Put your garden design skills to work helping bees by entering the Honey Bee Haven garden design competition at University of California...

Sunset  – January 10, 2009

Put your garden design skills to work helping bees by entering the Honey Bee Haven garden design competition at University of California, Davis.

This garden, funded by Häagen-Dazs, will “be a pollinator paradise,” according to Lynn Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entomology. At a half-acre, it will provide year round blooms for bees, research material for the on-going study of bees, and inspiration to visitors interested in building their own bee-friendly paradise.

But enter soon. The deadline is January 30, 2009. You can read all the particulars at UC Davis’s Department of Entomology website.

On the home frontThe battle with varroa mites continues. Even after the formic acid treatment, a sugar dusting a week later knocked off just under 200 mites from Veronica. A natural 24-hour fall produced about 100 mites. Happily, the same 24 hours only yielded 9 from Betty (although with less bees, she provides less potential mite victims).

Frankly, we’re about out of ideas. We’ve tried Apiguard, drone comb trapping, sugar dusting, and formic acid. There are other products to try, but they’re not organic, and we’re loathe to try them. Readers, any advice?