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Honey Bee Haven could use a hand

A bee is at home in the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.
Photos: Courtesy of Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
GoFundMe page raises money for unique habitat on UC Davis campus

With its original sponsorship funds long gone, the
Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven needs a new sugar daddy.

In the meantime, bee lovers throughout the Sacramento area have chipped in to help save, not only bees, but this special habitat.

Known on campus as The Haven, this unique garden is facing a funding crunch. It needs about $15,000 by Oct. 1 to keep offering its full fall schedule of educational activities.

“It’s an ongoing concern,” said Christine Casey, who manages The Haven. “We have no dedicated source of funding. It’s a little puzzling. At this point, over $1 million has been invested in this garden.”

Ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs, which still has its name on the sign, donated the initial $125,000 to start the garden in 2009, plus some later contributions.

“It’s been more than five years since we’ve had any contact with them,” Casey said. “We’re still calling it ‘Haagen-Dazs’ in absence of anything else. But it leads a lot of people to assume we’re supported by them.”

With the looming shortfall, Casey and other bee lovers have launched several fund-raising efforts. The Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association started a GoFundMe page; so far, it’s reached almost half of its $3,500 goal. Find it here:

Besides its regular classes and tours, the Haven will host a series of special events. Among them is a “Pollinator to Plate” open house, set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 17, and a fall open house and plant sale Sept. 28. The half-acre garden features more than 250 species of pollinator-pleasing plants. Admission and parking are free, but donations will be very welcome.

At both events, The Haven will sell handmade bee houses, which help raise awareness about non-honey bees.

“This year, we’ve recorded 80 different species of bees in the garden,” Casey said. “We continue to see new species in the garden. It’s way more than just honey bees.”

For more on The Haven’s fight for more funding:

Located on west campus near the UC Davis airport, The Haven is open free during daylight hours year round. It’s next door to the Laidlaw Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road.

For directions and more information:

The Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven shows how water-wise perennials and shrubs
can help many species of bees.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

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

* 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 eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* 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.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* 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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