Different Bees for different Ceanothus in the Bay Area

Ceanothus_Julia_Phelps Las Pilitas

Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’ courtesy Las Pilitas Nursery

One of our Bay Area experts, Jeffrey Caldwell, sent out an email to the Yahoo Group recently. He was reading an old issue of Pacific Horticulture from 2003 (I was impressed that he’d kept his stash intact for so long!). He said that in Volume 64, Number 2, an article titled “Bees in the ‘Burbs'” called out some research in North Berkeley and Albany about native and non-native bees, and their plant preferences.

One idea that caught my attention was that two different species of the same genus might attract different sets of bees!

ceantohus-ray-hartman Las Pilitas

Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ courtesy Las Pilitas Nursery

Jeffrey noted these interesting differentiations:

  • Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’ attracted honeybees and native bees
  • Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ didn’t attract honeybees; but native bees were common

I’d love to hear from any other observers of these two Ceanothus species. Do you see native bees on both? Does your ‘Ray Hartman’ only attract native bees?

Thanks to Las Pilitas Nursery for the use of the photos.




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