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  • 1. 1/6/2013Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Buzzing of Bees C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Madrona Marsh Preserve Project SOUND – 2011 (our 7th year) July 2 & 5, 2011 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Colony Collapse Disorder – our wake-up call Why worry about bee pollinators?  Bees are “keystone organisms” in most terrestrial ecosystems.  Bees are essential for maintaining the integrity, productivity and sustainability of many types of ecosystems: natural areas, pastures, fields, meadows, roadsides, many agricultural crops, fruit orchards, and backyard vegetable and flower gardens.  Without bees, many flowering plants would eventually become extinct.  Without the work of bees, many fruit- and seed-eating birds and some mammals, including people, collapse-disorder.html would have a less varied and less healthy diet. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 1
  • 2. 1/6/2013 Even before colony collapse disorder,  Pollinators at risk: some people were concerned…  Non-native pollinators are vulnerable to environmental factors - limited genetic variability  Depending on a single source – for anything – should make  Native pollinators are at risk due to habitat loss, climate change and use us all nervous of pesticides & herbicides  Better to ‘diversify the portfolio’  Decline in native bee species world- Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder wide since 1980  Crop production world-wide is decreasing (since at least 1990) due to decreasing numbers of pollinators  So we all should be worried – and taking action for-honey-bee-colony-collapse-disorder-discovered/  The third week of June is designated European Honey Bee National Pollinators Week (The fifth Apis mellifera annual National Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2011 ! © Project SOUND © Project SOUND What’s all the buzz about down on the farm? California: leader in bee research & practice  Active bee research center at UC Davis – over 75 years of practical research  Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility  Initial research focused on the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)  Increasing research into Increasing interest in the role the biology, ecology and of urban & suburban gardens in use of a variety of native maintaining & using native bee bees populations – ‘Neighborhood Pollinator Preserves’ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 2
  • 3. 1/6/2013 Lessons about pollination from ag research Lessons about pollination from ag research 1. Native bee pollinators and pollinator 1. Native bee pollinator relationships are relationships are complex: complex: a. ~ 1500 native bee species in CA c. Wild bee populations fluctuate widely from year-to-year (4-fold variation for some b. Honey Bees are actually quite unique species). To ensure reliable pollination from compared to most native bees non-domesticated species, maintaining a community of bees, rather than just one c. Bees differ greatly in food & nesting species, is necessary requirements; we need to understand & Number of seeds in plan for these differences pumpkins vs. number of d. Despite year-to-year composition variability,  Food sources: generalists & specialists bee species pollination rates fairly constant in farms near  Time of year food is needed natural areas – diversity acts as a buffer  Nesting requirements: ground; wood; etc. e. More species = greater pollination success d. We need to better understand species- f. Honey bees play a key role in pollinating specific requirements in order to design native plants – and probably don’t influenceWe don’t notice native bees conservation plans that maintain pollination the numbers & composition of native beesunless we’re looking for function in natural and man-made habitats.them © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Kingdom Animalia (Animals) Bees have been around for millions of  Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) years, evolving with the flowering plants  Class Insecta (Insects)  Early insects, in their rummaging  Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) for food, inadvertently became  Superfamily Apoidea (Bees) the agents of pollination; pollen  Social Bees - True social insects. Communal nests are adhering to their bodies was built in the soil (bumble bees) or in cavities (honey transferred to the female organs bees). Workers (sterile females) forage for nectar and of the plant. pollen.  Family Apidae -- bumble bees and honey bees Trigona prisca, A stingless  A mutualistic relationship meliponine bee-- a fossil of which  Solitary Bees - Adults construct individual nests and was preserved in Cretaceous resulted: provision them with plant materials (usually nectar or amber 74-96 million years ago.  the plants benefitted by pollen). increased pollination;  Family Apidae (formerly Anthophoridae) -- carpenter bees  and the insects were helping to  Family Halictidae -- sweat bees ensure a better supply of their  Family Megachilidae -- leafcutting bees food source.  Family Andrenidae: mining bees © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 3
