Apr 172010
 

Since hearing about the collapse of the bee colonies on Vancouver Island where, as the above news report points out they lost 90% of their stock, I’ve been on the lookout for bees. So far, I’ve seen very few and am wondering if others on the island have seen more or fewer bees than last year. We need the bees not only for honey but for pollination as well.

I’d love to get into bee keeping and have it on my list but have made no movement so far toward that goal. I’m surprised that we don’t have a professional bee keeper here. My nephew in Portland climbed a tall tree and captured a wild swarm which I consider to be a wonderous achievement (both climbing a tall tree and catching the bees).

They are enjoying the fruit of the bee’s labor.

We need to find someone to teach us how to keep bees.

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  7 Responses to “Seen Any Bees?”

  1. I just heard from a beekeeper in Custer who a) lost her two hives of bees this year to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) and b) LOVES bees and would probably be happy to help you learn more about beekeeping. Her name is Kate Ferry, and she has a blog at http://www.sacredbee.net/ Needless to say she’s got more bees on the way. She has other sustainability interests, too, so will probably enjoy hearing about your blog.

  2. saw a few million today- we went to an intermediate bee class. our colony is dong well, we’re planning on doing a split to end up with two.

  3. Meredith Moench knew about some great bee information, too. Here’s a couple:

    http://www.greatsunflower.org/
    These folks are providing people sunflower seeds to plant, and then asking they observe and record the wild bees that they see on datasheets they also provide.

    http://www.xerces.org/
    Amazing website chock full of great bee protection information, things to do, news on what’s happening, etc., including some specific regional information:

    http://www.xerces.org/pollinators-pacific-northwest-region/
    Especially note the info in this regional section about building and providing habitat for bee nests for wild bees. They also have a few bee species they are so interested in that they ask people to call them if the see one.

    Thanks, Randy!

  4. That is really freaky. I hope your bees friend flowers aren’t empty of visitors this season. That will be really depressing. There were way more bees around when I was a kid in the early seventies. They were everywhere, buzzing around our heads, getting under foot. I have yet to see a honeybee here this spring in Seattle.

  5. From Kate Ferry of Sacred Bee (see Blogroll)
    Hi Randy,

    Thank you for your email and checking out the blog.

    Bees…Bees…Bees – they are wonderful!

    Well, first place to start for local information is the Mount Baker Beekeeper’s Association – http://www.mtbakerbeekeepersassn.org/. They have monthly meetings that you can attend – you don’t have to be a beekeeper. This would be a great way to get started networking with local beekeepers.

    Second thing you could do is pick up the book Beekeeping for Dummies. It’s a great overall picture of beekeeping, but also goes into more depth if you are interested.

    I hope this information helps – hopefully I will see you at a future MBBA meeting. Please spread the word about my blog and project if you are inclined.

    Thank you, Kate

  6. I have lots of bees and other pollinators, but don’t ‘keep’ bees or have any inclination to do so. I rely on our many native bees (like leaf cutter, mason bees, ground nesting bees), flies, wasps etc. I was worried aout the cool, wet weather in late March and early April when my plum trees blossomed, that it would be too cool for pollinators. But just today I saw miniscule plums on the trees!

    Mostly what I plan to keep doing is encourage very early (like kinnick-kiniick) as well as middle and late spring, summer, and fall blooming plants. (Did you know that dandelions, despite being invasive are very good nectar plants for the early pollinators? One more reason to weed less!)

    The early spring bloomers are also important to sustain bug populations for migrating birds to each, just as insects dependent on later blooming plants are required by birds ( (about 90% total diet) to feed their nestlings.

    I think we have had honeybee keepers on the island . . . maybe Molly H, or Chuck A? Beekeeping sounds like way too much work for me, so I’ll just keep expanding native pollintator habitat.

  7. http://pugetsoundbites.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/installing-bees-in-our-new-hives-look-mom-no-gloves/#more-551

    A new beekeeper in Coupeville gets started with his bees and provides a nice video documentary of setting up the hive plus tells how much it cost him to get started.

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