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  • I started keeping bees in 2015, but haven't had any for the last 2 years. 
    It's a very interesting activity and I can just sit and watch them coming and going... it's very relaxing.

    I'm hoping to build a new hive soon and maybe catch a swarm or start a new colony with bees that a friend has.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

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  • Happy World Bee Day! Bees are so cuuuuuuute!!!! Thank you Lonny6654 for this information. Will you share some pictures of your hive?

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  • I've signed up to a beekeeping course next month with the hop that I'll start a hive next year.  Good read, thanks!

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  • suy wrote:

    Happy World Bee Day! Bees are so cuuuuuuute!!!! Thank you Lonny6654 for this information. Will you share some pictures of your hive?

    I will have to take some this weekend.

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  • FYI - this is an interesting alternative to the "traditional" hive, plus plans and lots of interesting info:

    https://horizontalhive.com/

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  • One of my shooting buddies, is a full time bee keeper. He has a couple of hundred hives and he rents them out to farmers.

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  • Happy World Bee Day! I love bees! In fact, I might plant some Russian sage soon since they really seemed to love that when I was at my previous house. 

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  • I love to garden and consider honeybees to be friends. They never bother me and I love to take pictures of them on my flowers. Love seeing them so intent on finding flowers and getting their nectar. I planted lavender a few years ago to specifically help the local bee population. There's no beekeepers here, but there are certainly wild hives around. 

    Don't forget that their honey can be therapeutic too. It's been used for centuries to help heal wounds. And local honey can even help with your hay fever allergies. 

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  • I have Mason bees, an important early spring pollinators. Much less work, but no honey do they produce. But they also do not sting.

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  • Mead is most wonderful!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftomw87g61Y

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  • Save the Bees! 

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  • This is a great post!  its beeautiful! 

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  • I respect bees, so long as they stay outside of my house. As soon as they're inside (which is thankfully almost never), they have forfeited their right to existence.

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  • Very interesting!  Thank you!

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  • I love honeybees and honey!  As a kid, I found out the hard way that I was allergic (anaphylactic shock) to them.  I had six years of monthly shots (venom therapy) and was told I should be good but to carry Epi Pens with me.  They don't bother me but my wife is terrified for me.

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  • "To bee or not to bee, that is the question."  --- William Shakespeare upon contemplating starting a colony
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  • Whilst i don't really mind bees outdoors, I'm not so keen on the critters inside.  One of our kids is freaked out completely by them (or anything flying with a stinger to be fair and don't even start about spiders).

    However the thread put me in mind of an interesting podcast I heard a while back, to re-balance some of the anti-wasp statements over on the spark thread (did you know there is a mexican honey wasp too??)

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k9bf (Curious Case of Rutherford and Fry podcast, season 16 if you can't access BBC site)

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  • I've got a friend who keeps bees (12 hives!). They are absolutely awesome. They pollinate the gardens of everyone in the neighborhood, and many of us get fresh honey from him. That honey is fantastic for me because it helps my allergies to be less severe. I poison the wasp nests that are constantly being built in my eaves and car port, but the bees are welcome, as long as they don't try to build a hive where the honey leaks into my attic.

    I'm constantly correcting people (including my wife) who are misidentifying wasps as bees.

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  • To assist the local pollinators I don't rake my yard or mow my lawn until around now and keep a field of lavender to help give the local population an easier spring start.  Does make the first mow of the year a bit of a bear but if it helps keep the local ecosystem healthy it's worth the extra effort.  I also leave milkweed alone if at all possible to help keep monarch butterflies from going extinct!  

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  • Bees are a source of endless fascination and a gardener's/farmer's best friend. But the current situation is sad. In the past 22 years or so, I have had bees for about half those years, and hope to again this year if my swarm traps are effective. But my winter losses have been huge and one strong hive that made it through the winter was decimated by a bear only a day or two before I was planning to harvest.

    And while bees do communicate via pheromones, don't forget the waggle dance!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ijI-g4jHg

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  • My little gardening buddy, a few weeks ago on my grape hyacinth. 
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  • Lonny6654- Thank you for doing a huge endeavor to support bees! As a former science educator, bees absolutely fascinate me. My favorite term for bees is ‘super-organism’ as they quite literally work as a colony to survive and in many ways demonstrate the most pure form of altruism.
    At the last school I worked at, our librarian worked tirelessly to bring a bee hive to our campus and she taught my class that incredible fact that honey never spoils! In fact they’ve recovered honey from Egyptian tombs that hadn’t spoiled.

    Most people don’t realize that bees and other insects need water. If you live in an arid climate, leave a shallow source of freshwater called a “puddler” to keep bees hydrated!

    Aaand here’s my favorite bee song:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJrKlSkxRHA

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  • suy wrote:

    Happy World Bee Day! Bees are so cuuuuuuute!!!! Thank you Lonny6654 for this information. Will you share some pictures of your hive?

    Here it is...

    More here: Wingsical Whims Honeybee Adventures | Facebook

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    • suysuy
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  • Got back into bees in the spring of 2016. Turned into all-but-obsession since then. :D
    Raising queens is my favorite part. 
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  • Interesting article. I have always been fascinated by bees. I would never want to be a beekeeper, but I admire those who do it. 

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  • I've got a lot of flowering shrubs in my garden that bees of all types love, there are usually at least 6 different types of bees on a big cottoneaster bush at the bottom.

    I particularly love Bumble bees and there are some whoppers about at the moment and I've got some wild areas as some of them live in burrows underground, there's a bee hotel for the mason bees (a batch of hollow sticks and a patch of mud I keep wet)

    If they do come into the house it's by mistake and a cup and a piece of thin card can be used to help them find their way out as windows really confuse them!

    Wasps get a bad press but they're also part of the environment and they help to break down woody plant waste, I had a large nest of little wasps under a shelf at the back of my house, at first I thought it was an old straw bag and then I saw the foragers going in and out, the structure was quite beautiful and they never tried to come into the house so I let them be. There is a rather nasty invasive Asian Hornet in the UK which prays on Honey bees which needs to be removed but the native ones are OK if you don't bother them - if you do squish one it emits a pheromone that makes all its friends angry and they come looking for revenge so it's better to leave them alone!

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  • John5152 wrote:

    I've got a lot of flowering shrubs in my garden that bees of all types love, there are usually at least 6 different types of bees on a big cottoneaster bush at the bottom.

    I particularly love Bumble bees and there are some whoppers about at the moment and I've got some wild areas as some of them live in burrows underground, there's a bee hotel for the mason bees (a batch of hollow sticks and a patch of mud I keep wet)

    If they do come into the house it's by mistake and a cup and a piece of thin card can be used to help them find their way out as windows really confuse them!

    Wasps get a bad press but they're also part of the environment and they help to break down woody plant waste, I had a large nest of little wasps under a shelf at the back of my house, at first I thought it was an old straw bag and then I saw the foragers going in and out, the structure was quite beautiful and they never tried to come into the house so I let them be. There is a rather nasty invasive Asian Hornet in the UK which prays on Honey bees which needs to be removed but the native ones are OK if you don't bother them - if you do squish one it emits a pheromone that makes all its friends angry and they come looking for revenge so it's better to leave them alone!

    Bumble bees are just fun to watch! 

    We had a huge wasp nest last year under our shed. Its 4 feet from our sand box where the kids play a lot.  Surprisingly no one got stung and they never bothered the kids. Until my wife accidently disturbed the nest getting something from behind the shed.  I have never seen my wife run so fast! LOL!  but that was the end of that nest once she discovered it.

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