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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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