California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists


Paperback, 6 x 9, 304 pages,
with over 200 full-color photographs, diagrams, and illustrations. 
ISBN: 9781597142946. Available on Aerio and at your local independent bookstore

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By Gordon W. Frankie, Robbin W. Thorp, Rollin E. Coville, and Barbara Ertter


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 and 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 and 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, this book 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by Jaime Pawelek

Gordon W. Frankie is a professor and research entomologist at the University of California, Berkeley. His specialty is behavioral ecology of solitary bees in wildland, agricultural, and urban environments of California and Costa Rica, and he is particularly involved with questions of how people relate to bees and their plants in these environments, and how to raise human awareness about bee-plant relationships. Dr. Frankie also teaches conservation and environmental problem solving at UC Berkeley. More information on his projects can be found at helpabee.org.


Robbin W. Thorp was a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of California, Davis. He retired in 1994 after thirty years of teaching, research, and mentoring graduate students. Following his retirement, he continued to conduct research on pollination biology and ecology, systematics, biodiversity, and conservation of bees, especially bumble bees.


Rollin E. Coville received his PhD in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978 and for more than twenty-five years has been deeply involved with photographing insects and spiders. He also has a strong interest in the biology and behavior of Hymenoptera and has published papers on Trypoxylon wasps and Centris bees.


Barbara Ertter is Curator of Western North American Botany at the University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley. Primary research interests include western floristics (including the East Bay), systematics of several members of the rose family (e.g., Potentilla, Ivesia, Rosa), and the history of western botany. Significant publications include an updated edition of The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mount Diablo, California (2002, with M. L. Bowerman), Annotated Checklist of the East Bay Flora (2nd edition, 2013, with L. Naumovich), and treatments of Potentilla, Ivesia, Horkelia, Rosa, and related genera for The Jepson Manual, Vascular Plants of California (2nd edition, 2012) and Flora of North America (pending). She currently lives in Boise, Idaho.