Honey bees aren't all that attracted to commercial roses, but this one was.
Honey bees are still attracted to it. So are assorted lady beetles, aphids, syrphid flies, tachinid flies, and occasionally we see a green bottle fly. Hey, flies are pollinators, too! And green bottle flies do look rather stunning on yellow roses when the light is just right.
This is our "Yellow Rose of Texas," bringing back memories of our Texas-born mother.
This year's Rose Weekend, sponsored by the UC Davis-based California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1 at the Foundation Plant Services (FPS), 455 Hopkins Road, off Hutchison Drive, west of the central campus.
Admission is free. The event is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. You can stop and smell the roses, buy your favorite roses (five-gallon plants for $25 each, with proceeds benefitting CCUH), tour the FPS eight-acre collection of roses, talk to the UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners, and listen to two professionals who love roses and love talking about them. Rose breeder Jim Sproul speaks at 10 a.m. Saturday on "Breeding Novel Rose Varieties," followed at 11 by Jacques Ferare of Star Roses discussing "The Status of the Rose Market in the United States."
FPS tours are from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day. The UC Master Gardeners will be offering tips and advice for your roses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Free mini-roses, while supplies last, will be given to visitors. See schedule and directions on the CCUH website as compiled by executive director David Fujino and manager Kate Lincoln.
Many folks attend the Rose Weekend to purchase roses for their mothers, as Mother's Day is coming up (and coming up roses) on Sunday, May 8.
For more information about this educational event and fund-raiser, contact Kate Lincoln of CCUH at (530) 752-6642 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An educational opportunity to learn more about them--the truths and the myths--will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at the University of Caifornia, Davis, and you're invited. It's open to the public.
The conference, themed “Truth or Myth: Neonicotinoids and Their Impact on Pollinators: What Is the Science-Based Research?” will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane.
UC Davis researchers and state officials will address the crowd, announced conference coordinator Dave Fujino, director of the UC Davis-based California Center for Urban Horticulture.
“We are pleased to have such a knowledgeable lineup of UC Davis researchers who will clarify the issue of impact of neonicotinoid impacts on pollinators by summarizing and presenting the past and current science-based research,” Fujino said. “We are also fortunate to have additional presentations on the regulation guidelines on neonicotinoids and their role in controlling invasive pests in California, and a diverse group of stakeholders participating in a panel discussion on the neonicotinoid issue.”
Neonicotinoids, recently implicated in the worldwide die-off of pollinators, including honey bees, are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Considered important in the control of many significant agricultural and veterinary pests, they target the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. “Neonics,” as they're called, are commonly used on farms, and around homes, schools, and city landscapes.
Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, will provide an overview of the current use of neonicotinoids and the role of honey bees in California agriculture. Six other speakers are scheduled, along with a panel discussion.
The speakers include:
- Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, who will discuss “California Pesticide Regulation of Neonicotinoids”
- Nick Condos, director of the Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division, California Department of Food and Agriculture, “Neonicotinoid Risks Associated with Invasive Species Management”
- Karen Jetter, associate project economist, UC Agricultural Issues Center, “Trends in Neonicotinoid Usage in California Agriculture and the Control of Invasive Species”
- Margaret “Rei” Scampavia, a doctoral candidate who studies with major professors Neal Williams and Ed Lewis of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, “Past Neonicotinoid and Bee Research”
- Elina Lastro Niño, Extension apiculturist based at the Harry H. Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, “Current Neonicotinoid and Bee Research.”
The California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) will co-host the event with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Sponsors include California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC), a trade organization founded in 1911 to promote and protect the California nursery industry; Four Winds Growers, based in Winters, Calif.; Scotts Miracle-Gro, a company headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, and known as the world's largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products; and Monrovia, a horticultural craftsmen company headquartered in Azusa, Calif.
At the close of the conference, Fujino will preside over a panel discussion on neonicotinoid issues and concerns. Questions and answers from the audience will follow. The panel is to include a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, and representatives from the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, Home Depot, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bayer CropScience and the American Beekeeping Federation.
The registration fee of $50 will include lunch, as well as the post-conference social hour. To register, access the CCHU website at http://ccuh.ucdavis.edu/public/copy_of_public/neonicotinoid-pollinator-conference-2015/neonic or contact CCUH representative Kate Lincoln at email@example.com or (530) 752-6642.
The European Union recently adopted a proposal to restrict the use of three pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for a period of two years. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that by January 2016, it will ban the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides and the use of crops improved through biotechnology throughout the 150 million acres managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System.
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How to celebrate Valentine's Day?
Well, without pollinators, we wouldn't be celebrating Valentine's Day as we know it.
That box of chocolates? Give thanks to the midges that pollinated the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao.
That bouquet of mixed flowers? Honey bees probably visited them before they were gifted to you. Among honey bee favorites are lavenders, mints, sunflowers, asters, basil, rosemary and the like.
That candle on your dining room table or fireplace? It may be made of beeswax, provided by the bees.
