UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Posts Tagged: coastal goldfields

Bumble Bees at Bodega Bay

Thar’s gold in them thar hills.

And also bumble bees.

If you visit the Sonoma County coastal town of Bodega Bay, and drive up to Bodega Head overlooking the ocean, you’ll see a carpet of gold flowers known as coastal goldfields or Lasthenia minor.

And you’re certain to see bumble bees nectaring those flowers.

Noted bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor at UC Davis, says the most common species of  bumble bee at Bodega is the yellow face bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii.  The second most common? Bombus bifarius.

Goldfields are natives and so are bumble bees. Goldfields belong to the Asteraceae family, also known as the aster, daisy or sunflower family.

Want to learn more about bumble bees? Bumble bees are very much in the news. Thorp wrote a piece for a UC Berkeley publication. He recently addressed the Smithsonian Institute on the plight of the Western bumble bees and gave a Webinar at the UC Davis Department of Entomology on Franklin's bumble bee, an insect he fears may be extinct.

Gordon Frankie, Robbin Thorp and colleagues also wrote the lead story on native bees, featured in the latest edition of California Agriculture.

It's good to see the plight of the bumble bees drawing so much interest and it's good to see all the bumble bees at Bodega Bay.

BB at BB.

Windswept Bumble Bee
Windswept Bumble Bee

BUMBLE BEE (Bombus bifarious) nectaring coastal goldfields at Bodega Bay. This species is the second most common bumble bee species at Bodega Bay. This is a worker or female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male Bumble Bee
Male Bumble Bee

MALE BUMBLE BEE, a Bombus bifarius, nectaring coastal goldfields at Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Eyes Have It
The Eyes Have It

THIS BUMBLE BEE, a worker or female bee, is a Bombus vosnesenskii, the most common bumble bee at Bodega Bay. She is nectaring coastal goldfields (Lasthenia minor), a native wildflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM
Webmaster Email: mgwomack@ucanr.edu