Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Manassas, Virginia, USA

    Default Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?

    Here's a question for our neighbors in the eastern US states affected by a hard freeze in May, right near the end of that long stretch of daily rain.

    In Northern Virginia and West Virginia, the freeze was very badly timed for bees, killing many of the blossoms that should have provided spring flow. I've seen people in a number of neighboring states report the same thing.

    Basically, we got no flow during May and June. The hive weights continued to slide.

    Then, just as we started feeding, nectar started coming in. We believe it was initially common milkweed (blooming in profusion). Now it is mountain mint, all over the place. Wingstem is about to bloom. They look about like last year's wildflowers, but last year we did not get hive weight gain from them, and had to feed all summer. This year a couple of the hives are gaining weight without being fed.

    My wife commented this morning that she's not seeing very many bumbles this year, and I think she's right. In previous years we've seen something like four bumbles for every honey. We do have more hives this year but I don't think that's the difference. I think there really are fewer bumbles.

    So we're wondering if maybe a lot of them starved when the May-June flow failed.

    Are other victims of that May hard freeze noticing a large drop in bumblebee population?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Knox, Pa. USA

    Default Re: Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?

    I have plenty at My camp on the Va. WV line

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Bergen County, NJ

    Default Re: Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?

    I have never seen 4 bumble to 1 honey type ratio, but I see lot of bumbles working our raspberry patch in the backyard and they seem to be about same crowd as I have seen last year too.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    KC, MO, USA

    Default Re: Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?

    We did not have any hard freezes or late freezes this year, we have had a non stop bloom since spring, there has been something in bloom this entire year.

    Despite this have seen very few bumblebees this year.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Champaign, Illinois

    Default Re: Middle-Eastern US May freeze and the bumblebees?

    Couple years back we planted lemon balm. Just wanted some.
    It's invasive and spreads all over. Bees love that stuff and from the instant it starts blooming the lemon balm gets worked by many species of bees all at the same time. Want to see what's in the area? Try some lemon balm plants.
    We got bumblebees, carpenter bees, and some that look like bumbles but are only shades of black. Leaf cutters you name it and we have them.
    That lemon balm and all the bees that came once we planted it convinced me that it's possible to keep bees here and got me going.
    Until then I hardly ever saw a bee of any kind and believe me I was looking.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron


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