But to paraphase John F. Kennedy, it shouldn't be about what bees can do for us; it should be what we can do for the bees. Two of the nicest things we can do are to (1) plant a bee friendly garden, offering a diversity of their favorite seasonal plants, (2) avoid pesticides and (3) learn about the bees around us and their needs.
You can learn how to attract pollinators at a workshop set March 28 on the UC Davis campus. That's when the California Center for Urban Horticulture is sponsoring "Your Sustainable Backyard: Creating a Living Landscape." Registration is underway.
Another perfect gift for Valentine's Day is the newly published California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardener and Naturalists (Heyday), the work of Gordon Frankie, Robbin Thorp, Rollin Coville and Gretchen Ertier, all with UC Berkeley connections, and one with a UC Berkeley/UC Davis connection. That would be native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor at UC Davis, who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley.
As the authors point out, California is home to some 1600 species of bees. In their must-have book, they describe bee behavior, social structure, flight season, preferred flowers, and natural enemies. They offer "recipes" for bee gardens and list how you can become involved with projects that protect bees and promote public awareness.
Can't you just hear the bees communicating "Bee Mine?"
So you want to create a sustainable landscape in your backyard. You want to create a living landscape that attracts bees, butterflies and birds. You want plenty of pollinators and a plethora of beneficial insects.
How do you do it?
The California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), based at the University of California, Davis, will clue you in at its workshop, "Your Sustainable Backyard: Creating a Living Landscape Workshop," on Saturday, March 28 on the UC Davis campus.
The event, set from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (come for breakfast at 7:30!), will take place in Room 180 of Medical Sciences Building C in the School of Medicine complex. Registration is now underway and those planning to attend should reserve their space early.
Insect and wildlife habitat is growing scarce in the typical backyard, said Anne Schellman, program manager of CCHU. "Making your garden into a living landscape is an important way to create places of refuge for wildlife while adding biological diversity to your city. The goal of the sustainable gardener is to reduce pesticide use, select plants carefully and provide food and shelter for wild creatures, which helps tie our gardens to the larger landscape around us."
Workshop topics (the speakers and their titles will be announced soon) are:
- Plants that provide refugia for wildlife (refugia is defined as "an area where special environmental circumstances have enabled a species or a community of species to survive after extinction in surrounding areas")
- Not-so-common pollinators
- Cool tools to control garden pests
- Green roof applications
- Attracting birds to your backyard
The cost is $45, which includes parking, a light breakfast, lunch and a special tour of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology on Bee Biology Road. It is located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of the central campus. Those attending will also have the opportunity to purchase bee condos or homes for leafcutter bees and blue orchard bees. They are blocks of wood drilled with specific-sized holes.
For more information on the workshop, access the CCUH website or contact Schellman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-6642.
A welcome gift, indeed.
We placed our two little beneficial buddies on a yellow rose rose bush, "Sparkle and Shine," purchased last year during the Rose Weekend sponsored by the UC Davis-based California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
"Eat," we said. "Eat aphids."
Ladybugs don't always do what they're told. Sometimes they fly away.
However, the yellow roses are gorgeous. They remind me of "The Yellow Rose of Texas," a song--and flower--so loved by my Texas-born mother. "So pretty," she'd say.
Which bring us to this: CCHU's 2014 Rose Weekend is set Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4 at the Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road, UC Davis. CCHU kindly hosts this fundraiser just before Mother's Day to make gift-giving easier. The two-day event includes rose sales, bus tours of the Foundation Plant Services' eight acres of roses, and informational sessions on roses--everything you've always wanted to know about roses but didn't know who to ask.
Admission is free. Also free: a rose for each guest while supplies last. In addition, CCHU will offer for sale copies of the popular UC IPM book, "Healthy Roses." The bus tours of the eight-acre rose field will take place every 30 minutes, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, May 3:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Rose sale
12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Rose field tours
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Peter Boyd, noted Rosarian
11 a.m. to noon: Christian Bedard, rose breeder
--UC Master Gardeners' booth for questions and answers
--Rose Tissue Culture Information Booth
Sunday, May 4:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,: Rose sale
12:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Rose field tours
UC Master Gardeners' booth for questions and answers
The colors? Among them: Luscious reds, brilliant golds, and pure-as-the-driven-snow whites. You can download an online catalog to help you with your selections. Some roses are All-American Rose Selections (AARS). To be selected, a rose is evaluated for two years under no-spray conditions, and must meet strict criteria for superior disease resistance, fragrance and flower color, according to CCHU director Dave Fujino and program manager Anne Schellman.
They're also provided a handy rose dictionary on their website for those unfamiliar with roses:
English-style roses: Roses with dense petals that possess a strong fragrance. David Austin roses are English roses.
Floribunda: Medium-sized flowers in a “spray” of blossoms. Compact plants that are smaller and “bushier” than hybrid teas.
Grandiflora: Largest rose plant, has hybrid tea-style roses in small clusters of 3-5. Stems can be used for cutting.
Hybrid tea: One large flower per stem. Plant is medium to tall. Stems can be used for cutting.
Polyantha: A bushy plant with vibrant flowers
Whether they're English-style, floribundas, grandifloras, hybrid teas, or polyanthas, everything will be coming up roses on May 3 and 4.