California Native Bee Garden
1751 Walnut Street,
Berkeley (U.C. Berkeley’s Oxford Tract)
Lot size: 15’x 70’
Garden Age: The bee garden was created in 2002; 85% native
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 4
Showcase feature: An Eden for pollinators, this fascinating garden has worked phenomenally, attracting more than 40 of Berkeley’s 85 species of native bees. This experimental garden, designed for the sole purpose of assessing the attractiveness of a variety of plants to native bees, is overseen by Dr. Gordon Frankie, an entomologist at UC. Berkeley and a man with an unparalleled and inspiring passion for nature’s most prolific pollinators, be they bright green bees, small black bees, striped bees or fuzzy ones. This bee-friendly garden contains plants that flower at different times of the year, provide pollen and nectar for bees both big and small, attract butterflies and other beneficial insects, and are compost if they don’t bring in the pollinators. One of the research results: native bees adore native plants, preferring them to exotics by a ratio of four to one.
Other garden attractions:
- A collection of California native bees will be available for viewing, as will a list of the plants that attract native bees and a reference collection of bees.
- By making simple adjustments and additions, gardeners can provide food, shelter and nesting areas for California’s native bees. Ask Dr. Frankie which plants attract the most buzz.
- Check out this delightful Urban Bee Garden website: http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens. The Bee Garden’s plant list can be downloaded from this site.
Gardening for Wildlife: It’s all about California’s native bees!
Garden Talks: Dr. Frankie will be available to answer questions. Throughout the day he will lead “How to Garden for Native Bees” tours.
From I-80 exit at University and turn east, toward the hills. Continue about 2 miles and turn left onto Shattuck, right onto Delaware, and left onto Walnut. The garden is to the north end of the Oxford Tract, near the Insectary Greenhouse Laboratory, and behind a chain link fence. Look for the Garden Tour sign and greeting table, which will be next to the decorative iron-gated organic garden.