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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    My tomatoes and potatoes are in full bloom and I never see my bees on them. I have noticed native bees pollinating them but not mine. I also never see my bees on my flowers. They do pollinate marigolds but nothing else. I rarely see them on my blueberries.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Orange county, Texas
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    I think they just have preferences, when everything is in bloom they can choose their favorite.
    I let my greens go to seed this year and they were all over them till their were no blooms left, then the clover got hit till the talla trees and lilacs started to bloom, now i have singing trees and they are not touching my garden or any other flowers or clover that are still in bloom.
    I know one thing i got enough green seed to seed 5 acres and that has never happened before.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    Most likely your bees have found plants outside your garden that they prefer. As far as tomatoes go, this may be helpful:
    http://pollinator.com/self_pollinating_tomato.htm

    I was surprised to see bees working my asparagus pretty hard a few weeks ago. The blossoms are very small and plain, but clearly they have something the bees like.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Orange county, Texas
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    See i have never seen bees on my asparagus but something is pollinating them cause they have seed pods every year which my peafowl eat most of the time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    Two of my hives are in the middle of a Chinese Tallow forest and seemed to ignore them. Tallow is said to be a heavy nectar producer. These packages started a little late, installed in late March early April. I fed them until they had drawn and filled the nest box since they were starting on empty, new foundation.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    I bought my bees just for pollination, and I have only seen two in my garden, both dead. One was in the mouth of some sort of scavenger hornet, and the other was just randomly dead, probably died in flight. It was pure chance that I found her lying on the ground. But it's ironic. The whole reason I started reading about bees in the first place was to pollinate my melons. I have yet to see them on the melons, and have watched now as they bloom and aren't pollinated. The picky little ladies have their preferences, and there is nothing you can do about it.
    Recall however that they tend to all go to the same thing when it's preferential. My neighbor has a tallow tree out back, so they just shoot right past my meager little melon plants. They are efficient creatures after all. Why bother going to a dozen different melon flowers if they can go to one big tallow bloom and get a full load.
    Heh, maybe you can spray some lemongrass oil around your garden for bait. My citrus trees bloomed back in March, before I had my bees, but the trees were still covered in feral bees (or a neighbor's bees, I don't know). The trees smelled so wonderful, I could smell them from 40' away, and they are small plants in pots. Bees love citrus trees though.
    Don't sweat it, honeybees don't really care for tomatoes, nor are they the best at pollinating them. It's a different sort of bloom. As for the potatoes, they don't need to bloom in order to fruit, it's just considered a good sign. Then again, mine bloomed beautifully, and then my potato harvest sucked...but that's another story.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    Last year I had the same issue, but this year, I am seeing a lot more bees in my yard. They are actually pollinating my 2 cantalopes! I think the difference is that I have filled my front yard with big patches of various herbs and bee-friendly flowers. Their very favorite are the 2 vitex shrubs--I bet I could count 10 different kinds of bees and wasps on them at a time. I think what is happening is that although my honey bees might prefer a big blooming tree somewhere, I am now attracting hundreds of small flies, bees, wasps, and bumble bees, each of which fits a different flower perfectly. So I am getting the pollination I originally started my hive for, it just isn't only coming from the honeybees. It is actually fascinating--the other day my big thyme plant (on which I have never seen a honey bee) was loaded with the most beautiful iridescent golden and bright green flies I have never seen before. I think that with the bees in trouble, it is worth encouraging the diversity of pollinating insects that exist in the world. I would find it hard to believe that they aren't also in big trouble from the pesticides and GMOs, their disappearance just isn't as obvious as the honey bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    thanks everyone for the information. I too have seen small green bees pollinating my tomatoes. They are native bees I would guess. Thanks again for the information.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: I never see my bees pollinating my garden plants.

    Tomatoes aren't pollinated by honey bees. Native pollinators are bumbles. Little to no nectar and the pollen is not readily available to collect unless you know how to do it. The little bees might be able to get some access but if you've ever seen a bumble do it, or have a buzzer to do it mechanically, you'd see why a honey bee has no interest in the flowers. If you let your potatoes flower, your harvest might be lacking because instead of storing energy in tubers, it used it to flower.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIDu_...eature=related

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