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Should I let the Bees Be???

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

I planted this broccoli in late winter (Houston z9) but the weather was milder than usual and the plant went to flower pretty fast. I see a lot of bees hovering around the flowers and just don't have the heart to deprive them of nectar. I assume that means that it wont produce any more broccoli, but is there any other reason why I shouldn't let the bees be? thanks for your help.

Thumbnail by vossner
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

vossner - thank you for your concern for the bees :)

Unless you need the space for something else, or have sprayed the plants with something that could be harmful, I would suggest you leave these plants for the bees to enjoy.

I often let plants flower for the bees to collect nectar and/or pollen.

I used to be a "bee keeper" many moons ago :)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

We have broc that is like that. It will actually still produce side shoots. We pulled out all but 3 broc plants. I left 2 for the seeds and the bees have been all over it. The other one is still producing and ready for another harvest. I've also been enjoying the yellow flowers. I noticed seed pods have started forming so we'll soon have TONS of broc seeds!

Thumbnail by stephanietx Thumbnail by stephanietx
Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

I agree that the flowers are very delicate and very pretty. I have little broc flowerets forming but I just assumed they would be tough or bitter since plant went to flower. i will leave share with the bees, then, until I start working w/ summer veggies. thanks for your help.

This message was edited Feb 24, 2013 2:29 PM

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I always let some of my broccoli go to flower too.
They will attract the earlier bees which they pollinate the rest of your veggies and fruits. Definitely a keeper. Great job !

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Last spring, I let a broc go to flower out of sheer curiosity. It made a HUGE bouquet bloom.

One day, as I was putzing around nearby, I heard buzzing, like the current from a live, power wire. I was almost on top of that bloom when I turned and saw that it was completely covered with little bees, moving in and out of the flowers. I stood up VERY slowly, and backed away.

As I did, the only thought that came to my mind was, "don't taze me bro'!"


Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Don't worry, Gymgirl. Bees sting when they are guarding their home, they rarely sting otherwise... unless one gets caught in your hair, or down your neck OR as happened to my son-in-law when he took a swig of his soda and got stung in his throat!

I guess this is a good time to remind yŠll to never leave an opened can of soda outside because they do, and will, attract bees and wasps. It's the sugar they are after. (This experience is NOT on my "bucket list")

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

thanks for the tip. we're bad about leaving open containers on the patio table so will keep this in mind

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

You're welcome, vossner.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I respect all the wildlife in the garden, and try to live as harmoniously as possible with them. I don't believe in killing a creature just because it's there. It's there for a reason, or else it wouldn't be there at all.

Not afraid of any of the creatures. And, I've discovered a tolerance for many more that I used to once be a whole lot more wary of. I do keep a cautious eye out for snakes. Never have seen one in my yard, but, "just when you least expect it..."

I only stepped back from the bees because they startled me! Once I realized what it was I was "feeling", we were cool. Went back out many more days with them buzzing past me. No sudden movements or swatting at them, and all was good in my garden world!


Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey, vossner....I actually really like broccoli flowers. I think they are pretty, so the bees and I are big fans. They look cool with blue flowering ajuga planted around as a back drop.

I once had a fight between me and a hummingbird over a can of soda. She wanted it all for herself but I was drinking from it. She came right up and perched on my hand to scold me about not sharring! Too funny. DH was sitting right next to me and said he wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it for himself!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Gymgirl - I am so thankful that there are people, such as yourself, that think the same way about nature as I do. Wherever we have lived, we always respected the wildlife that shared space with us, even when they ate part of our food crop. Such as the squirrels that ate our corn in Florida, the deer that ate just about everything in Tennessee, and the voles that eat our sweet potatoes here in North Carolina.

terri-emory - thanks for the pretty mental picture of the hummingbird. :)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)


I wouldn't have believed it if you hadn't said it could happen!

I was a fan of the National Geographic specials probably when I was 8 or 9 years old. I love the world, the beauty of God's creation. I have stood on some mountains that took my breath away. And, I have knocked myself over laughing behind some little critter in my yard!

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

We had a huge 5 or 6' wooden cable reel that was by our steel building. Was out there cutting some overgrowth and saw a bunch of bees. They had built a hive in the center of the spool, and while I was working out there a bunch landed on me and I never got stung once. We had to get the spool taken away and we still had bees around for several months after that.

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

I too let my broccoli flower so the bees could enjoy. I pulled the plants yesterday, though, because all the flowers were spent and the bees are gone. But yeah, bees love those flowers.

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