Quantcast

What are they after?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
After seeing almost no bees in my garden this year, today I saw lots- on a laurel hedge, with of course no flowers yet. This was about 5 pm, when it had rained up to about 2pm. They appeared to be feeding along the back of the leaves, so I could only think of honeydew- but I couldn't see any aphids, and anyway, laurel is almost insect-proof containing cyanide as it does. They were bumble bees doing the same thing, and later I saw the bumble bees checking out a beech hedge.
 

Cazza 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
2,519
Reaction score
0
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk border
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5 ish
Hi Skyhook
My bees do this every year, as do wasps and this week I spotted a hornet too.
I have idly wondered what they are collecting but have no answer. I agree - no aphids so not honey dew. Laurel leaves are waxy, is it that?
Cazza
 

birchdale 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
171
Reaction score
0
Location
wiltshire
Hive Type
none
Laurel, like some other plants, has extra floral nectaries. These are on the back of younger leaves in laurel - have a peep and you will see tiny pearls of nectar on the nectaries near the main rib of the leaf. The accepted theory for the extra floral nectaries is that it maintains the balance of water and sugar in the plant. EFN also help as a defensive mechanism, nectar from the EFN are attractrive to ants.
Other plants that have EFN are: broad bean, cherry and plum.
 

victor meldrew 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
6,379
Reaction score
32
Location
Wigan
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Laurel, like some other plants, has extra floral nectaries. These are on the back of younger leaves in laurel - have a peep and you will see tiny pearls of nectar on the nectaries near the main rib of the leaf. The accepted theory for the extra floral nectaries is that it maintains the balance of water and sugar in the plant. EFN also help as a defensive mechanism, nectar from the EFN are attractrive to ants.
Other plants that have EFN are: broad bean, cherry and plum.
I guess you have done the modules as I :sifone:

John Wilkinson
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Thanks Birchdale. I would never have guessed that one!
 

Cazza 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
2,519
Reaction score
0
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk border
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5 ish
That makes a great excuse for not trimming my laurel hedge just yet!
I can postpone the ordeal for the sake of the bees:hurray:
Cazza
 

margob99 

House Bee
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
401
Reaction score
0
Location
Amersham
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
birchdale, you've answered a mystery I've pondered about for over a year, when I watched a single bee work her way slowly and methodically up and down the main rib on the underside of one leaf after another on my laurel hedge. I was intrigued and fascinated, and initially thought she must be collecting water in the form of dewdrops.

Extra floral nectaries. Who'd've thunk?!
 

Latest posts

Top