Posts Tagged: Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
The purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a favorite among the autumn plants blooming in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, the half-acre bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
The purple coneflower, which looks like a conehead surrounded by drooping petals, is endemic to eastern and central North America.
It's a common sight to see dark and light-colored honey bees foraging on the coneflowers. The darker bees, New World Carniolans (the line belonging to bee breeder Susan Cobey and located at the Laidlaw bee yard) and the Italians (the most common bee in the United States) share many a coneflower.
Yes, they all get along.
The haven, open year around at no charge, is located on Bee Biology Road west of the central campus. It was designed as a year-around food source for the Laidlaw bees and other pollinators; to raise public awareness of the plight of the bees; to provide information on what folks can plant in their own gardens to attract bees; and as a research garden.
What to plant for autumn foraging? Consider the coneflower!
What the world needs now is "love, sweet love" and...more ladybugs.
Ladybeetles are our friends. They gobble up aphids and other pests in our garden, and then look around for more. They have insatiable appetites.
Last Friday morning, as volunteers worked in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, the half-acre bee friendly garden at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, the artichoke plants stirred.
Two ladybugs were in the midst of making more ladybugs.
Yes! We need more ladybugs.
During the grand opening celebration of the haven on Sept. 11, we spotted a web-weaving spider eating a ladybug.
One ladybug gone.
But many more to come.
Volunteers interesting in tending the plants--and maybe spotting a few ladybugs, as well as honey bees, butterflies, dragonflies, sweat bees, praying mantids and a variety of other insects in the garden--can show up at the haven on Fridays at 8:30 a.m.
Melissa "Missy" Borel, program manager of the California Center for Urban Horticulture, UC Davis, and one of the key persons involved in the development of the garden, is coordinating the volunteers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-6642.
And oh, if you like to capture images of plant and animal life inside the garden, don't forget your camera.
Beneath a Leaf
She didn't come home last night.
The little honey bee at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, University of California, Davis, wound up in a spider's stomach.
This morning we stopped by the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, the half-acre bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the facility, and a spider was having breakfast--one of Susan Cobey's New World Carniolans.
We spotted the same spider chowing down on a ladybug during the grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 11, and we remember saying "Good, it didn't get a bee."
This time it did.
I jokingly asked beekeeper Elizabeth Frost, staff resource associate who works with Cobey at the Laidlaw facility, if she were missing any bees. (After all there are "only" about six million of them in the apiary.)
It would have been hilarious if she had said "Did a bed check. One unaccounted for."
Bee and the Spider
Some 1300 people, including beekeepers, entomologists, gardeners, nature lovers, and children--plus millions of bees in the vicinity--helped celebrate the grand opening of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven last Saturday, Sept. 11.
The haven, a bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, looks glorious in its fall colors, including oregano, purple coneflowers, Mexican hat flowers and sedum.
A highlight of the grand opening: the speech delivered by Dori Sera Bailey, director of consumer communications, Häagen-Dazs and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. The company provided free ice cream to the crowd.
"It's so nice to see so many families here today," she began, then asked "Who can tell me why protecting honey bees would be important to Häagen-Dazs ice cream?"
"In fact," said Bailey, praising him for his answer, "more than than half of our 60 flavors of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream bars are what we call 'Bee Built.' That means they’re made with fruits, berries and nuts, pollinated by honey bees."
She went on to add that "while we’re all about ice cream, we also recognize that without honey bees we would lose one-third of all the natural foods we eat. Think about that when you’re eating dinner. One out of every three bites you take came from the efforts of honey bees and other pollinators."
"That’s why my friends and I at Häagen-Dazs," Bailey said, "are so pleased to sponsor the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. It’s only appropriate that we created a beautiful source of food for the bees who bring us peaches, tomatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, onions and cherries. I understand more than 6 million bees are dining in this Haven."
"By helping honey bees we can help ensure a safe and bountiful food supply for all. And that’s a contribution we can make that benefits all Americans. In that spirit, we are very pleased to announce that Häagen-Dazs will be donating another $50,000 to UC Davis in 2011 for continued honey bee research and support."
Bailey ended her presentation on another sweet note: "Thank you for coming today. Thank you to our partners at UC Davis and the many others who have toiled over the last two years to design, plant, nurture and give life to this garden. We thank you all, on behalf of Raspberry Sorbet, Rocky Road and Cherry Vanilla. Enjoy the garden . . . and the Häagen-Dazs."
The crowd did. It was a honey of a garden celebration.
Surrounded by Sedum
Bee observation hive
Now they are thinking inside and outside the hive.
Visitors to the grand opening celebration of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, will see two columns of bee hives or “bee boxes” gracing the entrance to the half-acre bee friendly garden, located at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, University of California, Davis.
“They’re fantastic,” said bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey. “They’re beyond fantastic—the art work is awesome. Not only is the quality of artwork highly impressive, the coverage and accuracy of the honey bee life cycle and activities depicted are extremely well done.”
Cobey is right. They are amazingly bee-utiful.
The colorfully painted bee hives are the work of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, co-founded and co-directed by Ullman and Billick. Ullman is an entomology professor and associate dean for undergraduate academic programs at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Billick is a noted artist who holds a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a master’s degree in fine arts.
Dalrymple, a UC Davis entomology graduate student, served as the teachers’ assistant for the program’s Graphics and Communications Studio section.
As part of their research, the students enrolled in the class visited the Laidlaw facility, learning about bees from Cobey and staff research associate-beekeeper Elizabeth Frost.
“From my view, watching this come together has been a highlight, as the students asked their numerous questions seeking accuracy and sought the experience of opening a colony and observing bees in their numerous duties,” Cobey said. “The delight and amazement of students holding a frame of brood, watching a new bee emerge from her cell, feed larvae or pack in pollen for first time, is also is a thrill for me.”
Each sculpture is stacked with seven real bee hives, so real that curious Laidlaw bees try to enter them. One column depicts life inside the hive, and the other column, life outside the hive. Among the images: a queen bee laying eggs, nurse maids caring for the brood, and foragers collecting nectar, pollen, propolis and water.
The half-acre bee friendly garden, open year around at no charge, includes a 6-foot-long honey bee, created by Billick and funded by Wells Fargo. It's a worker bee appropriately placed beneath an almond tree.
Ceramic tiles on the bench below the bee were created by undergraduate students in a freshmen seminar for Davis Honors Challenge students; community members; and sixth grade students at Korematsu Elementary School, Davis.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, once said that the honey bee haven is sure to become "a campus destination."
She "bee" right.
(See this web page for more information on the grand opening.)
Raising the Box