Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    It seems obvious to me that if bumble bees presented any real threat to production it would have been noted a long time ago. Just because ur bees were not on your little patch of hyssop is no scientific indication that it affected ur harvest. Let the bumble bees have the insignificant hyssop flow and let the honey bees have the rest of the world. Seems such an obvious answer

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    This past weekend I had the camera out to photograph hummingbirds. The hummers just hate it when wasps and bees visit their feeder, and usually won't land. But this particular day we were seeing the hummers share the feeder with bumbles and honeybees. We also saw up to 5 hummers on one feeder, even if just for a second.

    Must have been hungry.

    HummersHoneyBumble.jpg

    We also tend to see way more bumbles than honeybees on the back yard forage we planted for our honeybees. We're actually glad. We'd worried about displacing the natives with our pets, but in fact we're seeing more natives than ever ... they appreciate the extra forage.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by dgrc View Post
    ...I asked the two instructors if there is competition for nectar between honey bees and bumbles. ~60 years of accumulated bee yard experience and academic research looked at me and said, "No."

    Experience and actual research are not nearly as entertaining as a couple 1st year beekeepers out to prove their odd ideas, gained either by observing a few flowers or in the case of the other bumblebee butcher in another thread, no research because he "hasn't time to learn."

    It must be open season on the poor Bumbles this week. Too bad the killing fervor can't be directed where it might actually benefit honey bees, that is towards the mites.

    Wayne

  5. #24
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    Snhomish County, WA USA
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Ruusa - I'll agree it's an interesting question i too have noticed that sometimes some forage attracts either one or the other, and some attracts both -I have also noticed that sometimes the bumbles are all over something in the morning - no bees around, and then the afternoon shift of bees show up and the bumbles are gone. I don't know if keeping the bumbles away from one forage to allow the bees "more" access would make any difference other than to the bumbles who obviously are interested and being deprived of a preferred food source. i have watched the bees/bumbles/wasps in the garden for hours and never noticed the bumbles throwing their weight around or chasing anyone off, claiming flower turf or anything along those lines - I have seen bees leave when a bumble landed on the same flower, but have seen it the other way too... - I don't think either really pays a whole lot of attention to the other when they are both interested - they just take turns. My guess with the Hyssop and the absence of honey bees is your bees have found a preferable source of forage and are leaving the hysop to the lumbering giants -

    (many may be interpreting your question as "if i kill all the bumbles will I get more honey" which I want to believe is not the question - but if it is, i think your answer is no - your honey bees will forage on whatever is available, tapping their preferred sources first - if the bees preferred the hyssop (over whatever they are currently after) they;d be all over it like a pack of robber bees.....i'd be more concerned the bumbles are being chased off......

    Sky

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    I have noticed a bumble bee guarding a lavender plant. When other bumbles approached - he (I think he) drove them off - when other bees (mason or honey) approached, he would wait for them to land on a flower, then he would "tackle" them. The tackled bee was pinned to the flower for a brief moment and then the bumble would fly off. The tackled bee often would fall a bit.. but never seemed to be hurt.

    It sure did look to me like that bumble had declared that lavender plant to be 'his' and he was going to defend it against all enemies; be it a foreign bumble bee or domestic honey bee.


  7. #26
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    I am running my own experiment. I have put up two plots of buck wheat this year about three weeks apart and I have yet to see the honeybees take interest. Last year we grew buck wheat in the fall and it was covered with honeybees. So my assumptions is honeybees forage on what will give them the most nectar with the least amount of work ( I can relate to that). In the fall when there is not much else it would be buck wheat. In the spring and summer they want no part of buck wheat.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by RUUSA View Post
    this link mentions about the competition between bumble bees and honey bees which is my point of interest
    Did you read the page or just see the word "competition" and think you found the smoking gun? Their mentioning "competition" does nothing to support your hypothesis or fears. The Xerces Society link mentions competition as one of the possible causes of the decline of bumble bees. If there is completion between the two and the bumbles are declining, they clearly are on the losing end of the race.

