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4114 Views 9 Replies Last post: May 20, 2013 4:55 PM by Wacky ducky RSS
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Jan 15, 2010 10:24 AM

What about the bees?

What are you doing to help bees?
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    Jan 24, 2010 11:04 PM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?
    I'm reading a book a the moment called 'a world without bees' and it's been outlining the MANY causes of declining bee populations across the world. From parasites including the varroa mite to pesticides and small gene pools, there are many problems affecting the bees. In all truth, I wonder what can be done to help them! But I know it's important- a third of crops rely on pollination by bees! So what exactly would that mean for us if they were to disappear entirely? And is the natural history museum researching the causes of the sudden decline? I hope so. But at home, we plant lots of  'bee-friendly' flowers and steer clear of pesticides, what about you? It's important for people to help them- so well done!
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    Jan 24, 2010 11:04 PM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?

    Planting lots of plants that produce pollen.....lavender, roses, lillies etc.

     

    In my home in Australia I have blue banded bees that visit my garden and to encourage them I hang sticks or canes from branches as they make their hives on long sticks.  If you are interested in seeing a picture of my blue banded bees please let me know. They are furry and bright aqua blue.....very very busy little bees and very hard to catch on camera!

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      Feb 1, 2010 9:35 AM (in response to Michaela Vardanis)
      Re: What about the bees?
      It would be great to see those blue banded bees (they sound rather funky!) How do they make their hives on sticks? What do the hives look like? (A picture of their hives would be very good too!) Is the species of bee native to Australia? If you can get pictures- well done and thanks ever so much!
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    Feb 1, 2010 9:35 AM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?

    It all very much depends on your understanding of bees. Bees are a family (Apidae) within the order hymenoptera, which includes Bees, Wasps and Ants. Most of the concern hangs around the Honeybee and the misunderstood colony collapse disorder (CCD). Beyond concern about the honeybees the plight of the bumblebee (pun intended) is widely commented on but also misunderstood. And then there are the solitary bees, the majority of bee species which get very little attention. There has been a general decline in many species (honeybee, bumblebees and solitary bees) over the last few decades and the cause is likely to be due to a number of factors, and somewhat dependant on species, but includes bee pathogens and disease, poor husbandry, weather, habitat decline, insecticides etc.

    Many research groups worldwide are looking at the reasons including many in the USA, where CCD is a reality, as well as the International Bee Research Association in Cardiff. There are also an Europe wide study on pollinators and pollination in generally and the NHM are collaborators in this project.

    It is not as gloomy as many media stories report – in fact they are just that ‘stories’. Be (or bee) buoyed up by the fact that a plethora of species are responsible for the pollination of our fruits and vegetables and will continue to do so. In the UK there are over 280 species of bee, though the most people are only familiar with honeybees (a single UK species) and bumblebees (28 UK species). All the rest are solitary species and their pollination efforts are not well studied and go relatively unnoticed. These bees are however the unsung heroes and will undoubtedly be our saviours as far as the pollination of our fruits and vegetables are concerned.

    During the spring, summer and autumn months try taking a seat next to flower borders in gardens or parks and take a careful look at the insects that visit the flowers. Look beyond the bumbling bees and honey bees and you will notice many smaller species of bee collecting nectar and pollen, many of them minute, as well as wasps and flies – all of these also contribute to the pollination effort, which is far more complex than the popular press or Einstein would have believed.

    Read also: http://tinyurl.com/yjhwd4r

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    Feb 2, 2010 9:20 AM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?

    blue banded bees.jpg

    Here are the blue banded bees for you.  They were attempting to make their home on some fishing line put up to host a climber and they kept sliding down. I felt really sorry for them as the honey was also dripping down the line (you can see this at the top of the picture) I'm not sure if the image (as it is shrunk for posting) will show it, but if you look closely you can see the top one looking sideways at the camera lens as if to say....Hmmm I've been fooled.

    I also managed to photograph the teeny weeny bees that Bambuswhathemacallit has mentioned, (in the UK)

    You have to look very closely on the flowers! When I dig the picture up. I will post it.

    These little chaps are like a mini bumble bee but very very fast and a beautiful bright blue. The picture shows a more faded blue due to the extreme Australian light.
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      Feb 6, 2010 12:39 PM (in response to Michaela Vardanis)
      Re: What about the bees?
      Wow! Those pictures are very good- how did you take them without the bees flying away? The bee at the top did appear to be thinking ' oh dear, perhaps we better find a new place?'  Blue banded bees are native to Australia and are not found on any other continent- which is pretty cool and rather lucky! Do you like photography or just like taking pictures? If you get what I mean...? Anyway, Thankyou for the pictures!
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    Feb 18, 2010 11:39 AM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?
    We shouldn't give them an reason to sting us because in some species that can kill them entirely, I've never been stung by the way so I have no idea how it feels
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    May 19, 2013 9:48 PM (in response to Moomintroll)
    Re: What about the bees?

    Hello,

    We need to plant more brightly coloured and strongly scented flowers to attract the bees. If not most plants will probably die like, in the Bee Movie...

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