Honeybee haven at UC Davis

The debate over whether the disappearance of honeybees—or “colony collapse disorder"—is cyclical or something more sinister continues. But what the University of California, Davis has going can’t hurt. The school’s department of entomology just received a $125,000 donation from Häagen-Dazs to launch a design competition to create a half-acre Honey Bee Haven garden at UC Davis’ Honey Bee Research facility.

The bee haven is to be part demonstration garden, part educational facility, and part practical food source for the research facility’s bees. It’s to include a seasonal variety of blooming plants to provide year-round food for the bees.

“The Honey Bee Haven will be a pollinator paradise,” Lynn Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entymology, said in a prepared statement.

The design competition is open to anyone who can create a proposal using basic landscape design principles that can be carried out in a half-acre garden for $65,000 or less. Details about submissions can be found at http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/dept/beebio.cfm. Design plans must be received by Jan. 30, 2009. The winning team sees their garden implemented, gets a commemorative plaque within the garden, and—or course—a year’s supply of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Sweet.