Bees, Aphids And Honeydew
Sheena writes: "I have found quite a lot of bees attracted to clumps of woolly aphids on my apple trees which I was about to spray to get rid of them (aphids not the bees). Whilst watching the bees for a while I have noticed the bees repeatedly going to the same leaves where the aphids are. Are they milking the aphids like the ants are doing? Whilst one of my very big flowering bushes has now finished and another one is late, there are plenty of others that they like round the garden, so can anyone advise what they are doing? I would love to get rid of these aphids but not at a cost to these bees" .
Site Owners Comment
Indeed Sheena, what you are witnessing is bees collecting honeydew. Opinions vary, but some suggest that bees do this when they are short of the "right type of nectar" from certain flowers, whilst others suggest this is a common activity in bees, and that bees are simply opportunistic - they smell the sugary honeydew, and collect it. It may be a combination of both factors.
I think it's excellent that you are leaving the aphids alone so the bees can gather the honeydew, since bees need all the help they can get right now, and we all make a contribution to the whole. If you have a photograph, would love to post on this site.
Thank you for sharing
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