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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 Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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