Posts Tagged: Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
It's apple blossom time.
Whether you wait for it, or the bees wait for it, it's here.
Albert Von Tilzer and Neville Fleeson wrote the popular song, "(I'll Be With You) in Apple Blossom Time" back in 1920 and then everyone from Artie Shaw to Harry James to the Andrews Sisters to Nat King Cole owned it.
But if you take a look at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis, you know who owns the blossoms--the bees.
Along the haven's Orchard Alley, the almonds and plums have finished blooming and now it's the apple blossom time.
Honey bee gathering the sweet nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee about to take flight for another apple blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee tucked in her blanket of blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What's red and black with yellow all over?
Ladybugs, aka lady beetles or ladybird beetles, laying their yellow eggs.
It's a sure sign of spring when aphids emerge, and ladybugs feast on them. One ladybug can reportedly eat 5000 aphids in its lifetime.
That's a lot of aphids!
Meanwhile, the aphids in the fava beans at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, are doing their part.
The garden, located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is teeming with aphids on the fava beans.
And teaming with ladybugs in the process of adding more ladybugs to the garden.
If you're looking to get involved with ladybugs as a citizen scientist, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., hosts "The Lost Ladybug Project" to spotlight the ladybugs of North America. On the website, you can learn to identify them, understand their biology, and upload photos.
And it wouldn't hurt to include a photo of a ladybug dining on a scumptious aphid.
Ladybugs mating; the female continues to munch aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up shot of ladybug eggs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Panoramic view of ladybugs, aphids, and ladybug eggs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
"Stop and smell the roses."
How many times have you heard that? It's usually from someone urging us to slow down, to savor life, and to pay attention to the pleasures.
Like fragrant roses.
Honey bees seem to be particularly fond of the butterfly rose, also known as the China rose (Rosa mutabilis), a deciduous shrub that can grow up to six feet high and spread five feet across. It's a long flowering plant, especially important to bees when they emerge from their hives after a long cold winter and begin to forage for food.
The butterfly rose, so named because its blossoms resemble butterflies, is cherished for its ever-changing flowers, which turn from yellowish/orange to pinkish/red to a coppery red.
Stop and smell the roses? Yes, but also look for the beauty in the bees.
(These photos were taken at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden and demonstration garden on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. The garden, located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is open to the public from dawn to dusk for free, self-guided tours. Plans call for guided tours, for a nominal charge, starting March 1. Contact Christine Casey at email@example.com)
A honey bee checking out a butterfly rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee dives between the folds. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ah, heaven! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just call it going for the roses.
Or a hot spot.
In between the showers and the sunshine, the bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, emerge from their hives to forage.
They buzz over to the nearby Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre garden with year-around blooms.
One bee on a rose.
Two bees on a rose.
Three bees on a rose.
Four bees on a rose.
It's not often you see four honey bees sharing the same blossom.
In his poem, "Ode to the West Wind," English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) asked: "...if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
Yes, especially on a December day that looks and feels like spring.
The garden, a year-around food resource for bees that also functions as a demonstration garden, is open from dawn to dusk for free, self-guided tours. Come spring, plans call for guided tours in a project headed by Christine "Chris" Casey (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. There will be a small fee for guided tours.
Bring your camera!
ONE: A sole honey bee visits a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
TWO: Two bees visit a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THREE: Three bees visit a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
FOUR: Four bees visit a rose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Those of us addicted to photographing honey bees hate it when the cold, rainy California weather settles in.
December and January are the worst for capturing images of bees outside their hives.
However, if you plant a pollinator garden with seasonal blossoms and locate it near an apiary--Voila!
In between rain drops, when the sun bursts through the clouds, you can count on seeing honey bees going about their work.
Yesterday we noticed honey bees foraging in the azure bush germander (Teucrium fruitcans), a perennial that blooms in the winter and spring.
Mother Nature's watercolors!
Honey bee working the germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee extending her tongue (proboscis). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee, the acrobat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Upside down honey bee in the germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)