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One Bumblebee

Where I live in central Maine it’s been an unusual year.  We’ve had a slow start due to cold, but even so I haven’t seen more than one bumblebee in my garden.  Just one bumblebee, and no honeybees at all.  In some nearby woods a hole twenty feet up a tree had held an active hive of honeybees for years; this year the tree is quiet.

The effect isn’t hypothetical; a plum tree has put out and shed its flowers without showing any sign of fruit.  Blueberry bushes have flowered, too, but the blossoms appear untended.

Are the bees buzzing where you live?

5 comments to One Bumblebee

  • Fewer bees here in upstate New York. Some bumblebees. Only one or two honeybees seen. Some interesting wasps.

  • Steve Kemper

    Bees? Out here in the monoculture capital of the U.S. (corn), our beneficial insects,especially pollinators, .are disappearing. Hell of a thing when you have to pollinate your cucumber blossoms with an artist’s brush.

  • Mark

    I live in coastal SC. I did see a few honeybees last weekend buzzing around my rose bushes. But, I don’t think they’re enough to do the job. Last summer I planted tomato plants in my home vegetable garden. I had enriched the soil with manure beforehand and I got some really large plants with lots of flowers. But, no tomatoes. I’m not even bothering to plant this year. I’ve got some pumpkins that came up from seeds leftover from Halloween. We’ll see if they produce melons. I’m not very optimistic. I may have to use an artist’s brush like Steve suggests.

  • Bill

    Sorry to hear about your plum, Jim. A fruitless fruit tree is a very sad thing indeed.

    Here in the NC triangle region things still seem to be buzzing pretty good, I guess. We have some boxwood hedges that are highly seductive to bees when they bloom (even though their flowers are only the size of this ‘o’ and almost invisible). I’m eager to trim the boxwoods’ exuberant spring growth, but don’t want to interfere with the bees, so I’ve been keeping a close eye on ‘em. The boxwoods are, as always this time of year, just alive with honeybees. Carpenter bees are also having a gay old time drilling holes in my brand new barn like crazy…dang ‘em.

  • Dave

    Lots of Leaf Cutters here on the N. Florida coast, plenty of orange blossom and gallberry honey production, so there must be an adequate population of honey bees as well. Because this year’s spring flowers were pathetic the Bumble bees are scarce. Down here some years are just like that.

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