Bee Friendly

Learn how to bring pollinators to your backyard

Bees are in trouble. According to the nonprofit, Bee Informed, beekeepers across the United States lost 44% of their colonies from April 2015 - April 2016.

Good thing honey bees aren't the only pollinators in town. California has 1,600 native bee species, bees that can also pollinate the food we eat.

The UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is a demonstration garden that can help you help bees by learning how to invite them to your garden.

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is located on the UC Davis campus next to the Harry H. Laidlaw, Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road. With funding from Häagen-Dazs, the garden opened in 2010.

UC Davis emeritus entomologist Robbin Thorp, who gives an annual talk about native bees at Rush Ranch Open Space and teaches docents at Jepson Prairie, where he has studied native bees and vernal pool flowers for decades, did a survey of bee species at this half-acre garden site before and after the garden was established. He determined that the garden doubled the number of bee species from 40 to 80.

"Plant it and they will come," he says.

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven says bees need food, water, and shelter. Check out their list of resources.

If you don't have a backyard, you can still help by planting bee-friendly flowers in pots.

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is open daily from dawn to dusk for self-guided tours.

Photos courtesy of Häagan Dazs Honey Bee Haven.