    You might look into the actual foraging habits of honey bees and bumble bees and their efficacy in various crops. You might find that though bumble bees are superior to honey bees in pollinating blueberries (study performed at Clemson University) for example, upwards of 60,000 hives of honeys are trucked to the blueberry barrens in Maine every year because of the small amount of local bumbles. (I've been there and no, a handful of bumble bees do not frighten away the many millions of helpless honey bees.)

    There is no real competition.

    Wayne

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Thank You so much Sky. Your thoughts are correct, it is not my intent to kill off the bumblebees. In the spring I noted that the bumblebees seemed to prefer the apricot blooms while the honey bees preferred the peach blooms, again this seemed obvious having watched them for hours each day while the trees were in bloom. On my five acres of clover where there were a lot of bumblebees ,not so many honeybees around, but there were places that the honeybees greatly outnumbered the bumblebees. Now that the clover is finished the bees have the Anise hyssop I have planted and some crape myrtle in the area. My bees were flying over the Anise Hyssop (a preferred plant) which is close to get crape myrtle much further away. As it turned out in my opinion the bumble bees were the problem because soon after the bumblebees were gone honey bees simply covered the Anise Hyssop. Now how much money will I lose having to sell wildflower honey as opposed to premium Anise honey counting the volume of honey that may have been lost. That will determine how much money can be invested in finding away to separate the bees in the Summer like they were in the Spring (natural selection via the bees choice). So now you know why I need a number that will be difficult to find. Again thank you for being the one giving some benefit of the doubt.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    RUUSA, if you do your homework I'm sure you can find the appropriate hardware cloth to build cages to keep the bumble bees off your Anise Hyssop and allow the honey bee to come and go. Sounds like I'm being a smart A, and I sorta am but I can't believe there is one person on this forum that would kill any pollinator for a little bit of honey. What about the butterflies, they take nectar?

    How many blossoms does it take to make a tablespoon of honey? What about the rabbits that eat the sunflowers? Where do you draw the line?

    My garden wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for the bumblebee because the honeybee didn't/couldn't do what the bumblebee could.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    I have two memorable regrets when it comes to bees.

    One was pinching a fine Buckfast queen from a colony that had produced almost 300 lbs of honey the year before. She was 3 years old, and all the books said " re-queen every year, or at least every other year".

    The other was destroying a bumblebee nest that had established in an abandoned compost pile out in the corner of the lot. We had a toddler, and I saw them as a threat.

    Both occurred over 30 years ago.

    Both were done through ignorance (not stupidity). I just didn't know then what I know now.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    i'll take having the bumblebees take the little nectar they take compard to what the yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet take ,,,, this week we had some bumblebees come land on us and they were sweet as our honey bees ,, the yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet were just there to sting the >>>>>>> out of us ,,, the bumble and honeys were sharing the flowers ,,,, so if you dont like the bumblebees ,,, go get some yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet nests and keep them as your pets ,,,, you must think bumblebees are the only thing taking your nectar.......

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by RUUSA View Post
    I have a patch of Anise Hyssop planted for my bees but every time that I would check on them I only found bumble bees, and my hives are only 300 feet away. This is a small patch so there would be 15-20 bumble bees and maybe 2-3 honey bees. My thoughts went back to the spring when my fruit trees were in bloom and I had noted that, where there were a lot of bumble bees on a tree there would not be many honey bees. So, I tried a little experiment. I got my needle nose pliers out and started catching the bumble bees (yes really), after I had finished with them within an hour or so my Anise Hyssops were full of honey bees by the hundreds. I have repeated this a number of times now with the same results, thin out the bumble bees and the honey bees will come pouring in. Has anyone done any similar experiments to see why their honey bees may not be visiting the flowers the way they should?

