Posted by: cindydyer | June 28, 2011

National Bee Count Report from Happy Tonics

by Mary Ellen Ryall

All photos © Cindy Dyer,

June 23, 1 p.m.—National Bee Count! It is an overcast and rainy day in Washburn County, WI on June 23. Isolated showers, partly cloudy, Hi 58°F, Lo 50°F, Pop 60%, wind 13 mph. The local bee count was rained out.

Sue Menzel of Hayward came to Shell Lake dressed in rain gear to assist with the project but because of rain, I took her to lunch instead.

Happy Tonics has been coordinating the National Bee Count on Facebook throughout National Pollinator Week.

Leslye Schoenhuth, from the University of MN, Minneapolis said, “Rained this morning. Breezy and 60 degrees. I would have stayed in myself if I were a bee.”

Linda Mae Gregory, from Lebec, CA, wrote, “Sunny, no clouds, 87 degrees. Full sun, garden with Lavender and Rock Roses, slight breeze…went 30 minutes with only two bees—native honey bees.

Suzanne Patles, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia said, “I saw two bees. It was sunny here, but I notice that the population of bees is gradually increasing because we are actually starting to see them again. We were ransacked a few years ago by hornets, they were everywhere and the bees were nowhere to be found but deep in the woods.”

Cindy Dyer, from Alexandria, VA stated, “I was in my garden this morning, deadheading Rose Campion plants. I counted 19 bumblebees on my Monarda, White Coneflower, Purple Coneflowers and Liatris. That was this morning at about 9:45 a.m.”

Barbara Price, from the Pacific Northwest, wrote, “I spent time in the garden yesterday afternoon. We are unseasonably cool here with temperatures only reaching highs in the 60s. I only found one bee in my gardens. This, to me, is very sad. I live on a large corner lot and have lilacs, irises, roses, lilies, hibiscus, peonies, and various other bulbs and perennials in my expansive gardens as well as an apple tree, plum tree, and blueberry bush. I should be loaded with bees, but I only found one. I also have no butterflies.

Stephanie Ryall, from Saratoga Springs, NY says, “I went out several times in the rain, but saw no bees. It poured on and off for most of the day. We normally have an abundance of bees.”

Mary Ann Bittle, from Worland, MO wrote, 2:30 p.m. — 3 p.m. Went 15 minutes in my garden, another 15 minutes in my front yard. Partly cloudy, 89 degrees F, winds from the SSE about 10 mph, humid. Nine total honeybees that stopped (2-3 more that didn’t)—two bumblebees and one wood bee. Food sources and stopping spots included: okra flower, radish flowers, a rose, clover flowers, sunflowers. Some (2 – 3) wandered through without rose,stopping. Worth noting: I had several dragonflies stopping at the same sources, plus some wildflowers, and some wasps doing the same. I use no poisons or insect deterrents (other than natural, organic ones such as marigolds or the like.)

And Anne Dunn, from Crystal Lake, MN said, “We were cold and rainy, so no count by Crystal Lake Crones.”

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