Bees visiting the stems but not the cherry flowers

I have noticed over the years that the bees tend to prefer apricots and peaches over cherries. Last year I did hand pollination and got a good crop.

This year I noticed the bees ignoring cherries again. Bees are able to avoid flowers with insufficient or diminished nectar. I did find what I believe to be Argentine ants earlier in the year and treated those. I suspected the ants were drinking the nectar.

I saw about 4 bees on one of my cherry trees and was pleased. But when I looked closer, they were not visiting the flowers, but the stems, specifically the nectaries.

Is this a problem people experience? Where the bees visit the nectaries instead of the flowers?

1 Like

Are there holes in the petals? I have heard of bees chewing holes in the petals to just get nectar and skipping the pollen.

1 Like

Interesting! No, they check out the flower without landing and then go to the green budding leaves.

1 Like

One item bees collect is “Propolis”…useful in the hive.

Bees are born smarter than most humans after years of education…they make the most of their opportunities in day. Visiting pretty blossoms isn’t the objective all the time.

Who owns a bee?

My cousin and neighbor Clifton was my father’s age, named one of his sons for my grandfather, James Clarence. He lived in the cabin/added-onto house that James Clearance was born, and that had housed my great grandfather’s family as well. It’s just across the southeast ridge from here and still filled with the Russell Clan, a modern abode by those day’s standards and comfortable and welcoming anytime one might visit.

That’s where I learned to sit and watch where the shinning bees were flying back to the bee tree, make field boxes, graft, grind cider, grade apples, and, what probably saved my young life…how to peddle apples and produce from the back of a roadside truck. (The Boone college girls liked it, or just thought it was quaint)?

Well this is a story about bees really because orchards rely on them and selling honey was always a part of the system. Clifton was quite entertaining with customers and used to ask if they knew where a bee put its stinger…”in its honey silly!”

On any Monday in Wilkes County back in those days, there was a place everyone congregated simply known as The Sale Barn. It was the area’s cattle and stock sale, but most everyone walked the unpaved white creek gravel parking lot surrounding the corrals of stock being readied for the auction to gossip and trade, or buy produce, tools and such. This was well before agro-tourism…just a bunch of poor people with poor ways having a laugh or two.

North Carolina has a state sales tax, now about 7 percent, but then it was an insult to throw that onto a friendly exchange, and god-forbid, keep any tax records for a few bucks of hard earned revenue! Clifton had the same parking spot for 25 years, was stocked and ready for business or mischief that morning when word circulated that a state tax man was roving the lot with pad in hand and an ugly demeanor about him.

Clifton was a light weight slender fellow, Scotch Irish, shank of dark hair and bill cap, and pronounced schnoz. He would compensate by positioning his thumbs behind his overall galluses pushing them forward, like a mean growling dog, its hair on end. Well it didn’t work so good that morning.

Tax man stops, picks up an apple or two from the boxes, fumbles with the produce and lands on the new quarts of gleaming honey. Tax man demands “Is this your honey?”

Clifton, “Nope, the bees made it.” Flustered tax man demands again, “are they your bees?”

Clifton, “Nope, nobody can tell a bee where to fly.” Tax man giving in, “Well are the hives on your farm?” Clifton mockingly laughs, “Well, you got me there.”

Tax man walks away for more important business.