- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Now another "pride" awaits.
Z Specialty Food will host a Nature Day celebration, a free public event from 11 a.m., to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 2.
The 20,000-square-foot facility, which houses the Moon Shine Trading Company, Island of the Moon Apiaries, and The Hive, includes a processing plant, a tasting room (honey and mead), a gift shop, an outdoor courtyard and a pollinator garden. As the largest honey varietal business in California, it is the pride of all folks eager to say: "Show me the honey!"
And now on Saturday, April 2, during the Nature Day celebration, you'll see the pride of The Hive.
What's on tap for Nature Day?
Don't Toss Those Scraps! – Natural Dye Workshop
Time: All day
Learn how to utilize food scraps and create one-of-a-kind dyes for clothing, fabric and yarn. You'll be provided white cloth, avocado pits and black beans. What's with food waste? Each year Americans waste 108 billion pounds of food, contributing to extensive environmental, economic, and societal impacts.
Miridae Living Labs
Time: All day
You'll get to play with seed bombs, bugs, and plants with Miridae Living Labs! This is a non-profit, Sacramento-area organization dedicated to using native insects and plants as tools for education, research, and community engagement. The business "strives to generate positive ecological changes in our communities under the guidance and leadership of community members," a spokesperson said.
Noon: Container Gardening with California Native Plants (first-come, first-serve basis with purchase of plant)
Miridae Mobile Nursery is a customized box truck that transforms into a curbside native plant shop. Its goal is "to bring people together through plants and gardening." All profits from its sales of native plants support its science education, non-profit Miridae Living Labs.
The Hive Nature Loop Scavenger Hunt
Time: All Day
You can grab a pamphlet and go on a scavenger hunt for plants in The Hive Nature Loop. Find all the plants and show to a team member to win a prize!
Pollinator Garden Tour
Time: 1 p.m.
Join plant curator Rowan Boswell for a tour of the two-acre pollinator gardens at The Hive. It's billed as: "Get inspired by our oasis and outdoor courtyard, designed to meet the needs of our community and native species. Discover pollinator favorites, California natives, and drought-tolerant plants."
Bohart Museum of Entomology
The Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis will display specimens of bees. The insect museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, is the home of a global collection of eight million insect specimens; a live "petting zoo" (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas); and a gift shop.
Some 24 images of honey bees by award-winning photographer Kathy Keatley Garvey of UC Davis will be showcased. A communication specialist for the Department of Entomology and Nematology who takes images of honey bees and other pollinators in her leisure time, she comes from a long line of beekeepers. She writes a daily (Monday-Friday) Bug Squad blog.
The Hive Facility Tour
Times: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Visitors are invited to tour the four-year development, created to educate the public on honey, bees, and pollination. Nectar director Josh Zeldner will guide the tours of 20,000-square-foot, Zero Net Energy facility.
Z Specialty Food began as the Moon Shine Trading Company, founded in 1979 by Ishai Zeldner (1947-2018), who died at age 71. He worked as a commercial beekeeper and studied beekeeping at UC Davis. He became fond of yellow starthistle honey. "He loved it so much that he began giving it away to his friends, and quickly realized he was going broke doing so," remembers his widow, Amina Harris, the director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. Her title at the family business? "Queen Bee." Son Josh Zeldner is the "nectar director." Liz Luu is the marketing manager and tasting room manager, or a "worker bee."
Honey enthusiasts all, they and their crew will greet the public on Nature Day, April 2. The bees will be there, too, foraging on the Pride of Madeira.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Others will learn how to design and plant a stunning pollinator garden so they can grow--and enjoy--their own flowers. Honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators will appreciate it, too.
Kate Frey of Hopland, a world-class garden designer, author, and co-founder of the American Garden School, will speak on "Gardening for Bees, Beauty and Diversity” at a free public program at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 14 at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, 740 Market Ave., Richmond.
Frey, a two-time gold medal winner at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London, is the co-author of The Bee-Friendly Garden with Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University. Her latest endeavor: launching the American Garden School, where gardening enthusiasts, would-be gardeners, landscape professionals and others can learn how to design and plant a bee- and beauty-inspired garden.
Frey, who has close ties with University of California entomologists, horticulturists and other scientists, spoke at the Native Bees Workshop last September at the Hopland Research and Extension Center, Mendocino County, and guided a tour of her one-acre spectacular garden at her Hopland home, where she and husband Ben reside.
"Bee gardens make people happy," she and LeBurhn wrote in their book. "Whether you enjoy a brilliant chorus of saturated color, a tranquil sanctuary from the busy world, or a hardworking edible garden, there is a glorious, flower-filled bee garden waiting for you."
Describing bees as "a critical link in the global food chain," they added. "Bees are the world's most prolific pollinators...Over 70 percent of the world's plants depend on the pollination of bees, including many nuts, fruits, tomatoes, peppers, or berries." The book will be available for purchase at the event.
Frey's presentation is part of Annie's two-day Mother's Day Extravanza, to begin at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14. It promises to be both fun and educational. See the schedule, which includes face painting, balloon twisting with Budderball the Clown; stiltwalking with "circus moves"; music and munchies; and other activities. Saturday's special event, at 11 a.m., will be a presentation by tomato breeder Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms, Napa Valley, who will discuss "how to grow the perfect tomato." On both days, a free plant will be given to each mother while the supply lasts.
Food available? Yes. A vendor will be selling kosher hot dogs, veggie dogs and other food both days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, a large crowd is expected to fill the seats at the outdoor program, while bees buzz, syrphid flies hover, and butterflies flutter.