[NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinator

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon Apr 21 16:47:10 EDT 2003

But why on earth would you stick your finger in a bee's nest?  I say 
the first bumblebee of the season yesterday - just in time for 
forsythia and cornus mas, and some early dandelions.  They were watched 
me with interest as I planted some pansies, as did some big flies that 
were colored like bees.  I expect they will be on the job as soon as 
the blueberry blossoms open, which should only take a few more warm 

I used to catch bees in glass bottles for sport as a kid.  I once 
"rescues" one from a spider's web and carefully removed all the silk 
from its wings.  I work around bumblebees in my garden all the time - 
they are assiduous pollinators of my raspberries, and often work the 
blooms as I pick the berries.  I suppose you can aggravate them enough 
to get stung, but they count as "docile" in my book, and I'm happy to 
have them around.

Now yellowjackets are nasty.


On Monday, April 21, 2003, at 03:38  PM, Bruce Hansen wrote:

> One can be around bumble bees all their lives and believe that these 
> critters are not aggressive. Find a nest. Stick your finger in it and 
> be prepared for a long sprint. I used to own a ranch in Oregon, near 
> Prineville on the Crooked River. Come to think of it maybe your bees 
> are pretty mild. They grow some strange crops in that area.
> Bruce z5 MI
> [Bruce Hansen]  -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Lon J. Rombough
> Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 3:23 PM
> To: North American Fruit Explorers
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinator
> I've been around bumblebees all my life here.  I even find it useful 
> to plant borage to encourage them in the garden as they pollinate 
> beans and peas to give better set.  Guess the species here are just 
> less aggressive.  Of course I used to keep bees, so stinging insects 
> don't bother me that much.
> -Lon Rombough
> From: "Bruce Hansen" <brucehansen at acd.net>
> Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 15:06:36 -0400
> To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: RE: [NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinator
> Ah! Life must be easy in Oregon. I know a bumble bee and I suspect you 
> have never bothered a nest. Sweat bees (underground) are also 
> aggressive but usually if I run fast they give up in a few yards. 
> Although, when watering some new trees last summer I disturbed a nest 
> (flooded), a few of them kept up the chase for 30 or so yards.
> Bruce
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