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California Bees & Blooms

Articles: California Bees & Blooms

When the average person hears anything about bees, it is likely to be a story about Colony Collapse Disorder, rapid population decline, or “Killer Bees”—all concerning the non-native honeybee. Our awareness of the honeybee is bolstered each time we enter our gardens when flowers are blooming. The familiar drone of bees gathering pollen and nectar is something we are well attuned to. The authors of this book would like us to look closer and see the vast array of native bees that may be present, even in the smallest cultivated urban plot.

Years of observation in gardens across California (many in the Bay Area and Central Valley) have gone into this field guide/reference book detailing the lives and characteristics of the major families of native bees in the state. There are 1600 species of wild bees in California! Of course not every species of native bee is covered, so the focus of the chapters on bee identification centers mainly on the more common or easily recognized species one might observe in gardens. Even when they are right in front of us, our native bees are not always easy to spot. Many native bees do not behave in ways we associate with the familiar honeybee. Most nati...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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