What’s happening to my bees?

dead bees || cityhippyfarmgirl

It was happening again. Hundreds of tiny dead bee bodies littered my shared courtyard once more.

I had been watching the blossoms from the overhanging gum slowly appear and open. With the soft scent of gum blossom in the air, also came the steady drone of bees… and then they would fall.

All around me would lie dead or dying bees. I wasn’t surprised, this happened twice a year. Every time the gum would start to flower, the bees would drop, (Autumn and Spring without fail.)

This time I wanted to have more of an idea of why though. I posted the question to instagram and facebook, getting flooded with different ideas. So many possibilities people!

But which is it? What’s the reason behind my courtyard being a death pit for so many bees? (And I’m sure no one is spraying anything.)

It’s been happening for as long as we’ve lived here and that I’ve been paying attention. My three children have all been introduced to the sting of a bee from dead ones on the ground over different time frames, (and yes they can still sting when they are dead.)

We don’t run the gauntlet in bare feet when it’s blossoming season, as you really can’t go 30cm without another bee body.

dead bees || cityhippyfarmgirl

So what are the most likely possibilities?

– The bees could be dying in flight, flying themselves to death, being such a concentrated area for the blossoms, they are just falling out of the sky?

– They are getting drunk (this Guardian article explains it a little further.)

I’m still not sure exactly what the cause of my bee problem is, but I’m working on it. So to be continued people.

****************

Now there is a huge array of bee knowledge out there in the internet community. Some of whom were suggested to me, in which I in turn will pass on. As really, knowledgable bee people, they are pretty damn important and we’re lucky to have them, (Aus only.)

Doug Purdie

Tim Malfroy

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Flow Hive

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18 thoughts on “What’s happening to my bees?

  1. Hello Beautiful…..sad about the bees….do you have any wasps around?…the European wasp is in Aust and kills bees….or maybe the cold weather was to much for them?….hope nature will fix it up for you……PS….LOVE your sourdough ‘ mother ‘ ….Have been making 2 loaves a week for nearly a year…..adding different grains, seeds and fruit…..everyone Loves it….thankyou…..Love Leta xx

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    • Hi Leta great to hear about the sourdough success. Really great!
      As for the bees I don’t think it’s a wasp, too many die, and I don’t think it’s the cold weather as while it’s cold now, they also do the same some time in Spring when it’s much warmer… It’s a mystery.

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  2. Same thing happens when my banksia tree flowers here. We have to move the kids trampoline from under it as it gets covers in dead bees and the kids get stung. I’d put it down to “bees just die all the time and we don’t notice it really, but when there are so many feeding in one area, we start to notice because the all die in one place”. Hope I’m right and that’s all that’s happening to yours and mine.

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  3. I’ve heard that once bees get too much pollen, they get tired and need a little water mixed with sugar. I used to keep a separate hummingbird feeder on one side of the house for my bee friends. About once a week you would see that thing literally covered in tired, thirsty bees. Perhaps they’re getting too busy and just need a break and an energy drink? I don’t seem to have many bees at my new house, so I never hung up the feeder, instead opting to let the hummers and bees share it when they’re around.

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    • Lola just reading your comment reminds me …oh my golly gosh we need our bees! Not that is news to me, but oh, they are such an important part of our world and too many people just take it for granted that they are out there doing their thing and everything will be fine. It so could easily not be fine, I love that you used to take the time to do that.

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      • While I will run like a sissy girl, arms flailing wildly, when I see a bee coming, I still LOVE my veggies. And we need them desperately for that. And you’re so right. Too many people just don’t think about how necessary they are. I also saw something where people are accidentally killing song birds by spraying pesticides in trees. Sad for nature indeed.

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