Posts Tagged: purple coneflower
There's nothing quite like a cone--no, not an ice cream cone.
A purple coneflower.
The purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, family Asteraceae), looks like royalty in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis.
The drought-tolerant plant is a favorite of not only gardeners, but honey bees, bumble bees and sweat bees.
The haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, is open (free admission) from dusk to dawn. It's a year-around food source for honey bees, an educational experience for visitors, and a research garden.
Most folks who visit the garden vow "I'm going to plant those purple coneflowers in my garden."
If they do, it will be like royalty. The throne is where the honey bee sits. She's graced with yellow jewelry (pollen). As she moves, she wears a robe--a robe of petals.
There's nothing like a purple coneflower.
Honey bee on purple coneflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Peek-a-bee: A honey bee peers through the head of a purple coneflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Pollen-laden honey bee climbs over the head of a purple coneflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a favorite among the autumn plants blooming in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, the half-acre bee friendly garden planted last fall next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
The purple coneflower, which looks like a conehead surrounded by drooping petals, is endemic to eastern and central North America.
It's a common sight to see dark and light-colored honey bees foraging on the coneflowers. The darker bees, New World Carniolans (the line belonging to bee breeder Susan Cobey and located at the Laidlaw bee yard) and the Italians (the most common bee in the United States) share many a coneflower.
Yes, they all get along.
The haven, open year around at no charge, is located on Bee Biology Road west of the central campus. It was designed as a year-around food source for the Laidlaw bees and other pollinators; to raise public awareness of the plight of the bees; to provide information on what folks can plant in their own gardens to attract bees; and as a research garden.
What to plant for autumn foraging? Consider the coneflower!
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the Harry H. Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, is a study in diversity.
Bees, including honey bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees and sweat bees, along with other pollinators, share the pollen and nectar in the half-acre bee friendly garden.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology, has logged some 50 different species of bees in the garden since its inception. He began a baseline monitoring process when the garden was a field of weeds, instead of dreams.
Today we spotted a yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii)
and a honey bee sharing a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Minutes later, a honey bee and a sweat bee occupied another coneflower.
The garden, planted last fall, changes daily, which it is meant to do. When the grand opening celebration of the haven takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, expect to see scores of visitors--both humans and pollinators--sharing the garden.