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i read somewhere that putting bees on pumpkin really hurts your honey production! what is your guys feeling on that?
 

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I haven't any experience in that but I am interested in hearing some answers. Lots of huge pumpkin fields in this area.
 

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I am not sure so don't take this as the truth, but seems like I read that the blooms are only open during the cooler time in the morning which limits them on the amount of pollen they can collect and have very little nectar to offer also. The bees will almost starve to death trying to live on them.
 

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This is a general question. Even though the hives are placed in the middle of a pumpkin patch, there are still scout bees flying around the area. If the pumpkins are, in fact, poor pollen and nectar producers, won't the workers go to sources where they get more bang for their buck? I understand some workers may be going to the pumpkin during the hours of the day they can get pollen/nectar, but if the pumpkins "shut down" at a particular time of the day, they don't fruitlessly continue to work the plants, do they? I would imagine they'd move on to other sources???? Just asking....Thanks!
 

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Good question Nick. Bees are faithful to the flowers they start the day with, that's how pollination is achieved, but if in fact they can achieve no benefit from a "dried up" source, I wonder if they would abandon it for something easier?
 

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The past week or so, my corn sounded like a gigantic hive with a loud buzzing up until around 10:00 am, then it was deserted and silent. The bees went on to "greener pastures" of clover and other flowers. I guess they go to whatever's available or preferable. :dontknow:
 

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When I had bee's before we had a large pumpkin and gourd garden as well as a large vegetable garden. The honey bees were in the pumpkin/gourd garden early in the day and in the vegetable and flower gardens the rest of the day. The also had alfalfa to go to. Just my observations, nothing scientific...Tom
 

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I give you the example of Buckwheat, which when conditions are right, produces prolifically in the morning but shuts down by early noon. Bees will work buckwheat , then shift to a less attractive nectar/ pollen source only because the buckwheat shutdown. Oh and the girls will be a bit miffed when the buckwheat does first shut down.
Barry
 

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If I recall correctly from reading Karl Van Frisch's book on the Dancing Honey Bees (many years ago), he ran several experiments that showed the bees to be capable of learning the different sources of nectar and visiting them during the hours when they produced. Rather than keep looking for nectar all day long in a field that didn't produce all day, they would visit different flower species, coordinated to the hours when they gave nectar and ignore them when they didn't.
Smart girls those honeybees.
 

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I give you the example of Buckwheat, which when conditions are right, produces prolifically in the morning but shuts down by early noon. Bees will work buckwheat , then shift to a less attractive nectar/ pollen source only because the buckwheat shutdown. Oh and the girls will be a bit miffed when the buckwheat does first shut down.
Barry
I've noticed the same thing. At almost exactly 11:30 a.m. the bees leave the buckwheat. You'd be surprised how close it is to that time each day when they go elsewhere.
 

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adamant said:
"they tell me that pollinating pumpkin kills your honey flow" and "i read somewhere that putting bees on pumpkin really hurts your honey production! what is your guys feeling on that?

who is they?:lol:
pumpkin plants have both male and female flowers, blooming at dawn and closing before noon. male flowers produce nectar and pollen, and female flowers have higher quantities of nectar but no pollen. it does not kill a honey flow. the pollen is a yellow or light yellow color and the honey gathered is an amber color. we grow lots of pumpkins and squash, and have farmers that grow them in large fields nearby.

ef said:
" Rather than keep looking for nectar all day long in a field that didn't produce all day, they would visit different flower species, coordinated to the hours when they gave nectar and ignore them when they didn't.
Smart girls those honeybees."
:goodpost:
 
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