  • 4. 1/6/2013 Plants and insect pollinators became The pollination duet intimately linked continues  Even the structure of pollen, itself,  Eventually, both plants and insects changed. Pollen transferred by insects became more and more specialized or other animals usually has spines, as a result of the pollinator ridges or an adhesive surface which relationship (co-evolution) aids in attaching to the animal vector.  Many pollinator insects evolved  To attract pollinators, some plants developed specialized organs, nectaries, behavior and physiology completely dependent upon the cycles of that secreted a sugary nectar, at the base of the flower. This proved an flowering plants. adaptive advantage since the nectar, as  Similarly, certain plants developed a food source, was a further attraction to many insect species. flower structures which benefitted – or excluded -  Ultimately, the lifestyles of flowering particular types of insects. And this explains why native bees plants and of pollinating insects became are often the best pollinators for forever intertwined. © Project SOUND native plants © Project SOUND Is it a bee? The anatomy of a bee Is it a bee?  Most bees are hairy-bodied, with multi-branched hairs (resemble pipe-cleaners or  Bees have four wings (two pair; brushes) for carrying pollen. difficult to see when folded over the body).  Female bees can carry large loads of pollen, either on  Bees have long, elbowed their legs or on their antennae. abdomen in a “scopa”.  Bees have large, well separated  If you see an insect toting a eyes with three small eyes (or load of pollen either on its “ocelli”) on top of the head. hind legs or beneath its  Bees are more robust (i.e. abdomen, it is a female bee. rounder bodies) than wasps and The pollen may be carried as a flies; abdomen usually broad dry powder in a brush of hairs, near thorax (vs. most wasps). or moistened with nectar to form a clump or pellet. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 4
  • 5. 1/6/2013 Lessons about pollination from ag research What makes a bee a good pollinator? 2. Native bees are important pollinators – when available in suitable numbers  Anatomic adaptations a. Native, unmanaged bee populations  Size provide important pollination services in nature & on the farm  Fuzzy body  Leg adaptations for b. Native bees provide up to 30-40% of pollen capture/transport pollination on some CA organic farms c. Native bee species are an undervalued  Behavioral adaptations asset worth up to $2.4 billion to California farmers  Generalist feeding d. Honeybees are not always the most patterns grow-hanging-tomato-plants/ effective pollinators of a given crop;  ? Eusocial behavior native bees pollinate some crops not Digger (Miner) Bee – a good pollinator pollinated by honey bees (cherry  Long foraging range tomatoes) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Native bees can be more efficient pollinators (on a Reasons for increased efficiency of some bee-for-bee basis) native bees: specialization  Example: 250 female blue orchard bees  High degree of specialization (some bee species). (Osmia lignaria) can effectively pollinate  Example: Squash bees (genus Peponapis), for example, primarily visit flowers of the squash family an acre of apples; this would require one to two honey bees hives, each containing  Better fit between flower structure & bee 15,000 to 20,000 workers. anatomy/behavior.  Reasons for this increased efficiency:  Example: The stamen (the structure holding the anthers) of alfalfa flowers is held under tension -  Greater tolerance for cold and wet springs forward with force when released by a weather. visiting bee. The alkali bee (Nomia melanderi), a  Native bees usually must collect both native ground-nesting bee, is not discouraged by this pollen and nectar, ensuring that they unusual flower structure and is a major pollinator of contact the anthers (pollen-producing alfalfa seed in some western states. structures); some honey bees just collect  Example: buzz pollination (sonication) - very nectar. important for some plants such as blueberries, cranberries, tomatoes and peppers © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 5
