Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [beemonitoring] Early spring bumble bee emergence

Expand Messages
  • Liz Day
    I ve often wondered this. Friends suggest bleeding maple or cherry sap as possibly the early queen food. Thoughts? I d think maple sugarers would notice
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 15, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      I've often wondered this. Friends suggest bleeding maple or cherry
      sap as possibly "the" early queen food.
      Thoughts? I'd think maple sugarers would notice bumblebees at their
      taps, if this were true.

      Liz Day
      Indiana, east-central USA
    • pollinator2001
      ... It s quite possible, as I ve often noticed honeybees taking sap. It doesn t have to be at taps, though I ve seen them there. Hungry honeybees can be a
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 15, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Liz Day <lizday44@...> wrote:
        >
        > I've often wondered this. Friends suggest bleeding maple or cherry
        > sap as possibly "the" early queen food.
        > Thoughts? I'd think maple sugarers would notice bumblebees at their
        > taps, if this were true.

        It's quite possible, as I've often noticed honeybees taking sap. It doesn't have to be at taps, though I've seen them there. Hungry honeybees can be a serious nuisance in the syrup boiling process.

        There is also plenty of winter breakage of twigs most years, and squirrels are notorious for adding more injury - just to get a sweet drink.

        I've noticed a few B. impatiens queens already here this year - they have plenty of blossoms to work, most notably redbud right now. And X. virginicus is showing a good increase in population this spring.

        My carpenter bees were at a very low point four years ago. I got some salvage lumber during the winter for a project - and it turned out to have a number of nests. When I discovered this, I did not use these pieces, but put them up where the bees could emerge and continue to use them. And they have!

        Southeastern blueberry bees showed up on the redbud, then quickly jumped over to our blueberry bushes as they began bloom. So we ought to have a good crop (if there's no more freezes).

        Dave
      • David Inouye
        I m guessing that the queens start out with a reservoir of fat (or similar resources) from last summer, which will keep them going for a while when they are
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 15, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          I'm guessing that the queens start out with a reservoir of fat (or
          similar resources) from last summer, which will keep them going for a
          while when they are nest searching and looking for the first flowers.
          I don't think they usually nest where they overwintered, but don't
          know whether they tend to spend the night in any particular place
          during the interval between emerging after the winter and
          establishing a nest.

          David Inouye

          At 06:14 PM 3/15/2012, you wrote:
          >
          >
          >Question for the group. I noted my first bumble bee zooming by
          >today, but there is nothing blooming as yet in this part of town.
          >Night temps are at or below freezing and days have been in high 30s
          >to low 40s. Will queen bumble bees emerge on warm sunny days and
          >survive without a food source? It seems that such an energy
          >committment would require food to suppport foraging or nest finding
          >trips. Also, will the queen return to her burrow as the day ends?
          >Any thoughts on this appreciated.
          >
          >Deborah Rudis
          >U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
          >Juneau, AK
        • deborah_rudis@fws.gov
          Thanks for the thoughts on the early spring emergence. We have ~ 90% coniferous forest, no maples (except some planted as ornamentals) nor other early
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 16, 2012
          • 0 Attachment

            Thanks for the thoughts on the early spring emergence. We have ~ 90% coniferous forest, no maples (except some planted as ornamentals) nor other early blooming trees. Blueberries are a major understory species and will bloom in a few weeks. They are a primary bee food source. Cottonwood flowers here a few weeks later. As we received about 2" new snow last night I do not expect we will see the bumble bees back out for awhile.

            -deb

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Deborah D. Rudis
            Environmental Contaminants Biologist
            US Fish & Wildlife Service
            Ecological Services Field Office
            3000 Vintage Blvd. #201
            Juneau, Alaska 99801

            907/780-1183 fax 907/586-7099 c 907/723-9981
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.' John Muir

          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.