From Big Flies To ... Drowned Bees?

Cold&warm
  • #1
Hello everyone!

Lately my customary, almost daily brine shrimp naupliI cultures collapsed, probably due to defective packaging.
A white worm starter from abroad was caught in the cold winter weather and arrived as compost.

I caught some real big flies and my always hungry, voracious Blue Gulareses made them disappear, be it with some effort, it took them more than an hour to get them into their digestive system.

In the 15 gal plastic container in the garden that collects rain and snow I saw a few bees that had drowned.
Can I feed these to my Fundulopanchax sjoestedtI or would that be too risky? (Hairy, sting, decay).
The Blue Gularesses eat about everything and anything: I have never seen them leave anything edible untouched ...

Thanks in advance for any answer!

Miguel
 
endlercollector
  • #2
I wouldn't feed the bees just because so many are dying from collapsing hives and systemic poisons. No need to introduce weird germs and toxins if you can avoid it
 
Naivara
  • #3
I wouldn't feed the bees just because so many are dying from collapsing hives and systemic poisons. No need to introduce weird germs and toxins if you can avoid it

I don't think we're talking about feeding the bees I'm no expert myself, but I bopped around the internet and found this little nugget of information. It's not mine, it's someone else's, just disclosing to be safe. Hope it helps!

Oops forgot to attach it here it is:

Are Honey Bees safe fish feed or can the stinger cause harm to an Aquaponic system?

Oh, I also just remembered: when I was eight I used to feed my fish spiders and sowbugs from the garden, the latter which ended up as a waste because the fish wouldn't eat the hard shell. I think I may have fed them a wasp at one time, but I chopped off the rear end of the butt and it's abdomen to be safe(sorry it's kinda graphic, huh). The fish were completely fine.
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks to both of you, endler collector and Naivara for your answers. You really make me think.

- This winter was kind of strange with snowfall blocking life for a day or two in January, February and March. I guess the "bee casualties" have to with it. It really was not warm enough for bees to come out. Perhaps they were confused by the "jumpy" temperatures. Perhaps they ran out of food and sacrificed themselves. What a pity I do not know more about bees..

- Here on the (low) mountains - 1800 ft above sea level it's only almond trees and when you drive down the mountain it's olive fields, I wonder if the bees fly so far though. Pesticides were never used, the people were too poor for that. I think they still do not spray the trees. In prehistoric times it was an island. Later when water levels went down it became one with the mainland. An expert on orchids told me that that can cause dwarfism or giant growth in wildlife species. Bottom line: we have dwarf orchids, many of which cannot be found elsewhere in the world. It is mainly foreigners who come from afar to see them grow in the wild. Locals (including me) are generally unaware of them.
I think we can rule out systematic poisoning. California may be much heavier on pesticides.. Perhaps I also brought up the orchids, because the times I was over there on a visit I would go to Trader Joe's whenever I could and buy mini-Cattleya, Cymbidium or Phalaenopsis orchid plants for relatives, friends and myself. Beautiful and supercheap by European standards.

- I do not know what "Southern California" stands for, but the hills/mountains I see from my window look exactly the same as those around Arcadia, Monrovia, Glendale.

- When I moved my tiny Pseudoepiplatys annulatus to the tiny tank I would use to warm the water for my brine shrimp naupliI hatching, I saw a little spider. Sure enough I pulled him out. Love and admire them little jumping spiders too much; would never forgive myself if I had fed him to my rapacious avatar-fishes. Would never feed a living bee to my fish, either.

- Nothing strange about chopping off the wasp's rear end. Was considering to do it to the bees.
In the meantime 2 out of 3 have sunk to the bottom of the plastic container.
 
Naivara
  • #5
I actually find jumping spiders cute. I fed a creepy looking daddy long legs to my fish, so I didn't feel that bad about it, which sounds terrible.

Maybe you should give the one remaining bee a go.
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Hope she's still floating.

Anyway, now that spring seems to have made up her mind to finally visit this region, soon there will be all kinds of fresh live foods around, notably red, white, black mosquito larvae in the buckets in the garden.
Never thought I could be so happy about mosquito larvae, especially those little black tiger mosquitoes'. All my fishies love them, even more than brine shrimp nauplii.

I went outside, there she was:

IMG_4169  di-10apr18-08.45 doode bij, lady bug, torretjes.JPG
If you look well, you'll see two tiny beetles, head to tail, near the right margin with a sunken leaf in the background.

The menu is getting rich..
It's feeding time!

Not surprisingly, the male got hold of the bee.

IMG_4179.JPG
It will take him quite some time to wrestle this chunk of food down his throat:

IMG_4180.JPG

He is still on it. With his mouth so wide open he looks like a miniature basking shark:

IMG_4187.JPG
IMG_4195.JPG

He looks surprisingly slender after such a big meal:

IMG_4203.JPG
No wonder: he has passed it on to the smallest of the two females:

IMG_4197  di 10apr18-abt 21.45.JPG
Brrrr...
 
DoubleDutch
  • #7
Drowned bees aren't very logical to me.
Bees clean up their hives in the spring and in the autumn there is a slaughter of male bees (so they don't use food during the winter).

