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Bees

Gardeners should try and encourage natural pollinators such as bees into their gardens, simply because bees pollinate trees, flowers, fruit and vegetables which in turn helps to increase the yield.

On the down side, they can sometimes bite small holes in flowers, but seldom is the damage severe.

Gardens need bees, bees need homes, you can give them a helping hand by introducing a few bees nests around the garden, all you have to do is simply place the nest/s according to instructions.

Overview;

Lets take a look at the bumble bee in comparison with her distant cousin the honey bee (pic 3)



The bumble bee is gentle and slow, unlike the honey bee that dashes around when collecting pollen and nectar.

The body shape is different, the bumble bee is round and furry, the honey bee is more wasp shaped.

Bumble bees live in small nests and never swarm.

They only produce enough honey to feed their young as opposed to the commercial quantities produced by the honey bee.

Not all bumble bees have a sting.

They do not lose their sting and die if they use it, a honey bee will, and they are much less aggressive than honey bee.

Generally they will not attack a human at all, unless their life is threatened.

A bumble bees biggest enemy by far is a man armed with a pesticide spray.

There is a bee that can do some damage to plants but the damage is generally insignificant, meaning, control is seldom necessary, that bee is the Leaf cutting bee

The symptoms are circular or elongated notches on the edges of leaves, usually appearing from June until August when the bees are most active, these notches are usually uniform in shape and size.

This coincides with the time when the female bee is constructing its nest.

What happens is, the bees carry pieces of leaf back to the nest and use them to form cells.

The bee will then stock these cells with nectar and pollen as a food store for its larvae.

To locate these nests you may have to look in hollow plant stems or tunnels dug into rotten wood or soil.





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