Know Your Native Bees: Here's How!

Aug 22, 2016

Do you know your native bees? Can you distinguish a sweat bee from a leafcutting bee from a cuckoo bee from a mining bee?

No sweat? Or, are you...ahem...sweating the answer? 

You can learn more about native bees at a special presentation on Saturday, Sept. 17 in the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Hopland Research and Extension Center, Hopland.

"Native Bees in Your Backyard," sponsored by UC ANR, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature entomologist Gordon Frankie, UC Berkeley professor and co-author of California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists, and award-winning pollinator garden designer Kate Frey, co-author of The Bee-Friendly Garden (written with co-author Gretchen LeBuhn, professor of biology at San Francisco State University.)

Entomologist/insect photographer Rollin Coville, who captured the spectacular images in California Bees and Blooms, will share his photos.

"The morning will be spent learning about some of the 1,600 native bee species found in California, from the leafcutting bee to the cuckoo bee, the sweat bee to the mining bee!" a spokesperson said. Attendees will learn how to identify them and how to accommodate the needs of the native bees in their own gardeners.

After a locally sourced lunch from Black Dog Farm catering, the participants will carpool to the gardens of Kate Frey, about five miles from the Hopland Research and Extension Center. Her gardens are renowned for their floristic diversity, color and the habitats they provide for wildlife. (See previous Bug Squad blog on Kate Frey.)

California Bees and Blooms is "the bible" of California bee books. A main co-author is Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. Thorp, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley, co-teaches The Bee Course every year at the Southwestern Research Station  Portal, Ariz., which began today (Aug. 22) and continues through Sept. 1. Rounding out the list of co-authors of California Bees and Blooms is plant expert/curator Barbara Ertter of UC Berkeley.

Registration for "Native Bees in Your Backyard" is now underway at Early bird registration before Sept. 1 is $35. Registration is $40 after this date.

For more information, contact Bird at (707) 744-1424, Ext. 105 or email her at