    The absolute lack of thought some people exhibit is truly sad. It is little wonder there are so many problems in this world. Native Bumble bees are vanishing in some places. Give thought a try next time.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Even if one killed all the bumbles or somehow managed to screen them out, I'm curious how one can force the honey bees to visit only one type of flower in a small patch without having the vast majority of the foragers off bringing in more plentiful nectar from elsewhere, no matter how attractive the anise-hyssop is. Seems like one would have to have acres and acres of the stuff to reasonable label it a varietal rather than wildflower honey which is probably the best one can hope for with only a small patch.

    Wayne

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by photobiker View Post
    RUUSA, if you do your homework I'm sure you can find the appropriate hardware cloth to build cages to keep the bumble bees off your Anise Hyssop and allow the honey bee to come and go. Sounds like I'm being a smart A, and I sorta am but I can't believe there is one person on this forum that would kill any pollinator for a little bit of honey. What about the butterflies, they take nectar?

    Not a bad ideal for a small patch but when you are talking acres the return has to justify the investment. From what I have observed so far the honey bees do not seem to mind the butterflies or any of the other small bees.

    How many blossoms does it take to make a tablespoon of honey? What about the rabbits that eat the sunflowers? Where do you draw the line?
    Varies from flower type to flower type. No problem with rabbits however deer did eat the tops out of about five percent of the sunflowers. Bad advice to draw lines until you have been on both sides of it.

    My garden wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for the bumblebee because the honeybee didn't/couldn't do what the bumblebee could.
    Lots of honeybees on the pumpkins no so many bumblebees. Lots of bumblebees on the cucumbers not so many honeybees.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by the kid View Post
    i'll take having the bumblebees take the little nectar they take compard to what the yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet take ,,,, this week we had some bumblebees come land on us and they were sweet as our honey bees ,, the yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet were just there to sting the >>>>>>> out of us ,,, the bumble and honeys were sharing the flowers ,,,, so if you dont like the bumblebees ,,, go get some yellow jacket ,, wasp ,, hornet nests and keep them as your pets ,,,, you must think bumblebees are the only thing taking your nectar.......
    Show me with proven data how much nectar bumblebees, yellow jackets and wasp take. I do not have pets but in your case a little pat on the head might prove useful.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmlehman View Post
    The absolute lack of thought some people exhibit is truly sad. It is little wonder there are so many problems in this world. Native Bumble bees are vanishing in some places. Give thought a try next time.
    Now I must agree with that, think of all the things that have died so that you can have have a better life. Cry on your own time.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Sorry about the loss of a good queen, however I do not see either regret has a mistake. If your toddler was anything like mine they would have found the nest in a bad way. Even if you do regret it I say good call on both counts.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    We try to force honeybees to pollinate crops they don't really like, like blueberries. Some species of bumbles may do it but they frequently cheat, slitting the side of the flower to gain access, which of course circumvents the flower's pollinating apparatus. We ignore one of the most valuable pollinators of blueberries.

    In fact, we murder them wholesale.

    Mosquitoes and blackflies.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    I am trying to get some Sainfoin to grow this far south. I will know more about it next year when it comes into bloom.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Bumblebee vs. Honey Bee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmlehman View Post
    The absolute lack of thought some people exhibit is truly sad.
    But to put it into perspective D, we have a first year newbie with his first couple of hives, who, instead of worrying about how he's going to keep his hives from being killed by mites, or keep them from swarming, or protect them from robbing or how he's going to get them through the winter without starving as should be his main concerns, which are likely yours and still are mine, is worried only with how to maximize his profits by pipe dreams of selling varietal honey off a small patch of flowers.

    He doesn't give a darn about bumble bees. I don't think he gives a darn about honey bees either. He's in it for the money and, apparently, he knows it all already.

    My only reason for participating in this thread (as with the other thread where the newbie was killing bumble bees to "infect" honeybees with "beneficial" micro-organisms,) is so that future readers that stumble on this thread don't think this guy is presenting acceptable and rational solutions.

    Since there's no immediate monetary gain in good husbandry, I suspect he'll be off trying to perfect a bumble bee excluder for his little patch of flowers while the mites weaken his hives and his bees die off early this winter.

    Wayne (Noted Internet Troll)
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 07-21-2015 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Replaced **** with "darn".

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