  • 6. 1/6/2013 Sex & the single tomato plant Lessons about pollination from ag research 3. Agricultural and native ecosystems  Tomato flowers do not produce nectar are intimately linked:  Some newer tomatoes are self- a. Crop-pollinating bee species are pollinating (through breeding); old often generalists that pollinate many varieties require cross-pollination native plants; restoring pollination services for agriculture could also  Tomato pollen is released from pores benefit wild plants and thereby within the anthers (similar to salt promote conservation of biodiversity being shaken from a salt shaker) across the agro-natural landscape.  Pollen is generally accessible only to b. To maintain agricultural pollination Function_in_an_Organic_Farmscape_in_Y.htm bees that use ‘buzz pollination’ – the services for the future, attentionMost visitors to tomato are ability to grasp a flower and must be given to a variety ofnon-Apis bees, particularly vigorously vibrate their flight strategies including both nativebumble bees; greenhouse ecosystem conservation and on-farm muscles, releasing pollen from thetomato growers use bumble managementbees extensively now anthers [sonication]. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Lessons about pollination from ag research Applications to the home garden 4. Proximity matters a. The presence native pollinators strongly correlates with the amount of native habitat nearby b. Native bees venture farther into agricultural fields than honey bees c. The flight distance varies with the size of the bee. Small sweat bees and mining bees may not fly more than 200 or 300 yards from nest to forage area. Large bees (bumble bees, for example) can cross a mile or more of inhospitable, flowerless landscape to forage. Attracting native bees has the potential to increase yields for home vegetable & fruit crops © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 6
  • 7. 1/6/2013Urban pollinator habitat takes a neighborhood – radius of about 6-10 houses What does it take to bee a good neighbor?  Bee response to urban habitat fragmentation was best predicted by ecological traits associated with nesting and dietary breadth  Provide the right habitat – even in a small area – and you can make a difference in your neighborhood Schools and other public lands provide the perfect venue to provide both habitat and education to the neighborhood The plant choices you make can benefit your entire neighborhood © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDLessons about pollination from ag research Characteristics of good native bee plants 5. Some plants are better nectar/  Long bloom season pollen sources than others for native bees  Many flowers (often individually small – but many per plant) a. Some crop species [Ex: squash] are important nectar sources for  Produce both high quality nectar & selected native bees [squash pollen bees]  Designed specifically to attract b. Native plants provide nectar for bees: both wild and honey bees  Scent cues c. The more intensive the planting of  Color/patterning non-native farm crops, the less  Shape: good place to land while the bee species diversity – less intensive organic farms had more nectaring diversity & more open space © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  • 8. 1/6/2013Plant families & genera that provide nectar & pollen The Sunflower family for a wide range of native pollinators (Asteraceae) provides important food in fall  Arctostaphylos - Manzanitas  Bloom in summer/ fall  Ceanothus species  Long bloom season  Phacelia – Fiddlenecks Goldenbushes – Hazardia & Isocoma  Nectar and pollen availableEriogonum - Buckwheat  Lamiaceae – Mint family to many types of pollinators  Asclepias - Milkweeds (even ants, beetles)  Polygonaceae – Buckwheat Family  Lots of small flowers  Asteraceae – Sunflower family  Flower shape allows many bees to land & feed/collect  Clematis – Virgin’s Bowers © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Grindelia - Gumplant Baccharis species Sonoran Bumblebee - Bombus sonorus Generalist & specialist pollinators  All black head; thorax yellow,  Most native bees arent too choosy (native; some non-native with broad black band between garden plants; alien weeds); if they can reach the nectar or the wings; abdomen yellow gather pollen, they can supply their nest. except for the hind three segments, which are black.  Some bees, however, are very choosy and will only gather pollen from a small number of plant species. In extreme  Early spring through summer cases, the bee may be restricted to just a single plant species.  Generalist pollinator – visits many species to nectar  “Generalist” bee species visit a large variety of plants and crops, in contrast to “specialist” bee species which forage on a restricted group of plants.  ‘Generalist’ pollinators can be extremely useful in both the farm & garden setting © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 8
  • 9. 1/6/2013 Floral timing is also important when Black-tailed Bumblebee - considering native pollinators Bombus melanopygus edwardsii  Social bees with a long-lived colony, such  More yellow on body as bumble bees and honey bees, need flowers blooming throughout the season.  most of California and You will see these bees most of the year Southern Oregon except when it is very cold  Very early season  Solitary bees usually have a much shorter active period, often no more than five or  Works furiously polluting six weeks, and have life cycles Arctostaphylos species, synchronized with the blooming of Ribes species, (Native preferred flower species. Gooseberries and Currants) and some Cultivated Plum  If you want to attract most native bees Varieties (early blooming). (the solitary types) you need to plant theDigger (Miner) Bee – summer appropriate species © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Bumblebee life cycle Bombus – the  Bumble bees live in a colony Bumblebees with a caste system of workers, males and a single egg-laying queen.  > 250 known species; 45 in the U.S.  Similar to honey bees, bumble bees construct a wax comb  Large and hairy; black and yellow body hairs, often in bands.  Bumble bees nest in cavities  They are best distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy bees by the such as abandoned rodent form of the female hind leg, which is modified to form a corbicula: a burrows, brush piles and dried shiny concave surface that is bare, but surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen (‘pollen bag’) grass tussocks  Like their relatives the honey bees, bumble bees feed on nectar and  The colony grows through 3-4 generations and may have gather pollen to feed their young. Believed to be responsible for the pollination of approximately 25% of crops in northern California. several hundred workers at the peak in mid-summer.  High metabolic rate (75% higher than a humming birds!) allows them to  Unlike honey bees, bumble bee colonies do not survive over the forage in early spring winter. However, the fertilized queens ‘hibernate’ until spring © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  • 10. 1/6/2013 What can we use to give the look of the old crepe myrtle, and provide ‘bee food’?  The following all provide many flowers loved by bees:  Early:  Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos)  Early/Mid-season  California Lilac (Ceanothus)  Late spring/summer  Desert Willow (Chilopsis)  Toyon A typical front yard….  Summer Holly (Comarostaphylis) © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDBig Berry Manzanita – Arctostaphylos glauca Big Berry Manzanita – Arctostaphylos glauca  CA foothills from central CA to Baja; includes foothills of Mojave Desert mtns.  Locally in Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mtns.  Rocky slopes, chaparral, woodland < 4500 ft  Soils range from sandy loam with considerable coarse fragments to loam.,3454,3477 s2/factsheet.cfm?ID=479 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 10
  • 11. 1/6/2013 Big Berry is a large manzanita Flowers: Manzanita type  Size:  Blooms:  usually 8-12 ft tall; may reach 20  One of the earliest  8-15 ft wide  usually Dec-Mar in our area  Growth form:  Flowers: typical Manzanita  Large woody shrub to small, multi-  Small pink flowers branched tree; mounded shape  Urn-shaped; in terminal clusters  Lovely branch structure – one of  Key early nectar source for bees the ‘sculptural’ manzanitas and other early-season  Peeling red bark – showy pollinators  Can live 100+ years  Fruits:  Foliage:  Red ‘little apples’ of manzanita  Evergreen; leaves pale blue-green  Relatively large (1/2”); edible  Vertical orientation on branch –  Ripen in late spring/summer looks very precise  Vegetative reproduction: cannot  Roots: relatively shallow re-sprout © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  Soils: Bigberry Manzanita: shrub or tree Manzanita for sandy soils  Texture: well-drained, sandy or rocky soils are best  Easy-care shrub for slopes; good for  pH: 6.0-7.5 is best erosion control  Light: full sun to light shade –  Specimen shrub; needs little pruning typical chaparral shrub  As a small shade tree; open shade  As a key shrub/tree for the habitat  Water: garden: bees, butterflies, birds,  Winter: needs good winter humans rains; supplement w/ deep waterings as needed  Summer: treat as Zone 2 first year; then Zone 1-2 or 1 for Note: leaves and litter contain toxic mature plant. Don’t over-water amounts of arbutin and phenolic acids. mature plants (fungal diseases) These compounds allelopathically inhibit germination and growth of annuals for a  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils distance of 3.3 to 6.6 feet (1-2 m) from the edge of the canopy drip line  Other: use an organic mulch © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 11
  • 12. 1/6/2013 Converting your yard to bee habitat: one Lessons about pollination from ag research step at a time 6. Size matters: a. More native plants = more native bees; around 30-40% optimal for watermelons, but even less provides some pollination service b. Amount of native vegetation nearby is best predictor of pollinator services; even 10% by area increases pollination rates c. You can achieve native flower density with a few big plants or lots of small onesEach time you add a food source or createa nesting site you improve theNeighborhood Pollinator Preserve © Project SOUND © Project SOUND * White Coast Ceanothus – Ceanothus verrucosus * White Coast Ceanothus – Ceanothus verrucosus  Strictly coastal (western San Diego County and adjacent Baja California)  Possibly collected by Theodore Payne from Seven Oaks (LA Co.) in 1919  Dry hills, mesas, chaparral; elevation < 900‘  AKA ‘Wart-stemmed Ceanothus’,6589,6653 © 2010 Andrew Borcher © Project SOUND © Project SOUND J.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database 12
  • 13. 1/6/2013 White Coast Ceanothus: large shrub One of the best white- flowered Ceanothus  Size:  6-12 ft tall  Blooms: very early – usually Jan- April  6-8 ft wide  Flowers:  Growth form:  Usually white; occ. light blue  Evergreen shrub or small tree; rounded shape J.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database  Many tiny ceanothus flowers in tight ball-like clusters at  Fast growth – at first ends of branches  Dense, stiff branches with  Really showy – looks like gray bark & small ‘wart-like’ covered in snow or white bumps (leaf attachment) Crepe Myrtle  Foliage:  Sweet scent attracts bees & other pollinators  Shiny dark green above; hairy & white beneath  Fruit:  Simple, rounded leaves  Dark sticky fruit in summer – birds love it© 2003 Charles E. Jones © 2006 Steve Matson © 2009 Michelle Cloud-Hughes © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Chaparral shrub  Soils: Shrub or tree: your choice  Texture: well-drained a must; sandy or rocky best  Low-care plant for slopes  pH: any local; 6.0-7.0 optimal  Background evergreen shrub in  Light: dry gardens  In nature on N-facing slopes  Trained as a small tree  Full sun along coast; part- shade in hotter inland © 2006 Steve Matson  As an informal or clipped (semi- formal) hedge or screen  Water:  Winter: needs adequate water  Summer: low needs once established – Zone 1-2 probably best (1-2 times per summer) in most soils; to Zone 2 in sandy  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: organic mulch recommended © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 13
  • 14. 1/6/2013 Yellow-faced Bumble Bee *Desert-willow – Chilopsis linearis Bombus vosnesenskii  Most common bumblebee of California ; San Diego throughout most of California (except the desert areas) to British Columbia  Largely a summer bee - most of the hive living from April to September  Wide generalist feeder  Slow and easy to photograph  Nests in the ground, commonly in old gopher holes.  Has a wicked sting, and they can sting repeatedly - but only when provoked © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDToyon/California Christmas Berry – Not all situations are suitable for native pollinator Heteromeles arbutifolia plants: good, productive alternatives © Project SOUND 14
  • 15. 1/6/2013 Lessons about pollination from ag research Most native bees are not hive-builders  ~ 70 percent of native bees 7. Lack of suitable nest sites can be a excavate underground nests. serious limitation to native pollinator Solitary bees dig narrow tunnels conservation leading to a series of brood chambers, each one provisioned with a. Species differ in their nesting needs a mixture of pollen and nectar and b. In many California locations, habitat each holding a single egg. alteration or destruction, not lack of food, eliminated native pollinators.  ~30 percent of bees nest in wood c. Bare ground needed for ground- tunnels, usually pre-existing holes dwelling native bees; this is becoming such as those made by wood-boring rare in both rural & urban areas beetles, but some will chew out the d. Certain practices destroy nest sites: center of pithy twigs. Females tilling, early cutting, grazing – even create a line of brood cells, often mulching – decrease nest sites for using materials such as leaf pieces or some species mud as partitions between cells. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Providing homes for native pollinators Large Carpenter Bees - Genus Xylocopa  ~ 500 species worldwide  Large – sometimes mistaken for bumble bees, but they have a shiny (not hairy) abdomen  Their name comes from the fact that nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers  Learn more about the nesting requirements of local bees – they  Female carpenter bees are capable may be quite specific of stinging, but they are docile and  Provide natural sites if possible: bare ground; old tree stumps rarely sting unless caught in the  Learn about how you can construct pollinator ‘homes’ in your hand or otherwise directly provoked garden: many good resources on-line © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15
  • 16. 1/6/2013 Sex life of the Valley Carpenter Bee: itValley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta): fun to watch just gets better the more we know!  A widespread western US species  Green-eyed golden males (the  Generalists - may be found foraging on a females are all black) have number of different species : Asclepias, huge perfume glands in their Salvia, Trichostema, and Wislizenia for nectar; thoraces. Eschscholzia and Lupinus for pollen.  Territorial males take up  They, like bumblebees are early morning positions in non-flowering foragers. plants near other males –  Quite active – but can be photographed with often near Mulefat.Also utilize culinary herbs patiencesuch as basil, mint,  Carpenter bees can “buzz pollinate” -  As a group (lek) they activelyrosemary, oregano, excellent pollinators of eggplant, tomato and release their rose-scentedlavender, and thyme. other vegetables and flowers. blend of chemicals.  Can be nectar robbers in plants with tubular  Females are attracted from flowers. Using their mouthparts they cut a slit downwind and choose a male at the base of corolla and steal away with the with which to mate. nectar without having pollinated the flower. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Landscape established: shrubs, lackluster Lupines provide early/mid-season nectar for large bees  Considerations: 1. Appropriate size/scale 2. Fits with existing home/landscape: water; color scheme; etc. 3. Provide better bee habitat – focus on generalist foragers © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 16
  • 17. 1/6/2013 Silver Bush Lupine – Lupinus albifrons Longleaf Bush Lupine - Lupinus longifolius © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Ah… a bush lupine Longleaf Bush Lupine - Lupinus longifolius for your CSS garden  Size:  Formerly Lupinus chamissonis  3-5 ft tall & wide var. longifolius  Growth form:  Mounded perennial shrub – typical  Southwestern CA from Santa shrub Lupine Barbara to Baja  Stems are woody, erect  Coastal sage scrub, chaparral  Foliage: and oak woodland  Gray-green leaves; slightly hairy  Leaves on 4” petiole; 6-9 leaflets  Formerly frequent in the that are slightly longer than other local bush lupines foothills and on bluffs along the seashore in Los Angeles,  Flowers: Orange & San Diego counties  Spring: usually April-June  Light violet-purple lupine flowers  Longifolius = long-leaved with yellow banner spot  Flowering quite typical for lupines  Seed pod: typical lupine pod,4023,4099 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 17
  • 18. 1/6/2013 Lupines are good for sunny, dry places Salvias: good bee  Soils: plants, but large size  Texture: well-drained is a must (as for most local bush lupines)  Remember: consider mature  pH: any local is fine size when choosing any plant to  Light: include in a mature landscape  full sun (coastal) to part shade  Water:  You get a lot of ‘habitat’ area  Young plants: weekly (as needed) until from shrubs – most productive established  Winter: moist soils; monitor & supplement in very dry years  Summer:  Quite drought-tolerant; can get by with no water in part-shade  Will take infrequent (1-2 x per month) if soils are well-drained  Fertilizer:  None needed & use will likely decrease lifespan (true for all the bush lupines)  Plant will improve soil fertility by increasing available nitrogen (typical of Pea family) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Family Halictidae, Sunflowers are good summer bee plants Sweat Bees  Large (> 2000 known species) and diverse Family  Small (> 4 mm) to midsize (> 8 mm)  Usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green  Commonly referred to as sweat bees (especially the smaller species), as they are often attracted to perspiration; when pinched, females  But many of them are also rather large can give a minor sting.  The oldest fossil record of Halictidae  So what choices do I have if I want attract these dates back to Early Eocene with a little bees – but have so little/no space? number of species known from amber deposits. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 18
  • 19. 1/6/2013 Halictid bees are summer foragers Lessons about pollination from ag research 9. ‘Out of the way’ places can be  Generalists – will visit many different utilized for bee habitat species of summer-blooming plants; love sunflowers – but you’ll see them a. Bees can seek out patchy on other species as well resources and persist within small fragments of habitat  Adults are pollen eaters; larva are pollen & nectar eaters b. Restored patches can be largely located in less productive, larger  Nesting: “source” areas off-farm and as small patches of “stepping-stone”  Solitary or slightly social. Depending on habitat on nonproductive farm the species, the females might dig their areas [e.g., around tail water nests close together, sometimes even ponds and ditches, as hedgerows, sharing a common entrance tunnel. along roads, etc.  Build their vertical burrowed nests in the ground, usually in clay or sandy soil.  Populations are declining due to loss of habitat © Project SOUND © Project SOUND What’s all the buzz in farm land? Applications to the home garden Providing habitat for native pollinators  Many Ag growers may already  Native hedgerows & windbreaks have an abundance of potential around farm borders promotes habitat for native pollinators on pollinators and natural enemies to pests without taking land out of or near their land. Having semi- production. natural or natural habitat available significantly increases  Green manures/orchard pollinator groundcovers provide erosion & pollination services  You may also have ‘out-of-the- way’ places that can support  Bee pastures and other native patch restoration pollinators Native groundcovers for roadsides, irrigation ditches and  Riparian buffers provide habitat  There are good pollinator plants other non-cultivated areas for bees and other wildlife as well that do well in small spaces: as flood control and water vines, sub-shrubs, perennials & purification annuals © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 19
  • 20. 1/6/2013Coastal (Dune) Buckwheat - Eriogonum parvifolium Ashy-leaf Buckwheat – Eriogonum cinereum © Project SOUNDCalifornia Buckwheat - Eriogonum fasciculatum Characteristics of California Buckwheat  similar to Dune Buckwheat Size:  2-5 ft tall  3-5 ft wide; ‘fill-in’ an area  Growth form:  low mounded semi-evergreen shrub  Many-branched  Foliage:  Leave alternate, but densely clustered at nodes, evergreen, narrow lanceolate (nearly needle-like) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 20
  • 21. 1/6/2013 Garden requirements are similar for most local Buckwheats  Soils:  Texture:  Best in well-drained soils; Dune Buckwheat thrives in sandy soils  Most will do fine even in clays with careful water management  pH: any local  Light:  Most are fairly adaptable; full sun best near coast; part shade in hotter gardens  Summer water:  Very drought tolerant once established  Look a little better with occasional summer water; let soil dryDune Buckwheat – E. parvifolium CA Buckwheat – E. fasciculatum  Fertilizer: none; like poor soils © Project SOUND CA Buckwheat:  Great for summer color: May- Nov. possible CA Buckwheat cultivars make goodshowy for months groundcovers  As an alternative to the non- native Rosemary  ‘Dana Point’ - brighter green leaf, more mounding than species  In perennial beds  On parking strips & bordering  Bruce Dickinson – good for paths and driveways groundcover; stays close to the ground, spreads nicely, and holds good form throughout the year.  For erosion control  ‘Theodore Payne – low groundcover  larval foodsource for Morman (1 ft high; 1-3 ft spread) Metalmark, Bramble Hairstreak,  Warriner Lytle - A sprawling low Common Hairstreak, Avalon Hairstreak growing California buckwheat; can ‘Dana Point’ grow to 2 feet tall but is often more prostrate, hugging the ground like a Shrubby Buckwheats can even be mat sheared to shape for a more formal look © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 21
  • 22. 1/6/2013Even small spaces can be bee heaven Phacelias are among our best general nectar sources in spring  Many flowers per stalk  Produce lots of high-quality nectar Large-flowered Phacelia - Phacelia grandiflora  Nectar is easy for many types of pollinators to get to  Open over a long period of time – open ‘up the stalk’  High flower to foliage ratio – lots of energy put into floral production  Easy to grow – under many conditions - dependable © Project SOUND Tansey-leaf Phacelia – Phacelia tanecetifolia © Project SOUND* Coast (California) Phacelia – Phacelia californica * Coast Phacelia – Phacelia californica  Coastal bluffs and canyons from Santa Clara County to Del Norte County, below 1500‘ & into OR  ?? 1 report from San Gabriel Mtns  Rocky bluffs and canyons; grows in chaparral, woodland, and coastal bluffs and grassland,4587,4599 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 22
  • 23. 1/6/2013 Coast Phacelia: a delightful perennial Showiest of Phacelias  Size:  Blooms:  1-3 ft tall (foliage ~ 1 ft)  Long bloom season: spring to summer  1-3 ft wide  Can bloom April to July with  Growth form: some summer water  Herbaceous perennial © 2011 Neal Kramer  Flowers:  Low-growing (1-2 ft in garden);  Pale lavender to pink ground-cover  Typical bell-shaped Phacelia Fast-growing © 2011 Neal Kramer  flowers  Foliage:  Open up along a stout  Light to medium green; hairy flowering stalk (contact dermatitis)  Excellent nectar source for  Large, mint-type leaves bees, butterflies growing in basal rosette  Seeds: many small seeds – will  Looks like a garden plant naturalize if happy © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Versatile Phacelia  Soils: Coast Phacelia: from seed or plugs  Texture: likes a well-drained soil, but will tale most any  Phacelias tend to be easy to grow from  pH: any local seed  Light:  No pretreatments; plant in winter/spring  Quite adaptable  Plants available from Hedgerow Farms  Full sun to part-sun, dappled shade; some shade best in hot gardens  Water: © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College  Winter: good winter rains  Summer: wide range from weekly irrigation to drought tolerant; best Zone 2 to 2-3  Fertilizer: fine with light fertilizerhttp://hedgerowfarms.blogspot.c  Other: organic mulch OK but notom/2011/03/nursery-update.html required © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 23
  • 24. 1/6/2013 Coast Phacelia: a filler plant Bees can be happy in  In pots & planters; along walls small spaces  An herbaceous groundcover under high trees  Mixed with grasses & other plants for a N. CA coastal prairie  Around lawns & other irrigated areas © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Advantages of ‘Pollinator Plants’ for the Lessons about pollination from ag research home garden  They are often showy & pretty; 9. Creating native ‘bee habitat’ usually lots of blooms and confers additional benefits attractive scents (remember, they have to attract their a. Attracts other beneficial insects pollinators) b. Attracts beneficial birds and  They will increase pollination of wildlife; food, cover & nest sites food plants, leading to better c. Erosion/soil conservation benefits: production wind & water d. Makes the landscape more  They will attract wonderful attractive for human inhabitants insects to your garden – hours of entertainment for the whole family (or neighborhood)  They are ecologically sound – an important part of local ecosystems © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 24
  • 25. 1/6/2013There are many attractive choices… Indian Milkweed - Asclepias eriocarpa © Project SOUND Milkweeds Characteristics of Indian Milkweed  Milkweeds are found in  Hairy, gray-green many areas of CA perennial  In the South Bay, Narrow-  2-3 ft. tall and wide leaf Milkweed found onlyIndian Milkweed  Flowers cream-pink, in S. Channel Islands June-Aug.  Sites are typically  Pollinated by bees,  Dry insects and butterflies  Sunny  Barren soil (bare areas in  Has a long taproot – best chaparral/Oak woodlands; if planted in place streambeds; alluvial areas)Narrow-leaf Milkweed 25
  • 26. 1/6/2013 Indian Milkweed is a food source for Narrow-leaf Milkweed - Asclepias fascicularis butterflies and other insects Variable checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas chalcedona) Photo by Gabi McLean es/Tarantula_Hawk.htm Tarantula Hawk _29025.htm (Pepsis mildei) Showy Milkweed – Asclepias speciosa Tricks to gardening with Milkweeds  Easy to grow  Plant (seeds) in place if possible  Do best in well-drained soil – but can tolerate clay if not over-watered  Full to part sun  Average water needs – keep somewhat dry. Can tolerate winter flooding  Cut back to ground in winter (native Californians burned it to encourage healthy growth) © 2004 George W. Hartwell © Project SOUND 26
  • 27. 1/6/2013 Consider Using Milkweeds Lessons about pollination from ag research  For butterfly/pollinator gardens  For showy white-pink flowers in summer 10. Farm practices matter  Along paths and walkways a. Use of pesticides & herbicides decreases number of native &  In mid-beds – would look nice with honey bees brighter pinks and purple flowers b. mowing, haying, burning or grazing and other farm (and garden) practices can destroy nests c. Growing a diversity of plants – crop & native – benefits pollinator diversity © Project SOUND Toadflax – Nuttallanthus (Linaria) canadensis Blue Toadflax – Nuttallanthus (Linaria) canadensis  Grows in much of N. America from Canada to Mexico  In western CA from OR to Baja; locally in coastal prairie, PV  Open sandy areas that are moist in winter/ spring , then dry with summer © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 27
  • 28. 1/6/2013 Blue Toadflax: an annual for small places Flowers are dainty  Size:  Blooms: late spring/summer ; can be Apr-Sept with a little summer  1-2 ft tall water  ~ 1 ft wide  Flowers:  Growth form:  Small (1/2”), lavender-white  Herbaceous biennial/  Look like small snapdragons; on sturdy stalk annual  Open up the stalk – long bloom  Foliage: period  Butterflies (Buckeye larval  Blue-green to green food) & bees (bumblebees &  Leaves long & narrow long-tongued bees)  Many leafy stems from  Seeds: the base  Many tiny seeds; will  Foliage poisonous if eaten naturalize © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Let Toadflax weave Summary: lessons about bee pollinators through the garden 1. Native pollinators and pollinator relationships are complex  As a secondary plant in cottage gardens or mixed flower beds 2. Native bees are important pollinators when available in suitable numbers  In rock gardens, ‘streams’ or rain gardens 3. Agricultural and native ecosystems are linked  In a native prairie area 4. Proximity matters: food sources must be near nest sites  Consider non-native Purple 5. Some plants are better nectar/pollen sources than others toadflax as an alternative for native bees 6. Size matters: there must be enough suitable food 7. Lack of suitable nest sites can be a serious limitation 8. Often ‘out of the way’ (non-productive) places can be utilized for bee habitat 9. Creating native ‘bee habitat’ confers additional benefits 10. Farm/garden practices matter © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 28
  • 29. 1/6/2013What can we do to promote our native Remember, it takes a neighborhood topollinators? provide habitat  Plant the plants they need for food – at all stages of their lives.  Provide places where they can reproduce and provide for their young  Protect them by practicing Integrated Pest Management – limited use of pesticides  Teach others – by word and example – about the importance of native pollinators © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Share with your neighbors: three simple things to make your neighborhood pollinator friendly  provide a range of locally native flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season  create nest sites for native pollinators  avoid using pesticides © Project SOUND 29