Do bee hives reduce the number of bees among your flowering plants

by Jim Downton
(Boulder, CO)

A neighbor installed a bee hive close to our back yard. In the past, we have had many bees among our flowering plants.

Why have the number of bees declined?

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Hi Jim,

I certainly can't think of any reason that having a beehive close to your yard would decrease the number of bees in your yard.

I imagine you would expect the opposite to occur, and I would expect the same thing.

But if fewer bees are showing up in your yard, I would wonder whether something has changed in your yard:

-Do you have the same flowering plants that you've noticed honey bees working in the past? Not all flowering plants are attractive to honey bees.

-Are you perhaps having drought conditions (or some other problem) that's preventing the plants from producing nectar as freely as they normally do?

-Have you noticed other insects such as butterflies, wasps, and other bee species working your flowering plants in the same numbers as usual?

My guess is that fewer bees showing up in your yard is just coincidental with the presence of your neighbors hive, and not because of it.

Whatever the cause, I hope things get back to normal for you!

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