'Bee' There Oct. 2 In the Bee Garden

Sep 25, 2015

Mark your calendar!

The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology has scheduled a fall open house, the last of the season, at its Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Friday, Oct. 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  It's free and open to the public.

The half-acre bee friendly garden is located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.

The theme is "IPM in the Bee Garden." Participating will be representatives of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM). Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM/Area IPM Advisor, and Anne Schellman, urban IPM educator, will provide information on pest solutions that are bee friendly, such as non-chemical methods and less toxic methods.

They will staff a table and answer pest questions and also have a IPM Prize Wheel that kids and adults can spin. The questions will feature several topics such as pollinators, beneficial insects and IPM practices.  They will have resource information for home gardeners, as well as stickers and hand stamps for kids.

The bee garden was planted in the fall of 2009 under the direction of then interim department chair Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology. At the time, she said: ""The Honey Bee Haven will be a pollinator paradise. It will provide a much needed, year-round food source for our bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. We anticipate it also will be a gathering place to inform and educate the public about bees. We are grateful to Haagen-Dazs for its continued efforts to ensure bee health."

A Sausalito team--landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki--designed the garden, winning the international design competition. Kimsey judged the contest with founding garden manager Missy Borel (now Missy Borel Gable), then program manager of the California Center for Urban Horticulture, UC Davis, and now statewide director of the UC Master Gardeners' Program; David Fujino, executive director, California Center for Urban Horticulture; Aaron Majors, construction department manager, Cagwin & Dorward Landscape Contractors, based in Novato; Diane McIntyre, then senior public relations manager, Häagen-Dazs ice cream; Heath Schenker, professor of environmental design, UC Davis; Jacob Voit, sustainability manager and construction project manager, Cagwin and Dorward Landscape Contractors; and Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist/bee enthusiast, UC Davis Department of Entomology (now UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology).

Others who played a key role in the founding and "look" of the garden included the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, founded and directed by the duo of entomologist/artist Diane Ullman, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, and self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick, a noted artist. Billick crafted the six-foot long mosaic ceramic sculpture of a worker bee, "Miss Beehaven," that anchors the garden. The art in the garden is the work of their Entomology 1 students and community residents.  Extension apiculturist (now emeritus) Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology offered input throughout the conception, design and installation. Davis Boy Scout Derek Tully built the state-of-the-art fence around the garden as his Eagle project. (See more of history here)

New additions include a viable honey bee hive; benches and a shade structure donated by the California Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and more bee condos for leafcutter bees and blue orchard bees. The garden is managed by staff director Christine Casey at cacasey@ucdavis.edu and faculty staff director Elina Niño, Extension apiculturist, at elnino@ucdavis.eduCheck out the haven website for a list of plants (both common and scientific names), upcoming events, how to volunteer, how to donate, and other information.