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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small garden and the bee hive is 50 feet from the garden. However it seems like the bees are not pollinating my squash and melons as they should. I live in a very wooded area so was not sure if that was distracting them from the garden flowers. Has anyone experienced this? Is there a way to "guide" the bees to the garden?

Thanks!
 

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I'm not sure about guiding them to a particular source, however they will always work their choice of blooms. Normally speaking the highest nectar source avaialbe within a 2 mile radius. Melons and squash are not high producers of nectar from what i've read which means they will be last on the list.
 

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When I first got my hives this spring I was anxious to see them in action around my garden. That didn't happen, but when the clover in my yard began to bloom, they were everywhere. My garden is in my backyard, so I figured they would hit the garden also. The acre of clover in my lawn got their attention, but they still rarely land on squash blooms and other garden flowers. I am sure Mr. Bartram is correct in saying that the bees are concentrating on the most productive available nectar sources.
 

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I'm in the middle of 40 acres surrounded by agricultural fields; I can’t tell you what mine are working. They’ve left everything around the house and surrounding area alone (blackberries, red & white clover, various wild flowers), six hives and I haven’t seen a bee on a bloom. They leave the hive and off through the trees they go.
One of this year’s swarms started with 2 old frames of comb and 8 foundationless frames. They’ve filled 85-90% of a deep in 3 weeks so I can’t complain.
 

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I've seen honeybees try to pollinate squash, but they were chased off by the native squash bees. My squash and other cucurbit flowers are often full of these bees.
beesquash2842012.jpg
beesquash3842012.jpg
 

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tabby, what is the daily window that bees work those blooms? It is my understanding that squashes and melons are only attractive to bees a short time during each day. Isn't that so?
 

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I haven't paid attention to the exact times, but I know the bees do the squash in the morning and are done sometime in the afternoon, if not earlier. They may even finish in the morning.
If 1.5 inch hail hadn't decimated my garden, I could check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will have to take a look in the mornings to see if they are around, that is definitely when the squash bloom the best. I have a lot of poplars around and I know they have a lot of nectar to compete with.


Thanks for all the help!
 
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