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Bee bahaviour

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Old Thursday 5th July 2012, 11:54   #1
Binty
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Bee bahaviour

For the last two weeks, the sugar water feeder that i keep in my garden has been besieged by a swarm of bees, who finish it very quickly, and the birds haven't been near it with them there.
Is this wanton sugar theft by the bees, or are they there because they need it ? We haven't had a cold winter at all so far, but I am surprised to see them hanging about the feeder.
If they are needing the sugar water I am happy to keep supplying them, but if it is wanton thievery I wonder if there is a way to get rid of them, but keep the feeder for the birds !
Would appreciate some advice.
Thank you.
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Old Friday 6th July 2012, 06:43   #2
Sal
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For the last two weeks, the sugar water feeder that i keep in my garden has been besieged by a swarm of bees, who finish it very quickly, and the birds haven't been near it with them there.
Is this wanton sugar theft by the bees, or are they there because they need it ? We haven't had a cold winter at all so far, but I am surprised to see them hanging about the feeder.
If they are needing the sugar water I am happy to keep supplying them, but if it is wanton thievery I wonder if there is a way to get rid of them, but keep the feeder for the birds !
Would appreciate some advice.
Thank you.
Hi Binty, great to see you here. I cant advise you really but I do think that this is probably opportunistic behaviour on the part of the bees! Do you have plenty of nectar-producing plants in flower at the moment? If not, the clever bees have found a life-saving source of nectar and maybe it would be worth seeking some winter-flowering nectar-producing plants to put in for the bees next season. I remember writing a paragraph about the bees at Tshokwane in KNP who spent their lives in coke cans and wondering if they were producing coke-flavoured honey . . . for them it was an easy way to find nectar in an area where they would have had to travel pretty far to find enough blossom. Also if you can work out the direction from which they enter the garden you could put an interceptory nectar-feeder away from the bird one. Good luck!
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2012, 08:46   #3
Binty
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Thank you for that ~ there are not many plants flowering in the gardens around mine at the moment, so am quite happy to keep feeding them if they need it. It is because they only appeared a couple of weeks ago that I thought it may be necessity. The Cape White Eyes are getting very grumpy though !
That is a marvellous idea about intercepting the route they take, I will try that one.
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Old Thursday 12th July 2012, 06:40   #4
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I'd be interested to know what happens!
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2012, 10:40   #5
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No change, the bees are still going through it very quickly. I haven't determined where they are coming from yet, but will try again. But they certainly attack it as if desperate !
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2012, 11:15   #6
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I'm sure there can't be many sources of nectar around at the moment so you are probably doing them a good turn!However, the problem is that they may become totally accustomed to collecting their nectar from you, so it might be a good idea once the spring starts and the flowers come out, to start tailing off the nectar supply daily in small amounts.so that when it is finished each day they have to go elsewhere for supplies. Hopefully, if you always keep some nectar going at your soon-to-be-discovered bee spot, they wont steal the bird supplies!

To find where they are coming from, try following a bee, without stress, until you can follow it no further. Then stay there and pick up the next bee that goes past and follow that till you lose it, stay there and pick up the next one and so on . . . .
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Old Tuesday 24th July 2012, 13:53   #7
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To find where they are coming from, try following a bee, without stress, until you can follow it no further. Then stay there and pick up the next bee that goes past and follow that till you lose it, stay there and pick up the next one and so on . . . .
.......or alternatively, recruit the services of the nearest Greater Honeyguide.....

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