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Brush With a Bee and a Hummer

Bee and Mutton Bird Sedge

A brush with a honey bee...A brush with a hummingbird...When we visited the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden recently, honey bees were nectaring the mutton bird sedge (Carex trifeda), a New Zealand native known for its upright floral spikes that resemble...

Bee and Mutton Bird Sedge
Bee and Mutton Bird Sedge

HONEY BEE nectaring a mutton bird sedge (Carex trifeda) at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red Bottlebrush
Red Bottlebrush

HUMMINGBIRDS are attracted to the red bottlebrush. Like the mutton bird sedge (top photo), the floral spikes resemble bottle brushes. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Honey, I'm Home!

Beekeepers

Youngsters like to joke about what a honey bee says when she returns to the hive: "Honey, I'm home!"Honey...what is it?The National Honey Board defines honey as "the substance made when the nectar and sweet deposits from plants are gathered, modified and...

Beekeepers
Beekeepers

BEEKEEPERS outside the window of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. At left is bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Laidlaw Facility and a veteran beekeeper. With her is junior specialist Elizabeth Frost. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gathering Nectar
Gathering Nectar

HONEY BEE gathering nectar inside lavender blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Winged Wonders

Ragged Wings

Hear the buzz?That's the sound of a honey bee's wings moving at about 11,400 times per minute.As a field bee, the worker bee lives only several weeks during the peak nectaring season. She can fly four to five miles a day, at a speed of about 15 miles per...

Ragged Wings
Ragged Wings

RAGGED WINGS of a honey bee. She is nectaring lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Silvery Wings
Silvery Wings

SILVERY WINGS, none the worse for wear, of a honey bee. She is nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 6:44 PM
Tags: honey bee (195), wings (1)

Meet the Masons

Mason Wasp

Mason wasps are strikingly beautiful.The black and yellow patterns are intriguing, but even more intriguing are the mud nests they build. Makes sense that these wasps are called mason or potter wasps, named for what they do. Their human counterparts work...

Mason Wasp
Mason Wasp

MASON WASP sipping nectar from a rock purslane. The wasp is from the family Vespidae and subfamily Eumeninae. It's probably from the genus Ancistrocerus, according to Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sunny Side Up
Sunny Side Up

FEMALE mason wasp, family Eumenidae, is a solitary wasp that lives in pre-existing cavities and makes mud partitions between its brood cells. This one is possibly in the genus Ancistrocerus or maybe Euodynerus, says Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 7:40 PM
Tags: Eumenidae (1), mason wasp (1), Vespidae (1)

Hovering

Hover fly on rock purslane

The warmth of the sun and the lure of nectar beckoned the hover flies or flower flies to our bee friendly garden.We saw this one nectaring the rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora) last weekend. Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus...

Hover fly on rock purslane
Hover fly on rock purslane

HOVER FLY, aka flower fly, nectars the rock purslane. The insect is from the family Syrphidae, and probably genus Platycheirus, according to native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Nectar Lover
Nectar Lover

THIS hover fly, aka flower fly, reaches for more nectar from the rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ready for Take-Off
Ready for Take-Off

READY FOR TAKE-OFF, the hover fly, crowned with pollen, heads for the tip of the blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM
Tags: hover fly (19), Platycheirus (1), Robbin Thorp (232), rockpurslane (1), Syrphidae (8)

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