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Catch this buzz via Zoom

Bee Haven offers free classes online in November; sign up now

Bees on sunflower
Bees flock to a pollen party on this Lemon Queen sunflower. (Can you spot all nine bees?) Learn how to help bees in your garden through Zoom classes offered by the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Bees need flowers – and friends. Learn how you can help bees in your garden with a series of fun and informative online classes devoted to these important pollinators.

Due to the pandemic, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis will host its fall classes via Zoom. Offered free to the public, each class will include a 20-minute presentation followed by questions and answers, according to Christine Casey, who oversees the Bee Haven. The classes will be presented at 6 p.m. on the first three Mondays of November. Sign up in advance to make sure you have a spot.

Here are Casey’s course descriptions:

Creating a Bee Garden (6 p.m. Nov. 2)

We’ll cover the basics of building a garden that has the components needed to provide good habitat for bees and other pollinators. Bees need more than flowers, and not all flowers meet bees’ needs equally. If you’re interested in starting or expanding your bee garden, join us to learn more.

Bee on zinnia
Bees love zinnias, but they need more than flowers to flourish.
Common Bees in Gardens (6 p.m. Nov. 9)

Those big black “bumble bees” you see so often? They’re not bumble bees at all! Learn how to identify common bees in California gardens and how to distinguish bees from other insects.

Bees in the Home Food Garden (6 p.m. Nov. 16)

Good yield from your home food garden starts with successful pollination. Learn about the common bees that pollinate food crops and how you can support them in your garden.

Registration links for each session:

Meanwhile, check out the Bee Haven for yourself. The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is open during the pandemic, Casey said.

Visitors are welcome to see the bees at work in the half-acre garden, devoted to bee pollinator conservation and education. It’s located at 1 Bee Biology Road on the UC Davis campus.

Admission and parking are free. The Bee Haven is open daily from dawn to dusk with a later opening time on Tuesdays (10 a.m.) and Wednesdays (11 a.m.) to accommodate social distancing during garden maintenance.

For directions and more: .

- Debbie Arrington


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* 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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* 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.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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