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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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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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