National Bee Count Results from Happy Tonics

Bumblebee on autumn sedum
Beautiful bumblebee on autumn sedum

Thanks to environmentally active women around the country and in Nova Scotia, Happy Tonics was able to do a bee count through Facebook platform. Unfortunately we were unable to post total results there because of limited character word count. However, I did submit Butterfly Corner column to Washburn County Register, Shell Lake, Wisconsin and hopefully the results will be published in full there. I am noting below for all our buzzing bee friends around the world. Take heart, you too can start to monitor the pollinators in your part of the world. Check out Xerces Society, Pollinator Organization and the Great Sunflower Project and learn where you can collaborate with citizen scientist organizations to track pollinators around the world.

National Bee Count! It is an overcast and rainy day in Washburn County, Wisconsin, 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, Hayward, WI 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, Univ. of MN, Minneapolis, MN said, “Rained this morning. Breezy and 60 degrees. I would have stayed in myself if I were a bee.”  Linda Mae Gregory, Lebec, CA, wrote, “Sunny, no clouds, 87 degrees. Full sun, garden with Lavender and Rock Roses, slight breeze…went 30 minutes with only 2 bees…native honey bees. Suzanne Patles, 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, 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, Pacific Northwest, wrote, “I spent time in the garden yesterday afternoon. We are unseasonably cool here with temperatures only reaching highs in the 60’s. 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, Saratoga Springs, NY says, “I went out several times in the rain, but to no BEES. It poured on and off for most of the day. We normally have an abundance of bees.” Mary Ann Bittle, 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. 9 total honeybees that stopped (2-3 more that didn’t), 2 bumblebees, 1 wood bee. Food sources/stopping spots included: Okra flower, radish flowers, a rose, clover flowers, sunflowers. Some (2 – 3) wandered through without stopping. Worth noting – I had several dragonflies stopping at 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, Crystal Lake, MN said, “We were cold and rainy so no count by Crystal Lake Crones.