Back in May of 2013, we headed over to the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) Annual Rose Days on the University of California, Davis, campus.
A cultivated yellow rose--Sparkle and Shine, related to the Julia Child Rose--caught our eye. Maybe it was because a honey bee was foraging on it. Maybe not.
Today, this floribunda rose is thriving like no other! Its enticing fragrance and bursts of blooms: stunning!
The lone honey bee didn't come with it, but the rose continues to attract bees. Of course, we all know that honey bees prefer such flowers as lavender, borage, bee balm, cosmos, zinnias, goldenrod, mallow and catmint, but don't tell that to the honey bees that frequent our Sparkle and Shine!
And now, it's that time again. CCUH, directed by Dave Fujino, and the UC Master Gardeners, directed by Missy Gable (former program manager of CCUH), are sponsoring their 10th Annual Rose Days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 6 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 7 at the Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road (off Hutchinson Road, west of the central campus). Admission is free.
CCUH says that the weekend will feature rose sales; bus tours to the nearby 8-acre, virus-tested rose fields on Saturday led by Foundation Plants Services; and booths staffed with Master Gardeners and Rosarians from the Woodland Library Rose Club, where they will answer your questions about roses, including how to plant, prune and maintain them. You can also ask them other horticulture-related questions.
This year there are 28 varieties to choose from: see the list on the FPS Rose Encyclopedia: http://fps.ucdavis.edu/roses/collection.cfm?roseday=y. You'll see photos and descriptions of such roses as Angel Face, Drop Dead Red, Ketchup & Mustard, Lemon Splash and All My Loving (perfect for Mother's Day)! New this year: sweet potato plants, according to new program manager Eileen Hollett. A free mini-rose, while supplies last, will be given to attendees.
You can also check out the CCUH website for further information:
Meanwhile, our yellow rose, true to its name, continues to Sparkle and Shine.
Oh, here comes another bee!
If you've ever seen honey bees foraging on primrose, you may have seen something unusual.
What's with the pollen hanging below their hind legs as they buzz from primrose to primrose?
There's a reason for that.
Distinguished emeritus professor Robbin Thorp of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nemalogy alerted us to the reason.
"Note the stringy mass (mess) of pollen hanging below the hind legs of the bee," Thorp points out. "Honey bees have great difficulty in collecting (actually packing into their corbiculae) pollen from any large flowered species of Oenothera. The pollen grains are very large, more than 100 microns, and tied together with viscin threads to form a webby mass. This is ideal for transfer by hawkmoths where stringy masses get attached to their undersides as they probe for nectar."
"Oenothera pollen," Thorp says, "can be collected by some native bees where the scopae are modified to contain sparse simple hairs where the webby pollen can be easily stored. But the corbiculae of honey bees are not well suited to handle this webby stuff, since it will not pass neatly through the 'pollen mill' of the honey bee hind leg."
He recalls seeing the same situation when honey bees were working his desert evening primroses.
And speaking of honey bees, it's National Honey Bee Day on Saturday, Aug. 22.
Extension apiculturist (emeritus) Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, wrote a piece on a UC ANR blog published this week. He initially published it in the June 2013 edition of the UC IPM Retail Nursery & Garden Center IPM News but it's quite timely.
"The actual cause of honey bee decline is still uncertain," Mussen says. "What is known is a number of factors are probably involved. Honey bees are their most robust and able to best contend with stresses when well fed. In addition to water, honey bees require nectar sources for carbohydrates and a varied mix of pollens to provide proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, sterols, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Drought, flooding, and conversion of former foraging grounds into large agricultural monocultures, highways, airports, developments, and so forth have led to honey bee malnutrition in many locations."
"In the last 20 years beekeepers have been encountering a series of previously exotic pests that invade the hive and kill bees, such as the varroa mite; new honey bee diseases, including Nosemaceranae; and many viruses."
"Pesticides can also be involved in bee decline, especially when applied to plants when they are in bloom and bees are foraging," Mussen points out. "Many insecticides are highly toxic to bees including virtually all organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids. If not killed in the field, foraging bees can collect residue-contaminated pollens and bring them back to the hive for immediate consumption or long-term storage. There are serious concerns over the chronic, sublethal effects of these residues on the physiology of immature and adult bees."
