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Copyright 1997 by Janice D. Green

GALVESTON, TEXAS, REPORT:

(5/1/97)
Here on the western shore of Galveston Bay, the bee count is way down. Around the two bushes of mine when in bloom, like they are now, it normally sounds like I'm being attacked by a bunch of Japanese Zeros. This year, though, I have to look for them on the bushes. My neighbor, an avid gardner hasn't seen a bee. Her squash plants have great blooms but no squash.

We had a mild winter with fickle, wet weather. I wonder if the bees ate their reserves too soon and many died as a result? The hummingbird count is way down, too.

But you've just reminded me of a couple of things. First, I've seen only one bumblebee and it was brown and orange and not the usual black and white (or yellow) ones that loved certain wild flowers I have.

Most importantly, last year we had a bad mosquito problem. Although areas reached by paved roadways are sprayed at night, in my flat county (Galveston), there are many undeveloped but marshy areas. To reach them, aerial spraying was done, presumably during daylight hours. Unfortunately, these areas are where most bee hives are located. I wonder if our county agricultural agent even bothered to work with the mosquito control people at all. Sigh...

Anyhow, because of the extended flowering season this year, there should have been more bees, not less.

Bill Shoots, Galveston, TX (WShoots1@aol.com)

(5/3/97)
Today, the bee count on my bushes was up pretty good, although not normal yet. Weather was 80 degrees @ 49% rel. hum. Maybe the drier air (for here!) helped.

Still no bumblebees. If they're ground dwellers, maybe they got flooded badly because this winter we got twice the normal amount of rain. And the other pollinators--butterflys, hummingbirds, etc.--are still few in number.

I dunno. I wish now I had paid more attention to the bees.

I do think beekeepers should check with their county agri agent and mosquito control people to make sure things are done right.

Bill Shoots, Galveston, TX (WShoots1@aol.com)

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, REPORT:

(5/3/97)
It's been pretty sad here as far as honey bees go in the Raleigh area of NC, if not the whole state. I'm outdoors in my garden, the local arboretum, or someone elses all the time. It's been 3 years since I've seen a honey bee in this area! Did see ONE last year on a hiking trip to the NC mountains. I have to wonder if they will ever recover. I hope so.

Lynn Hoyt (Visit my Landscape & Garden site @ http://www.pagesz.net/~lhoyt)

OREGON COAST REPORT:

(5/4/97)
I wish we had bees in our clover. Unfortunately it is generally too cool for honey bees here. We depend on bumblebees and other types for polination. The honey bee don't come out until the temperature gets up to where they like it. I have heard about 60 degrees. In the spring when the fruit trees are blooming it rarely get up that high even at 2 pm. But the wild bees are out at the crack of dawn doing their thing. If the mites hit them we are finished as a civilization..

Sam Franc (franc@presys.com)

...to talk to Jan
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