Bees & Blossoms at the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

On a fairly warm weekend in the beginning of May, a group of enthusiastic nature lovers gathered at Buckhorn Rock, just inside the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, to search for bees and blossoms. A quick drive outside of Ashland brought us to this wild landscape in the Monument where we quickly found blooming wildflowers and buzzing bees. We were graciously led by the founder of the Native Bee Society, Brian Dysktra, who captivated us with his wealth of knowledge on the world of native bees, and their habitat here in southern Oregon and across the world.

As we made our way up to a vernal pool, we encountered trailside wildflowers such as shooting star (Dodacatheon herndersonii), and participants experienced a demonstration of buzz pollination (floral sonication), where a weighted tuning fork is used to extract pollen. Continuing up the trail, we watched a variety of native bees visiting the blooming white flowers of a buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus). As we arrived at the vernal pool, we found mason bees (Osmia species) of different colors collecting mud for their chamber nests in nearby rotting oak stumps.  Larkspur (Delphinium) and Tolmie’s star-tulip (Calochortus) were in full bloom as we sat down on a butte for a lunch. This fun exploration allowed participants to learn a lot about native bees, their important roles as pollinators, and their life cycles.

KS Wild works hard to protect places like the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and we love bringing our community out to these special places so you can experience all that our region, and its wild places, has to offer. If you would like to participate in hikes and events like these, sign up for our eNews, or consider becoming a member.

Thank you to the Native Bee Society, Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and KS Wild for hosting the “Bees and Blossoms” hike in the wild and beautiful Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.

And a BIG thank you to all of our participants!   

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