My name is Dr Margriet Dogterom and am the founder and owner of Beediverse. I write this blog for all who love bees and who want to learn more about these wonderful creatures.
Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen –
Peter Bernhardt, Ph.D., a professor of biology at SLU and research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney, New South Wales, has been studying reproductive patterns in wildflowers in six countries for more than 40 years and, like most dedicated scientists, thrives on new discoveries such as how bees respond to the color of the flowers they pollinate.
“Remember how you were told that a dark coat keeps you a little warmer on a cold but sunny day?” Bernhardt said. “Some plants blooming in chilly environments have dark purple or almost black patches on their flowers to keep cold-blooded insects toasty warm as they pollinate.”
Exerpt from ‘News from the world of bees’ 14 Jan 2017
Here is a valuable resource. Not does it describe the different groups of pollinators, but which plants are most favoured by bees. This is a great help if you want to make your garden suitable and attractive to bees. Some great photos too.
Resin bees nest in cavities using resin pitch from trees to close their nesting tunnels. When opening nests in the fall and you see small pupae between walls of resin, close up the nests and bees will emerge the following spring. If nests are empty proceed as noted by Kat B.
“Dear Dr. Dogterom,
Thank you for your response!
After some trial and error, I found the best way to clean the resin was with boiling hot water. I submerged the trays in the water and let them sit briefly to allow the resin to soften. I then scraped each channel clean using a small screw driver wrapped in cotton gauze. The material picked up the sticky mess and I adjusted the wrapping as I went so that I did not simply redistribute the mess. A very light residue remained, but was no longer tacky after cooling. Overall this process was very effective and fairly efficient – I had quite a few trays with resin, but was able to quickly clean them. I found it best to work with two trays at a time. Sincerely, Kat B. 🐝
I began searching for research articles from universities today. I was a little overwhelmed with the number and scope of great articles out there. The following articles will be in separate blog articles and links will be provided. I am excited to pass these on to people who might be interested in such diverse topics mostly related to bees. There is one about starting bumble bee nests. I was involved with rearing bumble bees in 1990’s and what fun it is….and about 10% of the time a queen caught in the wild in early spring will start a colony that can then be placed outside to grow her colony and pollinate plants around the garden. This is an exciting adventure for anyone interested and it will help the number of bumble bees out there and reproducing. Other articles are about identifying bee species and still others are articles about how to grow bee friendly gardens. All are an interesting read. Other articles deal with mason bees. Mason bees are of interest to gardeners and with the capabilities of producing mason bees in larger numbers, they will be able to be used for crop pollination. We will be learning in leaps and bounds about mason bees over the next 5-10 years. Already systems are being designed to harvest and clean cocoons by the 10’s of thousands. The cleaning of a large number of nests is another big issue that needs to be resolved before great expansion is possible with crop pollination. Do pass these articles on to others and spread the word about what is happening with bees. Dr Margriet
The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture has offered a free introductory WEBINAR course for beekeepers for a number of years now. Participants can be located anywhere – in the past they have been from the US, the Yukon, Ontario and as far east as Newfoundland as well as BC.
The purpose of offering the course for free is to address the serious problem of many novice beekeepers failing in the first few years. Many colonies go through a protracted period of decline, often in company of diseases and pests which are then subsequently spread to other beekeepers nearby. The original intent of the course was to offer educational opportunities to beekeepers who live in isolated locations in the province without ready access to such services. The fact that many participants are outside BC is not important. The “virtual classroom” has no enrollment limit so anyone interested in taking the course can do so.
• 4 sessions on Saturday mornings from 0900-1130 (Pacific Time). No practicum or field day.
• Especially suitable for people living outside the Fraser Valley.
• Unlimited class size. Reasonably up-to-date computer and access to high-speed internet recommended.
• No materials provided but prior to each session, participants receive an email with suggested reading and reference materials.
• Planned starting date: February 11, 2017
• Course is FREE.
Visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/apiculture for further details. Posted in the World of bees by Fran Bach