backyard bees PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by mpillow, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003
    Forgive my ignorance in advance!

    Is there something I can put out that will help "native" bees colonize on my property? Just to improve pollination of garden and fruit trees.

    My husband is allergic and maybe my kids are but I am not a person who gets "scared" by bees so I try to teach them not to get all worked up but its HARD. Dad always takes off the cap and starts swinging....I keep the epipen and life insurance up to date :haha: Not looking to kill him but I would like to improve pollination! :eek:
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    May 9, 2002
    Bees won't likely "colonize" on your property unless you make them a home. In other words you'll need to become a "beekeeper".

    Your family is no more likely to get stung with a well placed hive or two than they are just naturally.

    If you have bees in your area already there are a great many plants, shrubs and trees that you can raise that will attract the resident population. Just google on bee plants.

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    At the risk of sounding like Cliff Claven from Cheers, It's a little known fact that honeybees are not "native" to North America. They were actually imported here by early settlers.
    Now that we've got that out of the way. If you plant it they will come! They know a good thing when they find it but in many cases they only come if you have a large quantity or they are having to really search for pollen or nectar.
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I used to think that I was allergic to honeybees: Turned out that it was yellowjackets that I was allergic to!

    At any rate, why do you want honey bees at your place if you know it would cause your DH much stress and the bees getting sprayed?

    Back when I thought I was allergic to them, someone else in the area had bees, and it was the BEST! Whenever something needed pollinating, the bees came in great numbers, and I just let them have that part of the yard for a few days. After the tree (or whatever) had finished blooming, the honey bees dissapeared and STAYED gone, which meant that I could enjoy ALL of my land again!

    If you want to prevent DH from dropping a no-pest strip into the hive, you might be better off keeping a domestic hive, and keeping it at a neighbors yard. People who have herbs or bee-pollinated crops might LOVE to have you keep bees in some corner of their place, as it would mean a better harvest. Offer them a few jars of honey when they start producing.

    At any rate, you can PLANT the clover, but that doesn't mean your DH wouldn't sprinkle Weed 'n Feed on what you planted, if you get my drift.
  5. zathrus

    zathrus Member

    May 11, 2004

    The answer to your polination problems may be Orchard Mason Bees. They do sting, but are not as aggressive as even the most gentle of honey bees. They will sting iif you try to catch one or if they get stuck under your clothing, but they do
    not have a hive to protect and live a mostly solitary life. Here's some useful info
    on them at this link:

    And, they *are* native to North America, right Cliff? :)

    Sean Johnson
  6. I haven't got bees (yet!) of my own . I did discover by accident a great way to get my fruit trees pollinated. I had recently planted 27 trees (a bit late as they were allready breaking dormancy and blooming ect.)and I read that a foliar spray of fish fertilizer was good for them to help with transplant shock. I used Gardens Alive Sea Rich organic foliar spray on them and within minutes (I hadn't even gotten them all sprayed) they were covered with buzzing little mud bee's, flies and other flying critters!
    They only stayed for about half an hour but the trees set huge amounts of fruit! I actually had to remove some from the asian pears! I didn't expect anything this year as my trees are so young and I got them in so late. We just bought our land (31 acreas) 5 months ago and the trees were a plant 'em or lose 'em kinda thing. I tried an experiment with the water from some canned tuna- thinned it way down and sprayed it on my herbs, same thing -tons of little pollinators to work for me!.
    Hope this helps