Where are the bees?

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abax

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For some years now I've been adding perennials for bees in my garden. This year there
seems to be a total absence of bees in my perennial beds. This is unusual as I have
two bee keepers relatively close to my home. I'm quite puzzled and upset because my
veggie garden isn't being pollinated either. Has anyone else in the general area of zone
6b noticed?
 

eds

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I don't live that side of the Atlantic but the loss of flying insects around here is frankly scary.

As a child (only 40 years ago!), my dad's car always used to be covered in dead insects after every summer journey.
Today, there are the odd one or two even after a long journey.

No wonder our that the animals that eat them are in such trouble.
 

mrhappyrotter

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This hasn't been an issue in my area. I've got bees and wasps swarming my garden, but maybe that's due to the drought we'd been having that's left fewer wildflowers for them to feed on. I don't worry too much about honeybees, but it's always a delight seeing native, non-invasive bee species. Also, keep in mind that bees aren't the only pollinators out there. I see lots of flower flies (aka hover flies) of various shapes and sizes that frequent vegetable flowers, as well as ants beetles, and other insects.

The weather has been weird for sure. We had a late frost in May, which is almost unheard of in this area. Then we went from mid-June to last week with no rain. I have noticed some strange things, like the fact that there were no cicadas until the very end of June, when normally those are out by the end of May or the first week of June. Additionally, some things like tomatoes haven't been very productive this year for really anybody in my area that I've talked to. I don't think it has anything to do with a lack of pollinators, since there are plenty of bumblebees and other pollinators as far as I can tell based on their presence on other plants, but perhaps it has more to do with the weather. The heat and lack of rain made it nearly impossible to keep things adequately watered, and it's been so hot for so long that I think it affects fruiting or flowering in at least some tomato varieties.
 

Ray

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We have a bunch of spiderwort in our back yard and the honey bees were all over them this spring. I've certainly seen more here than I ever did in PA.
 

orchid527

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I live in a rural area and have a crappy 3/4 acre yard. In the spring it is full of dandelions and in the summer it is full of clover. I nearly always see a bumble bee or two when I mow, but I rarely see a honey bee. My guess is the ratio is at least 50:1. It has been like this for the 10 years we have lived here. I do see a lot of butterflies and wildlife, but not many honey bees. Eons ago, when I was a child, it seemed like there were so many honey bees that you had to watch where you stepped when you were bare footed. Mike
 

abax

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I do see other pollinators, but the absence of honey bees is very
worrying to me. I agree that this summer has been unusual in that
it's been very hot and dry and then too much hard rain that runs off
rather than soaking in because the soil is so hard. Our local agricultural
agent has suggested making nesting places for mason bees. I donno.
 

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