Not a keeper, but I’ve started to feed wild bees and I have a few questions.
TL;DR: I'm feeding wild bees, I have a few questions, pictures of bees below.
I live in NW MO. I impulsively decided to hang up an end of season hummingbird feeder 1.5 months ago. In the beginning all was well, I actually had some bird visits and only the occasional bee. But after a few weeks I suddenly had so many bees that the birds couldn't feed anymore. (so much for those bee guards)
I decided to make a bee feeder to try and draw them away from the hummingbird feeder. At first I only had some visitors, but it quickly took off. I'm using a regular sized pickle jar to hold my bee feed (half white sugar & half water) and they can finish that off within 1.5-2 hours. After that some go to the hummingbird feeder and the rest disappear.
I've been really suprised how agreeable the bees have been. I'm definitely cautious, but when I need to nudge the bees out of the way they don't seem to get angry and I haven't been stung. I'm just using a stick, moving slow and being gentle. (And talking to the bees like the folklore says.) Several have walked on my arms, which made me nervous in the beginning, but I'm slowly growing use to it.
If you've read this far, I appreciate it. I've fallen completely in love with "my" bees. I really look forward to getting off work every morning to feed the bees, watch them and quietly talk to them.
So here's my questions: 1) Are all the bees most likely from the same hive? 2) Bees communicate with pheromones, right? So if they aren't visual, why do they all have different markings? 3) Is it possible they recognize me or the jar or that it's feeding time? 4) Is there anything I need to know/do?
Bee tax: http://imgur.com/a/ig7Wgs9