Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Simply Summer - What Will Bee Will Bee

There is a definite shortage of honeybees this summer.  Several people I know are complaining, for example, that their zucchini are flowering but not setting fruit.  Last year, for a similar reason, we had problems with cucumbers.

What I am seeing a lot of this year is bumblebees.  I did a little search online, and found an article discussing the role of bumblebees as pollinators in New York City community gardens.  So perhaps all these bumblebees are trying to pick up where our honeybees have failed - for reasons we still don't fully understand.  And it isn't just us-bee decline is hitting other parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom.

But, I can be encouraged by all the bumblebees I've seen recently.  Here are some pictures taken in the last few days-on ornamentals, for the most part, but still.  To paraphrase one of my favorite commercials "Roll that beautiful bee footage".
Bee on one of my basils.

Bee on an echinacea plant on the West side of Binghamton, New York.
And a bee on a sweet pea, again in Binghamton.

But where are the honeybees?  I think I found one - or at least a bee that wasn't a bumblebee.  I'm the first to admit I'm no expert on bees, as much as I love gardening, and as much as I depend on them.
So here she be, whatever kind of bee she is.

And with this post, I end another Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I'm also proud to say I completed Camp NaNoWriMo, and added another 10,000 words to my memoir - although most of it wasn't the "chicken memoir" part of my life.

Have you seen the decline in honeybees in your area? And, were you aware that bumblebees are in decline, too?

Its scary.

8 comments:

  1. I'm pretty nervous about the decline in bees. I'm hoping that something can be done--quickly--to stem it, and that they'll be resilient enough to build their numbers back up. We need them desperately to help provide our food. And honey is such a sweet bonus.

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  2. Honeybees have been hit hardest but bees of almost all kinds are down in numbers and I am convinced that the main culprit is the profligate use of pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, throughout our society. Gardeners and farmers are slowly becoming more educated on the subject, but will it be in time to save the bees? Incidentally, there are some 4000 species of native bees in North America, so even if the imported honeybee disappeared, there would still be plenty of pollinators around - unless they, too, get poisoned.

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  3. Ooh, what a beautiful honeybee! I had no idea there was a shortage, but now that you mention it, I haven't see as many either. I have seen wasps, but even there, not as many as usual. Hope we don't lose our honeybees altogether!

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  4. Did not know about this. But it is really good information. If we wipe out the bee we are only hurting ourselves. Great info and I am sharing!

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  5. You've just, by some miracle, left a comment on my blog that touches SUCH a chord with me that I feel we could be soul sista's! So I came right over to let you know that I will be following you from here out. So fabulous to find someone else who loves flowers and architecture!

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  6. Interesting you should say that as I have more bumblebees than honeybees pollinating my veggie plants.

    I had this really weird bee where I used to live it was black and white, like striped on it's butt. No clue what kind that was.

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  7. Aww so sad about the bees, Hope we can encourage their numbers again, I can't get any raw honey from my supplier here, none to be had - no local honey! :(

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  8. Bees are fascinating to me. One of my fave exhibits at our annual fair is the bee exhibit in the agricultural area. Stunning pictures on this one, Alana.

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