- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Set a plate for one and you might get three more diners.
Such was the case recently in a Sonoma garden when a patch Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule) drew a posse of hungry honey bees, all elbowing up to the plate.
Iceland poppy is irresistible.
Ironically, you won't find Iceland poppy in Iceland. It's native to the subpolar regions of Europe, Asia and North America and the mountains of Central Asia, according to Wikipedia. Cultivars include yellow, orange, salmon, rose, red, pink cream and white as well as bi-colored varieties.
These honey bees (below, photographed on Nov. 12) seemed to prefer red!
Meanwhile, mark your calendar!
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center has scheduled the fourth annual UC Davis Bee Symposium for Saturday, March 3 in the UC Davis Conference Center. Keynote speaker is noted bee scientist Tom Seeley, Horace White Professor in Biology, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. He's the author of Honey Bee Ecology, Honey Bee Democracy, The Wisdom of the Hive and Following the Wild Bees. The symposium is sponsored by the Honey and Pollination Center and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Harris has also announced that the second annual California Honey Festival is Saturday, May 5. The venue is the same: Main Street in Woodland. Last year some 20,000 people attended the festival--deemed a veritable bee hive of activity--and even more are expected this year. UC Davis will again be well represented.
More information to come!