This just in from KQED–as part of their Quest series about science and nature in the San Francisco Bay Area, they’ve posted this video of UC entomologist Gordon Frankie showing off some bee-friendly plants in his garden. It’s pretty interesting; he’s really looking at specific plants and the particular species of bees they attract. He’s also created a website devoted to bee-friendly gardens, particularly on the west coast. Visit his website to learn more about:
- How "mulch madness" is causing gardeners to smother the habitats of ground-dwelling native bees.
- A new excuse not to weed–certain weed species are very bee-friendly. (Woo-hoo!)
- The importance of planting bee-friendly plants regardless of whether or not they are native.
- A photograph of a lovely flowering garden that doesn’t do jack for bees.
- How to identify Bay Area bees.
- A complete plant list with his data on which bees each plant attracts and how often.
And so much more. One of his favorite bee plants is Tansy Phacelia, an annual that he says attracts a wide variety of bees. I think he’s referring to Phacelia tanacetifolia, a wildflower that thrives on poor soil and neglect. Anybody growing it?