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GottmitAlex

Will solitary bees kill my potted palms?

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GottmitAlex

I now have three potted palms in which solitary bees have taken up residence. 

They are going in and out of the side drainage holes.

Are my palms at risk due to the bees?

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Edited by GottmitAlex

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Palm Tree Jim

Wouldn't think so........but you need to remember they are there!

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GottmitAlex
8 minutes ago, Palm Tree Jim said:

Wouldn't think so........but you need to remember they are there!

Thanks.  Of course.

It seems these fellas aren't territorial as honeybees.  They just fly past us. I water the palms, they leave and then come back after two or three minutes.

I'm just worried about the roots.

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Fusca

That's interesting - I've not seen that before, but I have seen a small copperhead hanging out inside one of my container plants.  I used to have yellow jackets nest in the ground in my yard back in Tennessee and would sting like mad everytime I pushed the mower over them.  How long has this been going on?  Maybe you could duct-tape over the holes after you water and they evacuate - that might discourage them from trying to nest there.  But you'd have to be fast!

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GottmitAlex
14 minutes ago, Fusca said:

That's interesting - I've not seen that before, but I have seen a small copperhead hanging out inside one of my container plants.  I used to have yellow jackets nest in the ground in my yard back in Tennessee and would sting like mad everytime I pushed the mower over them.  How long has this been going on?  Maybe you could duct-tape over the holes after you water and they evacuate - that might discourage them from trying to nest there.  But you'd have to be fast!

This has been going on for about 2 months. But they're growing in numbers.

I did duct-tape (well, just taped) but these guys are relentless and, interestingly docile.  I taped after the fact. After they had taken hold of the third pot.  

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Edited by GottmitAlex

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GottmitAlex

20190612_134343.thumb.jpg.10bd8a42c2aca8d0715031ec01e113a8.jpg

They've all been taped.

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Mike Evans

Alex, I raise bees and they are going after the moisture in the bottom of the pot.  I see it all the time around the nursery, especially when it is dry/drought period.  They seem to find a few favorite containers to get into and always go back to them.  They will NOT hurt your palms.  Take the duct tape off and give the bees a drink.   They cannot make honey w/o water.  Try placing a shallow dish of water around the area and see if they hit it.  It has to be a type of dish that they can sit on the side and drink. They will not hurt you, they are just trying to feed.  If the bees were not here, we would not be here.  Save the bees.

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GottmitAlex
9 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

Alex, I raise bees and they are going after the moisture in the bottom of the pot.  I see it all the time around the nursery, especially when it is dry/drought period.  They seem to find a few favorite containers to get into and always go back to them.  They will NOT hurt your palms.  Take the duct tape off and give the bees a drink.   They will not hurt you, they are just trying to feed.  If the bees were not here, we would not be here.  Save the bees.

Ok. Thank you Mike. Will do.  They seem to have acquired a taste for the latest potting soil I employed.  "Kellogg's palm, cactus and citrus. All purpose indoor and outdoor mix". They ignored the "black magic potting soil in most of the pots from the get-go.  But I will remove the tape.

 

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Edited by GottmitAlex
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Mike Evans

Yes, I have seen them slowly remove some potting soil over time, but not much.  I think they feel more at home if they can crawl into a hole.  When I trim Travelers palm leaves, they will crawl down the hollow leaf opening and get the water at the bottom.  They are thirsty, it must be dry right now where you are.  I edited last post to have you put shallow dish of water out for them.   Maybe a little honey mixed in it to attract them.  A bees sense of smell is second to none in the insect world, they know where the good stuff is..  Thanks for taking care of them.

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GottmitAlex
5 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

Yes, I have seen them slowly remove some potting soil over time, but not much.  I think they feel more at home if they can crawl into a hole.  When I trim Travelers palm leaves, they will crawl down the hollow leaf opening and get the water at the bottom.  They are thirsty, it must be dry right now where you are.  I edited last post to have you put shallow dish of water out for them.   Maybe a little honey mixed in it to attract them.  A bees sense of smell is second to none in the insect world. Thanks for taking care of them.

