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Author Topic: Bees & Peony question  (Read 4763 times)

Offline bberry

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Bees & Peony question
« on: May 10, 2008, 02:29:21 pm »
We have several peonies in our garden which are budding like crazy right now. The buds are just dripping in a thick nectar(?) which is really sweet but i watch the bees just land on the buds-check them out and then leave, just one bee once in awhile. Why don't the bees like this nectar? I know that they seem to prefer wildflowers and maybe they don't like nectar from cultured flowers? That doesn't seem likely since i see them in roses and so forth. Anybody know why this is?

Offline KONASDAD

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 04:17:08 pm »
I have well over 50 peonies and the bees ignore them too. They bloom same time as clover which may explain why, or they cant reach the nectar or its poor quality nectar, just guessing.
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Offline Vetch

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 04:44:42 pm »
We had peonies when I was a kid, and I remember that the ants really loved the flowers - never remember bees on them, though.

Offline doak

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 05:15:16 pm »
If you have anything blooming close by that the bees prefer over the peonies, thats what they will do.
They will pass up a "good" nectar to get to a "better"one.

This is one time good is not good "enough" :roll: ;)doak

Offline Cindi

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 09:56:32 am »
Bberry, I like your new picture in your avitar.  I have the same thing happen here, my bees rarely go on cosmos or bee balm, I hear others that their bees love these plants, I think it has all to do with what else is blooming that they are more interested in.  Beautiful, wonderful day, Cindi
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Offline bberry

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2008, 03:00:02 pm »
Quote
We had peonies when I was a kid, and I remember that the ants really loved the flowers - never remember bees on them, though.

we have ants all over ours as they first bud up. Someone told me once that the ants eat this outer cover/membrane and that the flowers won't bloom if they don't?? Not too sure if that is correct or not but the ants sure do love them!

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Bberry, I like your new picture in your avitar

Thanks Cindi, my mom e-mailed this to me and said it reminds her of me and my pit bull Lola. I got a chance to go see the painting, it is called 'the celtic huntress' at the De Young in Frisco and it is a beautiful painting

Offline trapperbob

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2008, 03:16:34 pm »
Not sure why the bees don't collect from it but you most definitely have to have the ants. The nectar that the peony puts out is there to attract the ants which inturn come to collect it and they score or cut the outer shell on the flower bud. If they did'nt do this you would have no flowers because they would not open up, unless you purposely went out and cut the shell on the buds. I have known people that have sprayed and killed all the ants and they had zero flowers open on their peonies. If you look at these ants it has been my experience they appear to be a different type of ant. This may not be so, but they all appear to be a light amber color to me and I have never seen these in my home. So if you like your peonies don't kill the ants. There are many flowers that the bees don't collect from but something else does, this is just the way of nature. Hope this helps about the ants atleast!

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 08:11:15 am »
Maybe the bees don't like the ants?  I've never seen bees on Peonies.
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Offline reinbeau

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 08:46:55 am »
Peonies attract ants via nectaries.  The ants don't eat the blossom open or anything, but they do offer some protection for the flower as it develops.  Many think the ants are a problem on peonies, they aren't at all.  It is odd that the bees don't care for the nectar, but they surely don't!

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Bees & Peony question
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 10:22:20 am »
Yeah, one year I was sick of the (carpenter) ants so I put granulated poison all around the house.  The peonies didn't bloom that year.

Glad to say I eventually won against the ant (for now), and the peonies are starting to bloom again!

I don't see bees on them either.  As long as the bees are working somewhere I'm fine with it.

Rick
Rick