Bee All You Can Bee

Apr 28, 2015

Time to celebrate!

The UC Davis Departmentof Entomology and Nematology has scheduled a fifth anniversary celebration of  its bee garden on Saturday, May 2.

It's difficult to believe that the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is five years old. But it is, and the event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The  half-acre bee garden, planted in the fall of 2009, is located on Bee Biology Road next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of the central campus. A public ceremony will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the department, will welcome the crowd at 10:30 a.m. Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology, was the interim chair of the department and directed and organized the installation of the garden. It was planted in 2009, thanks to a generous donation from Häagen-Dazs. More than 50 percent of their ice cream flavors depend on pollination.

Raj Brahmbhatt, associate brand manager of Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream at Nestle USA, Dreyer's Ice Cream company, will speak at 10:50 a.m. on “What the Haven Means to Us.”

Christine Casey, manager of the haven, will discuss “What Your Donations Mean to the Haven” at 11:15. 

What can you do in the bee garden? Walk the paths. Admire the flowers. Admire the pollinators. Learn how to observe and identify bees, what to plant to help bees, and how to use native bee houses. There also will be beekeeping demonstrations and garden tours.

The garden is open to the public from dawn to dusk every day. Admission is free. Tours (a nominal fee is charged) can be arranged with Casey at To book a tour, access the website and click on "Visit Us."

The design is the work of a Sausalito team--landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotak--the winners of the international design competition.

Read more about the garden here! How it all began, who the founding manager was and the honor she and the 19 volunteer gardeners received, and who built the state-of-the-art fence around the garden.

We remember when it was an open field with jack rabbits bounding through the tall grass and red-tailed hawks circling above. The rabbits still bound (but not inside the garden) and the hawks still circle looking for prey.