Thank you for the tips. As a matter of fact, I do have two exposed storm drains by the pots. Their rims are full with water.  I will pick up some honey and do just that.  Here again, the bees, before I taped anything up, went for the only pots (3) which have the aforementioned soil mix.  They never went for the "black magic" potting soil mix.  You know, I'm with you in not killing bees. These bees, unlike honeybees, just mind their own business.  They're not aggressive at all during watering or checking out my palms. (D.carlsmithii, H. Indica red and a H. lagenicaulis)

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Gonzer

Doesn't anyone use small squares of window screening to cover drain holes anymore? First lesson I was taught in the early 70's when potting up plants. Keeps soil from falling out and keeps nasties out.

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Mike Evans

From your last comment about not looking like honeybees, I took another look at your pic.  They could be Yellow Jacket wasps, kind of hard to see in pic.  Take some close up pics or identify them from this link.  If they are yellow jackets, yes they will hurt you, and put the tape back on.  You do not want any of those around, they are bad for the honey bees also.  

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/stinging-insects-101/

Make a DIY wasp trap in link below and put beer in it for bait.  Do not use watered down honey or sugar water, you will attract honey bees.  

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-make-a-wasp-trap-1389067

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GottmitAlex
8 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

From your last comment about not looking like honeybees, I took another look at your pic.  They could be Yellow Jacket wasps, kind of hard to see in pic.  Take some close up pics or identify them from this link.  If they are yellow jackets, yes they will hurt you, and put the tape back on.  You do not want any of those around, they are bad for the honey bees also.  

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/stinging-insects-101/

Make a DIY wasp trap in link below and put beer in it for bait.  Do not use honey or sugar, you will attract honey bees.  

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-make-a-wasp-trap-1389067

here's a close up. 

Half a ft away and they don't care. Just mind their own business

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GottmitAlex

Notice the exposed storm drains by the three pots in question. 

 

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Silas_Sancona
2 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

From your last comment about not looking like honeybees, I took another look at your pic.  They could be Yellow Jacket wasps, kind of hard to see in pic.  Take some close up pics or identify them from this link.  If they are yellow jackets, yes they will hurt you, and put the tape back on.  You do not want any of those around, they are bad for the honey bees also.  

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/stinging-insects-101/

Make a DIY wasp trap in link below and put beer in it for bait.  Do not use honey or sugar, you will attract honey bees.  

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-make-a-wasp-trap-1389067

 Based solely on coloration.. those look like Honey Bees ( Apidae ) which are social, and like mike said, likely looking for water though they can swarm pots too looking for a new place to set up shop..

Solitary bees encompass other sub- families like Leaf Cutters, Sweat, Mason, Digger, and Orchid bees and, in the case of many, nest in chambers in the ground/ holes in wood, etc. I have six or so sp. that regularly will check out the drain holes on pots, sometimes build their chambers in them w/ no effects to the plants.  Like Gonzer said, use screen mesh when potting to block drain holes, keep soil in, and keep out the critters.

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Mike Evans

Yes, absolutely, those are honey bees.  I have not ever seen the yellow jacket wasp crawl in drain holes, either. 

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GottmitAlex
14 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

Yes, absolutely, those are honey bees.  I have not ever seen the yellow jacket wasp crawl in drain holes, either. 

Ok. So what happens now??

LOL. I've held these guys in my hand showing 'em off to my brother as solitaries through Whatsapp video. They have not stung me.  Ok what do I do? I guess I just opened up Pandora's box.

And here I am saying to meine Frau und Kinder:" these bees won't do anything to us

 They're not honeybees"  while the kids are playing on the patio.....

 

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Edited by GottmitAlex

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Mike Evans

People seem to be automatically afraid of honey bees.  They feel that way because someone went and disturbed their hive.  They will protect their home w/ their lives.  When they are out feeding, they have only one thing on their minds, get food/water. It only seems intimating when they fly by your head.   Unless they are a drone, then Freud theory of sexuality takes over.   You have nothing to worry about w/ your family when they are out feeding.  They are curious also and smell something different.  They may even bounce off you if your in flight path, but don't swat them.  Take this a learning lesson w/ the kids so they can get through life.  Don't lie to them, or they think it is a bad thing. w/ bees.  Take them out and show them so they know, and not go through life dumb. Nature is a beautiful thing.

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jimmyt

I agree with Mike all the way.  Honeybees.  I have noted in summer if I have a old cola can with cola residue in it the bees will find it a crawl in it for presumably the sugar or liquid.  If I put out a dish with water in it and put something in it out of the water for them to land on, such as a porous volcanic rock, they will congregate on it in numbers to drink the water.  They never become aggressive with me even if I try to get them out of the cans.   But note to self and others we have had Africanized Honeybees in Texas and those will get quite aggressive with you.  You will know quickly if they are the Africanized type as they dont play around.

