- Author: Denise Godbout-Avant
With their complex social structure and “waggle dance” to inform hive members where food sources are located, honeybees are fascinating creatures.
But honeybees are not the only bees flitting about the flowers on our crops and in our gardens in search of nectar. There over 4,000 species of bees in California.
There are over 1,600 species of native bees in California. Unlike honeybees and Bumble bees, most are solitary in nature, and do not produce honey or wax for consumption by others. In North America, only the European honeybee and Bumble bees build hives and live in colonies.
There are 3 basic types of bee nesting:
- Ground nesting bees, which make up 70% of bees. Mining bees are an example of these.
- Stem and wood nesting bees, such as leaf cutter bees or mason bees, make up another 30% of bees.
- Colony nesting bees, such as honeybees and bumble bees make up less than 1% of all bees in North America.
Bees are in Trouble
Some ways you can help:
- Plant a garden full of flowering plants to attract bees and other important pollinators. Make sure you have something bloom during the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
- If you use a pesticide, choose one that is less toxic such as a horticultural soap or oil.
- Provide a space for nesting bees, with bee houses and bare patches of soil.
Upcoming Bee Talk
Date: Wednesday, September 14
Time: 3:15 – 4:15pm
Location: Modesto Junior College West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave., Science Community Center in room 115
Denise Godbout-Avant has been a Master Gardener in Stanislaus County since 2020.
Native (Bee) Pollinators
Take a quiz on your knowledge of native bee pollinators, learn about the three types of pollinator nesting, and see examples of what types of plants pollinators prefer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOGDSNJJoh8&t=6s
Planting for Pollinators
Learn about the local native bee pollinators and hummingbirds you might see in your backyard, and what kind of plants they prefer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naL3BM5aP-s&t=5s
Butterflies in Your Garden
Find out how to have more butterflies in your garden, by learning which plants are required for butterflies to complete their lifecycle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHXSdtxicII&t=6s
Download the handouts from any of our classes by visiting our Classes and Workshops web page at https://ucanr.edu/sites/stancountymg/Classes/
This post was originally published on June 24, 2021./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>
- Author: Elaine Lander
While you are outside gardening or inside doing your spring cleaning, you may have recently found small, round, speckled beetles you've never seen before. We've had several questions this past week about insects crawling around windowsills, found on screens, or noticed on outdoor plants, or fuzzy, oblong insects on carpets or rugs. What are they? While there are many insects starting to emerge from their winter rest, if you are finding small beetles like these, they could be carpet beetles!
Carpet beetles are pests of homes, warehouses, and museums. In California, there are 3 species that damage fabrics, carpets, and stored foods including the varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci. The beetles are round like lady beetles (“ladybugs”), but much smaller in size. Varied carpet beetles are about 1/10 inch long, with black, white, brown and dark yellow patterns.
Carpet beetles adults feed on pollen and nectar of flowers. They often fly into homes from flowers in the landscape or may be accidentally brought indoors on cut flowers. A few adult beetles inside your home are typically not a problem. However, if you find larvae, the fuzzy immature beetles on fabric, carpet, or other natural materials in your home, you may need to manage the infestation.
See the UC IPM Pest Notes: Carpet Beetles for more identification, prevention, and management information.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
They key to attracting butterflies is understanding their life cycle. Adult female butterflies seek out specific host plants on which to lay their eggs. These eggs hatch into "very hungry caterpillars." As you may recall from The Very Hungry Caterpillar storybook, caterpillars eat large amounts of plants so they can complete metamorphosis and emerge as beautiful butterflies.
During our class, you'll learn which plants attract certain butterfly species, and how to grow and care for these plants. Our speaker will also tell us how to identify common butterflies found in Stanislaus County.
You won't want to miss this class. Sign up now and don't forget to mark your calendar!
When: January 26, 2021 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom Webinar
How: Register at: http://ucanr.edu/butterflies/2021
Speaker: Ellen Zagory, retired Director of Horticulture, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden
- Author: Cheryl A. Wilen
Nurseries and garden centers often sell a wide range of plants for use in gardens and landscapes. As a consumer, you may manage a complex array of different landscape plantings, including woody trees and shrubs, woody ground cover beds, annual flower beds, herbaceous perennial beds, and mixed plantings. This complexity often makes weed management difficult. An integrated approach is the most economical and efficient way to control weeds, so knowing strategies for managing weeds in a variety of landscapes can help.
Woody Trees and Shrub Beds
Control perennial weeds before planting, although weed control can also be done after planting. Densely planted areas will reduce weeds. Geotextile (landscape) fabrics rather than black plastic used with a shallow layer of mulch will keep weeds from emerging. If you mulch without a geotextile base, the mulch layer must be thicker to prevent weed emergence.
If needed, you can use a preemergence herbicide to control annual weeds and supplement with hand weeding and spot applications of postemergence herbicides for weeds that are not well-controlled by hand weeding, such as perennial grasses.
Woody Ground Cover Beds
Mature, woody ground cover beds should exclude most weeds; however, when ground cover is just establishing, weed growth is likely. Perennial weeds must be controlled before planting, although perennial grasses may be selectively controlled after planting with a grass-selective herbicide like sethoxydim (Grass-Getter). Annual weeds may be controlled with mulch plus a preemergence herbicide but rooting of stolons in new plantings may be affected. You will need to supplement with some hand weeding.
Annual Flower Beds
A dense planting in annual flower beds will help shade out and compete with many weeds. Flower species should be carefully selected for weed management compatibility. Periodic cultivation at 3- to 4-week intervals and between flower beds plant rotations will also suppress weeds. Perennial weeds must be controlled before planting. Annual weeds can be controlled with mulches, preemergence herbicides, frequent cultivation, and/or hand weeding. Control perennial grasses with grass-selective herbicides like clethodim, sethoxydim, or fluazifop. Avoid nonselective herbicides in annual flower beds after planting.
Herbaceous Perennial Beds
Weed management options in herbaceous perennial beds are similar to those for annual flowers, except that it is more important to eradicate perennial weeds as there will be no opportunity to cultivate or renovate the bed for several years; and fewer species are included on herbicide labels. Geotextiles may be used in these types of plantings. Manage weeds with mulches and supplement with hand weeding. If needed, use preemergence herbicides after hand weeding.
Mixed Plantings of Woody and Herbaceous Plants
Weed management in mixed plantings is complex because of the diversity of species. Different areas of the bed could receive different weed treatments. Site preparation is critical because post-plant herbicide choices are few. Plant the woody species first and control perennial weeds in the first two growing seasons, then introduce the herbaceous species. Plant close together to shade the soil. Group plants within the bed that will receive similar weed management programs.
In most landscape situations, herbicides should not normally be needed by home gardeners. Mulching, removal by hand, and proper irrigation (pattern and amount of water) are sufficient in most cases. Find more information in the UC IPM Pest Notes: Weed Management in Landscapes.