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Gardening for Native Bees

Articles: Gardening for Native Bees

Summer in bloom at the UCB Bee Evaluation Garden. photo; courtesy of UCB Urban Bee Lab

University of California Professor Dr. Gordon Frankie and the UCB Urban Bee Lab have been studying relationships between California’s diverse native bees and their favorite flowering plants at the University’s Oxford Tract Bee Evaluation Garden (UCB Bee Evaluation Garden) in Berkeley. Dr. Frankie, a bee ecologist who studies plant-pollinator relationships in Costa Rica, established the Garden to learn about native bee-flower relationships in California.

UCB Bee evaluation Garden and its Bees

In the summer of 2003, the Garden was planted with a handful of plant types that Dr. Frankie observed attracting native bees in gardens around Berkeley. By the end of the first year Dr. Frankie and the Urban Bee Lab recorded 25 bee species visiting the garden. Now, in its eleventh year, the garden is home to about 150 different plant species, varieties, and cultivars, with more added each year. With the help of UC Davis entomologist Robbin Thorp, nearly 60 bee species have been identified in the garden to date.

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