"A newer class of insecticides, the neonicotinoids, which include imidacloprid, clothianidin, and dinotefuran, also pose hazards for honey bees. These products are systemic materials that move through the plant and are included in the nectar and pollen of flowers when they bloom. Although the neonicotinoid residues may not kill bees immediately, they may have sublethal effects, such as suppressing immune and detoxification systems, causing bees to be more sensitive to other stresses."
If you want to know more about neonics, be sure to attend the UC Davis neonics conference on "Truth or Myth: Neonicotinoids and Their Impact on Pollinators: What Is the Science-Based Research?” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9 in the UC Davis Conference Center. 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. You can register on the CCUH website.
It's not "Rise and Shine!" any more.
It's "Sparkle and Shine."
"Sparkle and Shine," a yellow rose related to the Julia Child Rose, drew quite a bit of attention at the UC Davis event, "Roses: the "Eyeconic Weekend," sponsored May 4-5 by the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) at Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road, west of the central campus.
Participants loved it--and so did the honey bees. The bees--probably from the nearby Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility--beelined to that floribunda, but they also foraged on many other roses.
CCUH executive director Dave Fujino described the event as quite successful. The good news is that some of the roses are still available for sale. An online rose catalog depicts such roses as Yabba Dabba Doo, Big Momma, Tiddly Winks, Wild Blue Yonder, McCartney Rose, Passionate Kisses, and Oh My!
You can email Fujino at firstname.lastname@example.org with your rose request (and ascertain the availability) and then purchase the roses at the Foundation Plant Services site, corner of Hopkins and Straloch roads, from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 and Friday, May 10, Fujino said. (From west Hutchison Drive, take Hopkins Road and then Straloch Road. See map.)
Then it's gearing up for next year's rose days. The event (free admission) is always held the first weekend of May, right before Mother's Day. Guests look forward to touring eight acres of roses, learning rose care at informational/training sessions, and gracing their gardens with their choices.
The bees foraging on the roses are "free" but they won't go home with you because they already have a home!
So began Joe South in his hit song, "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," popularized by country singer Lynn Anderson in 1970.
That was Joe South's rose garden. What UC Davis has is an eight-acre field of roses, and you're invited to celebrate "Roses: the "Eyeconic Weekend" on Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5. It's a free event, with free training/informational sessions. The best part, however, is you can tour the rose field and select and buy a wide variety of container roses for your own garden.
The California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, sponsors this annual fundraiser.
The rose sale takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 at Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road, west of the central campus.
Rose field tours will be given from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on both days. Free mini floribunda roses will be handed out to the first 250 attendees, says CCUH executive director Dave Fujino.
Fujino invites the public to attend the free informational sessions, offered both days at the same site. No registration is required.
The agenda for Saturday, May 4 for the free informational sessions:
- 11 a.m. to noon: New rose varieties
- 1 to 2 p.m., Roses 101 (placement, planting and feeding)
- 2 to 4 p.m., Pruning
- 3 to 4 p.m.: Pest management
The agenda for Sunday, May 5 for the free informational sessions:
- 11 a.m. to noon: New rose varieties
- 1 to 2 p.m.: Roses 101 (placement, planting and feeding)
- 2 to 4 p.m.: Pruning
- 3 to 4 p.m.: Disease Identification (Bring your diseased specimens in a sealed baggie)
These "Rose Days" are what folks look forward to every year. Want to check out the beauty and fragrance? Want to learn how to prune roses? Want to ask a question about a pest or a beneficial insect? This is the place.
A rose catalog is online to aid you in your choices. There you'll see photos of such roses as Yabba Dabba Doo, Big Momma, Tiddly Winks, Wild Blue Yonder, McCartney Rose, Passionate Kisses, and Oh My!
Also available for sale ($10) will be the UC ANR book on "Healthy Roses."
No, this isn't Joe South's rose garden. This is the UC Davis eight-acre field of roses.