- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Talk about a pollen-packing bumble bee.
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, displayed quite a heavy load of orange pollen recently as it foraged on hairy vetch in the Hastings Preserve, Carmel, owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley.
Did you know that Monday, June 15 marks the start of National Pollinator Week?
It's sponsored by the Pollinator Partnership, which offers these fast facts about pollinators:
- About 75 percent of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization.
- About 1,000 of all pollinators are vertebrates such as birds, bats, and small mammals.
- Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.
- In the United States, pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually
In observation of National Pollinator Week, the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is planning an open house at its bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Friday, June 19. The half-acre bee garden is located on Bee Biology Road, next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of the central campus.
Activities will include bee observation and identification, honey tasting, sales of native bee houses to support the haven, and information about low-water plants.
You're likely to see such pollinators as honey bees, bumble bees, sweat bees, syrphid flies, and butterflies.
The open house is free and open to the public. The garden, planted in the fall of 2009 during the tenure of Lynn Kimsey, then interim chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is now managed by Christine Casey, staff, and Extension apiculturist Elina Niño, faculty.
It showcases the work of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, co-directed and co-founded by Diane Ullman and Donna Billick; and the work of students in Entomology 1, taught by Ullman and Billick. The state-of-the-art fence that circles the garden is the work of Eagle Scout Derek Tully of Boy Scout Troop 111, Davis.
The bee garden is open daily from dawn to dusk.