20, 2003 04:35 PDT
recently came across a brief article in an agricultural
newspaper extolling the benefit of bumblebees. Honeybees have
attack by a parasitic mite. This has significantly reduced the
colonies and apparently has reduced wild bee colonies as well. Bumblebees
have helped fill in the pollination gap.
of my summer jobs back in 1967 was with a local beekeeper.
It was quite a remarkable experience. One of my first encounters
into a bee yard when basswood was in bloom. You got the
impression that the
various colonies were in a contest to see which one could
produce the most
output. When bees are this busy you can work them with a minimum
Basswood honey is also very light. Pulling up frames laden with
crystal honey left such an impression on me that I have
requested to have a
basswood tree planted over my grave in my will.
play a significant role in the pollination of
commercial fruit orchards. My question for the list is this: are
forest trees that have been affected by the demise of the
population? Also, for those of you that climb trees, have you
encounters up in the canopy?
Newark Valley, NY
Bees and Trees
20, 2003 07:05 PDT
Ed and Bob:
In MN we only have two major tree species that are bee
basswood and black cherry. Since the honeybee is not native in
America, I assume that basswood and cherry trees are able to get
bumblebees as pollinators, since that must have been the case
of years before we brought European honeybees over here.
is not very aerodynamic like the other tree species that are
pollinated. Without the aid of a bee, it falls straight down to
It is attractive pollen under the microscope, since it looks
like a flying
saucer from one of those 1950s outer space movies, even though it
There are a lot more bee pollinated trees down south (in MN we
south as 43 degrees latitude or less), and I don't know a lot
pollination ecology. These would include magnolias, locusts,
flowering dogwood, redbud, tuliptree, etc.
Bees and Trees
20, 2003 20:01 PDT
In the forests of West Virginia we have several tree species
that honey bees
will work hard.
Yellow poplar flowers are large and can be flowerings like we
had this year
can be intense enough to give the canopy of stands a yellowish
Many people in Appalachia place their bee stands in the woods to
with the flowering of both yellow poplar and basswood.
The basswood flowers are small, but extremely fragrant and the
hum of bees
working a full bloom basswood can easily be heard from more than
100 feet away
from the base of the tree.
The honey produced by basswood has a distinctly different taste
from that of
poplar honey and the variation in the color of the honey from
tree species can be significant.
Serious bee keepers will try to prevent their bees from making
honey when the
oaks are flowering.
Since the arrival of the mites, my encounters with wild honey
dropped from a weekly experience to now, not at all.
There seem to plenty of native pollinators to pick up the slack
still get lots of seed and mast.
Bees and Trees
21, 2003 03:54 PDT
From the time you first noticed the decline in honey bee
you saw them no more was what kind of time period?
Bees and Trees
21, 2003 04:27 PDT
It took only two or three years for the mites to pretty much
wipe out the
wild honey bees. At Crummies Creek, we had at least one bee tree
for every 100
acres of forest with the locations of many individual bee trees
known by local residents who would often cut down the trees for
the bees inside
if the trees died.
We once had a very tall, 46" DBH buckeye that fell down in
a windstorm that
had housed wild bees for the living memory of neighbors in their
I don't think we ever had a lot of serious competition between
honey bees and
other native wildlife.......if there is one thing we seem to
have plenty of
in WV it is hollow trees and cavities.
17, 2006 04:51 PDT
I don't have
much new to add to the discussion, but in a recent visit to
Barnes & Noble I was surprised at the number of new books
that have been published regarding honey bees and honey.
I have also read
that because of the parasitic mite and cheap honey from other
countries, the number of colonies in this country is way down.
This has led many farmers whose crops depend on honey bee
pollination to pay more money to have bees brought in. Honey
bees are now much less common in my part of New York State.