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Bees like my cotoneaster

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stewamax
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Bees like my cotoneaster

#221609

Postby stewamax » May 14th, 2019, 4:35 pm

While some other plants in the garden look pollen-filled and inviting, bees here ignore them and are absolutely besotted by my stretch of cotoneaster. But when I have a closer look, the latter is still a collection of small round red buds with nothing particularly inviting. Bees can obviously see/smell/sense something known only to them; perhaps cotoneaster is a lighthouse of ultraviolet light...

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221639

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 14th, 2019, 5:54 pm

stewamax wrote:While some other plants in the garden look pollen-filled and inviting, bees here ignore them and are absolutely besotted by my stretch of cotoneaster. But when I have a closer look, the latter is still a collection of small round red buds with nothing particularly inviting. Bees can obviously see/smell/sense something known only to them; perhaps cotoneaster is a lighthouse of ultraviolet light...


Bumblebees rather than honeybees I would guess, not all pollen is equal as a foodstuff for bees which may explain their preference for Cotoneaster. Some information here:

https://www.conservationevidence.com/in ... study/1584

RC

stewamax
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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221743

Postby stewamax » May 15th, 2019, 10:24 am

Both - but mainly bumbles.
The sad bit is that I already had needed to remove large swathes of the cotoneaster because of fireblight*, and if the remaining stretch doesn't perk up it will have to go as well to protect my apple trees and 60m of hawthorn hedge.

* - tried treating with Jeyes fluid and with benzalkonium chloride - a waste of time!

kiloran
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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221831

Postby kiloran » May 15th, 2019, 3:32 pm

I have some Cotoneaster but the bees don't seem to be particularly fussed by it. However, they have taken a great liking to a blue tit nesting box. It's been there for 20 years or more and this is the first year they've taken it over. It's near a garden shed so I have to be a bit wary when going to get my mower.

--kiloran

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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221841

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 15th, 2019, 4:52 pm

kiloran wrote:I have some Cotoneaster but the bees don't seem to be particularly fussed by it. However, they have taken a great liking to a blue tit nesting box. It's been there for 20 years or more and this is the first year they've taken it over. It's near a garden shed so I have to be a bit wary when going to get my mower.

--kiloran

Curious to know... Do they appear to be honeybees? Roughly when did they inhabit the nesting box? It's early - but not impossibly so - for it to be a swarm. If so, you might consider giving your local beekeepers' associations a call, assuming you have one in the area.

RC

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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221846

Postby kiloran » May 15th, 2019, 5:03 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:
kiloran wrote:I have some Cotoneaster but the bees don't seem to be particularly fussed by it. However, they have taken a great liking to a blue tit nesting box. It's been there for 20 years or more and this is the first year they've taken it over. It's near a garden shed so I have to be a bit wary when going to get my mower.

--kiloran

Curious to know... Do they appear to be honeybees? Roughly when did they inhabit the nesting box? It's early - but not impossibly so - for it to be a swarm. If so, you might consider giving your local beekeepers' associations a call, assuming you have one in the area.

RC

I'm no bee expert, but I would guess they are honey bees. They're constantly on the move so hard to identify. I would guess they started using the nesting box about a week ago. I last got the mower out 2 weeks ago and I don't remember seeing them then. They are about 30m from any house and no kids in nearby gardens so I'm not too fussed about them. Happy to leave them bee :D

--kiloran

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Re: Bees like my cotoneaster

#221858

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 15th, 2019, 5:46 pm

kiloran wrote:I'm no bee expert, but I would guess they are honey bees. They're constantly on the move so hard to identify. I would guess they started using the nesting box about a week ago. I last got the mower out 2 weeks ago and I don't remember seeing them then. They are about 30m from any house and no kids in nearby gardens so I'm not too fussed about them. Happy to leave them bee :D

--kiloran

Thanks. If they are constantly flying in and out and only there a week then it's a pretty good bet you have a swarm of honeybees. If you're happy to Let It Bee then you may have them semi-permanently. I hope they survive because it will in small measure aid the development of bees that can thrive without treatment for the Varroa mite which has been such a problem.

RC


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