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Hummingbird feeders and Honeybees

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Nurse Bee

Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Location: SE Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:23 am    Post subject: Hummingbird feeders and Honeybees Reply with quote

Observing some definitely different behavior. Have had a hive for the past eight years so used to seeing bees around the flowers, garden, etc. Also, have two hummingbird feeders that we keep filled for the hummers. For the first time this year, I'm seeing bees "discussing" with the hummers whose feeder it is? Also, finding floating/drowned bees who somehow work their way inside?

Background, is that this is the wettest spring I can remember in my 65 years. Not only is the rain almost a daily occurrence, but if it doesn't rain, it's overcast. Wondering if that cycle is holding back or preventing bloom and thereby nectar flow? We had a good flow earlier and the bees got busy and filled honey frames and everything was normal. I'm wondering if even though they have plenty of honey, they're driven to collect nectar and pollen even though it's currently in short supply?
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Scout Bee

Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 289
Location: USA, Colorado, Denver

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi exmar.

Bees will want to collect nectar throughout the entire flowering season. They don't stop just because they have honey stored in the hive. What may seem as enough honey to you, isn't enough for their needs. They are taking sugar water from the hummingbird feeders because there isn't enough nectar being produced by the flowers in the area. Most likely that is due to the weather. They need more nectar but can't find it elsewhere. You might try feeding your bees, but technically you already are with the feeders.

Don't stop feeding the bees. And remember, don't assume that the bees have enough stores this early in the season.
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