More on bees.

"There are 4,000 native bee species in America, 1,500 of which occur in California. Most have no colonies or small ones, so aren't easily amenable to "domestication." The honey bee is a bee of the "Old World"--of Europe and other nearby lands, brought here by Europeans in the 1600s.

Our agriculture has become dependent on monocultures--large acreages of the same crop. If the crops need pollination, they are mostly dependent on a bee monoculture--only European honey bees. So when this species is threatened, so is the pollination of crops like almonds, citrus, melons, strawberies, cotton, apples, pears and plums."

More at the link.

Bees are shaping up to be the big gardening story of 2007.


lisa said...

Thank you for linking me to that article! Very interesting, indeed...I'm really glad to have my "bee thing" going in light of these developments. I started the whole deal cuz' it sounded cool, and I wanted a concentrated populus of pollinators in my yard. Sounds like I'll need their help this year more than ever!

mmw said...

Presumably you saw the article about this site in today's Chron. I can vouch for their herb recommendations -- thyme, oregano and rosemary are always mobbed. Also, an allegedly perennial (really, biennial but self-seeding) cutting celery I grow is quite popular. So get going on the herbs: they don't take up much room, except the rosemary (I have to move mine to a pot).

The alyssum that seeds itself everywhere is also quite popular.

I can see I'm going to have to get some Eriogonum.

anile said...

Last Sunday I heard a good program on NPR about native bees... and San Francisco. You can listen to it here>

anile said...

more on the bees, from an unlikely source:
Quote:Considering that honey bees utilize the sun for direction and solar cycle 24 is forecasted to be one of the most intense since record keeping began, http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm, I had to ponder this question even though solar activity never stops not even during solar minimums. The problem is that we are “near” the start of this new cycle and won’t know the official beginning until after the fact as any type of cyclical work utilities approximations.