Posts Tagged: honey bees
The Campus Buzzway is buzzing with bees.
The quarter-acre wildflower garden, located by the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road at the University of California, Davis, was planted last fall with California golden poppies (the state flower), lupine and coreopsis (tickseed).
This spring it's come alive.
This morning we watched honey bees dive head first in the poppies and roll around like kids in a haymow. The bees emerged coated with fine grains of pollen, much like kids dusted with hayseed.
The Campus Buzzway, a gift from Häagen-Dazs, is situated next to the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden that's a year-around food source for honey bees and other pollinators and a year-around educational experience for visitors. Plans are under way for a Sept. 11th grand opening, complete with speakers, tours and bee-themed hand-outs.
Meanwhile, the Campus Buzzway is picture-perfect with poppies and bees. Or is it bees and poppies?
Heading for Poppy
Rolling in the Pollen
Up, Up and Away
Our catmint is in mint condition.
So is the cat.
The catmint (Nepeta mussinii) is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae). It's a perennial with two-lipped blue or blue-violet flowers that blooms from spring through fall. It grows so well that it can become invasive.
Just like the cat.
As soon as the temperature hits 50 degrees, the honey bees are all over it, poking their heads inside the floral caps as if trying on hats.
And the cat, Xena the Warrior Princess, is right there. She likes to sniff, nibble and rub the catmint.
If she were in a catnip (Nepeta cataria) patch--catnip has whitish-pinkish flowers--she would be rolling in it in a crazy euphoric frenzy.
Although feline reactions differ considerably, the two plants belong to the same mint family.
Plant catnip and cats will roll wildly in it. Plant catmint and it's sniff, nibble and rub.
Bee on Catmint
Like an Acrobat
Cat Sniffing Catmint
Redmaids aren't red.
They're purple-petaled with white centers and yellow stamens.
The California native wildflower (Calandrinia ciliatais) from the purslane family (Portulacaceae) blooms from February through May.
Farmers who grow baby spinach and other crops consider it a weed. Honey bees don't. It's a food source that helps them build up their hives in the spring.
If you ever see a patch of redmaids, you'll surely see bees foraging among the bright blossoms.
There's a patch on Hutchison Drive, near the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California, Davis. New World Carniolan bees reared by bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Laidlaw facility, can be seen foraging there.
A patch of redmaids and a bee posse.
Field of Redmaids
Covered with Pollen
Honey bees don’t like tulips, right?
You don't plant tulips to attract bees, and you don't attract bees with tulips.
They prefer such bee friendly plants as lavender, salvia, catmint, sedum, cherry laurels and tower of jewels—not to mention fruit, almond and vegetable blossoms.
But last weekend, a lone bee—probably a confused lone bee—buzzed around our tulips in the back yard and then dropped inside to roll in the pollen.
She stayed inside the tulip for about five minutes. When she emerged, a layer of gold dust clung to her.
Bees don't like tulips? This one did!
Bee on Tulip
Rolling in the Pollen
The Campus Buzzway, a quarter-acre field of wildflowers planted last fall near the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California, Davis, is brilliant in gold and blue, the UC Davis colors.
The gold: California poppies. The blue (blue/purple): lupine.
There's also coreopsis or tickseed planted there but it just finished blooming last fall.
The Buzzway, funded by Häagen-Dazs, is located next to the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden designed by the Sausalito team of landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki.
The public opening of the two bee friendly gardens, initially slated for June, is expected to take place in the fall, probably in September, but no date has officially been set.
Spring, summer, fall and winter--expect great things in these two gardens. They will be a year-around food source for the honey bees at the Laidlaw Facility and surrounding area; a food source for various other insects, including native bees and butterflies; and an educational experience for visitors. Folks can glean information on what to plant in their own yards or create a bee friendly garden.
There's an old saying that "All that glitters is not gold." As for as the bees and the bee scientists at UC Davis, are concerned, this IS gold.
Bee on Lupine
Bee on a Poppy