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Old 10-21-2007, 11:22 PM   #1
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Bees and Water Lettuce

Why do bees like water lettuce? Feedings are starting to get scary. It's starting to cool down now, so the leaves are retreating back. Hopefully I'll be left alone during the winter time.

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Old 10-21-2007, 11:51 PM   #2
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I've never seen that either, but then I don't have a pond! There must be some pollen down there that the bees are after. Is that pollen on the leaves? (they look a little powdery) Does this plant flower or did it already?
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:26 AM   #3
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There are no flowers, just the leaves that come out that you can see. They are fuzzy looking, not what I would call pollen. I don't know what the bees are after.
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:34 AM   #4
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Possibly the fuzz itself. Bees not only collect nectar and pollen buy also plant fiber for formulating specific types of waxy building materials for hive construction.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:27 AM   #5
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Interesting. Well I may just pull this out of the barrel for the winter anyway to allow it to keep growing through the colder months. I'll have to address the bees when it's warm again I'm sure.
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:38 AM   #6
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I have seen bees collecting fuzz! I have a lamb's ear plant and they sit on the leaves, which are very soft and fuzzy/covered with lots of short hairs. The bees move their head back and forth and collect a ball of fuzz under their "chin" area and fly off with it. I always wondered what they were doing.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:15 PM   #7
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I pulled the water lettuce inside for the winter, although with the recent CA fires, it's been 80 degrees along the coast. I looked outside this morning. The bees were confused.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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Poor bees...they will be back next year! I read in your other post that you're not in the fires' way and I'm glad to hear that. How are you going to store the water lettuce for the winter? Just float it in a bucket inside?
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:01 PM   #9
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My water lettuce is just floating in my indoor tank. It will provide warm enough temperature and polish off the bioload.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:28 AM   #10
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I believe we were all wrong, thinking it was the fibers they were after. The water lettuce was submerged partially, leaving half the leaves underwater. I think there is something in the water itself that the bees are after. Maybe the bees are just thirsty and found the barrel and easy target.

See? They're on the lily leaf, at the edges, head facing towards the water.

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