To Bee or not to Bee

By on Jul 22, 2009 in Bug-Wiser |

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I love Bumblebees and they’re fun to watch in summer as they buzz intoxicated in and throughout the Agastache in bloom. Bumblebees 007There is generally no need to “spray” for bees if you understand them better. Provided their nest is not in a high traffic area where you come under attack of worker bees, live and let live! Bees are very important pollinators and are fascinating to watch. Queen bees overwinter in loose bark, hollow trees or other dry protected places. They come out of hibernation in May and nest in holes in the ground, old stumps or along foundation walls as examples. The colonies that develop are annual, lasting just for a summer. The queen sets up the nest lining the cavity with dry grass and moss. She collects a mass of pollen and moistens with nectar to produce “bee bread”. The brood of workers will enlarge the nest and gather food to feed the larvae in the nest. The queen continues to lay eggs during the summer producing reproductive males and females. These mating males and females will mate with the fertilized females moving to overwintering sites. Remaining males and workers will die when frost and winter arrive. Until winter, males will fly around the nest entrance protecting their turf with workers known as “dive bombers” and will attack if their nest territory is invaded. Remember that Bumble Bees are extremely important pollinators. As long as their nest is not in a heavy traffic area they won’t bother you and you shouldn’t bother them. Watch this video I shot of busy bees in the Agastache in my landscape. They are so intoxicated and busy they will ignore your presence as they play……click on this link:

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