(or "Suites") of "Bee Diversity"
Santa Clara, California Native Plants for Bee Gardens
suggested by Jeffrey Caldwell
|Attached are documents listing those locally
native plants from which the largest number of native bee species
have been collected, and a few simple suggestions for bee gardens.
Feel free to share the information with anyone who is interested.
There's a lot of concern about pollinators now, since they seem
to be disappearing ... humanity has not been managing the world
for their benefit, by and large, though their work is of very
great benefit to humanity.
Many of the hardest working or most effective pollinators are
native bees ... bumblebees, sweat bees, leafcutter bees, carpenter
bees, digger bees, etc. -- a huge variety, mostly little
known to other than entomologists, many small and mostly docile.
Attached are documents about the locally native plants from which
the greatest diversity of bee species have been collected ...
The increasingly shrinking pollinator-effective populations of
these plants no doubt is a major factor in pollinator decline
|Minimum suggested patch size per
species: 25 square feet, bigger is better especially to
make commuting worthwhile for social bees, and simply to have
enough color and fragrance for more insects to find the resource
and sufficient provisions to survive after finding it. I suggest
at least 100 square feet as minimum patch size for goldfields
and tidy-tips. To produce a maximum amount of nectar and
pollen the plants must be healthy and not under drought-stress.
|The number for each plant species
is the number of different bee species collected from it, wherever the
plant occurred in whatever community the bee diversity was greatest
for it, namely (in cases where the plant occurs in more than
one community) in the community where the plants receive the
most sun. Number of species data gathered from: Andrew R. Moldenke's
1971 Studies on the Species Diversity of California Plant
Communities, a Stanford University Ph.D. thesis. Flowering
times are from Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California
by John Hunter Thomas.
|Suggesting "suites" of
species for effective habitat gardens is a favorite idea of Andreas
Reimann, co-author of The California Landscape Garden:
Ecology, Culture, and Design. Each suite is designed
to provide nectar and pollen from early spring to late fall,
with overlapping flowering to heat up pollinator interest.
|Any of these combinations will attract and help
support plenty of other insects and wildlife besides bees.
|** Please note error; for Yerba Buenta Suite read Yerba Santa Suite
For additional information on garden and landscape design
and management for native bees see:
Urban Bee Gardens
Fremontia, Volume 30:3-4, July/October 2002