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UC Agriculture & Natural Resources News

Bumble Bees: Pollen Power in the Phacelia

It's mine--move away! Two bumble bees, species Bombus vandykei, seek the same Phacelia blossom on the UC Davis central campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about pollen! The bumble bees, Bombus vandykei (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis), were buzzing all over the Phacelia last week on the central campus. One bumble bee carried a heavy load of orange pollen...

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 5:10 PM
Tags: Bombus vandykei (5), golden pollen (1), Phacelia (2), Robbin Thorp (199), UC Davis (169)

UC Master Gardener program nurturing public seed libraries

Seed libraries are sprouting in California, including a new one in San Bernardino created with the support of UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, reported Suzanne Sproul in the San Bernardino Sun. The story was picked up by the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register.

San Bernardino County Regional Seed Library was set up at the Chino Basin Water Conservation District in Montclair. Here, visitors learn how to obtain seeds for flowers, fruits, vegetables and more. A key component is returning seeds, so the process continues to expand and grow.

“We're interested in germination quality, yield and any other information that helps with categorizing the seeds,” said Dona Jenkins, UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener coordinator in San Bernardino County. “Any and all seeds are welcome, but we are focusing on edible ones and those from pollinator plants."

Jenkins said saving seeds for next year's garden and sharing them with friends and neighbors isn't new, just enjoying a revival.

"It's what people used to do and is important today because we have lost 94 percent of our diversity with seeds," she said.

Saving seeds from your garden and sharing them in a seed library works with open-pollinated plants. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 7:57 AM
Tags: Dora (1), seeds (3)

Meet Big Red, the Flameskimmer

A red flameskimmer, Libellula saturata, perches on a bamboo stake. Note the nesting earwigs and bees in the split stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Big Red visited us for four consecutive days. The red flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, zigged and zagged into our pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif. and perched on a bamboo stake for five hours at a time. Occasionally, he'd hunt--lift off and grab a bee or other insect--and return...

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 5:27 PM

Save the Date for the 2017 IREC Field Day!

Save the Date

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 2:48 PM
Tags: #Field Day (4), #irec (37), #research (15), #Tulelake (32)

Hemlock in the news

Poison hemlock stem showing purple spots. Photo by Joe.

Was happy to hear a Cap Public Radio story this morning about poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). I had some thoughts on the report. 1) Poison hemlock is not native to Nevada, as the story suggested... it's a European weed (think Socrates). Maybe the writers heard "naturalized". 2) People don't...

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 9:33 AM
Tags: invasive (15), naturalized (2), Weeds (47), wildlands (9)

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