Why Don't I See Honey Bees In My Garden?
June 13, 2010 4:23 PM   Subscribe

I live in norther New Jersey. I have planted a lot of flower and herbs in my yard this spring. I also have a vegetable garden which is full of blossoms. I keep my yard herbicide and pesticide free. I see plenty of bumble bees, dragon flies, and butterflies in the garden. I don't, however, see any honey bees. Is this the wrong season and / or am I looking at the wrong time of the day or has colony collapse disorder gotten so bad in this area there are none left?
posted by monkeydluffy to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Honey bees are normally present this time of year. I live near DC and I have not seen any honeybees either. Very alarming.
posted by JayRwv at 4:37 PM on June 13, 2010

As long as you have bumblebees you should be fine. They're superb pollinators.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:44 PM on June 13, 2010

At this time of year when there are a lot of flowers around, honeybees don't forage long distances; generally they can find what they need at less than 1 km from the hive. If you're in an urban or suburban area without orchards or other places where beekeepers place hives, the only honeybees that might visit are from wild colonies. CCD has abated over the last year or so. It's more likely that there just aren't many honeybee colonies near you.
posted by beagle at 5:46 PM on June 13, 2010

never been lots of honeybees in the NY burbs. Bumblebees et al. are par for the course.
posted by JPD at 6:21 PM on June 13, 2010

Wikipedia says that there are almost no feral hives left in North America.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:22 PM on June 13, 2010

Two years ago we had lots of visiting honeybees, but none this year (Santa Cruz mountains, California.)
posted by anadem at 8:40 PM on June 13, 2010

Honeybees aren't native to North America. So it's kind of like wondering why there aren't any horses in your garden. For the most part, both horses and honeybees are predominately kept as domesticated animals.

The bumblebees and other wild bees do a pretty good job pollinating native plants, and it sounds like your garden is awesome!
posted by ErikaB at 9:33 PM on June 13, 2010

Thanks for all the good answers. The main reason I planted a lot of these things was because colony collapse scares the heck out of me and I was hoping to give them somewhere nice to end up.

In any case, at the very least, the bumble bees and butterflies are really enjoying it and if some honey bees do happen to wander over it will be there for them.

Now to got put out some hay and apples so maybe I can get some of those horses too ... ;)
posted by monkeydluffy at 7:57 AM on June 19, 2010

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