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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where doth the little busy bee?

With apologies to Isaac Watts, I do wonder where doth the little busy bee? At this time of year I am usually taking pictures of bees on echinecea, butterfly weed, sunflowers, abelia - all over the garden. This year I only see bumble bees. Where are the honey bees? I see them flying out of the hive all day long, but where is their end point? Not in my garden!

Just to be fair, here is Isaac Watts' poem in full:

How doth the little busy Bee
Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
From every opening Flower!

How skilfully she builds her Cell!
How neat she spreads the Wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet Food she makes.

In Works of Labour or of Skill
I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some Mischief still
For idle Hands to do.

In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
Some good Account at last. [1715]

The echinacea below is in my own garden. No honey bees to be seen anywhere.

These sunflowers are in the neglected gardens at High Point School, near my house. Everything in the gardens planted by teachers with their classes during the school year is languishing for lack of water and attention. But the sunflowers are tall and lovely and doing great.
No honey bees are visiting them, however.

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  1. We live on a quarter acre lot. Earlier this year, I wondered the same thing. Right now, however, the bees are enjoying the milkweed and borage, both of which are in full bloom. I am surprised about the seeming lack of interest in the bee balm - I assumed there was something in the plant's name.

  2. Bee balm is usually full of bumble bees, but it is a flower that is too deep for the honey bee's tongue (proboscis) to reach the nectar.

  3. I noticed that bumble bees are generally territorial. On Saturday, I was watching my honeybee on a lavender bush in my community garden then a bumble bee hovered around and saw that my honey bee was in the bush as well and started attacking her till she left. Bumble bees can be quite the bully in the land of the bees.

  4. Anonymous4:36 PM

    plant yourself some datura!!!! i have a bunch of it in my front yard & the honeybees go NUTZ for it because of the pollen. blooms all summer!


  5. Anonymous7:28 PM

    I think theres one in the background on the second picture.


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