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A honeybee tusseled in my garden

 
master pollinator
Posts: 3059
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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I was walking along, minding my own business, when I saw a squash blossom bouncing around. I slowed, and peeked inside. No, not a Bumble. I came to a full stop, what is that?

A honey bee was attacking somebody inside the squash blossom. She was stomping around on the back of a narrow long black bug. Maybe a lightning bug? After winning the fight, Honeybee swaggered back into the blossom to gather up some pollen, while the antagonist flew away.

I wish the camera had been with me.

I think I read somewhere that while honeybees die after stinging a mammal, they can sting insects over and over and over... Is that true?
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2007
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Apparently it is true.

Here's an interesting article. bee stings
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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I've seen them take on assassin bugs. Link to the image doesn't work. I'm finally getting a bunch of them around the garden. Now I just need something for the japanese beetles, they are terrible this year, hardly any last year...
 
Mike Barkley
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The link seems fine from here. Try again?

here's the relevant part ...

Honeybees: The female workers have a barbed stinger and when they sting you they do die (the barbed stingers are only found on the worker bees). Female queens also have stingers, but these are not barbed so they could sting you more then once. "It is presumed that this complex apparatus (the stinger/venom sac), including the barbs on the sting, evolved specifically in response to predation by vertebrates, as the barbs do not usually function and the sting apparatus does not detach unless the sting is embedded in fleshy tissue. While the sting can also penetrate the flexible exoskeletal joints in appendages of other insects"...it does not detach, so the honeybee worker does not die.

 
steward
Posts: 5394
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
2030
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At my place, the bees most commonly found in squash flowers are "squash bees", and not "honey bees".  I wonder if squash bees have stingers, and how they compare to honey bee stingers?
 
gardener
Posts: 986
Location: Western Washington
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
At my place, the bees most commonly found in squash flowers are "squash bees", and not "honey bees".  I wonder if squash bees have stingers, and how they compare to honey bee stingers?



I'm not sure. Around here I've heard of squash bees, but I've only ever seen honeybees and bumblebees pollinating squash. But squash bees are supposed to be small, right? Maybe I missed them
 
pollinator
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Location: Western central Illinois, Zone 6a
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Tj Jefferson wrote:...Now I just need something for the japanese beetles, they are terrible this year, hardly any last year...



That sounds strange to me because we had them so bad last year, and this year I hadn't seen any until last night. Just a few on some willows by the creek and a few more on the peach tree near our house. I'm hoping to get a trap set with a pipe that makes them fall into the chicken coop. I've heard if you present them to chickens on a plate that they will eat them.
If you find another way to deal with them let me know.
 
Mike Barkley
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I rarely see honeybees on squash. I see the squash bees constantly. They appear to be a small type of bumblebee.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
2030
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James Landreth wrote:Around here I've heard of squash bees, but I've only ever seen honeybees and bumblebees pollinating squash. But squash bees are supposed to be small, right? Maybe I missed them



At my place, squash bees are somewhat smaller than honeybees, but the difference is superficial enough that I might not notice unless I looked specifically to see which species it is.
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