NYC terrace - attracting bees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default NYC terrace - attracting bees

    Hi,
    I live in NYC and i am on a terrace a few flights up.

    I have a nice garden on my terrace (as do several neighbors), and this year I do not seem to have as many bees as prior years. I do have lavender, basil, tomato plants, pepper plants, and a dozen other colorful flowers.

    I am looking to see what I can do to encourage / attract bees and make my terrace more hospitable for them.

    thank you for any advice.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: NYC terrace - attracting bees

    IMHO, if they're around, they'll find you. Depending on the source, bees will travel 2-5 miles when foraging. The internet is full of "pollinator friendly" plants, just send $$. When I was starting out in Beekeeping, even though I own a farm, wanted to have a good food source for them and planted a quarter acre of this, next year, a half acre of that, etc. For the most part, the bees ignored my offerings as there were more preferable food sources to them. I think the term "food source" is telling, doubt they'll travel a long distance to harvest nectar from a few plants, they look for larger sources so the entire colony can participate. Enjoy your garden, and the fact that you're doing your bit to help our environment, if you see bees, that's a bonus.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Pour some honey out or put a jar of sugar syrup out, even add a bit of lemongrass oil into the mix. That will attract them for sure if they're around.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mahopac, NY
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: NYC terrace - attracting bees

    I have a better idea; why not keep a hive on your roof? Let me know if you need help, I'm on the UWS

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: NYC terrace - attracting bees

    Thank you all I am still hoping to get more bees!!
    Quote Originally Posted by exmar View Post
    IMHO, if they're around, they'll find you. Depending on the source, bees will travel 2-5 miles when foraging. The internet is full of "pollinator friendly" plants, just send $$. When I was starting out in Beekeeping, even though I own a farm, wanted to have a good food source for them and planted a quarter acre of this, next year, a half acre of that, etc. For the most part, the bees ignored my offerings as there were more preferable food sources to them. I think the term "food source" is telling, doubt they'll travel a long distance to harvest nectar from a few plants, they look for larger sources so the entire colony can participate. Enjoy your garden, and the fact that you're doing your bit to help our environment, if you see bees, that's a bonus.
    Thank you, I have a bunch of plants from that list including basil, lavender, etc... I just live high floor and for the first year in 18 years I have not seen any bees. If you have any recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    Pour some honey out or put a jar of sugar syrup out, even add a bit of lemongrass oil into the mix. That will attract them for sure if they're around.
    Do you know if any honey works?

    Quote Originally Posted by mahobee View Post
    I have a better idea; why not keep a hive on your roof? Let me know if you need help, I'm on the UWS
    I actually wanted my co-op to do this a few years ago but the board did not agree to it. I brought it up again to a boad member.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Yes any honey, preferably real, local honey. Smear a thin layer on a plate so it is most fragrant. You could also take cardboard and put drops of lemongrass oil on it. If bees are around they'll smell and want to investigate.

    Keep in mind that the honey will also attract other sugar loving insects

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default Re: NYC terrace - attracting bees

    Quote Originally Posted by hootie View Post
    Hi,.........
    this year I do not seem to have as many bees as prior years.
    thank you for any advice.
    First, you never stated what bees..
    Honey bees? Bumble bees? Some bees?

    Being a beekeeper, I don't care much for the honey bees as pollinators.
    They really are crappy pollinators and only work large pastures well (do realize - honey bees are really large corporate business and they are after large projects; they are not after little projects - little project don't pay for themselves).

    Honey bees will not seek out a small balcony on purpose - does not pay off for them.
    They never pollinate my own backyard garden for anything.
    They just don't care (but bumble bees do care).

    Here - plant a large pot of spear mint, and another pot of catnip, and maybe another pot of something similar from mint family.
    Once they bloom - watch.
    You will have bees.
    Don't worry about honey bees.
    If you have any bees - you are helping the bugs out (solitary little bees and bumble bees are the best to have).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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