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Posts Tagged: Christmas

Hear That Buzz on the Red Hot Poker?

A honey bee heads for a winter flowering plant, Kniphofia, in Napa, on Saturday, Dec. 28. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On the last few days of Year 2019, where do you find a foraging honey bee? Well, if the temperature soars to 50 or 55, you might see honey bees slip...

A honey bee heads for a winter flowering plant, Kniphofia, in Napa, on Saturday, Dec. 28. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee heads for a winter flowering plant, Kniphofia, in Napa, on Saturday, Dec. 28. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee heads for a winter flowering plant, Kniphofia, in Napa, on Saturday, Dec. 28. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the pollen on the honey bee foraging on a red hot poker  (genus Kniphofia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Check out the pollen on the honey bee foraging on a red hot poker (genus Kniphofia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the pollen on the honey bee foraging on a red hot poker (genus Kniphofia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A clump of
A clump of "red hot poker" or "Christmas cheer" (genus Kniphofia) brings winter cheer to a Napa vineyard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A clump of "red hot poker" or "Christmas cheer" (genus Kniphofia) brings winter cheer to a Napa vineyard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 3:49 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

The Thirteen Bugs of Christmas: Revisited

A golden bee, a Cordovan, sipping nectar on a lavender blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Move over, "Twelve Days of Christmas." It's time to revisit the "Thirteen Bugs of Christmas!" Back in 2010, Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen (now...

A golden bee, a Cordovan, sipping nectar on a lavender blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A golden bee, a Cordovan, sipping nectar on a lavender blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A golden bee, a Cordovan, sipping nectar on a lavender blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The varroa mite is a persistent pest of the honey bee. Here's a varroa mite on a worker bee in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The varroa mite is a persistent pest of the honey bee. Here's a varroa mite on a worker bee in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The varroa mite is a persistent pest of the honey bee. Here's a varroa mite on a worker bee in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Health, Innovation, Natural Resources, Pest Management

Merry Buzzworthy Christmas!

A honey bee heads toward a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Feeling the buzz on Christmas Day? Bugs on your Christmas tree? You may have overlooked another "present": eggs of the invasive spotted landernfly...

A honey bee heads toward a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee heads toward a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee heads toward a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Time to Revisit 'The 13 Bugs of Christmas'

It's time to revisit the "13 Bugs of Christmas!" Back in 2010, two innovators with the UC Davis Department of Entomology (now the UC Davis...


"On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 5 golden bees." This is one of them. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 5 golden bees." This is one of them. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A varroa mite on a honey bee--not something that beekeepers want to see on their bees! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A varroa mite on a honey bee--not something that beekeepers want to see on their bees! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A varroa mite on a honey bee--not something that beekeepers want to see on their bees! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A queen bee and her retinue.
A queen bee and her retinue. "On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 11 queen bees piping." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A queen bee and her retinue. "On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 11 queen bees piping." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 12:17 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Can harvesting Christmas trees help the forest?

California forests are overstocked with conifers, and California residents want to decorate their homes during the holiday season with Christmas trees. The smart harvest of Christmas trees can kill two birds with one stone, according to UC Cooperative Extension forestry advisor Susie Kocher. Kocher spoke to Capital Public Radio reporter Ezra David Romero about the prospect of thinning the forest by taking home trees.

Smart harvest of Christmas trees can help thin the forest. (Photo: USDA)

"It's a great win-win solution," Kocher said. "You get the public out in the forest, you do good work reducing the density of trees."

Kocher, who lives in Lake Tahoe, holds a family Christmas tree harvest party every year. With $10 permits from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, they trek through snow to select their trees. This year the management unit sold 2,000 permits. Kocher believes the program could be ramped up to further benefit forests.

“By removing some of the smaller trees, we are doing some of the work,” Kocher said. If left in place, the small trees grow larger, and more human resources, equipment and funds are needed to remove them. Moreover, the income from permit sales can be used for other forest-thinning projects.

However, some foresters are skeptical that harvesting Christmas trees is a realistic solution to management of California forests.

“It's great to have the masses come up during the holiday season full of mirth and cheer,” said Joseph Flannery with the Tahoe National Forest. “But I don't think there's the infrastructure in place to really make a dent in the hazardous fuels reduction needed.”

This story was also covered for KTVU Fox Channel 2 in the Bay Area by Lisa Fernandez. 

“You need a 4-wheel drive, and yes, you trudge through snow,” Kocher said. “It's not for everyone. But for those who want that adventure, it's super fun. I do it because I don't think there's a substitute for a real tree in the house. And we always turn it into a family party.”

Besides, she said, “I feel good about removing excess small trees.”

Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 3:05 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment
 
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