Backyard Orchard News
One of the many enduring features of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis, is the inclusion of fruit trees, garden vegetables and herbs, and plants bearing such delicacies as strawberries, raspberries, Oregon grape and elderberry.
The half-acre bee friendly garden, planted last fall next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the UC Davis central campus, will be dedicated at a public celebration on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Plans are now under way for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event. The garden, a gift to the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is designed to be a year-around food source for honey bees and other pollinators, especially the bees on the Laidlaw facility grounds.
And, the garden is scheduled to be a rich educational experience for visitors, who can learn the importance of pollinators, and glean ideas for their own gardens.
So far, the garden has produced almonds (a resident almond tree), strawberries, artichokes, cabbage, and herbs (basil, parsley, onion and mint). Fruit trees will one day yield apples, plums and persimmons.
That's in addition to the scores of other bee friendly plants, including tower of jewels, salvia, seaside daisy, and crimson clover.
"As visitors travel through Honey Bee Haven, they encounter a seasonal variety of blooming native and ornamental plants and fruit trees, which, together, provide a year-round food source for the honey bees," wrote the winning design team from Sausalito (landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki).
"Connecting each garden is a series of trails, each thematically named to support the interpretive storyline," they wrote. "Trellises define the entryways to most gardens and reinforce the passage to the next space."
We're often asked: Can we see the design plan? Can we download it?
Yes, it's online on the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility website. Here's the page housing the design and here's the direct link to the PDF.
Huge Artichoke Plant
Onion Seed Ball
Nature's creatures are nature's features at the Solano County Fair, Vallejo, being held Wednesday, June 23 through Sunday, June 27.
Creative exhibitors, in a "this-bug's-for-you" mood, transformed butterflies, ladybugs and bumble bees into arts and crafts projects being displayed in McCormack Hall. The fair is located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive.
You'll see butterfly-inspired quilts, an educational ladybug display, a table-setting dotted with ladybugs, and huge paper mache bumble bee smiling from ear to ear--oops, from antenna to antenna.
If a county fair is a place to educate, inform and entertain--and it is--these displays do just that.
Sometimes folks think of pollinators only during National Pollinator Week, (under way this week through June 27), but it should be an every-day occurrence.
To appreciate and protect them, we need to be reminded of their existence and their role in our environment, our world and our lives.
Bank robbers rob banks because that's where the money is.
Spiders lurk in flowers because that's where the insects are. Whether they spin a sticky web, ambush their prey or just outrun or outmaneuver insects, spiders are there.
This morning a spider successfully trapped a honey bee in what amounted to an intricate "world wide web" connecting a tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii) to catmint (Nepeta).
But just as the hungry predator began racing toward its struggling prey, something unexpected happened.
Freedom. The photographer flicked the web and released the bee.
Just in time for National Pollinator Week.
Hope Lutheran Church, located at 364 E Barstow accepts donations Mondays 8am til 10 am or Tuesdays 7:45am til 8:15am for distribution on Tuesday mornings 8:30am til 10am. I was there this morning before 10 am and no one was in the pantry. I went to the church office and a nice lady opened the door so I could leave my donation. She said that you can donate anytime just go to the office and ask to have the door opened so you can leave your donation inside the pantry. I wouldn't leave anything perishable for long term because they only distribute on Tuesday mornings.
You'll be hearing more about the CP2C.
The first-ever Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus.
In keeping with 4th Annual National Pollinator Week, June 21-27, the Pollinator Partnership announced today that both parties of the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed to form the first Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C). Co-chairs are Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL).
Hastings and Johnson said they will be sending a “Dear Colleague” letter to fellow members of Congress to encourage their participation in the caucus.
As Hastings so accurately stated: “With one out of every third bite of food we humans consume dependent on bees and other animals for their pollination services, legislators need accurate information to help inform their positions."
“The caucus," Johnson added, "will seek out the best of pollinator science, economics and best practices."
Said Laurie Davies Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership (P2): "This bi-partisan effort aims to support legislators’ understanding of the needs of their constituents with respect to pollinators, and we salute their cooperative drive to ensure that this issue gets the attention it deserves."
Kudos to Hastings, Johnson and the Pollinator Partnership.
Meanwhile, in conjunction with the CP2C launch, the Pollinator Partnership will host a briefing for members of Congress, staff, and the public on Thursday, June 24 at 3:30 p.m, at Longworth House Office Building, Room 1302.
Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Burt’s Bees will provide ice cream and lip balm for attendees. Häagen-Dazs, a strong supporter of UC Davis honey bee research at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is committed to strengthening the health of the honey bees. (On Sept. 11, the public will celebrate the grand opening of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the Laidlaw facility.)
Burt's Bees is also a strong pollinator-supportive business.
Through research, public awareness, and concerted actions, we can all help preserve and protect our pollinators, especially honey bees.
Bee in Pomegranate Blossoms