- Author: Christine Casey
The Haven is all about teaching, research, and outreach to save the bees. Our programs are consistently rated highly by our visitors; we've grown every year of our existence and would love for that to continue. For details about our past accomplishments, please see our annual reports: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014.
I now need your help to save the Haven. As of October 1, 2019, we will lose half our funding. This will fundamentally change our ability to fulfill our mission and continue our previous growth.
What will be gone:
1. Have you enjoyed a visit to stroll through the flowers and study and photograph the bees? Have you gotten ideas or inspiration for your own bee garden at the Haven? While the garden will remain open, maintenance will be cut significantly and hours may be cut. The volunteers and I will do our best, but I doubt it will be the same attractive garden.
2. Have you taken a guided tour to learn more about bees and what you can do to help? Tour availability will be reduced to as little as one time slot per week.
3. Have you and your family attended an open house at the Haven? Did you enjoy our 'catch and release' bee vacs? Did you get a chance to view an observation honey bee hive or see our hive opened? These open houses will be substantially curtailed as a result of this funding cut.
While UC Davis is home to the Arboretum and many other wonderful gardens, the Haven is the only campus garden open daily that is staffed by subject matter experts who are available to answer questions.
4. Did you take a Haven class this year? Our Planting the Bee Garden class was offered three times this year to meet the demand. New classes, including bee photography, children's gardening, bee garden maintenance, and bee identification are in the works for next year. I can't say now if they will be offered.
5. Have you enjoyed reading this blog and learned how to improve your bee garden as a result? Expect fewer articles with less opportunity for having your questions answered.
What you can do:
1. Donate here. The Haven is supported solely by grants, donations, and volunteers. A generous Häagen-Dazs gift established the garden, but Häagen-Dazs DOES NOT provide any ongoing support. While stable, dedicated funding is needed in the long-term, our immediate needs are not large. Salaries, overhead, and operating expenses are $5000 per month; $15,000 is needed by September 30.
If the 3500 people who've attended a tour, Haven event, or class so far this year each gave $10, we'd be covered for seven months. While large donations are great, many small donations are just as important and will send a clear message of the Haven's value.
2. Speak out. Does the Haven matter to you? Let the Department of Entomology and Nematology know. Tell your friends and spread the word on social media. The University does not permit GoFundMe pages, so the bees are relying on you to spread the word.
3. Attend our fall fundraiser on September 21. Details will be posted soon on the Haven's web page.
Thank you. Together we can keep this unique garden going strong.
- Author: Christine Casey
I've had several questions recently about the Bambeco solitary bee house sold at Costco (they sell the Swiss Alps model), so I decided to head to my local store to check it out. While the price is amazing, the house has a few features that are not so ideal. For details on what makes a good solitary bee house, see here and here.
The depth. At 4.5 inches deep, it is sufficiently deep to allow the production of female and male bees.
What's not so good:
The nesting tube diameter. While the variety of diameters is good, solitary bees need tubes from 3/16 to 5/16 in diameter. While other arthropods, such as spiders, may use the larger tubes, they will not be used by bees.
Limited protected overhang. The nesting tubes should be placed so that the entrance has a bit of protection. That's why we make our houses at least an inch longer than the tubes.
The nesting tubes are glued in place. Once a tube is used it should be replaced to help prevent the build up of pathogens.
March 13, 2019: winter update
The bee house is not holding up well to the winter weather. Here's a photo showing some superficial mold as well as separation of the sides from the base. Note that I added extra protection by attached redwood fence boards to increase the cover of the roof.
March 27, 2019: comments on the 2019 model
Update July 1, 2019