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Know YOur Bees

Bumble Bee

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  • Sting: Non-aggressive. Can sting multiple times
  • Food: Nectar and pollen with little honey
  • Pollinator: Yes
  • Body: Fuzzy, yellow and black. Thick legs for carrying pollen. 
  • Makes Honey: Extremely small amount

Honey Bee

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  • Sting: Non-aggressive. Can only sting once, then dies
  • Food:  Honey and nectar with a little pollen 
  • Pollinator: Yes
  • Body: Fuzzy and golden. Thick legs for carrying pollen.
  • Makes Honey: Yes

Size Comparisons

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Even though bees sting, they serve a purpose. so, please be kind to all bees. If you encounter the aggressive ones move away slowly and don't flail about. The sizes in these drawings are very close to, if not, actual size.

Yellow Jackets

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  • Sting: Passive/Aggressive. Can sting multiple times
  • Food: Omnivore and carnivore
  • Pollinator: No
  • Body: Yellow and black. Sleek body with thin legs.
  • Makes Honey: No

Wasp

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  • Sting: Passive/More aggressive than a Yellow Jacket. Can sting multiple times
  • Food: Omnivore and carnivore
  • Pollinator: No
  • Body: Sleek body with thin legs. Bit larger than a yellow jacket.
  • Makes Honey: No

Hornets

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  • Sting: More aggressive than Yellow Jackets and Wasps. Can sting multiple times. Has most painful sting
  • Food: Omnivore and carnivore
  • Pollinator: No
  • Body: White and black, yellow and black or yellow, black and red. Sleek body with thin legs. Larger than wasps.
  • Makes Honey: No

Troy, The Bee Whisper

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Troy and his Yellow Jackets

As you can see here, Yellow Jackets are not out to sting you... as long as you're still, don't swing your arms, flail about, threaten them or disturb their nest.


Troy has fed all types of bees, from Honey Bees to Wasps, by putting honey on his fingers or palm. He has also proven bees can recognize him as a food source after approximately an hour of feeding them; to the point they will still be looking for him in the same feeding location the next day. He can identify each bee by the unique markings on its thorax.

A Honey Bee's Waggle Dance

Find out what the buzz is about!

Save the Bees: Honey to Hornet

BEE APOCALYPSE

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Bees are dying off at alarming rates all over the world. The main reasons: climate change, exposure to agricultural/yard chemicals, lower tolerance to parasites and stresses along with diminishing nutritional options. All of which lead to suppressed immune systems and death.

NO GLYPHOSATE

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Glyphosate, the active herbicide ingredient in Roundup is advertised as being innocuous to wildlife.  But when pollinators come in contact with it, the chemical reduces gut bacteria, leaving bees vulnerable to pathogens and premature death. 

NO NEONICOTINOIDS

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 Neonicotinoids, an insecticide kills bees over an extended period of time and threaten bee queens lowering reproductive rates in the colony.  Neonicotinoids also get into waterways and flowers miles away from their use take up the chemical and pass it again to the bees.

NO CHLOROTHALONIL

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Chlorothalonil is the most common of many fungicides targeted at molds and mildews – not insects. But it is now believed fungicides are making bees more susceptible to the deadly Nosema parasite or exacerbating the toxicity of other pesticides.  

STRESS

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The stress tolerance of bees is not without limits. One stress bees experience is from being transported to multiple locations across the country from one season to the next for their pollination use. This wears down their immune systems and can cause erratic behavior.

MASSIVE FIELDS/POOR NUTRITION

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 Habitat loss and intensified agriculture lead to diminishing food resources for bees who need a variety of plants to keep the colony healthy.  A recent  study likened bees feeding on monoculture crops to humans eating only sardines, chocolate or parsnips for a month! 

Flowers for a Bee Friendly Yard: Spring

Daffodil

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Hawthorn

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Rosemary

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Pussy Willow

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Flowering Currant

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Broom

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Flowers for a BEE FRIENDLY YARD: Early Summer

BLUE GERANIUM

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THYME

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SWEETPEA

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HONEYSUCKLE

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CHIVES

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COTONESTER

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Flowers for a BEE FRIENDLY YARD: Late SUMMER

LAVENDER

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MARJORAM

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HEATHER

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SUNFLOWER

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ROCK ROSE

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FUCHSIA

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Trees for a bee friendly yard

AMERICAN BASSWOOD

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SOUTHERN MONGOLIA

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SOURWOOD

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CHERRY TREES

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REDBUD

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CRABAPPLE

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