 

jimmyt

 

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GottmitAlex
22 minutes ago, Mike Evans said:

People seem to be automatically afraid of honey bees.  They feel that way because someone went and disturbed their hive.  They will protect their home w/ their lives.  When they are out feeding, they have only one thing on their minds, get food/water. It only seems intimating when they fly by your head.   Unless they are a drone, then Freud theory of sexuality takes over.   You have nothing to worry about w/ your family when they are out feeding.  They are curious also and smell something different.  They may even bounce off you if your in flight path, but don't swat them.  Take this a learning lesson w/ the kids so they can get through life.  Don't lie to them, or they think it is a bad thing. w/ bees.  Take them out and show them so they know, and not go through life dumb. Nature is a beautiful thing.

Could they make a hive out of any of my three pots?

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SilverDragon
1 minute ago, GottmitAlex said:

Could they make a hive out of any of my three pots?

They could potentially, but like someone else said, they are probably going after the water. Leave a shallow dish with some sugar water out and they might re-locate.

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jimmyt

Not likely.  They are not ground nesting bees but like to be up in a hollow tree or in the eave of your house, etc.  Just looking for water to drink.  Remember these are the same beasts that will pollinate your palm flowers.  They are our friends.

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Mike Evans
12 minutes ago, jimmyt said:

I agree with Mike all the way.  Honeybees.  I have noted in summer if I have a old cola can with cola residue in it the bees will find it a crawl in it for presumably the sugar or liquid.  If I put out a dish with water in it and put something in it out of the water for them to land on, such as a porous volcanic rock, they will congregate on it in numbers to drink the water.  They never become aggressive with me even if I try to get them out of the cans.   But note to self and others we have had Africanized Honeybees in Texas and those will get quite aggressive with you.  You will know quickly if they are the Africanized type as they dont play around.

 

jimmyt

 

I did not want to bring that up to cloud the subject.   Yes, you are correct w/ africanized bees, you will know it quick if they are.  If a bee comes up to you and taps you a few times and flies off, may want to get out of there.  African bees will take scent back to hive and let the workers know the scent, direction and distance and will all come after target.  They get their moisture from animals, because they are originally from arid environments w/o water.  Luckily, there are very few Africanized hives.  Alex, your bees are obviously safe.  They fly up to 3 miles from hive for food.  Extremely unlikely to make a hive in your pots.  They are trying to survive and thrive, too much work excavating.  They are honey bees..

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NOT A TA

The space in the pot is kinda small so they won't likely build there. They have scouts that find new places when the group splits off with a new queen.

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Silas_Sancona
3 minutes ago, jimmyt said:

Not likely.  They are not ground nesting bees but like to be up in a hollow tree or in the eave of your house, etc.  Just looking for water to drink.  Remember these are the same beasts that will pollinate your palm flowers.  They are our friends.

Not always the case, though far less common. While working on a project this spring, once of the irrigation control boxes on the property had old combs and a pile of dead Honey bees in it. When i asked, was told they had been building a hive sometime over the past summer, and that instead of calling to have them professionally removed, the landscaper at the time sprayed. 

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NOT A TA

Here's the last group I had to deal with.  6 months prior there was a hive inside the same wall where they had gained access through a 1/2" hole left from a previous cable TV wire. They found a way under the sheet rock behind baseboard molding and started a new nest in the room above a window. Because it wasn't an often used room there were thousands of bees with the new queen by the time the residents noticed. I moved the queen outside and spent a couple days cleaning the room. The queen & clan I'd removed moved across the street to a neighbor who called exterminator. Meanwhile new hive (in pic) was forming outside of the wall the original hive was in and no one noticed for months.

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GottmitAlex
52 minutes ago, SilverDragon said:

They could potentially, but like someone else said, they are probably going after the water. Leave a shallow dish with some sugar water out and they might re-locate.

I'll keep an eye out. thank you

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gtsteve

Alex, As suggested several times already you could provide an alternate food/water source nearby for the bees.

You could also move the pots for a while.

Our honey bees here are also as docile as our stingless native bees.

Now that you understand the situation a little better I am sure that you can fix it easily one way or another.

beard.jpg.3c4c1dd0cb9d762628a6b9e617aa287e.jpg You thought that you had problems.  :-0

 

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