Pesticides are the biggest danger though !
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
You mean there is something fishy about finding bees and other insects drowned in a plastic tank and buckets outside?
Could it not be that they drowned just like humans (unfortunately) sometimes do? Perhaps they were thirsty and ... got too much of it.
 
endlercollector
  • #9
You mean there is something fishy about finding bees and other insects drowned in a plastic tank and buckets outside?
Could it not be that they drowned just like humans (unfortunately) sometimes do? Perhaps they were thirsty and ... got too much of it.
Around here in Southern California, there are always weak bees drowning themselves wherever there's water. Poor things--they seem to seek out the water when they're already dying. When we first moved here about 20 years ago, there were plenty of healthy bees everywhere, but now, they're hardly to be seen. Glad to hear that pesticides are so much in use in your area.
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
This morning on the bottom of the tank I saw this empty part of the bee. It looks pretty much like part of an armour to me.

IMG_4210.JPG
 
DoubleDutch
  • #11
You mean there is something fishy about finding bees and other insects drowned in a plastic tank and buckets outside?
Could it not be that they drowned just like humans (unfortunately) sometimes do? Perhaps they were thirsty and ... got too much of it.
Yes instead of a lot of other insect bees are so incredibly smart, that downing bees sounds weird (just asked my teacher of my beekeeping-course if he has an explanation).

I would seriously have my doubt feeding dead bees to my fish. Flies aso have another lifecycle, lifespan, foodsource etc.. what would make me less hesitant to feed those.

Around here in Southern California, there are always weak bees drowning themselves wherever there's water. Poor things--they seem to seek out the water when they're already dying. When we first moved here about 20 years ago, there were plenty of healthy bees everywhere, but now, they're hardly to be seen. Glad to hear that pesticides are so much in use in your area.
Watched a film last year about bees (on trailers) in the US and specifically fertilizing Almonds. Several populations on the specific trailer died after the use of pesticides before / during the bees doing their job.
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
DoubleDutch, I appreciate your concern.

I will ask around, several people that I know work in the agricultural sector. It's mainly agriculture here anyway, also if you leave almonds and olives behind you and move on. (Once on a market in A'dam I saw eggplants/aubergines and zucchinI from Italy - who knows they came from this area. They cost 3x the price of their local greenhouse-grown equivalents.. ((Something I keep longing for, though, are the stroopwafels, on the market ye get the best ones.)))

I do not plan to feed any more (dead) bees - it was just an experiment, which was satisfactory as long as it lasted. By tomorrow I expect a starter white worms to arrive and in a few days new brine shrimp eggs. In the meantime I still have grindal worms and vinegar eels and in the fridge a few starters microworms - the live food my little aquatic friends are the least enthusiastic about.

Must be mighty interesting a beekeeping course, what was the explanation your instructor gave for the drowning bees? Do I understand correctly you live in the east or the south of the country?

Thanks again.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #12
DoubleDutch, I appreciate your concern.

I will ask around, several people that I know work in the agricultural sector. It's mainly agriculture here anyway, also if you leave almonds and olives behind you and move on. (Once on a market in A'dam I saw eggplants/aubergines and zucchinI from Italy - who knows they came from this area. They cost 3x the price of their local greenhouse-grown equivalents.. ((Something I keep longing for, though, are the stroopwafels, on the market ye get the best ones.)))

I do not plan to feed any more (dead) bees - it was just an experiment, which was satisfactory as long as it lasted. By tomorrow I expect a starter white worms to arrive and in a few days new brine shrimp eggs. In the meantime I still have grindal worms and vinegar eels and in the fridge a few starters microworms - the live food my little aquatic friends are the least enthusiastic about.

Must be mighty interesting a beekeeping course, what was the explanation your instructor gave for the drowning bees? Do I understand correctly you live in the east or the south of the country?

Thanks again.
No I live in the west of the country.

My teacher wasn't familiar with this issue of drowning bees.

You can hardly believe how mighty interesting. Bees are soooooo smart / clever. You can't imagine.

Only thing makibg me doubt to keep some I withnessed a gigantic swarm (population gets divided) and imagined my neighbours standing at my door hahaha
 
Cold&warm
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Beekeeping in the Randstad? I can hardly believe it. It challenges my understanding and imagination.
On the other hand, now I understand why you are so worried. I would never ever dream of feeding even one single Randstad-born bee - alive and even less dead - to my fishies. With all the toxic stuff your bees are exposed to and absorb from traffic and industry, and as you say, pesticides. That would be irresponsible ...

Here is different. Industry is literally beyond the horizon and crops - the ones that perhaps may be sprayed, I still have to inquire, are even farther away. You attending beekeeping classes are in a better position to know if bees travel some 20 km + 20 km back and forth from their homes for food. If they do, I can understand why they die. I would be exhausted if I were a bee.
Here the countryside seems to be as undisturbed and to breathe much the same way as it did in Ceasar's times. I am pretty sure some of your young folks in highschool in Northern Europe read that stuff in Latin class. Italian youngsters are at an advantage and tackle more difficult Latin literature.

Here we have types of honey you in Holland can only dream of: orange, lemon, almond, lavender ... and many more.

Yeah, this whole exchange of experiences over one dead bee.

I must say I'm a bit jealous, because of the beekeeping course and especially because of those countless well-stocked tropical fish stores in your country.
 
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