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  •  ...I'll add to your anecdotal observations... (7+ / 0-)

    ...yes, we too noticed a huge decrease in honey bees this year (and we do pay attention!) It is concerning. Many of the wild bees seem to be doing OK, however.

    I don't know yet about our fruit trees and pollination. It looks like the early bloomers like the apricots may not have had enough bees to do the job...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:28:31 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  don't wild bees pollinate? (7+ / 0-)

      Now I need to pay more attention to figure out what kind of bees i am seeing!

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:40:40 AM PDT

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    •  Sounds like buzzing electrical wires (5+ / 0-)

      with all the Palo Verde trees in full bloom.

      I think it was 2 years ago or maybe 3 that there weren't any buzzing bees, but they're out in full force now and it's a tad disconcerting since we're told to consider all bees the killer kind.

      Here's a Wiki cool link  with a moving image tracking the Africanized bee moving patterns

      All we need is LOVE!

      by arizonablue on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:03:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, be careful (4+ / 0-)

        Sheesh, the SouthWest seems to be being overtaken by Africanized honey bees. I've heard rare reports of them in Central California - too close. They certainly do seem to be on the march.

        If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

        by Darryl House on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

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        •  They've been here awhile (4+ / 0-)

          since the 90s.

          Had a hive in the wash by our house, but fortunately for us, the hive was on the neighbor's property.
          Back when Mr.AzBlue worked and we'd click on the patio lights in the early morning to walk our first doggy, bees used to flock to the lights and we found that quite odd.
          Never seen bees buzz lights in the dark.
          Also, they used to swarm around my husband when he was barbecuing.
          Then those neighbors brought in workers to build a fancy fence around their backyard and we saw the bees swarm them.
          They fled and the neighbors called the fire department and they came and sprayed foam on the nest but that didn't stop them, just made them angry.
          They finally resorted to an actual bee-guy who was in full cover from head to toe and we watched the bees swarm that guy while he smoked the hive.
          That was something to see.

          Then, not too long ago, the neighbors down the street had company and they left for the day and when they came home, the guy opened the front door and heard the BZZZZZZZ and closed the door and said "Bees"
          He had a dickens of a time finding someone to come out since the bees were inside the house.
          They finally got a person to come out and I think it was estimated that over 16,000 bees were in their living room.
          They came in through the fireplace and they had their flue closed!
          Cost them a pretty penny since the bees left ash everywhere on their walls, rugs and furniture due to the flapping wings.
          Their insurance declared it an 'Act of God' and refused to cover expenses.
          They were told to keep their drapes pulled at night since it was the light attracting them and the queen came in and her worker colony followed.

          They like water meter boxes, too.
          Friends of ours a few miles away had them there, and they estimated over 60,000 bees.
          Funny thing for them, was that the water company wasn't reading their meter but estimating their bills and had they notified them sooner about the problem, it could've saved a lot of headache.

          It's kind of cool watching a huge ball of bees float down the street, but not when we're outside walking.
          We run when we hear them and give them the right-of-way.
          They are scary but part of life.

          All we need is LOVE!

          by arizonablue on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:34:49 AM PDT

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          •  I had a huge hornets nest in the fireplace (4+ / 0-)

            when I was living in Italy. This was a HUGE fireplace, with no flue. I have no idea how the owner got them out, the nest was something like 4 ft in length! And the hornet were huge.

            Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

            by kimoconnor on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:43:37 AM PDT

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          •  Yikes! (4+ / 0-)

            Were those infestations Africanized bees? Jeepers, any swarm -- even butterflies -- is stunning to see but when they're potentially deadly it is a whole different thing.

            Fortunately so far, the water meter readers around here only have to deal with Black Widow spiders. It is probably why they're reading them electronically these days. It is a certainty that if I opened the meter right now I would find one. But only one -- finding a swarm of bees is a nightmare.

            If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

            by Darryl House on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:53:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We were told (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              paradise50, Darryl House, dharmasyd

              sometime in the 90s not to bother the fire department anymore with bee problems but people still call and we were also told to assume they are all 'killer' bees now.

              Another one - when my husband was still working, they wouldn't allow anyone to leave the buildings one late afternoon.
              Seems a swarm of bees were covering a pickup and the fire department did come and dispersed them.
              My husband was parked right next to that truck and there were still bees buzzing about and two followed him into the car, but he was able to shoosh them out without a sting.

              Oh yeah, and this is a good one - my last bee story as I have many! LOL
              A friend was driving his Jeep Cherokee down the freeway with his windows open and a swarm was passing through and they passed right through his vehicle!
              He said it all happened so fast that he wasn't sure what the heck just happened until he spotted a few bees on his dashboard and around his feet.
              Oh man.

              If you ever drive through a swarm you should go immediately to a car wash and rinse them off because the dead bees put out some kind of scent that attracts more bees when you park.
              (we've had that happen, too!)

               

              All we need is LOVE!

              by arizonablue on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:10:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  ...I was once hiking with smileycreek... (4+ / 0-)

          ...up in the hills above Tassajara in Carmel Valley. I was in the lead (a path that was a single-person-wide path). About 50 yards away was a log with bees buzzing around. All of a sudden a swarm came from the log towards me (I didn't see it as I was just ahead of it).

          Smileycreek yelled, "Run!"

          I took off as fast as I could. I could hear the bee swarm getting closer. I took off my T-shirt and started swinging it around and around over my head as I ran.

          Smileycreek told me she just watched as the swarm got closer and closer. As I ran, I suddenly ran under a big shady spot made by a big oak tree. That shift from being in the sun to going under the shade of the oak tree must have caused the bees to lose track of me.

          The swarm turned left and went back to the log. Smileycreek just slowly walked along which didn't seem to get their attention.

          Those m*therf*ckers were Killer Bees. I reported it to the State of California who afterwards included central California as being infiltrated by Killer Bees.

          Charming!...

          Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

          by paradise50 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:42:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ...that had to be about 1989 or 1990.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darryl House, dharmasyd, arizonablue

            Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

            by paradise50 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:44:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Scary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darryl House, paradise50

            We've had PSAs when they first came here and we were told not to wave your arms but do remove your shirt and cover your head and RUN.

            The waving arms are seen as a threat and cover your head because they go for your eyes and then I think you're supposed to be able to outrun them after a 1/2 mile.
            They'll go back to the hive.

            How you can run with a shirt over your head was never explained.

            Also, I seem to recall them saying never to wear black socks with white tennis shoes and vice-versa, because the bees might mistake you for one of their enemies but can't remember what that enemy was - a skunk maybe?

            We have a Palo Verde right by the driveway and I get a little nervous standing by it to get the mail or while waiting for Mr.AzBlue to back out the car, but so far, they don't seem interested while gathering pollen.

            If we're ever out walking and a ball is coming at us and we can't run, we'll hit the ground and hopefully they'll fly over us.

            All we need is LOVE!

            by arizonablue on Sun May 05, 2013 at 01:37:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe we got lucky and have a hive nearby (4+ / 0-)

      I haven't seen one, but our apricots and peaches have tiny fruits on them already. It is too early to tell just how many compared to other years yet but I'm encouraged.

      Bumblebees are busy around the pomegranate that is just now starting to bloom and they're all over the clover.

      Hi neighbor :)

      If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

      by Darryl House on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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