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RE: Good bee/bad bee

  • Subject: [cg] RE: Good bee/bad bee
  • From: "Alliums" garlicgrower@green-logic.com
  • Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 12:51:36 -0400
  • Thread-index: AcZZk22SCLWfrRhHTSGOdShdWrzbyAABNAjA

Hi, Folks!

Organic Gardening Magazine did a photo spread of native bees several years
back and if it's a pollinator in the Northeast, our community garden appears
to have scads of each species -- including honeybees from someone's hive on
the North Side of Phoenixville.

I never noticed that all these different types of bees weren't getting along
-- of course, since I do grow-outs for Seed Savers Exchange, I probably have
a "larger than average" number of flowers intermixed with my veggies (the
theory among seed savers is that pollinators prefer flower flowers [how's
that for a botanical term? ;-D] to veggie flowers, so if you put flowers
among your veggies, you'll attract the pollinator to the veggie bed and
while they are at the bed, they'll work all veggie flowers which they
otherwise might be picky about. Having flowers between the veggies attracts
the pollinators to the flowers where they "dust off" so if your isolation
distances aren't quite what they should be, the chances of your veggie
pollen mixing is dramatically less -- at least that is the theory.)

Anyway, the other gardeners have picked up my flower habits (very easy since
over the years, we have developed our own volunteer strains of cosmos
[picoteed!], cleome, perilla and sunflower [okay, that year Barb planted
Elfins totally messed up our genetics, but I've got Russian Mammoth seed
this year to be sure we get some decent size in the mix again!]), all of
which the pollinators love, so maybe we're just a big pollen and nectar

We had yellow jackets one year, but they nested in the wood chip pile (on
the ground) and the minute the temperatures dipped, either the raccoons
(I've never actually seen a raccoon at the garden) or the skunks (I've seen
skunks) ate the nest.

I'm also interested in what the bee experts have to say -- I love our
pollinators and that we haven't had a pollination problem since about the
2nd year of the garden, but once that mite thing is resolved somewhat
organically, I want HONEY!!!!!

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460

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