Twenty-Nine Days to Go

Jan 1, 2009

Twenty-nine days to go.

If you love bees and know how to design a bee friendly garden, remember Jan. 30.

Jan. 30 is the deadline to submit your design for the half-acre bee friendly garden at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. The nationwide competition is funded by Häagen-Dazs.

This will be a pollinator paradise that will meet the nutritional needs of honey bees and serve as a living laboratory.

"It will provide a much needed, year-around food source for our bees," said Lynn Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entomology and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. "We anticipate it also will be a gathering place to inform and educate the public about bees."

The UC Davis Department of Entomology Web site lists the rules, the prizes, and provides a list of bee-favorite flowering plants. Plans call for "something" to be blooming throughout the year.

The long list of flowering plants includes sages, toyon, catmint and lavender.

To that I'd add the rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora).   In our own bee friendly garden, that's a favorite of the bees. And guess what? It's blooming right now, in the dead of winter. Ray Lopez, owner of El Rancho Nursery, Vacaville (where we bought the plant), says it blooms throughout the year in California.

We haven't seen the bees lately, but the rock purslane is waiting for them.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

ROCK PURSLANE--The magenta-colored rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora) is a favorite of honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Rock Purslane

CLOSE-UP OF BEE--A honey bee gathers nectar on rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of Bee