California Bees & Blooms
California Bees & Blooms; A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists
by Frankie, Thorp, Coville, and Ertter
This is a book we at Larner Seeds have long been waiting for, since we first started promoting native bees through growing native plants almost 40 years ago. As the subtitle indicates, gardeners and naturalists are lumped together, as they should be. Out of the 1600 native bee species in California, the authors have chosen 22 to describe in fascinating detail, including each one’s distinctive behaviors, social structures, flight season, preferred flowers, and enemies.
Especially focused on urban gardens, this sumptuous guide takes you into the world of solitary bees, just as fascinating, though not as crowded, as the world of the social bee. They also highlight some especially important native bee plants "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."
Solitary bees, with their secretive ways, are more difficult to study than the European honeybee, so these amazing color photos are a real treasure, and this book is a gift. We can no longer refer to a "bee" as though there is only one kind. The world is much more complicated than that.