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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. 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
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Mystery grape vine and my bees

On my new street there's a grape vine on a fence that runs the length between two driveways. You can see the extent of it but can't really appreciate how far it goes in this picture from my phone. Every day in the middle of the day, bees are all over it. I like to think they are my bees - after all, my house is about a football field's length away, but there are several beekeepers that I know nearby so maybe the bees belong to Jerry or to Curt!

I met Theresa, the owner of the vine, and she doesn't know what kind of grape it is....thinks it is ornamental. But the bees LOVE it. I crushed one of the young purplish grapes between my fingers and it didn't have a smell or any allure for me.

The bees go crazy, though. And not just honey bees - I saw at least 5 of the other 3999 varieties of bees in the USA on these vines.

Look at this busy little bee.

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  1. The topic came up on Beesource a while back, about bees appearing to drink the liquid from the grapes. The consensus was that the bees were getting moisture from the plant, not pollen (at least that's what I remember from the discussion).

    Too bad it's ornamental!

    -- Steven

  2. I've never seen grapes quite like these. I would have guess too that they were going after the sweet liquid inside the grapes.

  3. I have had a bumper year on my grapes and I noticed the same phenomenon on mine as well. Bees all over it in the early season! I have never known grapes to have a flower, but as I looked really close, I swear to you, they do have a tiny little flower before the grape itself forms. I've told a few people that, and the consensus is that I'm crazy, but I had soooo many of them on my vine this year, that I could actually smell them! A very sweet, almost lilac, kind of smell.

    I've also observed my bees gathering honeydew from aphids this year, for the first time. Take your magnifying glass back to the grapes and check those smallest of dots where the grapes form and see if they are tiny flowers, and if not, maybe if there are aphids or water droplets there?

  4. Anonymous8:39 PM

    That's pretty neat. I've noticed the squash plants and the raspberries get the most bee visits. Those plants are constantly buzzing.

  5. My Atlanta beekeeping buddy, Maxine, asked her son about this vine. He works at Trees Atlanta. He said it is Porcelain Berry - an invasive plant. The wikipedia link is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampelopsis_brevipedunculata That's exactly what it is. Mystery solved! Thanks, Maxine and Blake

  6. Jason4:03 PM

    We have that in Augusta also. Same result, never seen so many different types of bees and wasps working it.

  7. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Science 101 ALL plants produce some kind of flower, that's how they reproduce.


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