[permaculture] Feeding wild bees during Winter - how to do it?
kelly at bouldersustainability.org
Sat Oct 9 20:04:51 EDT 2010
There is no need to feed bees in the winter. For the most part, they
are in a semi-dormant cluster, are unable to fly anyway, and so would
be unable to partake of your gift. Bees cannot fly in temperatures
below 50 degrees fahrenheit. Unless your spring and summer have been
unusually absent of flowering trees and other plants, the bees will
have put up more than enough food for the winter. Wild bees have few
needs that humans can supply! How refreshing!
Bees are opportunists and if a food source is nearby and discovered
before their winter dormancy, then they will definitely take advantage
of the resource - hence the attraction of hundreds of bees to your
If you are wanting to assist them, the best ways to do so are to
protect the tree or cavity that they are nesting in, plant maple,
linden and other flowering trees in their vicinity, locate a water
source near their nest for spring, summer and fall that is set up to
prevent them from drowning, and plant a variety of flowering medicinal
plants such as catnip, mints, thymes and such so that they can self-
medicate as they need to, and most especially lobby your neighbors NOT
use pesticides and herbicides on their properties.
Hope this helps!
On Oct 5, 2010, at 9:28 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> Feeding wild bees during Winter - how to do it?
> I discovered that I have on my 6 acre property more wild bees than I
> thought (maybe they are those who swarmed from my hives and left for
> new homes as forest dwellers). I poured out two quarts of honey that
> had ants in them onto a compost pile on a garden bed. Soon there
> were hundreds of bees foraging for the honey. I have done this many
> times but this is the first time I have seen any bees attracted to
> the honey.
> Is it possible to feed wild forest-dwelling bees during the Winter?
> I am in central NC USDA zone 6/7.
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