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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Honeybees eating plums.

    Please check out this link and let me know what you think..

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/...1198107.html?7

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    Quite a bit of scientific research has been done and bees do not have the ability to break the skin of the fruit. They will, however take advantage of any fruit that has the skin punctured if there is a dearth of nectar.

    "BEES DO NOT INJURE FRUIT.

    "It was commonly believed at one time that bees punctured and destroyed grapes and other delicate fruits, and, notwithstanding that the results of exhaustive experiments conclusively proved the contrary, it took a long time to correct this wrong impression. Bees cannot puncture sound grapes, but during a dearth of honey they will suck the juice from ripe grapes and other fruits after they have been punctured by some other animal, or have burst through over-ripeness. Sound grapes smeared with honey have been put into a hive containing a starving colony of bees: the honey has quickly vanished, but not a grape has been injured. Bunches of sound grapes have been left in four or five hives at a time, directly in contact with the bees, and after three weeks every grape was perfectly intact, but glued to the combs. (See “Langstroth on the Honey-bee,” page 507.)

    "I have always endeavoured by showing the mutual benefits derived by each from the other's work, to bring the horticulturist, agriculturist, and bee-keeper in amicable relations with one another, and in my Bulletin No. 18 (procurable free from the Department of Agriculture, Wellington, N.Z.), I have gone into the question fully. I will, however, make one quotation from it.
    Professor A. J. Cook, the well-known American entomologist and apiarist, author of “The Manual of the Apiary,” formerly of Michigan Agricultural College, and now of Pomona College, California, who has paid particular attention to this subject, extending over a long period, wrote me a short time ago in reply to some questions I sent him. He said—

    “Bees never harm blossoms, but are always a help. Bees are a tremendous aid through pollination. Many of our best fruits must be cross pollinated to produce. Many pears, apples, and plums, etc., are utterly sterile to their own pollen. Bees are alone numerous enough to effect this valuable service. I am sure that it is an incontrovertible fact that bees as the great agents in pollination are far more valuable to the world than for the honey they produce. The best orchardists (in California) now arrange with apiarists to bring their bees to the orchards; they find they must have the bees.”

    "Coming from such an authority, this is eminent testimony as to the value of the hive-bee to orchardists. "

    --Isaac Hopkins, the Australasian Bee Manual
    Last edited by Michael Bush; 08-25-2011 at 02:34 AM. Reason: typo
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    Yellow Jackets.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    Sounds like the guy may be a great orchardman but he's a sorry entomologist. From the little I know about hb's, they aren't capable of chewing such a hole. Perhaps someone could enlighten me, please, if I am wrong. Konrad, do you have posting privileges on that site? If so, perhaps post a copy of MB's references above? -james

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,102

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    Yup, yellow jackets. Figured that out from the Thread title for reasons well stated and backed up by Michael Bush. Honeybees don't have the samke kind of mouth parts that Yellow Jackets and other wasps have. Biting and chewing mouth parts. Entomology 101.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    I always have honeybees "helping" me harvest my Concord grapes (notorious for splitting and cracking, and attracting yellow jackets and bumblebees). They love the sugar in the open fruit, enough that they won't leave even when the grapes are piled in a basket! I have to be careful not to trap any, don't want to get stung stripping the grapes off the clusters in the house.

    Yellow jackets and bumblebees will both tear fruit open, while honeybees just take advantage of previous damage.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    I too have concord grapes. And the bees and birds will tell you when they're ripe. The smell must be irresistible when the flesh breaks. There are so many factors that could crack, cut or injure fruit.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: Honeybees eating plums.

    Thank you all!
    I have posted a link from this.

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