Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bees: This is bad

You can't really tell from the picture, but the bees are clearly in trouble. I went out today and while there are a few bees coming and going from the hive, there is now a large contingent just hanging around the entrance. They seem very sluggish, they are not fanning at all, just crawling slowly. It is strikingly different from their usual behavior. Whether or not this is due to the proximity of the toxic buckeye tree, I don't know.


a. Move the bees elsewhere in the yard. But is there any point in our yard that is far enough? And is it too late for these particular bees?

b. Cut down the buckeye.

c. Give up on the bees.

If it could work, "a"would obviously be my first choice. Until two days ago, I loved our buckeye tree.  But if "a" is impossible, I am currently leaning towards "b." It feels like a crime to cut down a native buckeye, plus it will be expensive. But the poor bees.



  1. move the bees! that seems like the only & right solution. what's the obstacle?

  2. I just talked to a guy at the place where I bought the bees and he said moving the bees five miles from the buckeye is ideal. Five miles? I can't think of any place in the county that is five miles from a buckeye. Given that this is impossible, he said having them really close to the buckeye is best, given their flight patterns. So the bees will stay. Husband has informed me that the buckeye will also stay.

  3. Yikes!

    I wonder if it's the buckeye that's the problem? Surely they're not having CCD after such a short time?

  4. it would be a shame to cut that beautiful native tree and, i agree with layne, what if it's not the tree?

    has anyone suggested how on earth buckeyes get pollinated? it goes against natural evolution to kill your pollinators... there must be some other explanation..


  5. Helltoupee--I wondered the same thing. The Wik says that only the honeybee is susceptible. Our native bees are not harmed by the toxin.

    Who knew?

  6. oh this is tragic! i'm so (and somewhat surprisingly) sad about this turn of events. My thoughts are with you, Tipsy and bees!

  7. i think you need a bee doctor. don't get rid of the tree or move the bees. if there are that many buckeyes around there must be another answer. seriously - do you have a bee crisis hotline with other bee growers? one of them may have the answer.