[NAFEX] Honey Bees?

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Thu Apr 24 13:47:54 EDT 2008

> For those of you in the areas hit hard last year during the Easter freeze, that were then hit with the severe drought, are you seeing any honey bees this spring? In years past, my fruit trees are buzzing with thousands of them, but this spring, I have not seen a single one. In fact, I have not seen much in the way of any pollinating insects, except carpenter bees, which don't pollinate well due to their habit of cheating by cutting holes in the base of flowers.

I've been very disappointed, so far, at the lack of bees this spring. 
Even my solitary bees don't seem to be emerging from their tubes (after 
spending the winter in my refrigerator). Last year, it took them about 
three days to emerge. This year, it's been two weeks and I'm still 
seeing little sign of them. I don't know what happened.

All the while my apricot bloomed, I saw only two honey bees and a couple 
of butterflies on the blossoms. I've got a few solitary bees on my plums 
now, but not many (and the trees are right beside the bee shelters). I 
don't see any bees at all around my trees that are blooming elsewhere in 
the yard. Also, I haven't seen a bumblebee yet, but perhaps they don't 
emerge until later?

Note that we were hit by the April freeze last year, so there were no 
flowers anywhere for weeks, but we didn't get the drought. It was bone 
dry in June and July, but that was pretty normal here. And the rest of 
the year was a bit wetter than usual.

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

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a diverse, independent and free media. - Bill Moyers

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