Posts Tagged: Haagen-Dazs honey bee haven
Honey bees have a "choke hold" on artichokes.
They absolutely love flowering artichokes.
Take the artichokes blooming in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.
Sometimes 10 or 15 bees try to gather on a single blossom.
The "beeline" of honey bees, bumble bees and sweat bees turns into a collision course not unlike a NASCAR race.
"Hot spot," said Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty. "They're all heading for that hot spot of nectar."
The artichoke (Cynara crdunculus)? It's a thistle, and bees are ravenously fond of thistles.
A rule of thumb: When you're trying to attract bees, don't harvest the artichokes. Let them bloom.
Lots of Bees
First it was the California poppies. Then the lupine.
And now it's coreopsis, aka tickseed.
It's seasonal blooming at the Campus Buzzway, a quarter-acre wildflower garden planted last fall at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road at UC Davis.
A gift from Häagen-Dazs--in a project coordinated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and the California Center for Urban Horticulture--the Campus Buzzway features blue and gold, the UC Davis colors.
Poppies and lupine starred in the garden earlier this year, and most have finished blooming. It's now coreopsis' turn.
Its spectacular neighbor, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden, will be the center of attention on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the public opening celebration. But the Campus Buzzway will attract attention, too.
Garry Pearson, greenhouse supervisor at UC Davis, unfolded three banners at the Campus Buzzway last week. The banners will be on display in the Campus Buzzway on special occasions.
The Sept. 11 opening of the gardens, set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is one of them.
Trio of Banners
Bee on Coreopsis
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
This spectacular plant attracts bees like a honey-laden hive does hungry bears.
The tower of jewels (Echium wildprettii), native to the Canary Islands, is a biennal; it flowers only in the second year and then dies. So, for the first year, it looks quite insignificant. The second year: it shoots up an amazing nine or 10 feet, ablaze with blossoms the color of rubies.
If you ever see a tower of jewels blooming, you'll remember it. One bloomed last year in the Storer Garden in the UC Davis Arboretum. it drew scores of visitors toting cameras.
The same will hold true when several towers bloom next year in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
Visitors to the haven will see the "tiny" Echiums during the public opening on Sept. 11. They won't see the regal beauty unfold until 2011.
Meanwhile, we're savoring the three towers in our own bee friendly garden. So are the honey bees, hover flies, bumble bees, carpenter bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
The scouts (bees) arrive as soon as the temperature hits 50 degrees. Then they head back to their hives to alert the foragers. You can almost hear them Waggle-Dancing: "Fine quality, large quantity--hurry, hurry!" By mid-morning, the towers are abuzz with bees. By mid-afternoon, the bees sound like jet engines.
A tower of bees.
HONEY BEE zeroes in on a ruby-red blossom. (Copyrighted Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
LADY IN RED--A honey bee amid the bright red blossoms of the tower of jewels. Note the blue-gray pollen from the plant on her leg. (Copyrighted Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
BLUE SKIES, red blossoms, busy bees. A honey bee heads for a tower of jewels. (Copyrighted Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The half-acre garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven planted last fall at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California, Davis, is not only bee friendly but it will be art friendly.
At the entrance to the garden will be a two-column sculpture of decorated bee boxes; the first column depicting activity within the hive, and the second column depicting activity outside the hive.
Outside the hive? Think workers gathering nectar, pollen, propolis and water.
A hexagonal block beneath a sturdy almond tree in the garden will hold a giant bee sculpture--yes, let's put the beleagured honey bee on a pedestal! Ceramic art panels will adorn the sides. Billick is creating the giant bee sculpture. The Ullman-Billick classes are providing the rest of the art in the garden.
Bee friendly, art friendly, people friendly.
The haven will be a year-around food source for bees and other pollinators and an educational experience for visitors, who can learn the plight of the honey bee and the importance of having bees in our gardens. Plus, visitors will glean ideas on what to plant in their own gardens to attract pollinators.
The public celebration is in its early planning stages, but the date is set and all systems are green:
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010.
View of the garden