Heather Ward wrote:Hi all, I have a question about bees. I want to have a hive, but I do not eat any honey (or other sugars) and I am interested in pollination and the pure pleasure of watching the bees. I would like to interfere with them as little as possible. If I get a Warre hive, what is the minimum that I can safely do in the way of opening the hive/handling and interfering with the bees?
Heather Ward wrote:Chris Edwards, I greatly appreciate your suggestion regarding bumblebees. I wasn't even aware that they could be purchased, and they would be perfect since they do well in the wild in my area. (I have had poor luck with mason bees, for whatever reason.) I will set about establishing bumbles in my yard. Thanks!
I remain interested in more natural beekeeping, since it seems to me that cracking open hives regularly is pretty unnatural, but since I don't need honey I will leave that to people more expert with bees.
Heather Ward wrote:I........... Any thoughts, and are they good pollinators?
Gregory T. Russian wrote:This is what you really need - a bug sanctuary.
David Livingston wrote:depends on what you define as work Gregory. It works for me I only have one hive in each orchard plus I have lots of bumbles mason bees etc
Anne Miller wrote:If you are only interested in watching bees at work, why not plant a Bee Garden. We had many bees and bumble bees this summer on the blue sage that I planted in my Monarch Garden. I even saw a bee that was a iridescent green.
Heather Ward wrote:I want to have a hive, but I do not eat any honey (or other sugars) and I am interested in pollination and the pure pleasure of watching the bees. I would like to interfere with them as little as possible. If I get a Warre hive, what is the minimum that I can safely do in the way of opening the hive/handling and interfering with the bees?
Gregory T. Russian wrote:
Honeybees are looking for large pastures of nectar/pollen source of mostly the same variety where their efforts will be worth the effort and efficient.
They are not interested much in small, mixed type "bee gardens" as this is not efficient for the large bee colony efforts.
Think of a big business organization that will not be pursuing any small project to do - they will spend more resources then the payback they will receive back.
The honey bees run just like big business - they are looking for big projects.
They will ignore a small project next to the hive and will instead fly 1-2 miles en mass to a big project (as an example).
This is all misguided idealistic idea that honey bees must be there to pollinate a couple of apple trees that you planted.
Not so at all.
The solitary bees/bumble bees WILL take advantage of the "bee gardens" on the other hand because they are "small operators" and much more local and don't fly too far from their nesting site.