A half-acre garden designed for bees and human visitors will open September 11, 2010 on the UC-Davis campus. There are already six million bees and 55 different species that frequent the garden. “We have bumblebees, carpenter bees, leaf cutters, borer bees, mason bees, sweat bees. It’s pretty incredible who we’ve found,” said Neil Williams, an assistant professor who works with native bees.
A garden design competition was held prior to the development, and the Sibbet Group, from Sausalito, CA won out of 30 submissions. Forty different plants were included in the winning design. Haagen-Dazs has donated $500,000 for bee research to UC-Davis and Pennsylvania State University. For their support of bees, the garden was named the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. The ice cream company focused on supporting bees, because they pollinate many plants used to flavor about half of their ice cream products.
“We’ll not only be providing a pollen and nectar source for the millions of bees on Bee Biology Road, but we will also be demonstrating the beauty and value of pollinator gardens,” said Melinda Borel, program manager at the California Center for Urban Horticulture.
Some of the plants in the bee garden are Basil, Eggplant, Honeysuckles, Mint, Roses, Red Sage, and Oregano. If you are interested in helping bees by planting a garden, here are some suggestions for plants that attract bees.
Bees around the world are in steep decline, a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder. If bees continue disappearing, many plants will go unpollinated and agriculture could be impacted very negatively. A Cornell University research study estimated the value bees contribute to U.S. agriculture was $14.6 billion in the year 2000.
Image Credit: Sibbett Group