help with pollination

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by kathrynlmv, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody know what to do about the lack of bees in a city? I had my first garden in a city(lived 30 years in the country) and discovered that my tons of zucchini flowers were not setting fruit. Who ever heard of too few zucchinis? I kept studying the plants ....I garden organically....and found that I have yet to see a honeybee or very many other insects, for that matter, except 3-4 cabbage butterflies. Anyway, I'm not too hot for trying to set up bees in my yard, as the neighbors are already somewhat dismayed by my unruly gardens. Is there any other way to insure pollination? What would be the point of planting fruit trees, which I've been pricing, if nothing will be pollinated? kathylmv
     
  2. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    If it was just the zuchinni, I would say try pollenating it yourself, but I can't see trying to pollenate a fruit tree yourself!

    Maybe you could put plants in that really attract insects, like a seperate butterfly garden, to try and draw the insects to you.

    Are there any nurseries around you that you could ask them what others do? Is there an extension office you could call?

    Ok, so that wasn't much help. :eek:

    Carla
     

  3. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    Look into mason bees to fertilize your fruit trees. Unlike honey bees, they are solitary. They do not form hives, and they only live for a few weeks in the spring, the same weeks that the fruit trees are in flower. Isn't nature wonderful!! They can be mail ordered and you can buy a little house for them as well.
     
  4. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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  5. healing herbals

    healing herbals Pam in OK

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  6. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Pam, I am new to internet in general, and completely green trying to use this site. I have a pretty unsuccessful time finding my own posts and retrieving messages. Did you leave one for me? Kathrynlmv
     
  7. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Carla, I appreciate your response. I do have a friend who's husband is a professor of horticulture...and I've asked him through her, but no answer yet. Since he does a lot of plant breeding in a greenhouse environment, I figure that they must have some way of pollinating by hand....however, it wouldn't probably work out for fruit trees unless they were really really dwarf....the idea sounds daunting. I tried this year to plant flowers, but I have limited space, and limited sun, so I'd like any advice on what flowers are the best for attracting insects, that can grow well without full sun. Kathy
     
  8. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Bonnie, I'm terribly interested....in the mason bees. Where can I find out more about them...and order them? Kathy
     
  9. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    Sorry the link to knox cellars didn't work. You could type knoxcellars.com directly into your address bar, or you could do a search on mason bees that will bring up many different sites. Another idea, maybe you could post your question on the beekeeping forum here. I'm afraid I have no experience with mason bees, just read about them recently, and it seemed like the answer to your problem. Good luck :)
     
  10. rwjedi

    rwjedi Member

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    I say heck with the neighbors. You could get a couple pieces of privacy fence and make a square out of it to block off the view of the bees. Make sure you get a tamer version of honeybee just in case. Really no replacement for honeybees. Other insects do the work also, but honey bees are the champ for most types of pollination. get 1 or 2 hives. 2 is preferable because it gives you something to compare to, or start over with if one dies. It's really not THAT hard. Join us at www.beesource.com for all the information you could ever want. :)

    Rod
     
  11. twind59

    twind59 Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents worth....I also live in the city with neighbors not much more than 10' away on either side. I keep one hive of bee's in my backyard with no trouble. It's fun...one doesn't take much time....and the neighbors really enjoy getting free honey. They were sceptical at first, but they seldom even saw a bee. I wouldn't give up entirely on regular bee's just yet. Get the Beekeeping for Dummies book...read it...and see how you feel about it then. Oh...you might check city ordinances, too. Here in Indianapolis we can keep just about anything. Amazing.
     
  12. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Part of it might be understand why there are no bees in your location. I presently live in Boston and am planning on moving back to the country this year. Boston is like a nuked zone. It is a complete destruction of the natural World as one would normally know it.

    Many factors are involved. Destruction of all habitats for lil critters. Invasion by tons of animals not normally in cities, total wacked out balances. I used to have lovely gardens, fruit trees hanging with goodies, blueberries, strawberrys, raspberries, all in a big city. Today, zip can't even have a garden, all the sun is gone, massive close in building. As this started our bees totally disappeared. Honeybees do not fly early enough in Boston to be of much use, we depended on a drawf bumblebee that lived in nests in the ground. The invasion of skunks ate all the drawf bumblebees, we don't even have yellow jackets any more. Every bit of land is being turned into somebody's ticty-tacty shack with their bit of stunted green stuff called grass.

    The invasion is weird, coons, skunks, even some cayotes have been spotted. All the wrong thing is eating the wrong thing. Garbage cans are the new 24 hour snack bars. Those skunks are like gaint vacuums eating everything that moves, flies or crawls. All the trees are diseased. Squirrels in gangs that have gone wild, many living in some Aunt's attic. Most birds gone, even the crows won't stay. Sky rats (pigeons) that operate as the Mafia. Gang warfare by cats. Anything you try to grow is immediately attacked as soon as something can recognize it as chow.

    Putting a bee hive in my yard would be like filling the bird feeder. All depends on what is happening in your little corner of the World. Many little corners have been badly wiped. You can try the small paint brush trick on the zucchini flowers, maybe dressed in a bee outfit and buzzing but if it is totally out of wack, most of the battle is lost. Off to the supermarket. :(
     
  13. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Bonnie.....thanks for the headsup on Knoxcellars....I did get through and they're sending a catalogue....kathrynlmv
     
  14. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Twind59...thanks for the headsup on Beekeeping for Dummies...somebody else told me I could get everything I needed on the beekeeping forum for this sight, but when I tuned in, I was completely lost with the jargon. I'm a little scared of bees.....the only other livestock :) I keep are worms, and they rarely sting.With all the talk about the Africans breeding with our honeybees, I thought it might take a real man to face a hive. Also, I'm disabled and poor, and would probably have to make a hive out of old tin cans or something. Thanks. kathrynlmv
     
  15. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    I love the sentiment about the neighbors.....I've actually contemplated getting chickens just to annoy the guy who keeps reporting me to the city for not having the branches short enough on the bushes bordering the alley. Kathy
     
  16. twind59

    twind59 Well-Known Member

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    Kathryn,
    Just for kicks...go to Beesource.com. The forums there are really good..I use it a lot when I need help. You might want to learn about "top bar hives". It's a little different from the norm, but may be easier to work and are seamingly much cheaper..especially since you can knock one together with just basic tools.(red.."inexpensive") There is a forum there about top bar hives. Please...go take a look. The forums are very active and the folks there are most helpful. Be well(and warm!)
    Barry
    Indianapolis