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addy1

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Someone must have put a hive or two near you! In the spring summer they have tons of places to look for food. Right now there is nothing and they sure are looking.

Will do on the hummingbird feeders! I never saw this many bees all summer.
Put it where you don't mind a cloud of bees, as soon as they discover it they will be all over it.
Put a bit of lemon juice and vinegar in the water, they love that, like a tablespoon or so.
 

addy1

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I use both, they love lemon grass oil, it does not mix well with the sugar water. I use it in the sugar blocks I make for them. The lemon gives it a slight smell, the vinegar and lemon juice combined drops the ph. If you are using a quart put in a few teaspoons of each.
 
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We have wild honeybees, in a tree that’s hollow. I’ve seen them swarm a few times. I hope this winter hasn’t hurt them. I’ll be putting out sugar water for them when I see them moving, water for them, etc. I’ve fished more than a few out of the dog water, my pool. Having the big mats of floating bog iris in the pool has helped save some.
 

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I put out the sugar water. They ignored it! All they seem to want is the bird seed. It's amazing how much seed they are kicking out if the feeders
 

addy1

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I put out the sugar water. They ignored it! All they seem to want is the bird seed. It's amazing how much seed they are kicking out if the feeders
They must be well fed. Also if the sugar water is too cold they won't eat it, didn't think of that. Mine just get sugar blocks put into the hive.

The queen is starting to lay brood for the spring build up. The brood is fed from bee bread which is pollen. They are searching for pollen. The red maple and other maples are one of the early pollen sources, a lot of times we are too cold here for them to gather it. Dandelions are their favorite food when they start blooming.

We are too still too cold for them to be in serious pollen gathering. But our queens are starting to brood up also. I will put out some pollen for them to gather if they wish.

Do not buy pollen and put it out, it can carry AFB (american foul brood) if a hive gets it you have to burn your equipment. My bees never get anything that did not come from them. The pollen I put out is a substitute which I buy from a bee vendor.
 

addy1

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oh my! At least the birds can eat it off the ground!
Hope your maples start blooming!

I have bird feeders up, the bees totally ignore them. And the feeders are maybe 50 feet from the hives! But they are inhaling some sugar mix I put out for them. All over the ponds, once some water showed up again. They drink a lot of water.
We already had to add more sugar blocks to the hives. I put on around 8 lbs per hive in November.
 
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Could you give them some of their honey back from a previous harvest? Or honey from another hive, that you know is safe? No pesticides, etc. I’d like to help the wild bees we have, just not sure if honey from some other bees is safe.
 

addy1

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Could you give them some of their honey back from a previous harvest? Or honey from another hive, that you know is safe? No pesticides, etc. I’d like to help the wild bees we have, just not sure if honey from some other bees is safe.
I give them back their own honey, they clean the buckets tools we use when harvesting honey. But if you give them any honey without knowing if the hive you got it from is AFB free, you will be killing the hive. There is a cure, sort of, ow the beekeep needs to burn the hive, bees, wood, frames, wax to keep it from spreading.
The spores live in wax and in honey, store bought honey can carry it. And a lot of times does.

You are safer mixing up sugar water. Unless you buy honey from a beekeep you know has healthy hives. Pesticides in the honey won't be the killer. Usually pesticides kill the bees before they bring honey back to the hives.

We are inspected for AFB and if you suspect you have it they will come immediately to check your hive.
 
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Good info. What is AFB? I presume it’s not the bank( armed forces bank) lol, but apiary something else? We were discussing setting up a hive, and it’s worth doing once I get all the landscaping done. Or at least a big part of it! I like the idea of having my own honey, seeing what plants impact the flavor, wax for candles, and occasional stings to fight the start of arthritis in my hands. I’ll take a sting or two!
 

addy1

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American Foul Brood there is also European Foul Brood
http://utahcountybeekeepers.org/Other Files/Information Articles/AFB UK Article.pdf

It is one nasty disease that scares the pants off of bee keeps. One reason you don't buy old equipment unless you inspect the live bees in the hives and you know the beekeeper to be honest. Stuff stored in a shed, garage that someone has not used for years, but just says their bees died could be infected.

They do train dogs to sniff out the disease.

If you want to get into bee keeping, always have at least two hives, you can save one hive with the other. And go to a class and expect to spend some bucks to get going. And they take time. During prime season, here we start inspecting in Feb/March dependent on the temperature and we go into the hives every 7 days, adjusting to keep from swarming inspecting for issues, checking queen right. It finally slows down in July, then you inspect a bit less, but need to feed, treat for mites etc.

Dear hubby wanted more hives than I wanted and it is almost a full time job.............
 
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My dads younger brother is a big time bee keeper. He takes his hives from Texas to like North Dakota in summer to pollinate fields, it’s his full time job. I’m not sure we will get into bees or not, with a wild hive, I worry if I brought in two hives it would be too hard for them to all gather enough food. Fields out here are mostly soybean and corn, so our 10 acres would need lots of bee friendly plants to support that many. As for a hive, I saw one that you turn a tap to gather honey, I know it’s expensive, but thought it might work out. I don’t eat a lot of honey, I use it more for cooking on rare occasion, in home made cough syrup, and to treat burns, minor injuries, and injuries on animals. A quart jar lasts almost all year.
 
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I’d like to plant flowers for the bees, aside from clover, do you have good suggestions? We have wild clover, dandelion, tulips, grape hyacinth, tiger Lillie’s, iris, I’ll be putting in a garden which part will be herbs, for flowering trees we have a maple, redbud, Apple, pear, mulberry, I’ve got a Jane magnolia, and we have pecan trees. Not sure if the maple and pecans flower much, but they must to make seeds. I saw you say mint?
 

addy1

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Here is one list
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Northern_American_nectar_sources_for_honey_bees

Yellow sweet clover is a good one.
Mint is a great one for late season, i.e. September the mountain mints are not as invasive as the water mints.
I let them grow where they want to the bees inhale the nectar.

Wingstem blooms from July to October, honeybees visit and also all the other bees that we need around.
https://virginiawildflowers.org/2015/08/09/wingstem/

Look at the ones that say major. Also shop here

I use the bee flower mixtures also plant late blooming seeds since our main nectar flow in over in June.

http://www.applewoodseed.com/product/bee-feed-mixture-2/#results

http://www.applewoodseed.com/?s=bees&post_type=product#results

https://www.americanmeadows.com/search/go?w=bees
 

addy1

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I saw one that you turn a tap to gather honey, I know it’s expensive, but thought it might work out
They work. The company makes it sound like you don't do much but turn a tap, but you still need to inspect treat etc.

Also the crazy bees sometimes put pollen in the cells which freezes them up. A club member has both, he says he would not convert to them, actually more work than a normal hive.
 
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Ok, so I’ll just go for a regular hive if we do get one. Thank you for the flower list. I could plant mint out here, it just might out compete the Johnson grass, I love the scent, and if it spreads, well the more the merrier. Might become a mint farmer, lol
 

addy1

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I love mint, it grows out into the yard, what a great smell when you mow it!
 
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Mint is one of the few plants I’ve grown with out killing! I vary much like plant em and forget em kinds of things, I’ll go mow, weed, and plant things, but if they require a lot of frequent attention, chances are they’ll die here. I’m good with animals, but not plants.
 

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