Old 07-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #41
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The problem w/ carpenter bees is that they like to burrow into wood. If you have wood siding on your home, it's not advisable to encourage their presence- they don't do any structural damage, but a lot of 1/4- 1/2" holes in your trim/soffits can be annoying.
Some sellers when creating fake antique furniture will try to include what looks like old carpenter bee tunnels in some of the wood pieces to lend it an illusion of authentical-ness. They use drills of course, which makes the ruse easy for the astute shopper to detect: drills can only create tunnels in straight lines, whereas carpenter bee tunnels are never straight.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:38 PM   #42
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Whee! That's exciting about the western bumblebee, Jen, thanks! After breakfast, I'm going to run outside with my camera to look at my bumblebees. We noticed that we have far more bumblebees this year than last year, and far more bumblebees than any other pollinator.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #43
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Our bumblebees:







I checked all the ones that were out today (strangely, lots of honeybees today! They love the Russian Sage - the blue stuff) and all the big bumblebees looked the same. I've also got some skinny waspy type things, some butterflies, and some mason bees.

I think that I have either:



or



Source page: http://www.bumblebee.org/NorthAmerica.htm
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:09 PM   #44
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Totally not my fault
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:45 PM   #45
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Poor animals...
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:28 PM   #46
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I love the part where it says the bees are being tested to see if they are Africanized. Hello, if they aren't then shit just got real because now there is something else that can cause that kind of behavior.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:26 PM   #47
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Christ, that must have been terrifying.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #48
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Cody, how do carpenter bees stand up to Africanized honey bees? And chance of using them as "protection"?
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #49
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Cody, how do carpenter bees stand up to Africanized honey bees? And chance of using them as "protection"?
Nupe; I'm afraid when it comes to humans, carpenters bees have a very live-and-let-live attitude; they will usually not mess with people at all. You have to practically grab one out of the air to get it to sting you. They also tend to live in very small communities; so although their stings are bigger and...hotter...than a single Africanized bee sting, carpenter bees will never have the numbers to present the same kind of threat to you.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #50
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Nupe; I'm afraid when it comes to humans, carpenters bees have a very live-and-let-live attitude; they will usually not mess with people at all. You have to practically grab one out of the air to get it to sting you. They also tend to live in very small communities; so although their stings are bigger and...hotter...than a single Africanized bee sting, carpenter bees will never have the numbers to present the same kind of threat to you.
What I meant was would their presence help keep Africanized honey bees away or do they just ignore each other?
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:48 AM   #51
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What I meant was would their presence help keep Africanized honey bees away or do they just ignore each other?
Oh! Sorry, I misunderstood.

They will ignore each other. Carpenter bees (and honey bees) will attack wasps because wasps are predatory carnivores and a threat to the bees' larvae. Honey bees never present that kind of threat to carpenter bees, Africanized or not.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #52
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I think I might have fewer yellowjackets this year because our neighbor put up bird houses, and has nesting families there.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #53
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So Dakota, I have a question.

Yesterday was sunny and warm, and I had hundreds of bees in my flowers, both bumble and honey. Today is cool and cloudy, and there's not a single bee anywhere. I was going to take a pic today of a second bumblebee species that I spotted yesterday, but there's no one around.

What gives? Is it true that bees navigate by the sun?
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:56 PM   #54
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So Dakota, I have a question.

Yesterday was sunny and warm, and I had hundreds of bees in my flowers, both bumble and honey. Today is cool and cloudy, and there's not a single bee anywhere. I was going to take a pic today of a second bumblebee species that I spotted yesterday, but there's no one around.

What gives? Is it true that bees navigate by the sun?
Yes! Honey bees in addition to their two big compound eyes, have three tiny eyes called "ocelli" on the tops of their heads; they are simple eyes designed to detect light and the position of the sun.

As long as sunlight is getting through the clouds, bees can still navigate - even on very cloudy days; so that by itself won't keep them away. But, if the weather conditions suggest to the bees approaching rain rather than just cloudiness, they will tend to stay home until the conditions change. And all insects tend to be less active when it is cooler.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:07 AM   #55
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Bees loves lavendel too, if you have enough sun you may grow it.
And one more thing in honey we have fast 20% water and more as 50% in the honey cake it will be good if you put near the hive a bowl with mineral water with a lot of calcium, it is better as the swimming pool of your neighbor full of chloride, nobody told me that but it could be wise to do it and changing the bowl every 2 days.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:37 AM   #56
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Very cool question/answer, Dakota & Oryx, I didn't know that about them.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:15 AM   #57
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It is neat! In fact, the sun figures into one of the most famous ways bees communicate, the waggle dance:



They use this dance to tell each other where good sources of food or other resources can be found. During the dance, on the vertical comb surface "straight up" represents the (horizontal) direction of the sun from the hive at that moment. The angle at which the bee moves during the waggle portion of the dance, shows the azimuth relative to the sun that bees will have to fly from the hive to get to the advertised food source. So in that photo above, the bee is telling her sisters to fly about 40 degrees or so to the right of the sun to get to what she found.

If you ever get a chance to watch through the glass of an observation hive various times during the day, and there's a very good, strong food source that they're advertising all day, you can actually see the angle of the dances change as the sun moves across the sky.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:51 PM   #58
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<3 <3 <3

I LOVE that kind of stuff, thank you!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #59
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A poor bumbler's navigation must have been off as he landed in my dish water as I was doing dishes today. I gently scooped him (her) and placed him outside on one of the flowers in the sun. He flew off shortly and I smiled till I remembered I'm highly allergic. >.<

I can't say any of my stings have come from bees. Almost all that I remember were from nasty aggressive yellow jackets.

Ironically this was in my Youtube feed this morning and was a good watch.

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Old 08-05-2013, 10:41 PM   #60
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Can you read the bee dance, Cody, if you see it in your hives?
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:50 AM   #61
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Do you mean could I interpret it if I saw it? Yup! I've done it a few times before. Anyone can - it's easy!

But I would never get the chance to in one of my own hives; opening them up sort of stirs things up a bit and one of the things bees just don't do in that situation is their dance communication - they're too busy doing other things at that point - like panicking, crowding the larvae, and watching you like a legion of tiny hawks.

In order to see the dances, you need an observation hive - that is, one with a glass wall (or walls) that lets you have a look in on the normal undisturbed operation of the hive. But assuming you've got such a hive available, then yes, you can watch the dances and then go and find the food source they're discussing for yourself, if you know how to read them right.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:59 AM   #62
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Have you done it, then?
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #63
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Yes; every year at the Lorain County Fair, the beekeeping barn has two tall obs hives - one on either side of the entrance - with which you can do things like look for the queen, see what drones look like, watch new adults hatch (etc, etc). You can also see the dances; and I've followed them and found bees foraging at the indicated locations. Usually it is a patch of weeds near the edge of the fairgrounds; one time a beekeeper tried an experiment and left a few extracted (but still wet) honey frames atop a plastic bag sitting on his car hood in the parking lot. It took about two and a half hours for the bees to find; but they did, and practically sang about it - the dance was very urgent-looking. Another time the dance pointed at a leaky almost-empty bag of cola syrup that a food vendor had left outside his food-trailer-thing, which the bees were happily cleaning up for him.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #64
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Have people tried talking bee dance language to bees?
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #65
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Interestingly enough, YES! It took several attempts; because you see, the dance is a bit more complicated than merely the physical movements of the bee, there's some sound involved as well. But once we sussed that out, yes, we've been able to use tiny bee-shaped machines to mimic the dance, and it works - the bees follow the "map" we give them.

There's an interesting (tiny bit lengthy, so make sure you have time) article about the process that led to this feat here.

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Each experimental session typically lasted for three hours. First Michelsen and Kirchner scented the model and itssamples of sugar water with a faint fioral fragrance, then placed baits in the field that gave off trace amounts of the same odor. At each of the baits, an observer recorded the approach of searching bees. The results showed repeatedly that the mechanical dancer could indeed recruit live bees. Most of the bees invariably went to the bait in the direction indicated by the model's dance steps.
Is that cool or what?
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #66
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Very cool!
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:11 PM   #67
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Interestingly enough, YES! It took several attempts; because you see, the dance is a bit more complicated than merely the physical movements of the bee, there's some sound involved as well. But once we sussed that out, yes, we've been able to use tiny bee-shaped machines to mimic the dance, and it works - the bees follow the "map" we give them.

There's an interesting (tiny bit lengthy, so make sure you have time) article about the process that led to this feat here.



Is that cool or what?
Is that what they were doing at Burning Man? I thought it was the LSD : shrug:
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:56 AM   #68
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Interestingly enough, YES! It took several attempts; because you see, the dance is a bit more complicated than merely the physical movements of the bee, there's some sound involved as well. But once we sussed that out, yes, we've been able to use tiny bee-shaped machines to mimic the dance, and it works - the bees follow the "map" we give them.

There's an interesting (tiny bit lengthy, so make sure you have time) article about the process that led to this feat here.



Is that cool or what?
I can only imagine this going on inside those hives...

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #69
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/23631206

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A boom in urban beekeeping could be doing the insects more harm than good, say scientists. Experts warn that dense populations of the bees in areas with few feeding plants adds more pressure to the troubled species. Honeybee declines have been linked to a lack of suitable habitat so increasing the number of London's hives could exacerbate problems.

They urge nature lovers to plant more flowers rather than adding new hives. The advice of Professor Francis Ratnieks and Dr Karin Alton, from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex is reported in the Society of Biology's magazine The Biologist.

Last year's bad weather caused dramatic losses of 33.8% of Britain's honeybee colonies over the winter. But scientists are yet to agree on what is responsible for the continuing declines of honeybee populations. Charities and conservationists have been championing beekeeping in response to the statistics. The latest figures from the UK's National Bee Unit show the number of hives in London has more than doubled since 2008 to a total of 3745. In the capital there are now 10 hives per square km, compared with 1 per square km in England as a whole.

Rooftop hives in the city have become increasingly popular as symbols of a company's 'green' credentials or as team-building exercises. But scientists warn that inexperienced beekeepers could be risking the health of their wards. "If there are too many colonies in an area, then the food supply will be insufficient. This will mean that colonies do not thrive, and may also affect other species that also visit flowers," explained Prof Ratnieks.

"A high density of colonies kept by novice beekeepers may also provide conditions under which the harmful contagious honeybee disease American foulbrood can spread. This disease is rare in Britain, but epidemics can break out... When a hive is infected with AFB it must be burned."

According to Dr Alton, each new hive in London would need 1 hectare (0.01 square km) of the herb borage to support its honeybees. Instead, she advised nature lovers to plant wildflowers where they have space to relieve the pressure on city bees.
I can't imagine MORE bees on my front garden. That really would overburden the system.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:18 PM   #70
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What we need is more Russian Sage. That stuff is the biggest bee magnet I've ever seen! We have about five in the front yard and it's absolutely crawling with bees. Plus, it's kind of pretty.

The big thing here seems to be Mason Bees, which, of course, do not give us any honey, but which are pretty docile. As near as I can tell, though, honey bees are pretty docile as well, so the only advantage I can see to mason bees is they are virtually maintenance free and they don't freak out the neighbors (assuming you have ignorant neighbors who would freak out over a regular bee hive).
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #71
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Mason bees, pshaw. Bumblebees are much cooler.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:34 PM   #72
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the waggle dance:



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Old 08-13-2013, 12:12 AM   #73
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I don't need to watch that, Tex; the freeze-frame pic says it all. In fact, too much.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #74
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Govi, I am often credited with providing entertaining images and videos targeted towards the male members of the board. However, I have been grossly remiss in not including content for the women of the board as well. It is my semi-sincere hope that this video restores some balance.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #75
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Mason bees, pshaw. Bumblebees are much cooler.
Bumble bees are cool for all kinds of reasons!
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:53 AM   #76
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Honey from weeds

Warning: Allegory ahead

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CBS News) CHICAGO -- When you're convicted of a crime in this country, your chances of future employment are cut in half. Amir Futrell knows that first hand

Futrell served six years for selling cocaine; when he got out of prison, he had two kids to support and no job prospects.

"I didn't want to revert to what brought me into the penitentiary, so I was looking for a new way," he said. "You have to try something different and this was it."

Futrell found Brenda Palms Barber and her bees. She hires former inmates and turns them into beekeepers.

"These are people who had served time for crimes but could not get back into the labor market because of their backgrounds," she said.

Palms Barber helps them gain work experience so they can start building a resume, as she builds an unlikely business on the mean streets of Chicago.

"There are lots of weeds on the West Side and there are weeds that produce nectar," she said. "In fact they produce some beautiful delicious honey as well."

There's a metaphor in there, somewhere.

"It isn't about what we see as a flower or a weed, it's just drawing the good out of that plant source and transforming it into something that is sweet and good," said Palms Barber.

In 2005, Sweet Beginnings began with $140,000 in seed money from the Illinois Department of Corrections. It now sells honey and skincare products under the name of Bee Love in supermarkets, hotels and airports. The company expects sales of $300,000 this year.

But Palms Barber measures success differently. Nationally, 40 percent of inmates return to prison. Only 4 percent of her workers do.

"It makes me feel great, makes me feel like a good father, a good person," said Futrell.

Barber said the program only gives the former inmates a push to get their life on track.

"The thing is they have the wings, they just need the support so they can take flight."

It's a business model that Brenda Palms Barber hopes to pollinate across the country.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #77
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #78
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She needs to cover her mouth.
Heathen.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #79
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He said "allegory", not "allergy".
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oryx Tempel View Post
He said "allegory", not "allergy".
Opps
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