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Thread: Grapes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Amarillo, TX
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    Default Grapes

    Does anyone know if bees work grapes? I was told of a guy who put some hives around his vineyard in the believe the bees would increase fruit set, but I've never seen nor heard of bees working grapes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,770

    Default Re: Grapes

    Not sure. I was in Nevada a couple of years back and visited a vineyard in the desert. I asked the owner how the grapes were pollinated and she said they were self pollinating and didn't need bee's. I suppose that doesn't mean the bee's won't work them. Maybe some grapes are different.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Grapes

    Not sure about cultivated grapes, but the wild grapes in my area seem to be handled by the smaller native pollinators.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2004
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    Camas, WA
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    Default Re: Grapes

    I have 12 hives next to 200 grapes plants that I've never seen a bee on. Maybe if you have miles of nothing but grapes there might be a difference.

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Grapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Chemguy View Post
    Not sure about cultivated grapes, but the wild grapes in my area seem to be handled by the smaller native pollinators.
    True in DFW area as well: I've seen a few bees on the native grapes, but there must have been something blooming at the same time as the grapes more tasty to the bees.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Grapes

    We have an acre of muscadine (southern grapes) and their flowers are so small, less than 1/16" wide, that I don't think a honey bee would find much of a thrill looking for nectar/pollen in them. However, I have seen little sweat bees and other tiny insects flying around them during their flowering period. I grew up in northern California and can't remember ever seeing a flowering grape vine. When I started growing muscadine, I finally realized why.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 9 small cell hives!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
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    158

    Default Re: Grapes

    Grapes are generally wind pollinated. Most of my hives are in the center of 28 separate vines, I've never seen them even check them out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
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    959

    Default Re: Grapes

    Honey bees do not visit Grapes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
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    5

    Default Re: Grapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post
    Honey bees do not visit Grapes.
    But they will drink them, last summer I saw a grape vine covered in what I assumed was hundreds of wasps, on closer inspection it was Honey bees, all drinking from where birds and wasps had broken the skin of the grapes, tempted to put a hive nearby next time their collecting and see what the honey is like.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
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    709

    Default Re: Grapes

    In some old historical newspaper reports of our bee clubs meetings back in the late 1800s there was a lot of discussion about whether or not bees damaged grapes presumably because those farmers saw exactly what you did.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sebastopol, California, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Grapes

    Wine grapes (vini vinifera) are hermaphroditic and do not require pollination by bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
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    495

    Default Re: Grapes

    Quote Originally Posted by johnhi30 View Post
    But they will drink them, last summer I saw a grape vine covered in what I assumed was hundreds of wasps, on closer inspection it was Honey bees, all drinking from where birds and wasps had broken the skin of the grapes, tempted to put a hive nearby next time their collecting and see what the honey is like.
    I have seen the same thing, you could get red honey.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
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    Default Re: Grapes

    Thanks for the replies. I've never seen them on grapes either. Funny though about the busted grapes and the bees hitting those. Not surprising though, as I seen honey bees drinking the juice from busted watermelons in the field.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
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    65

    Default Re: Grapes

    I had watch a wine show at some point and wine makes love the wasps drinking from the grapes because of the yeast and other bacteria that they left behind in the grapes start to ferment the grapes on the vine and give the wine unique flavors and characteristics that other wines lack with out the wasps.

    <http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2012/08/wasps-kick-start-fermentation-in-wine/>

    Maybe the honeybees leave their own little treats behind to make the wine better too that no one has thought of yet????

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