Re: Absence of honey bees at garden centers...??
It may be that they just don't have anything that attracts honeybees right now. We have a Lowes, Homedepot, and two locally owned nursery/garden centers close to home. I see honeybees at all of the locations certain times of the year. I usually see more in the mid to late Summer, and during the early Fall. In fact I've made several flower purchases based on the activity I've seen. I was purchasing blueberries from a nursery about 1/4 of a mile from my house early this Spring, and the clerk commented on how many bees they had in their greenhouse. I just smiled and asked him to be nice to them 'cause they were probably mine.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison