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Visit the bees in Davis this weekend

Open house Saturday at Honey Bee Haven

Bee on zinnia
Get this close to hard-working bees at the UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven this weekend.
(Photos: Kathy Morrison)

A meme that shows up on gardening social media goes like this:

"I remember when I used to see a bee and go, YIKES a bee! And now, I'm all, Oh wow, a bee, hi! You OK there? Need anything? Can I get you a drink? A cushion? Wanna borrow the car?"

So ... here's your chance! Visit the bees Saturday during the Open House at the UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. It run 10 a.m. to noon, but the Haven is open dawn until dusk.

OK, maybe not lend them the car. But you can say hi, see their habitat and perhaps donate to help the Haven, which no longer receives funding from Häagen-Dazs though it still bears the name.

The Open House runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with a guided tour scheduled at 11 a.m. And the Haven all day will have "bee vacuums" available so visitors can safely catch and observe resident bees. Dr. Rick Wilson also will be on hand to chat about the Haven's unique sundial and its relation to bees.

The website describes the half-acre Haven as "a unique outdoor museum that provides resources for local bee pollinators, inspires and educates visitors to create pollinator habitat gardens, and provides a site for the observation and study of bees and the plants that support them."

Parking and admission to the Honey Bee Haven is free.  It's located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of Highway 113 in Davis. Directions and a map are available here.

For more on the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, visit

And if you like to take pictures of bees as much as I do, do review t he Haven photography policies .

-- Kathy Morrison

Bee on sunflower blossom


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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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