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Posts Tagged: pollinator

The Boys Are Back in Town!

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The boys are back in town. After the long winter and rainy spring, the boys are back in town. That would be the male Valley carpenter bees,...

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a
The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a "golden bumble bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a "golden bumble bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Syrphid Fly in Rock Purslane: When a House Is a Home

A syrphid fly, tucked in the folds of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora, sips nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

When a house is a home... Take the case of a syrphid fly, aka hover fly or flower fly. It's a cold and windy day, and it's tucked in the folds of a...

A syrphid fly, tucked in the folds of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora, sips nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A syrphid fly, tucked in the folds of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora, sips nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A syrphid fly, tucked in the folds of a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora, sips nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly rotates its body to gather more nectar glean more  sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly rotates its body to gather more nectar glean more sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly rotates its body to gather more nectar glean more sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syprhid is just about ready to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syprhid is just about ready to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syprhid is just about ready to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM
Tags: flower fly (12), hover fly (19), pollinator (6), rock purslane (18), syrphid fly (17), UC ANR (16)

Flies Are Pollinators, Too!

Close-up of a fly, genus Eristalis, on a flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You may have noticed this little floral visitor in your garden. It might appear to be a bee, a common mistake to the untrained eye or those who...

Close-up of a fly, genus Eristalis, on a flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a fly, genus Eristalis, on a flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a fly, genus Eristalis, on a flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flies are pollinators, too! This little Eristalis is nectaring a zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Flies are pollinators, too! This little Eristalis is nectaring a zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Flies are pollinators, too! This little Eristalis is nectaring a zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of an Eristalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of an Eristalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of an Eristalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

UC studies flowering hedgerows' ability to attract pollinators

Honey bee on California tidy tips, a native California wildflower. (Photo: Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Farmers usually bring in white-boxed beehives to pollinate their blueberries, almonds, avocados and other plants. However, since honeybees are expensive and colonies in decline, one UC Berkeley researcher is assessing whether lining fields with flowering shrubs and bushes will naturally attract a sufficient number of pollinators to the farm, according to a story in the Sacramento Bee.

Claire Kremen, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, said the hedgerows can include a variety of plants with an eye toward providing pollinators with nectar from early spring until fall.

Research by farm advisors and farmers have already demonstrated the usefulness of on-farm hedgerows.

More than 20 years ago, Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Yolo County, was inspired by a visit to John Anderson's aptly named Hedgerow Farms in Winters.

"Jeepers, not only do we enhance biodiversity, but we can change our landscape to favor beneficial insects," she recalled thinking.

Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM
Tags: Claire Kreman (1), honey bee (198), pollinator (6), Rachel Long (2)

Home gardening has 'arrived'

This week, the Philadelphia Inquirer resurrected the term "homesteading," defining it for the 21st century as a trend toward keeping bees and raising chickens, gardening and canning.

UC Cooperative Extension county director Rose Hayden-Smith told reporter Virginia A. Smith that the creation of an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn signifies the movement's arrival in the popular consciousness.

"People in national leadership are talking about these issues," Smith was quoted in the story. "I think this is going to be a very enduring feature of American cultural life."

Indicators cited in the article of the "homesteading" trend:
  • Up to 200,000 hobbyists keep bees in the United States, compared with 75,000 in the mid-1990s (Bee Culture magazine)

  • About 100 new members a day sign up for www.backyardchickens.com, which has 55,000 members in all

  • 43 million American households planted vegetable gardens in 2009, a jump of 19 percent over 2008, which was 10 percent higher than 2007 (National Gardening Association)
Another sign, closer to home, is the collaborative development of a garden in Modesto aimed at providing a diversity of pollen for native pollinators, reported the Modesto Bee.

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, based in Portland, Ore., hopes to enhance bee health with the Modesto garden and 10 others across the nation, which were funded with a grant of about $330,000 from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. The demonstration area is at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Center off Crows Landing Road - the same location that houses the UC Cooperative Extension office.

After the soil is solarized this summer to kill weed seeds and plant pathogens, the garden will be planted with poppy, lupine, phacelia, aster, milkweed, sunflower, salvia, buckwheat, ceanothus, manzanita and other plants. Most are California natives.

The article said the garden project is getting help from the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District and UCCE.


The new Modesto garden will attract native pollinators, such as this sweat bee. (Photo: K. Garvey)
The new Modesto garden will attract native pollinators, such as this sweat bee. (Photo: K. Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM
Tags: garden (66), gardening (42), pollinator (6), Rose Hayden-Smith (7)

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