A bee collects pollen from a tree blossom in the Arboretum (2/26/05))

Along with all the flowering plants and trees in the Arboretum and other places around the city, you'll find bees. Bees are kept in apiaries for a variety of reasons, and there are also feral bees around Davis. Come springtime, you might see bees swarming. Call the Davis Bee Collective, Davis Swarm Patrol, the Davis Bee Charmers, the Fire Department, or the Sacramento Beekeeping Supply and a happy beekeeper will come out to collect them.

Dr. Norman E. Gary, a UC Davis research entomologist, is known locally as "The Bee Man" for his public activities consulting for the television and film industry on bee related projects including X-Files, Fried Green Tomatoes, Man of the House, Candyman, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Beverly Hillbillies, Invasion of the Bee Girls, Savage Bees, Terror Out of the Sky, and Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare. The famous photographer known for his stark black-and-white photos of artists and intellectuals, Richard Avedon, shot one of his signature photographs in Davis; the image was titled, “The Beekeeper,” a photograph of a pale, shirtless beekeeper named Ronald Fischer covered in bees. (The famous photo was shot at a Davis tomato farm in May 1981 with the assistance of UC Davis entomologist Norman Gary).

In 2008, Häagen-Dazs donated $250,000 to UC Davis and Pennsylvania State University to fund research into bee colony collapse disorder, a trend with no confirmed cause causing the rapid decline of the bee population.

A bee collects pollen from a tree blossom in the Arboretum (2/26/05)


Bees find a home in a tree on Russell (2005). West Davis 2013

Raising Bees

If you are planning on raising bees be aware that apiaries in Yolo County need to be inspected.

Between the University and the Cooperative Extention there is plenty of information about how to get started (pdf).

More Bee Briefs.

The University even plays host to the American Association of Professional Apiculturists

It's also important to be aware of the variety of pests that tend to plague honeybees. These include the varroa mite, tracheal mite and the small hive beetle.

There was even a class taught on Backyard Beekeeping.

Not a Bee

The Syrphid fly is sometimes mistaken for a bee. With a fuzzy yellow and black body, a casual glance can't tell them apart. The August 2006 issue of the Davis Food Co-Op Notes was about bees, but had a Syrphid fly on the cover. Oops

Davis Beekeepers (add yourself)


Places frequented by Bees

Some places to avoid if you are allergic to bees.

(note: bees only sting when their hive is attacked or you attack the bee individually, such as stepping on it. People are in little danger of being stung even when surrounded by bees visiting flowers.)

For other critters see Town Wildlife. And see the photo of a bee box on the Outskirts of Town page.