A Homemade Life
Welcome to Homemade Life.

To take full advantage of everything offered by our forum, please log in if you are already a member or join our community if not ....

Chilli-head
Who is online?
In total there are 3 users online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 3 Guests

None

Most users ever online was 62 on 10th April 2015, 8:24 am
Latest topics
» Excellent publication
by Dandelion 18th October 2017, 5:07 pm

» What are you harvesting today?
by Dandelion 16th October 2017, 9:26 pm

» New arrivals
by FloBear 16th October 2017, 5:54 pm

» What have I done in the workshop today?
by Chilli-head 15th October 2017, 8:46 pm

» Masaledar Sem (spicy green beans)
by freebird 15th October 2017, 8:08 pm

» Autumn planting vegetables
by freebird 7th October 2017, 12:58 pm

» Greek village bread
by Chilli-head 5th October 2017, 1:57 pm

» Passata machine
by Ploshkin 4th October 2017, 12:21 pm

» Wrapping up in the October garden
by freebird 3rd October 2017, 8:28 pm

» No-dig gardening & weed control
by Ploshkin 3rd October 2017, 2:22 pm

» Bad press for woodburners
by freebird 29th September 2017, 7:20 pm

» Reflections on the seaon 2017
by freebird 28th September 2017, 9:35 pm

» The September garden
by FloBear 21st September 2017, 8:59 pm

» Wildlife cameras
by FloBear 9th September 2017, 11:53 am

» whats on the menu
by Dandelion 5th September 2017, 10:10 pm

» Insect hotel
by FloBear 31st August 2017, 10:07 pm

» seed saving
by freebird 29th August 2017, 1:49 pm

» Argh - how do you grow lettuce ?
by Ploshkin 26th August 2017, 9:40 pm

» Knitting in the round
by FloBear 19th August 2017, 1:41 pm

» What happened to the garden in August ?
by freebird 19th August 2017, 12:24 pm

Statistics
We have 633 registered users
The newest registered user is domestic

Our users have posted a total of 44794 messages in 2328 subjects
HML on FaceBook
RSS feeds



Donate to our Charity
The Homemade life supports Kiva - microloans for people in developing countries working to change their lives.  These loans are repaid to our KIVA account, so your donation is used many times to help different people - literally the gift that keeps on giving..

Bees Behaving Badly

View previous topic View next topic Go down

default Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Ploshkin on 22nd June 2015, 1:04 pm

It's a weird year for the bees. I've decided to have a bonfire and burn all my bee books because the bees are definitely not behaving according to the rules. I thought you might like to see a picture of what greeted me in passing yesterday.

avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 1080
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Chilli-head on 22nd June 2015, 1:53 pm

What are they up to ?

My FIL has got a new lot of bees, which he keeps telling us are bad tempered. Previously he'd decided not get more, but a swarm is just too hard to refuse.

My forester friend Simon over at Wimpole has done well too - scroll down here a bit for more details:

avatar
Chilli-head
Admin and Boss man

Posts : 2363
Join date : 2010-02-23
Location : Bedfordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Ploshkin on 22nd June 2015, 3:36 pm

Wow, that is some swarm and an interesting article altogether. I wish mine would hang down conveniently like that. More often than not they are wrapped round barbed wire ore like this:



That is me on one end of the pole with my trusty pound shop wastepaper basket tied on the top. I have been trying to find someone to do a skep making workshop for our Association but have drawn a blank so far. I would love to have a go. If I could find a source of long wheat or oats or spelt or something I would give it a try anyway. There are a lot of good instructions online.
avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 1080
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Dandelion on 30th May 2017, 11:15 pm

This week is that I've learned that bumble bees can sting without losing their lives, and will live to sting another day. I've been stung twice in a week - once on the nose (the bee stung me through some fabric as I was pegging up the clothes) and the second time on my hand when I moved some comfrey aside to reach a seed tray. I'm struggling to identify the actual type of bumble bee - it was smallish with a white tail, but the ones I've seen with white tails on ID charts are too big (these were just over 1cm long). I was puzzled not to have a sting to remove either time, but found out that they can retract their sting to use again unlike honey bees. I had also assumed that bumblebees are solitary, but no - they live in nests with around 100 bees in, sometimes in abandoned mouse nests. The garden is full of them (hurray!!), and now that my hand has returned to its normal size I can get enthusiastic about them again!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4519
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 61
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Ploshkin on 31st May 2017, 9:13 am

Dandelion, they are most likely tree bumble bees (reddish colour), a fairly recent but successful arrival to the UK about 10 years ago.
They tend to be a bit more aggressive than other bumble bee species if provoked. They form larger colonies of about 400 and particularly like used bird boxes or spaces under roofs. People tend to notice them a bit later on when large numbers of drones start patrolling outside nests when new queens are being raised in the hope of pouncing on one as they come out.
avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 1080
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Dandelion on 31st May 2017, 11:13 am

Thank you Ploshkin - that's really interesting. I think we may have a couple of different varieties - I'll try and get some photos.They are definitely more aggressive than any I've come across before - I can't remember having had a bee sting in the last 20 years, so to get two in one week was very unusual. I suppose it's the downside of planting a lot of flowers which bees like - they are all around the comfrey and foxgloves at the moment. I do like bees, and don't fear them: I attempt to get the children at school to understand and respect them, and not flap if one comes into a classroom, but I feel I'm losing the battle on that one. Although we live in a rural county the children on the whole can't tell the difference between a bee and a wasp, and their first reaction is to panic.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4519
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 61
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Ploshkin on 31st May 2017, 11:24 am

I could do several pages on wasps.  They are actually one of the most important predators of garden insect pests as a source of protein to feed the developing larvae so don't be in too much of a hurry to destroy nests early in the season.  The larvae, in return, feed the adult wasps with a sugary secretion so, late in the season, when no more young are being produced, they look elsewhere for a source of sugary food.  That is when they become a nuisance.  Indiscriminate destruction of nests can cause this 'sweet feeding' phase to start prematurely if adult wasps no longer have brood to feed.  It needs to be timed right.
avatar
Ploshkin

Posts : 1080
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Mid Wales

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by FloBear on 1st June 2017, 9:34 am

That's really interesting, Ploshkin. I tend to be a defender of wasps when people start going on about how pointless they are. I was aware of their importance as predators of garden pests but I've never heard the bit about early destruction of nests before.
avatar
FloBear

Posts : 382
Join date : 2015-02-10
Location : East Dorset

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Dandelion on 2nd June 2017, 5:52 pm

I was quite optimistic to think that I could get a decent photograph of the bees - they didn't seem to realise that they needed to sit still! So today I'm outside with a notebook, writing a quick description and coming inside to check on the computer (www.bumblebee.org). So far I have spotted buff-tailed and red-tailed bumblebees. I'm really enjoying this! I'm still looking for the tree bumblebees which Ploshkin mentioned - I'm sure they're there!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
avatar
Dandelion
Admin

Posts : 4519
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 61
Location : Ledbury, Herefordshire

Back to top Go down

default Re: Bees Behaving Badly

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum