[NAFEX] nafex Digest, Vol 78, Issue 73

Neil Lewis lewisn at georgetown.edu
Fri Jul 31 10:06:25 EDT 2009


Re: Honey bee question

Are you sure your honeybees are at all interested in blueberries? I have 
never seen a honeybee on mine, and I have three hives about 5 feet away 
from them. Rather, they seem to attract bumblebees. Blackberries are 
attractive to honeybees. I believe the reason honeybees are successful 
in pollinating commercial fields of blueberries is because that is all 
they have to eat there: they must work the blueberries or starve. 
Generally early in the spring and summer honeybees will focus on things 
like black locust, tulip poplar (at least here in MD) and ignore 
everything else.

Regarding moving hives into a caged plot of blueberries, there is a 
saying in beekeeping that you either move a hive 2 feet or 2 miles. 
Otherwise returning bees will get lost.

A cage around blueberries is a good idea, but to keep birds out, not 
insects.

Neil Lewis

> Is it possible to put a honeybee hive inside the enclosure during bloom?
>
> I think this is sometimes done for crops requiring insect pollination 
> when cross-pollination is not desired because the seed of the 
> particular variety is to be saved, but the area from which seed is to 
> be saved is small enough to cover but large enough for the bees to be 
> OK inside it for a couple of weeks.
>
> If you don't keep bees yourself, a local beekeeper might be willing to 
> do this for you, possibly in exchange for either cash or berries.
>
> --Rivka
> Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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