UC says about The Oxford Tract Bee Garden:
Our discoveries were so exciting that we decided that we had to have a super “bee garden” of our own on the campus of University of California Berkeley. Using all of the information we gathered from north Berkeley residential gardens, we spent the summer and fall of 2003 planting large patches of flowers most attractive to bees in a section of the U.C. Berkeley Oxford Tract.
Although we started with nothing more than bare dirt, we found that planting the right attractive bee flowers almost immediately began attracting native California bees. Within the first month of planting, we noticed that circular holes were being carved out the leaves of our California rose plants. From our experience with native bees, we know that one genus, the megachilid or “leafcutter” bees, use pieces of leaves to build their nests. Sure enough, on closer observation we discovered that these bees were already making their individual nests around the outer perimeter of the watering basins of the plants.
Our monitoring work in this garden has also produced many interesting, preliminary results. For example, we have already discovered 4 new species of bees that we had not yet collected in other urban Berkeley areas pollinating our flowers. These exciting discoveries are just the beginning as we continue to plant attractive “bee flowers” and monitor bees in the coming year.