beekeeping and it's written by a north
American. I've been finding it hugely irritating to read because the author
writes about 'honey bees' this and 'honey bees' that and 'honey bees' the
Since I KNOW that I'm reading a book about bees, bee keeping, and honey
production for the backyard hive owner, I've been wondering why this person
keeps adding the adjective 'honey'. Duh! One dropped penny...........
Another 'separated by a common language thing'? In the US, Bumble
bees are chubby fellows who are not the thoughtful workers that
Honeybees are. Their nests are seasonal so they don't store honey.
Honeybees are truly social critters who make-- honey.
If you just say 'bees' - you include a bunch of species, most of whom
don't make honey. [Carpenter bees, mason bees, bumble bees are the
most common in my area.]
You are badly mistaken, Jim. There are several "races" of bumblebees (Bombus
bimaculatus) that do make and store honey. Generally it is in small amounts
and not typically stored for extended periods. Do a bit of research before
making profound statements.
Badly mistaken or imprecise? How about;
"I don't think carpenter or mason bees make any honey. Bumblebees
don't make enough honey to make it worthwhile for mankind to harvest."
Honey bees make enough honey to keep the hive going over a winter and
to share with their human friends.
I apologize for being harsh. Jim's response is both right and wrong. There
are several species of Apis including the common "Italian" honeybee and most
if not all have been domesticated in their native areas. There is a
stingless honeybee in the Amazon and the wild Aussie bush bee that may be
I believe I've read the same irritating book you were speaking of. I don't
recall the author, Dadant perhaps?
It's called 'Storey's guide to keeping honey bees' and is written by Malcolm
T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney.
It only irritates me because of the constant repetion that the wee beasties
are 'honeybees' rather than just 'bees'.
I suspect it probably wouldn't irritate native USians as much as it does me
because they/you seem to use that term as a matter of course. To me seeing
'honeybees' rather than just 'bees' causes an eyejag every time I see it
i.e. I pause and reread because it's so alien a term to me.
Bee keepers have been going crazy gathering ferral hives and adding
those to their herds. The genetic diversity resulting from this
activity has been very good for the honey bee population. It's been
getting better not worse for more than a year so far. The crisis is not
past but it does appear to be past its worst. If you see a ferral nest
you believe to be honey bees do call a bee keeper first, an exterminator
perhaps someone local has put in some
hives or had them trucked in to pollinate?
i've seen very few honeybees here this year,
but it seems that pollination has been going
ok for most plants by other species (smaller
bees, bumblebees, etc). there has always been
a large variety around here of bees and we
keep them well stocked with flower feeding
stations of many kinds.
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