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13/08/2013 at 20:54

I hope someone can help me out!

Several months ago I started growing runner beans from seed. They did really well,they're very healthy and stand over 7 ft tall! Im growing them in large patio planters as past experience resulted in them being destroyed by snails when planted out.

So far ive had no slug/snail problems however, I have no beans growing!  There have been plenty of flowers but once the flowers die/fall off the remaining stalks look to have been munched! Ive searched day and night for whatever is eating the new beans but have found nothing.  They are well watered, misted daily, in plenty of sunlight etc.

 

Does anyone have anyideas as im stumped!I

 

13/08/2013 at 21:09

Another poor gardener with bees stealing the nectar from the flowers by cutting a hole in the back of the flower. See 10th August thread called Bees Not Doing Their Stuff.

13/08/2013 at 21:14

Thanks. I shall take a look at the thread. We have had alot of bees in the garden this year!

13/08/2013 at 21:19

7ft is a healthy height, I'd be inclined to nip the tops off, it won't stop whats muching the flowers but the plant will stop growing and produce even more flowers and hopefully some will produce beans.   

13/08/2013 at 21:41

I was about to post the same imfo as zoomer.  Pinch the tops out to encourage  fruiting and less growth.  

are you feeding?  You may be over generous with feeding.  Think bees are the culprits though.  

14/08/2013 at 14:52

Thanks guys. Im guessing there isnt much I can do about the bee situation? Would it be wrong to put a net over them in the short term?

14/08/2013 at 15:44

I have been told about a little black beatle about 1mm x 2mm in size that gets inside the flower and eats all the pollen, thuse stoping it being fertalized, the flower will then fall off.

Having looked at the flowers on my runners, i can see this little black beatle, so what i whould like to is what can be done about it, PLEASE. Cedric.

15/08/2013 at 16:34

runnerbeans have grown well sadly the flowers die only a few beans have grown.the leaves look like they are burnt whats wrong

 

15/08/2013 at 18:30

yes  same problem.have growm my beans in large pots for years with no problems.It must be the bee's causing the problem

15/08/2013 at 18:54

cedric... my mum has these beetles in her sweet peas.. she cant bring any indoors.

my runners are doing really well this year..

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29404.jpg?width=289&height=350&mode=max

 this picture was taken month ago (take no notice of camer date it resets itself everynow and then regardless what i do)..

and now they a8ft all and a mass of flowers and bees.. we have frozen 2 large freezer bags full and given loads away as cant eat them all.. i have to pick them every two days to stay on top of them all..

all we did was fill the bed with a whole outturned composter full or compost.. i thin that is why and watered them every day.. best runners we have ever had.

 

 

15/08/2013 at 18:56

greenfingers.. may be wind bite..

thinking maybe this black beetle is the reason for out bee problem.. if they are eating all the pollen first.. mum had these beetles last year and now this year.. it ruins all  her sweet peas.. it is only on them thou.. strange

15/08/2013 at 19:03

this year has been a bean disaster year for me aswell.i usualy get around 65 to 70 pounds of beans off my 23 vines, but with the very hot days the flowers have not set ,the plant drops its flowers when stressed, just like trees in very hot times when water is short. other hot years i have mist sprayed every evening on hot days to set the flowers,& stop them from dropping, but was away for 2 weeks, i had a timer to water a soaking hose in the trench every morning from my water buts, thats why we enjoy the challenging hobby of gardening, every year is different, the older you get the more you realise what you learnt in passed years does not always work in the pressent one.

15/08/2013 at 19:08

I have found the same problems with my runners, I have read all of the advice and will stop my plants on my next visit to the allotment.  I have had a few beans, but by this time in the year I should be inundated with them.  Thanks for all the advice, keep up the good work everyone!

15/08/2013 at 19:08

It is my worst year too for setting. Only in the last week have I been picking beans. I pinch mine out to make them branch and initially keep the height down but am not aware this has any effect on flowers setting which is the problem. Plenty of bees around and I have not seen any using the "back door", which is often mentioned. I have not seen any beetles but will check again more closely. The variety can effect this problem too, as a neighbours beans have been producing for several weeks.

15/08/2013 at 19:28

I've never seen so many blackfly as are clustered all over most of my beans, they are still producing though, just a bit yucky to pick! 

Definitely less than usual though.

15/08/2013 at 19:33

i think there are not enough ladybirds to feed on blackflies and greenflies this year . i have so many of my plants affected but i dont want to use insecticides.

15/08/2013 at 19:59

This year my beans don't seemed to have alot of flower what beans have formed are very long and straight though I think its to do with the very hot and dry weather we have had.

15/08/2013 at 21:52

I think that the beetles you are seeing are called pollen beetles. They do little harm to the flowers unless you want them for show. They certainly wouldn't denude a flower of so much pollen that it could not fertilise another flower.

My money is still on bumblebees robbing the plant of its store of nectar. I think that bees in some areas have learned the trick from one another as blue tits learned to steal cream from milk bottles in the old days. That would account for why some areas have a good crop of beans and others don't. 

You lucky lot with beans - you wait, you just wait....

15/08/2013 at 22:03

I know it may be too late for your crop this year, but I always pinch out beans when they get to top of the 6' canes, and I grow sweet peas along side the beans to attract the insects that pollinate, and keep on picking every day as that will stimulate plant to produce more. 

I dig a trench & fill up with kitchen scraps for a few months before putting out plants, and never use same site in the garden in subsequent years. I know that some think this is a waste of time, but my dad always did this and always had a good crop. 

15/08/2013 at 22:04
waterbutts wrote (see)

Another poor gardener with bees stealing the nectar from the flowers by cutting a hole in the back of the flower. See 10th August thread called Bees Not Doing Their Stuff.

Bee species come with varying length tongues. The short-tongued species are known to get a little frustrated with some flower types and take 'short cuts'. If you watch bees on aquilegias you will see some species go for the bottom of the spur with their mandibles to get at the nectar.

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