Our guest on March 24 was Dr. Gordon Frankie, Professor of Entomology at UC Berkeley and Director of the Urban Bee Laboratory. Specializing in behavioral ecology of solitary bees, he has conducted surveys in urban gardens – including Ukiah – and discovered a diverse population of native bees, emerging at different times of the year and using plants in different ways.
Listen to the entire interview here, and learn why mulching is bad, weeds are good, and how to do research while standing in a garden drinking wine!
Some excerpts from helpabee.com:
“In California we have many different types of bees including leafcutting bees, sweat bees, digger bees, mining bees, mason bees, carpenter bees, and cuckoo bees…
“Sizes of bees are variable and in our garden we have tiny bees that are only a few millimeters long as well as some larger bees that are on average two centimeters long and have a wingspan of three centimeters! … In addition to the different sizes of bees, there are also different shapes of bees. Some bees have very rounded abdomens, while others are very tapered and come to a point. Some bees have long slender bodies, whereas others can be quite robust.
“Bees display a wide range of colors and it is not uncommon to see bright green bees, yellow and black striped bees, metallic blue bees, black bees with white polka dots, and white and black striped bees.”