304 pages, colour illustrations
California is home to over sixteen hundred species of undomesticated bees – most of them native – that populate and pollinate our gardens, fields, and urban green spaces. In this absorbing guidebook, some of the state's preeminent bee and botany experts introduce us to this diverse population. California Bees & Blooms holds a magnifying glass up to the twenty-two most common genera (and six species of cuckoo bees), describing each one's distinctive behaviors, social structures, flight season, preferred flowers, and enemies. Enhancing these descriptions are photographs of bees so finely detailed they capture pollen scattered across gauzy wings and iridescent exoskeletons.
Drawing from years of research at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, California Bees & Blooms presents an authoritative look at these creatures, emphasizing their vital relationship with flowers. In addition to opening our eyes to the beautiful array of wild bees in our midst, California Bees & Blooms provides information on fifty-three bee-friendly plants and how to grow them. Just a few square feet of poppies, sage, and phacelia are enough to sustain a healthy population of wild bees, transforming an urban or suburban garden into a world that hums and buzzes with life.
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